Steel encased bricks – Stein Contex MAG CSD

Found at Stein Castlecary Works, Castlecary.

From invoices recovered at the Stein, Manuel Works I believe these metal-encased bricks may be ‘related’ to:-

Contex  MAG CSD – R Metal cased 230mm x 178mm x 76/70mm – £336.80 per tonne.

Contex Mag CSD/W metal cased 300mm x 175mm x 90mm O/ALL pos FR2/1 Steel sheeted (22 gauge) with Detrick recess suspended ends – £315.90 per tonne.


Below – This example below measures approx – 230mm x 120mm x 70mm


Below – And this example measures approx 375mm x 125mm x 70mm


Below – 1968 – John G Stein & Co Ltd. A film held by the National Library of Scotland – These film stills show you these steel-clad bricks being made at the Stein Works – the steel sheath oxidises in the heat and welds the bricks together forming a self-supporting arch.

steel clad brick


steel clad brick F052

Below – The 2 photos below were taken within the Manuel Works c.1980 and appear to show the steel-clad bricks being made.



manuel works steel clad brick

Harley Marshall, ex Export Manager at the Stein Manuel Works states the bricks were manufactured as chrome magnesite or magnesite chrome bricks.  He remembers them being called 18/8’s or 25/20’s and recalls this referred to the nickel/chrome or chrome/nickel content of the steel plating.  He states the basic bricks were made at the Manuel Works and transported to the  Stein Castlecary Works to be clad in the steel jackets.

They were hung back to back on special hooks or tabs from perhaps a furnace roof. In the heat, they fused together forming a strong self-supporting roof.

It is believed the MAG CSD stands for Magnesite Chrome Steel- clad Dense

These bricks were  rebranded to the Contex name on the merger with General Refractories

Below – Further information on steel-clad bricks taken from a John G Stein publication of unknown date.



Below – 03/1964 – The Refractories Journal – Steel cased bricks.

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