Sankey Aluma

Found Craigend Refractories Ltd, Falkirk.

I believe this is could be a product of Craigend Refractories, Muiravonside, Falkirk.

I believe J H Sankey & Son, Essex Wharf, Canning Town, London was in the practice of having Scottish manufacturers make bricks with Scottish clay and stamp them ‘Sankey’. (See Weir Castlecary and Sankey) or indeed did JH Sankey own Craigend Refractories.?

1951 – J H Sankey & Son Ltd. Head Office: Aldwych House, Aldwych, London, W.C.2. Works: Refractories Works, Ilford, Essex. T.A., “Sankey, Ilford”. T.N., Ilford 1127 (6 lines). Established in 1857. Fire cements: Pyruma, Aluma and Siluma; tile cement: Tiluma; firebricks; B.M.Scotch, Aluma (highly aluminous), Leolite (super aluminous), refractory-insulating, etc.; Super acid-resisting cement; acid-resisting bricks: vitrified blue acid and alkali-resisting bricks.
Trade Name: Sankey “Top Brand”.
Directors: M. Sankey; W. G. Lance; J. C. Field.

What does intrigue me is that this was found at the Craigend Refractories site. There were numerous examples and they were mixed in with Craigend Falcons, Eagles and Kestrels. Note the style of brick marks – all very similar and look at the colour and appearance of the bricks – again very similar.

I have now found 3 x Sankey Aluma bricks at different Scottish locations and each time they have been found alongside other Craigend bricks such as Falcon and Eagle.  This all gives credence to these bricks being manufactured in Scotland on behalf of J.H Sankey.

05/02/2018 – Update – Gerry Carty, Rumford, Falkirk used to work at Craigend Refractories and he remembers Sankey Aluma bricks being manufactured there. He is uncertain if they were solely a Craigend product or made on behalf of another company.





See this reference below regarding Aluma

Aluma – Aluma cements are suitable for jointing, coating, and patching in all high-temperature applications. They are air-setting, with outstanding bonding properties at ambient and operating temperatures.
Aluma 45 – Ready-mixed, creamy consistency air-setting cement, excellent stability at temperature.

John Bramall states – FGF used to be an intermediary owned by GR-Stein (in 1983) – or thereabouts.


Below – The following corroborative information comes from a catalogue in the possession of Chris Graham. It is dated c. 1930.

J. H Sankey and Son Ltd – BM Scotch. Among the finest Scotch bricks available. Manufactured from selected Scotch clay seams.  Being fired at a very high temperature, after contraction is negligible. Resists intense and intermitted temperatures and most fluxes. Medium thermal conductivity. Used extensively in iron and steelworks., power stations, glassworks, chemical works and by railway and steam companies. Ideal for all industries where there is excessive heat, continuous and intermittent. Especially recommended to our Scottish customers. Silica 58%, alumina 37% – 17oo deg C.  2 1/2″ width = 320 per ton. 3″ width = 264 per ton.


Below – Aluma – A good dense and clean shaped fire brick. Has more than the average content of alumina. Minimum expansion and contraction. Gives long life. Has non-spalling qualities. Particularly suitable where conditions are severe as when firing by pulverised coal. Used in oil furnaces. Silica 53%. Alumina 42%. Refractory test 1,750c. 2 1/2″ width bricks = 300 per ton. 3″ width bricks = 250 per ton. (Note – SBH – There is no reference to such bricks being manufactured in Scotland but it is entirely possible that some were manufactured at the Craigend Refractories, Scotland as many have been found there).

Below – Many thanks to Jeffrey Wong Sang who forwarded this photo of a Sankey Alumina brick found off the Constance estate in Icacos, Trinidad.

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