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A furnace is a device used for high-temperature heating. The name derives from Greek word fornax, which means oven. The heat energy to fuel a furnace may be supplied directly by fuel combustion, by electricity such as the electric arc furnace, or through induction heating in induction furnaces.
A refractory material is a material that retains its strength at high temperatures. ASTM C71 defines refractories as "...non-metallic materials having those chemical and physical properties that make them applicable for structures, or as components of systems, that are exposed to environments above 1,000 °F (811 K; 538 °C)."