Refractory & Insulation Supply, Inc. has been a leading supplier of refractories and refractory services since 1979. BJ Strothkamp founded R&I in Bettendorf, Iowa in 1979 and specialized in refractory distribution to the foundry industry in the Midwest. Since then, R&I has grown to provide specialized refractory products to a number of industries across North America. R&I’s success is directly tied to BJ’s belief that R&I is not a refractory company- R&I is a customer service company that specializes in refractory technology and value. R&I’s growth has led to three distinct operating arms: Precast Shapes, Installation, and Distribution.
R&I has become the premier precast shape manufacturer in the US providing high quality shapes across the country. R&I’s shape business begin out of necessity as brick lead times became unmanageable in the 1980’s. Since then, the business has grown and thrived as the industry found precast shapes to be the best quality, value, and safest form of refractory installation. In 1998, R&I moved to a new location in Eldridge IA with 5,000 sq ft of warehouse space and 10,000 sq ft of production space. 2 additions later, R&I has over 20,000 sq ft of production space for precast shapes, but also three separate furnaces for dry out. Currently, R&I pours and dries over 500,000 lbs of castable a month with capacity for triple that! R&I will continue to invest in precast shapes, develop new technology, and provide its customers with the best customer service around.
To completely provide the best customer service specializing in technology and value, BJ realized that R&I needed to provide on site installations. R&I’s construction group provides top customer service by focusing on safety, professionalism and quality. R&I employs full time supervisors, brick layers and laborers that are qualified to refractory jobs in almost any industry. R&I’s construction team is available for scheduled shutdowns as well as emergency repair work and always provides its customers the best service possible.
R&I was founded as a distributor of refractories and continues to do so today. With 5 warehouses in the Midwest and relationships with all quality refractory manufacturers R&I ensures that its customers have the best products for their applications whenever they need them. R&I also has an exclusive relationship with it’s sister company, Refcotec, to provide the highest quality of mold washes, pastes and sand additives across the Midwest.
R&I’s precast delta and annular combination has taken us from 50 heats per roof to over 400 heats per roof. We have saved money on refractory and labor and we no longer have to stock a truckload of bricks. We will never go back to bricking our roofs.