DSF News /

Company news items.

Company News Items

[11/06/2024] Trevor Wilson becomes DSF Sales Director

DSF are pleased to announce that Trevor Wilson has formally taken up the position of Sales Director.

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DSF are pleased to announce that Trevor Wilson has formally taken up the position of Sales Director. This is a key part of the re-organisation of the business following the recent Management Buyout.

Trevor joined DSF in 1988 working in the development department before moving into sales seven years later. As Area Sales Manager, Trevor has used his technical knowledge of DSF's products and our customers processes to help develop our glass industry business, particularly in Germany and Turkey. Trevor is a Fellow of the SGT and regularly presents technical papers at the various glass industry conferences around the world. Trevor's brief moving forward is to work with our experienced sales team to continue to grow our refractory business and support our customers as technology changes.

We wish you every success in your new role Trevor!

[24/05/2024] DSF are pleased to announce that Ian Gould has been promoted to IT Manager.

DSF are pleased to announce that Rob Bull has been promoted to Engineering Manager.

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DSF are pleased to announce that Ian Gould has been promoted to IT Manager. Having previously held the position of ICT Systems Administrator, Ian is one of DSF's longest serving employees.

Ian joined DSF in 1988 on the shop floor, progressing through a number of roles and gaining a good working knowledge of operations at DSF before being offered an administrative position. In 2002 Ian completed a company funded IT Degree and is now solely responsible for many of our systems, equipment and procedures. As a member of our PR committee, Ian is also heavily involved in DSF's charity, social and welfare activities.

Congratulations on your new role Ian!

[24/05/2024] New Engineering Manager

DSF are pleased to announce that Rob Bull has been promoted to Engineering Manager.

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DSF are pleased to announce that Rob Bull has been promoted to Engineering Manager. Having previously held the positions of Senior Electrician and Senior Controls System Engineer at DSF, Rob is a perfect fit for the role.

Rob taking up this position is another positive step towards improving inter team and cross team communications, whilst providing an Engineering focal point that will help us drive all of the exciting changes that we are about to embark on as a company.

Good luck Rob!

[20/04/2024] DSF at Carbon Black World Vienna

DSF Technical Director, Chris Windle, will be presenting at the Carbon Black World conference in Vienna this May.

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DSF at Carbon Black World Vienna

DSF Technical Director, Chris Windle, will be presenting at the Carbon Black World conference in Vienna this May - Chris will be presenting his paper 'Too Dam Hot? Or is it? Endeavouring to find the refractory panacea for tread and carcass reactors' on the afternoon of Wednesday 15th May at 3.15pm. Also attending the conference from DSF will be Area Sales Manager, Richard Hampton.

DSF have proven materials for high temperature carbon black reactor linings, potentially giving longer campaign lives and higher yields. For more information on DSF products for carbon black contact info@dsf.co.uk

[07/03/2024] DSF Easter Weighbridge Closures

Closing: Thursday, 28 March 2024 at 11:45 am Reopening: Monday, 8 April 2024 at 7:45 am

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Please be advised the DSF weighbridge will be closed for loading, unloading, and all related weighbridge activities during the Easter holiday period.

Closing: Thursday, 28 March 2024 at 11:45 am Reopening: Monday, 8 April 2024 at 7:45 am

Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 01629 636 271.

[20/02/2024] DSF in the Battery Market

High performance material for lithium powder calcination.

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Did you know that a seemingly simple ceramic container, known as a saggar, is pivotal in powering the devices we use every day? Saggars play an important role in the manufacture of cathode active materials (CAM) for lithium-ion batteries, a technology that's crucial for powering everything from smartphones to electric vehicles. These ceramic containers are traditionally used to protect materials from contaminants and direct flame during firing. In the context of lithium-ion batteries, saggars are instrumental in the calcination process, where precursor materials are transformed into cathode active materials at high temperatures.

However, the highly reactive nature of lithium can present a significant challenge to the integrity of saggars. During calcination, lithium compounds often volatilize, particularly at high temperatures, and interact with the ceramic material of the saggar. This reaction can lead to the breakdown of the saggar's structure, resulting in contamination of the cathode material, reduced saggar life, and potential impacts on the overall efficiency and safety of the battery.

The persistent issue of saggar degradation highlights the importance of new material development and innovations in saggar materials that can resist lithium's corrosive effects are crucial. Addressing this @DSF Refractories and Minerals Ltd has developed a saggar solution specifically engineered to combat lithium corrosion. This extends the saggar's life and ensures the consistent quality of cathode material.

[22/12/2023] Neale Parkin retires

Neale Parkin, DSF's Managing Director, retired from his role this week.

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Neale Parkin, DSF's Managing Director, retired from his role this week.

Neale joined DSF in 1982 from Steetley Refractories as Senior Technologist and worked his way up in the company holding many senior positions along the way including Operations Director and Sales Director.

In 2003, following a management buyout of the business, Neale became Managing Director and has held that position until this week.

All at DSF thank Neale for his service to the company and wish him the very best of luck for a happy and fulfilling retirement.

[20/12/2023] DSF announce ownership change

A management buyout of DSF took place on 19th December.

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A management buyout of DSF took place on 19th December. The new ownership team, led by Paul Hutchinson, acquired the total shareholding of the group.

