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A refractory is a material which is resistant to high temperatures. It is used in the construction of furnaces, crucibles, rocket nozzles and other applications where a material is required to remain solid at high temperatures and especially when it is required to have good mechanical strength at high temperature.
Many carbides make good refractory materials, as do some metal oxides. A few metals, notably tungsten and niobium, also have useful high-temperature properties (although metals are not normally regarded as refractories).