about TRI

What is TRI?

The Refractories Institute, or TRI as it is generally known, is a trade association established in 1951 to promote the interests of the refractories industry. Refractories are heat resistant materials that provide the linings for high-temperature furnaces, reactors, and other processing units.

Headquartered in Cleveland, TRI has a long tradition of providing support and services to manufacturers of refractory materials and products and suppliers of raw materials, equipment, and services to the refractories industry.

In 1995, membership eligibility was extended to refractories producers in Latin America. In 1996, the TRI Board of Directors voted to open membership opportunity to contractors and installers of refractory products, recognizing the important role they play in ensuring the ultimate success of the product.

Institute membership provides an opportunity for companies to address common concerns and challenges, while sharing both the burden and the benefits of promoting the interests of the refractories industry.

Institute membership in the first quarter stands at 48 companies, 24 of which are manufacturers of refractory products.


TRI has one mission: to serve the refractories industry.

TRI provides cost-effective, one-stop service for all of the following:

  1. Proactive response to potentially burdensome government regulatory initiatives.
  2. Information packets, guidelines, and educational seminars specifically targeted to the refractory industry and its responsibilities under government regulatory programs.
  3. Early warning on emerging regulatory issues affecting the refractories industry.
  4. Opportunity to benchmark with other TRI members by participating in the Institute's wage, benefit, and salary surveys, health care cost survey, and the Institute's lost workday injury survey.
  5. Industry input to legislative initiatives such as regulatory reform, product liability, trade, and rationalization of environmental and safety and health statutes.
  6. Access to economic information on refractories and refractory consuming industries.
  7. Reduced subscription and advertising rates on Institute publications such as the Product Directory of the Refractories Industry and the TRI newsletter, Refractory News.
  8. Networking, technical information exchange, and joint problem solving through participation on TRI committees and attendance at meetings.


The Refractories Institute offers three categories of membership. Active memberships are available to companies directly involved in the manufacture of refractories in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Latin America. Dues are assessed based on annual sales of refractories and refractory products according to a graduated scale. Active members must have a manufacturing facility in the Western Hemisphere.

Suppliers of raw materials, equipment, and services to refractories manufacturers are eligible for an Associate membership in the Institute. Associate member dues are assessed based on annual sales of materials and products to the refractories industry. Associate members receive all services available to Active members, but they may not serve on the Board of Directors (except for the Chairman of the Associates Advisory Committee) or vote on Institute policy. They do have voting privileges on standing committees. Associate memberships are available to companies world-wide.

Contractors and Installers became eligible for Institute membership in 1996. Like Associate members, Contractors and Installer members may participate and vote on TRI committees, but do not have a vote on Institute policy matters. Effective January 1, 2001 dues are assessed at a flat rate for this membership category.

Manufacturers of refractory products headquartered outside North America,with no manufacturing facilities in North America, and distributors who do not manufature refractory products, and distributors who do not manufacture refractory products are eligible for Affiliate Membership in The Refractories Institute. Affilate members are may attend TRI meetings but would not participate in activities such as the Institute’s government relations programs or other areas which specifically relate to North American manufacturers.

For dues rates and membership application forms, please go to Membership Info.


Information exchange is a major benefit of TRI members participation. Two general meetings, one normally in Pittsburgh in the Fall and another at a resort location in the Spring, provide the opportunity for representatives from all segments of the industry to meet and discuss problems of mutual interest and concern.

In addition, TRI committees and working groups meet as needed to respond to specific government initiatives and other critical issues.


Each member of TRI is asked to designate an official representative to the Institute. Official Representatives of TRI Active member companies are responsible for electing up to twenty-seven of their number to the TRI Board of Directors, the governing body of the Institute. Board members serve voluntarily and without compensation. They serve two year terms and are eligible for reelection.

An Executive Committee of nine members of the Board of Directors provides practical oversight on ongoing Institute activities. Three members of the Executive Committee serve as officers of the Institute: the Chairman, Vice Chairman, and Treasurer. The fourth officer, the President, is the chief operating officer of the Institute and is responsible for day-to-day operations and management.

As TRI is a trade association representing manufacturers, suppliers, and contractor/installers who compete with each other in the market place, Institute staff and members take great care to ensure that all Institute business is conducted in strict conformance with applicable antitrust and federal trade statutes. TRI does not become involved in the commercial activities of its members, nor does it permit discussions or other information exchange on such matters at any Institute meetings or functions. The Institute counsel is present at TRI meetings to ensure compliance with this important policy.


This serves as a technical introduction to the refractories industry for the nontechnical person. The publication covers all of the basic types of refractory applications, and features isometric drawings, bibliography, and a glossary. This publication is helpful for employee orientation and providing technical data to both employees and customers (50 pages).

Refractory News
This is a web-based newsletter featuring timely industry news, information on federal regulations, member updates, announcements on seminars, and the latest refractory information and statistics.