The main shareholders of DSF, Geoffrey Bell (Chairman) and Neale Parkin (Managing Director), have stepped down from their roles in the business following the acquisition of their shares. DSF would like to place on record its thanks to Geoff and Neale for their many years of service to the company and wish them the very best for the future.

Paul Hutchinson will step up to become Managing Director, with the remaining Board making up the new ownership team.

[22/09/2023] BCC "Towards Net Zero" Conference

DSF win awards at the British Ceramic Confederation’s, “Towards Net Zero” Conference.

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DSF are taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and technologies that will decarbonise our firing processes.

We are pleased to have been recognised for this, receiving two awards at last week’s British Ceramic Confederation’s, "Towards Net Zero" Conference, for SME Decarbonisation and a Decarbonisation Trailblazer award.

The SME Decarbonisation award recognises the work DSF has completed reducing energy use and carbon emissions across all aspects of the company. This includes moving away from heavy fuel oil and LPG to methane and the use of heat recovery for drying and heating of combustion air on all our kilns. We have electrified most of our FLT fleet and installed new, more efficient compressors, which utilises waste heat for office heating. We have also installed smart lighting throughout the factory.

The Decarbonisation Trailblazer recognises the work being done by DSF to trial the use of hydrogen and biofuels to successfully fire our Refractory products as part of a consortium within the ceramics and glass industries. The hydrogen project is led by the BCC and the biofuels project is led by Glass Futures, both projects are funded by the Government’s Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy’s Industrial Fuel Switching Scheme.

[21/09/2023] Ashgate Hospice Sparkle Walk Presentation Night

Members of DSF attended the Ashgate Hospice Sparkle Walk Presentation Night.

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Last night, members of DSF attended the Ashgate Hospice Sparkle Walk Presentation Night, where we were both surprised and honoured to receive an award for the highest sponsored Workplace Team. Our total raised for the walk was £3,597 and altogether the walk raised a staggering £317,617. To put that in perspective, the total raised will fund the hospice and staff for a whole month, delivering care for people, and families, with living life-limiting illness.

Once again, thank you to everyone who donated to this very worthy cause.

Pictured below, some of the DSF team with Ashgates' Chief Executive Barbara-Anne Walker (far left)

[24/05/2023] Rodney Billinge 50 years long service.

Rodney Billinge collects his 50 years Long Service Award.

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DSF’s Managing Director, Neale Parkin, was very pleased to present Rodney Billinge with his Long Service Award, in recognition of 50 years’ service with the company, on the 24th of May.

The company want to thank Rodney for his dedication and efforts during these years. He has been a key member of the team, excelling in a variety of positions. He has been with the company through some difficult times and has played a major part in the continuing success of DSF.

Rodney started at DSF in 1970, completing 50 years’ service in August 2020, and retired later that year. Unfortunately, Rodney was unable to attend our recent awards evening in April but visited DSF today to meet friends and former colleagues, and to receive his award.

We would like to thank Rodney and wish him all the very best for a long and happy retirement.

[03/05/2023] Zink, the High Peak Food Bank

DSF visit Zink and make a donation to the High Peak Foodbank.

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Today was a very humbling day.

Just before Christmas, and without the knowledge of many of the employees at DSF, the directors of DSF made a donation to Zink, the High Peak Food Bank, in Buxton. Today four of us Diane Broadley, Phil Bearn, Chris Whelpton and myself visited, with a promised second donation, to meet with organiser Paul Bohan and find out a bit more about the good work Zink is undertaking in the local community.

To say we were overwhelmed with the work Zink has accomplished would be an understatement. Zink is a foodbank, but the volunteers and organisers do so much more. Zink help support families and individuals experiencing times of poverty or crisis. It reacts speedily to immediate needs such as via the foodbank or giving support, advice, and coaching, but also considers the long-term help required on an individual basis. On top of all that, Zink runs an Eco Café and has a full programme of events that includes everything from information workshops on self-employment or starting a business, and preparing killer CVs, to computer tuition and musical jam nights with guitar tuition!

More information can be found at www.zink.org.uk

Ian Gould
Zink and High Peak Foodbank

[01/05/2023] DSF’s Longest Serving Employee retires!

After over 48 years of service Phil Allsopp has retired from DSF.

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With over 48 years of service, Phil Allsopp has retired from DSF.

Phil, who joined the company in August 1974, has worked diligently and conscientiously in our Minerals Department throughout his time with the company, controlling stock and loading and unloading lorries, until well past his state retirement age.

Phil initially worked alongside Larry Birds, who was responsible for Minerals Production in the early 1980s, up to his retirement, and has worked with his good friend Steven Rhodes since 1979. With Phil retiring this now makes Steven our longest serving employee!

We wish Phil a very enjoyable retirement, although it is inevitable he will continue to keep busy doing odd jobs for family and friends, but we hope he also allows himself some well-deserved leisurely time in his garden, walking and visiting country shows.

We will miss his friendship, knowledge and experience, his willingness to do a good job and his expectation that his colleagues would do the same.

[27/04/2023] Long Service Awards

DSF celebrated long service awards for nine members of staff.

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DSF Refractories & Minerals Ltd celebrated long service awards for nine members of staff at the Crescent Hotel in Buxton on the 21st April.

DSF have a proud history of celebrating long service and, after this ceremony, there have been presentations of 293 Twenty-five year awards, 121 Forty year awards and 49 Fifty year awards.

People make the business and DSF is only successfully trading, over 130 years after its foundation, because of the skills and dedication of the people being celebrated at this year’s awards and the knowledge, skills, and efforts of those who have worked here before.

This year’s recipients were:

25 year awards
Anne-Marie Aitchison
Diane Broadley
Les Heathcote
Alex Jury
Michael Prickett
Mark Wain
40 year awards
Peter Andrews
Neale Parkin
50 year award
Rodney Billinge

The directors and other colleagues were present to congratulate the award recipients, and DSF would like to thank the Crescent Hotel for helping to make this a very enjoyable night.

[04/04/2023] DSF & Ashgate Hospice

DSF is proud to announce that Ashgate Hospice will be the company’s main charity for 2023/24.

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Ashgate Hospice provides care and support for people living with a life-limiting illness. This includes cancer, neurological diseases, and end-stage heart, kidney, and lung diseases.

We have submitted a team for the 10km night-time Sparkle Walk which will take place on July 1st in Chesterfield, between 10:00pm and 1:00am. The event sees thousands of people dressed in pink Sparkle T-shirt and flashing bunny ears, walking together to raise money and awareness for Ashgate Hospice. We promise to share the photos!

Please consider supporting Team DSF and donating to this very worthwhile charity at https://justgiving.com/fundraising/teamdsf

More information about Ashgate Hospice can be found on their website https://ashgatehospice.org.uk

[04/04/2023] Easter Shutdown

DSF Easter Shutdown Friday April 7th - Friday April 14th

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We will be having our normal Easter shutdown from Friday April 7th to Friday April 14th inclusive, with the weighbridge closed except by prior arrangement.

This is a partial shutdown for plant maintenance, with some departments working as normal. Please note deliveries and collections will need to be organised in advance.

[29/03/2023] Clean Air Solutions

DSF make further investment in air filtering solutions

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DSF have been working with Zehnder Clean Air Solutions who have provided a tailor-made air filtering solution for us in and around our CF40 and preparation of materials plant. The units are individually hung, modular, low energy units that interact with each other, they require no ducting or pipework.

Protecting our employees is our number one priority, the introduction of air cleaning devices will reduce invisible airborne contaminate, meaning that dust is significantly reduced, they will provide measurable and provable methods of monitoring and reporting.

[28/03/2023] Mullite Refractories

Not all mullite refractories are the same

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At DSF all our mullite products are fired to the optimum temperature to ensure maximum crystallisation, which imparts stability, chemical resistance and resistance to creep in service. Over forty years of supply has allowed us to refine our recommendation to give the perfect zoning or application advice on a portfolio of mullite products. Whether your application is in the melter crown or in glass furnace regenerators, we can offer trouble free performance and operation. Contact DSF via sales@dsf.co.uk for more details.

[27/02/2023] Enabling green technologies

DSF have a wide role to play in decarbonisation

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DSF have a wide role to play in decarbonisation. In the glass industry we are working with glassmakers, furnace designers and research organisations on materials for hybrid furnaces, furnaces using alternative fuels such as hydrogen and oxy-methane melters. Bonded refractories manufactured at DSF with proven track records are already being used in glass melter crowns and superstructure, with other novel refractory compositions in development.

DSF are a critical supplier to the float glass industry for solar panel production and the fibreglass industry producing wind turbines and building insulation.

Refractory materials are available from DSF for Lithium and Nickel production for the battery market and new materials are being tested for use in autothermal reformer linings that will make blue hydrogen.

DSF are part of the solution for enabling green technologies and dynamic refractory development is essential to the decarbonisation of all the energy intensive industries.

For more information contact DSF at info@dsf.co.uk

[22/02/2023] Image of a glass industry layout

A recent glass industry layout during pre-inspection

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Many of DSF’s orders are laid out for pre-inspection, before they are packed and sent off to site. This image shows a recent working end and forehearth layout for Zedtec and highlights the complicated nature of some of the cast shapes we supply into the glass industry.

[17/02/2023] Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal

DSF donates to the DEC Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal

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The widespread devastation caused by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria have deeply saddened us here at DSF. We have many customers and friends in the region, and have been shocked by the tragic events of the last ten days.

To help provide emergency aid, DSF have made a donation to the DEC Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who are affected by this terrible disaster.

[10/02/2023] National Apprenticeship Week 2023

Apprenticeships at DSF are a key part of our strategy to grow the business and develop our own talented employees.

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As part of National Apprenticeship Week, we are celebrating some of our apprenticeship success stories. Pictured are James (left) and Dan, who are using their apprenticeships at DSF to develop their own skills and also contribute to the continued development of DSF's, site in Derbyshire.

James joined DSF in 2017 as a laboratory technician, but always had a passion for manufacturing and engineering. James was an ideal candidate for our tooling and machining apprenticeship. Through James's hard work at college and with the support of his colleagues, he is helping to drive change within our die setting department.

Dan has been with DSF since 2021 and joined as an apprentice joiner/mould maker. During Dan's time at DSF, he has helped manufacture many of our precision casting moulds and is now learning about roof structures and site joinery with our building maintenance team.

Apprenticeships at DSF are a key part of our strategy to grow the business and develop our own talented employees.

[08/02/2023] Green Refractory Manufacturing

The strive for green refractory manufacturing.

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Without high temperature refractory materials it is impossible for other energy intensive manufacturing industries to decarbonise. As a fundamental part of the supply chain for steel, glass and cement production, refractory manufacturers must also target significant reductions in carbon emissions over the next few decades.

At DSF, we are focusing on energy reduction, recycling, and alternative fuel solutions. We have switched to more efficient compressors, added to our fleet of electric FLT's and loading vehicles and stopped the use of heavy fuel oil. We are also investigating the use of alternative fuels such as hydrogen and biofuel and have already proven the properties of refractory materials for the glass industry, fired using 100% hydrogen.

[21/12/2022] DSF World Cup Competition

Results of the DSF World Cup Competition.

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Congratulations to Argentina on lifting the 2022 World Cup. England and Wales suffered more disappointment and will have to wait another four years to try again. However, it’s not disappointment for everyone at DSF. Over the last few weeks, DSF ran a competition where the challenge was to predict the result of each match leading up to the final. This competition had a very popular winner, Steven "Doogie" Rhodes, who has worked at DSF for 43 years. Doogie correctly predicted Argentina triumphing over France in the final and Kylian Mbappe winning the golden boot. Well done to Doogie who was delivered a luxury hamper courtesy of DSF.

[13/12/2022] Christmas Opening hours.

Weighbridge and office opening times for the holiday period.

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Our weighbridge is open as normal up to and including the 23rd December for deliveries and collections. This facility is closed Christmas week, but there will be a skeleton staff taking calls from the 28th to 30th December. Normal service will resume on the 3rd January.

[29/11/2022] New appointment at DSF.

Leah Goodwin as its new Sales Office Team Leader.

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DSF recently announced the appointment of Leah Goodwin as its new Sales Office Team Leader. Leah joined DSF in 2006 working in the sales office preparing quotations and despatching orders mainly within Europe. Leah later became responsible for despatching all refractory orders worldwide and has a wealth of experience in international trade as well as a thorough understanding of DSF's business. We wish Leah every success in her new post.

[17/11/2022] DSF at the AFGM.

AFGM Conference in Pattaya, Thailand.

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DSF Area Sales Manager Richard Hampton, recently attended the AFGM Conference in Pattaya, Thailand. Also attending was DSF's sales agent, Chanachai of Win Win Intertech Co Ltd. The conference was well attended and very well organised, it gave us an opportunity to catch up with many of our glass industry customers in the region.
For any enquiries relating to DSF in Thailand, please contact Chanachai via email winwinin@ji-net.com or richard.hampton@dsf.co.uk

[12/11/2022] Sarah Dines MP visits DSF.

Derbyshire Dales MP visits DSF.

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DSF were visited by Sarah Dines MP. Mrs Dines is Conservative MP for Derbyshire Dales and visited DSF to better understand the business, and to discuss some of the current issues we are facing, including the energy crisis and labour shortages.

(pic, l-r )Phil Bearn, Sarah Dines, Neale Parkin, Paul Hutchinson

[03/11/2022] British Ceramic Confederation Pledge Awards.

DSF win individual awards at the Pledge Conference.

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DSF recently attended the BCC Pledge Conference and Awards day in Stoke. An Individual Recognition award was handed to Russ Ferns, DSF's Health & Safety and Training Officer, for his approach to health and safety. Russ (pictured receiving his award) was instrumental in improving pedestrian safety on site, and his approach helps to build on DSF's safety culture, empowering employees to come forward with safety improvements. Rob Bull, Process Engineer, was also recognised. Rob specialises in machine safety and has been inspirational in building a new vibro brick press, with bespoke safety features, to keep the operator safe. Rob’s contributions have been invaluable for the company, facilitating moving forward with machine safety improvements.

[18/10/2022] Glass Problems & Asean Glass.

DSF prepare for the Glass Problems and Asean Glass Conferences.

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From October 31st through to November 3rd, DSF will be in attendance at both the Glass Problems Conference in the US and the AFGM in Thailand.

The 44th Asean Glass Conference is in Pattaya this year. In attendance from DSF will be Area Sales Manager, Richard Hampton alongside our agent in the region Chanachai Tularatreungnam of Win Win.

DSF are also on hand to discuss new products for the glass industry at the 83rd Conference on Glass Problems in Columbus, Ohio. Attending from DSF will be Sarah Wells, Nigel Longshaw, Chris Windle and Neale Parkin. Please visit the DSF team at Booth 501.

[28/09/2022] Glasstec thank you.

DSF would like to thank everyone who visited our stand

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As the dust settles on Glasstec 2022, DSF would like to thank everyone who visited our stand. We also say a big thank you to the DSF team on the stand and back home who contributed to a highly successful exhibition.

Many visitors to our stand took part in the DSF putting challenge, which this year was particularly difficult. The eventual winner was Brian Naveken of Teco, who holed two out of three shots. Brian (pictured) was presented with an iPad for winning this year's challenge by DSF Sales & Marketing Director, Paul Hutchinson.

If you have questions about any of the products showcased on our stand, please contact sales@dsf.co.uk or your usual DSF contact.

Thanks once again from all at DSF for visiting us.

[16/09/2022] The DSF putting green challenge is back.

Enter the Glasstec 2022 putting green challenge

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As the countdown to Glasstec 2022 continues, DSF are preparing to welcome visitors to our stand A95 in Hall 13.
On our stand we will once again have our golf putting challenge. Visitors will have the opportunity to make three puts, any visitor with the skill to hole three out of three will go into the hat to win an iPad. After this challenge, DSF's experienced sales and technical team will be on hand to discuss refractory developments and new projects.
We can't wait to see you in Dusseldorf.

[03/09/2022] DSF Fun Day

DSF celebrate 130 years!

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Saturday saw DSF celebrate 130 years of business, with a Family Fun Day. The event saw employees and their families enjoy a free bar, disco, hog roast and various attractions, including tours of the factory. Luckily, the rain held off, making for a very enjoyable day!

[08/09/2022] DSF at the SOGAT Conference

DSF presented at the 18th SOGAT International Conference & Exhibition.

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DSF have been in attendance at the SOGAT (Sour Oil & Gas Advanced Technology) conference this week in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Nigel Longshaw presented a paper describing the benefits of the high fired mullite material, DSF Frimul FX, for sulphur recovery unit hot face linings. This material is a game changer for the industry; lower density (lighter) with better insulation than incumbent materials, Frimul FX also has a low linear thermal expansion and excellent creep resistance at high temperature.

For more information on DSF's products for SRU thermal reactors please contact nigel.longshaw@dsf.co.uk or sales@dsf.co.uk

[22/08/2022] Glasstec Trade Fair

DSF prepare for Glasstec in September.

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We are looking forward to seeing our glass industry customers once again live and in person at Glasstec on 20th to 23rd September. Please visit DSF in Hall 13 Stand A95 at the Messe Centre, Dusseldorf. We have lots of exciting developments to share with you including new refractory materials for hybrid melting and hydrogen firing, plus samples of hydrogen fired mullite brick. All our sales and technical staff will be available over the course of the week.

[01/08/2022] Conference News

DSF will be attending three important conferences in September 2022.

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Area Sales Manager, Nigel Longshaw and Sales Director, Paul Hutchinson will be attending SOGAT (Sour Oil & Gas Advanced Technology) conference and exhibition from 6th to 8th September in Abu Dhabi. Nigel will present a paper 'Stuck in the 90's (alumina)' which covers the advancement of mullite refractories for optimum sulphur recovery unit lining stability, we will also have a small booth at this event.

Following on from this Nigel and DSF Technical Director, Chris Windle, will attend the 29th Annual Brimstone Sulphur Symposium on the 12th to 16th September in Vale, Colorado. Chris will give a paper at this event again detailing high temperature mullite refractories including DSF Frimul FX.

DSF's sales and technical team will then attend Glasstec Dusseldorf from the 20th September (details to follow).


[11/07/2022] A successful ICG…

DSF discuss materials for alternative firing technologies at the ICG.

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DSF’s Trevor Wilson (pictured) has just returned from Berlin where he presented his paper 'Refractories for a De-Carbonised World - Refractories for the changing conditions in Hydrogen and Hybrid Melters' at the International Congress on Glass. The event was well attended with lots of interest generated by Trevor’s paper.

If you would like information on the work DSF have been doing in this field, please get in touch with Trevor trevor.wilson@dsf.co.uk or via info@dsf.co.uk


[3/07/2022] DSF in Berlin at the ICG

DSF paper on refractories for de-carbonisation.

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DSF's Trevor Wilson will present a paper at the 26th International Congress on Glass in Berlin later this week. ICG 2022 runs from 3rd to 8th July and will include 45 technical sessions.

Trevor will present his paper 'Refractories for a De-Carbonised World - Refractories for the changing conditions in Hydrogen and Hybrid Melters' on Friday July 8th at 9.45am.

More information about the 26th International Congress on Glass is available on the ICG Website

[13/06/2022] Furnace Solutions 16

DSF present at Furnace Solutions 16<

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With over 100 delegates in attendance, Furnace Solutions 16 covered topics around decarbonisation of glass melting and conditioning over two days at the Totally Wicked Stadium in St Helens next door to the Glass Futures site.

DSF Technical Director, Chris Windle (pictured), presented his paper 'Hy-ghly durable refractories for hybrid glass melters' at the conference, which was organised by the Society of Glass Technology (SGT).

For more details on DSF materials for hybrid melter's please contact DSF via info@dsf.co.uk

[01/06/2022] New CNC Machine Installed

DSF investment brings more capability in house…

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With delivery and installation of a new CNC machine, DSF can now fashion steel die parts in house, reducing lead times and giving greater flexibility to our production team. This new investment also provides an opportunity to recycle old die parts.



[30/05/2022] Furnace Solutions Conference

DSF presenting a paper at Furnace Solution in St Helens…

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DSF will be sponsoring and presenting a paper at Furnace Solutions which is being held on the 8th & 9th June in St Helens at the Totally Wicked Stadium, home of St Helens Rugby League Club.

The theme of the conference this year is Carbon Neutral: Challenges for the Future. DSF Technical Director, Chris Windle, will be presenting his paper 'Hy-ghly durable refractories for hybrid glass melters' on Thursday 9th June at 12.00pm. Also attending from DSF will be Nigel Longshaw and Trevor Wilson.


[24/05/2022] Mick Cundy Memorial Trophy

DSF’s Annual Golf Challenge Results…

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DSF's annual golf challenge was won by John Taylor last Friday at Buxton & High Peak Golf Club. John was one of the retired DSF players taking part and beat off some strong competition. Playing for the Mick Cundy Memorial Trophy, John shot a round of 83. The Doosan Trophy for the winning team was won by DSF Team Leaders, Steve Wainwright, Mark Hotchin and Jamie Niblock. Winner of the longest drive was Richard Taylor and nearest the pin was won by Mick Clarke.

Thanks to everyone who took part and special thanks to Jamie Niblock who organised the event.



[10/04/2022] DSF adds another electric vehicle to its fleet…..

Further electric vehicles have been added to DSF's fleet.

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DSF working with Endeavour Forklifts have added another electric vehicle to its fleet. This JCB 525-60E telehandler will replace an older diesel loading shovel and continues our commitment to reduce carbon emissions across the site. .

[07/04/2022] Notice Of Price Increase….

DSF Notice Of Price Increase.

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Notice of Price Increase

Over the past months we have seen continued issues with rising raw material costs, raw material availability and the effects of energy cost increases on our business. DSF are a large purchaser of raw materials to service both our refractories and minerals divisions and as such we have been able to secure consistent supply, but rising costs for our suppliers and the availability/demand issue because of the war in Ukraine has led to further increases in price. Most of our suppliers are putting surcharges onto raw material deliveries, even when they have already confirmed our orders at an established price.

DSF have tried to absorb the raw material price increases, but with surcharges added to almost all our raw materials in the last couple of weeks we have unfortunately had to increase our pricing for orders not already placed with immediate effect.

The increases in cost we are seeing are a global effect, but we are doing all we can locally to manage our production as efficiently as possible and to keep our own manufacturing costs as low as possible, whilst continuing to supply the high-performance products we are known for.

We look forward to an exciting 2022 with more new products being launched and hopefully more stability in the energy markets. We take this opportunity to thank all our customers for your continued business and hope to remain an important supplier to your business in 2022 and beyond. .

[21/03/2022] DSF Introduce Beth Grainger….

Beth Grainger joins the team at DSF.

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Beth Grainger joins the team at DSF

DSF would like to introduce Beth Grainger. Beth has joined our sales team as Receptionist/Administrator, and will support us in providing a high level of customer service and customer response.

Welcome to the team Beth and good luck in your new role. .

[13/02/2022] National Apprenticeship Week

DSF celebrates its apprentices during National Apprenticeship Week.

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Its National Apprenticeship Week and DSF would like to celebrate the achievements of some of our own apprentices; Jake, Zac, Andrej and Lewis.

Jake has completed his apprenticeship at DSF and has gone on to complete an HNC in Electrical Engineering. In turn, Jake is now closely mentoring Zac through his electrical training. Andrej completed his mechanical apprenticeship this month and Lewis is starting out on his process control/automation based apprenticeship.

DSF also have five employees who have gone through management apprenticeships in the last couple of years.

These are all examples of how we support local people to learn skills that will be the building blocks for successful careers.


[10/01/2022] Article on SRU refractory linings…

DSF SRU Refractories Article

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Sulphur Magazine article discusses the use of DSF Frimul FX in sulphur recovery unit linings.

This article, originally published in Sulphur Magazine (November-December 2021 Edition), explains why DSF Frimul FX is a step change in sulphur recovery unit linings.

[17/12/2021] Christmas Shutdown 2021

DSF Christmas Shutdown 2021

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The weighbridge will close on 17th December at 11.45am and opens again on Tuesday 4th January at 7:30am, unless prior arrangements have been made. Offices will be closed 27th & 28th December and the 3rd January

[07/12/2021] Will Holder joins DSF

DSF would like to introduce Will Holder.

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Will has recently joined our busy Commercial Office Team as Estimating Co-ordinator. Will’s main duties will include preparing costings, sales quotations and liaising with customers and suppliers at enquiry stage.

[19/11/2021] DSF Awarded ISO 45001 Accreditation F….

DSF Awarded ISO 45001 Accreditation. A commitment to the health, safety and wellbeing

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A commitment to the health, safety and wellbeing of all our employees and visitors to site is central to our strategy and is essential to make our business sustainable, the first choice for employment in the local community and a reputable partner for our many customers around the world. Working towards ISO 45001 accreditation has helped facilitate continuous improvement in health, safety and wellbeing at work standards.

After an audit of safety management systems, an action plan to ensure compliance with ISO 45001 was devised. This included writing new policies and procedures, launching new safety initiatives (such as an employee suggestion box and wellbeing and mental health clinics) and creating a five year health and safety strategy.

Matt Handley, DSF’s Strategic Operations Director, received the award from the British Ceramic Confederation. Matt, alongside Russ Ferns (DSF’s Safety Officer) were instrumental in DSF achieving ISO 45001.

[09/11/2021] New Appointment at DSF….

DSF announce Anne-Marie Aitchison as their new Purchasing Manager

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Anne-Marie joined DSF 25 years ago as Commercial Assistant and progressed in the sales team to her most recent post of Commercial Office Team Leader. Anne-Marie has a wealth of experience in international trade as well as a thorough understanding of DSF's business and markets.

We wish Anne-Marie every success in her new role.

[01/11/2021] 82nd Conference on Glass Problems.

Chris Windle to present virtual paper on Tuesday 2nd November at the Glass Problems Conference in Columbus, Ohio

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Due to travel restrictions, DSF cannot attend the 82nd Conference on Glass Problems but please look out for the virtual presentation from Chris Windle, our Technical Director. Chris will present his paper "Mullitisation - The Key to Regenerating Regenerators" at 11.00am on Tuesday 2nd November. Any questions or comments from the presentation can be sent directly to Chris or to sales@dsf.co.uk

[28/07/2021] Georgia Stone joins DSF.

DSF would like to introduce Georgia Stone

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DSF would like to introduce Georgia Stone

Georgia has recently joined our busy sales office as Commercial Administration Assistant and will primarily be involved with customer liaison, enquiries, quotations, order progress and despatch.

[21/07/2021] New Telephone system at DSF.

Some disruption anticipated on Tuesday 27th July.

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DSF are in the process of upgrading its telephony systems with a move from the current ISDN lines to a full VOIP system. Our communications and data network is now greatly improved with a new, uncontended, fibre optic link. This new network will give enhanced call quality, better communications and faster data transfer, between the company and its customers.

The telephone network will go live on TUESDAY 27th JULY. Unfortunately, we anticipate some disruption on the day, as we move from the discontinued ISDN lines to the fibre, so please bear with us if you have any problems getting through on our landline numbers. Mobile numbers and emails will not be affected, so, if you encounter any issues, please use these alternative methods of communications.

[14/07/2021] COVID-19 UPDATE JULY 12TH 2021.

DSF Update on the Covid-19 situation.

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COVID-19 Update June 2021

It is now more than a year since COVID-19 restrictions were first implemented across the UK and we are all still suffering the effects on our civil liberties caused by the virus and the restrictions to try to supress the virus spread.

We all hoped 2021 would be a better year than 2020 and although we are still being guided by our government to “work from home if we can work from home”, there does finally seem to be some signs of the country planning to open up again in the summer.

Vaccinations are progressing well in the UK and a significant percentage of our adult population has been vaccinated with either one or two doses. The latest plans suggest there will be removal of many of restrictions at the end of July but this is still under review. It seems likely it quite a while before there are any significant changes to restrictions on overseas travel that could make business return to a more normal state.

As before DSF is continuing to operate throughout the crisis in line with UK Government guidelines with staggered start, finish and break times and working within all the social distancing and enhanced hygiene policies that are essential to keeping everyone safe. Most of our office staff continue to work from home with a small core of people working from the office full time or part time, to facilitate production or to be a point of contact for any customer enquiries. We are grateful for the support we have received from all our employees; their attitude remains magnificent and the company owes them a great deal of thanks.

Many of our refractories’ customers normally visit the factory to inspect orders as part of their approval process. We are accepting visitors for essential visits which can include inspections but we are requesting our customers accept DSF inspection or a virtual inspection if it is possible even for UK customers. Due to quarantine restrictions, it is still really not practical for overseas customers to carry out their normal inspections at DSF. The UK government has a “traffic light” system in place which means visitors from many overseas countries must quarantine in proscribed hotels for 10 days at a significant expense to the traveller and there are extensive COVID testing requirements in place too.

As always, our Sales and Technical Teams are available for discussions but we are still not carrying out any international travel at the moment and only extremely limited travel within the UK. Our team members have become very adept at the use of Zoom, Teams and other video conferencing software. If you have any questions, please ask your normal point of contact. We are all working, available and ready to help. Please stay safe and best wishes from all at DSF.

Neale Parkin 24th June 2021

[17/06/2021] DSF invests in advanced new MHE fleet.

DSF have invested in an advanced new MHE fleet with Endeavour Forklifts.

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The 32 strong material handling fleet comes with state of the art safety systems and fleet management software. The contract includes an 80/20 split of Mitsubishi electric and diesel forklifts, as well as an electric telehandler and a specially commissioned high capacity pallet truck to work in the kilns. A move to predominantly electric vehicles will drive down carbon emissions and reduce costs.

[13/05/2021] Refractories for Carbon Black.

Advanced materials for tread and carcass reactor linings.

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Advanced materials for tread and carcass reactor linings.

DSF manufacture a complete range of refractories for carbon black reactor linings. From pure alumina to novel magnesia-alumina spinel materials for higher temperature operation, we press traditional brick sizes and can cast complex shapes. For more information or advice on how to extend your refractory lining life or increase product yield, please contact info@dsf.co.uk.

[21/03/2021] Changes to senior leadership at DSF..

New board appointments announced at DSF Refractories..

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DSF have announced two new appointments to the board. Janette Flower and Matt Handley have been promoted to the roles of Manufacturing Operations Director and Strategic Operations Director respectively.

DSF are in the infancy stage of a site wide process improvement and investment program, which is seen as an integral part of its future growth ambitions. These two new appointments underpin this strategy and bring more focus on operations to the board.

Matt and Janette were already part of the senior management team at DSF and had started to make significant improvements to the site and its performance. They have also been instrumental in seeing DSF through the Covid-19 pandemic, keeping its workforce safe whilst maintaining productivity and quality.

Janette Flower is a Human Resource Management post graduate with over 30 years experience within the manufacturing sector. A wealth of experience has come from numerous management roles in Human Resources, Health & Safety and Production. For the past two years she has held the position of Manufacturing Operations Manager and stated she was delighted to be invited to join DSF’s board in January 2021. "It is such a privilege to be the first female Director to join the board at DSF. I am very much looking forward to my new role and will strive to execute further my proven track record of developing and delivering business plans, policies and procedures associated with the operational aspects of the business." Janette’s key objective is to direct and co-ordinate the day-to-day operations to allow the business to grow and be profitable. "We will only achieve this by satisfying our customers by producing high quality refractories and delivering on time."

Matt Handley has a background in Electrical Engineering and brings over 20 years experience in the heavy industries, from quarrying and building materials to latterly refractory and mineral processing. Matt joined DSF in 2014 as Engineering Manager and has quickly rose through the ranks to take up his position on the board. "During my short time at DSF the company has really invested in my development; culminating in two promotions up to board level. DSF also supported me through to the completion of my Diploma in Leadership and Management in 2018. My ambition is to continue with the development of the site and its processes with the aim of making DSF more profitable, more sustainable and the first choice of employment for the local community and surrounding areas."

Janette Flower and Matt Handley

[12/03/2021] DSF expands its high fired mullite product range….

DSF expands its high fired mullite product range….

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DSF currently offers a number of andalusite based mullite materials for regenerator walls and crowns with a range of alumina contents from 55-70%. The mullite is formed on firing and products are supplied with 80-97% mullite contents for different zones in the regenerator. A new product, DSF Mullite ML66 has now been added to this range; it has a 66% alumina content and is fired to 1500°C to give 80-90% mullite conversion. The extra alumina in the composition gives superior thermo-mechanical properties when compared with DSF Frisil H.

A derivative of this new product, DSF Mullite ML66 Extra, is based on a slightly different raw material which has lower levels of iron and alkalis, it is also fired to 1500°C but has properties akin to the higher fired DSF Mullite ML31 making it a very cost effective option for the more critical applications.

The creep plot below shows that Mullite ML66 has a superior creep resistance to Frisil H and Mullite ML66 Extra has a creep resistance comparable to that of the higher fired traditional Mullite ML31 product.

The new DSF Mullite ML66 products expand the options for sillimanite mullite materials in regenerator applications. They sit between DSF Frisil H and DSF Mullite ML31 in terms of performance and cost, but in the case of DSF Mullite ML66 Extra we have a new lower cost material which could be used in the same high performance applications as the established DSF Mullite ML31 grade.

DSF Mullite ML66 has 66% alumina and just over 80% mullite content, it has superior properties to DSF Frisil H and can be used in regenerator walls, crowns, division walls below packing and target walls.

DSF Mullite ML66 Extra has additional thermo-mechanical properties, which are comparable to DSF Mullite ML31 and a high proportion of continuous phase mullite. This material is a cost effective alternative to DSF Mullite ML31 and can be used in regenerator crowns, target walls and in division walls above and below packing.

For more information on these new products, please get in touch with your normal contact or via info@dsf.co.uk

Data sheets and a full technical summary are available.

[18/02/2021] Digital brochures and information available…..

Digital brochures and information available…..

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We look forward to the time when we can visit our customers around the world again, but in the meantime we are here ready to give support and technical advice on our products. Our technical and sales teams are available as normal and our refractory manufacturing and mineral processing plant are operating at full capacity. If you have a specific question or requirement or would like general information/literature on our processed minerals or refractory products for the glass, steel, carbon black or petrochemical industries please contact us at info@dsf.co.uk

[20/01/2021] Investment in automation at DSF…

First investment in automation at DSF…

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DSF are in the infancy stage of a site wide process investment program, which we see as an integral part of our future growth ambitions. Having recently installed our first robotic plant in our mineral processing department, we have made the important first step towards having a more automated process. It was immediately clear that the success or failure of this initial venture would determine the future investment plan at DSF, so we chose an installation where the benefits were very clear and the results easily quantifiable. Our five axis robot was installed into our existing material bagging plant. It palletises up to 6 tonnes of bagged material per hour, utilising 20 and 25kg plastic or paper bags. This bagged material is intended for both external sale and for internal use in our own refractory production.

This investment improves efficiency through overhead reduction, but more importantly addresses the manual handling challenges in this task. At DSF we are lucky to have a highly skilled and highly motivated workforce, but many of the production roles involve some aspect of manual handling. The ambition is to try to reduce manual handling as much as possible and concentrate our workforce on the more skilled, less manual and more complex parts of the job.

BSI Accreditation

About DSF

DSF Refractories and Minerals Ltd is an independent refractory manufacturer and processor of refractory minerals, based in the Peak District of Derbyshire, in the centre of England.



DSF is a major employer in the Derbyshire Dales. We offer opportunities in manufacturing, engineering, technical, sales and administration.


Contact Us

Address: Friden, Newhaven, Nr Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 0DX. UK

Phone: +44 (0) 1629 636271

+44 (0) 1629 630120

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