Important Notice

Plainsman Clays Ltd. will be closed to public access starting Thursday March 19. We will keep the doors closed (no exceptions), but continue to take and fill orders via phone (credit card only accepted) and e-mail. Pick up orders will be placed on at the front of the building, however we will be unable to assist in any loading. These measures allow us to limit contact with customers and minimize any risk with regards to the COVID-19 virus.

We can be reached by phone at 403-527-8535, fax 403-527-7508 and via email at

Thank you for your understanding during this difficult time.

Refractory clays are those materials that can withstand high temperatures before weakening, warping or melting. Normally, by ‘high temperatures’, we mean somewhat beyond those typically employed for firing stonewares (1150-1300C). Super duty refractories are made from non-clay materials and can, of course, withstand much higher temperatures.


Plainsman has produced fireclays for many years, even some of our regular stoneware and sculpture clays rival the heat duty of common fireclays. Our fireclay is a blend of refractory ball clay, kaolinized sand and kaolin. While fireclays are known for lack of consistency (perhaps notoriously so!), our material is consistent because it is a blend and because the parent materials themselves are consistent over time. To see a Plainsman Fireclay data sheet, click here.

Tapper Clays

Tapper clays are injected in plastic form into the drain hole in ladles used to melt batches of metals during refining. Their low water content, lower plasticity and high aggregate content enable quick drying (rapid channeling of water and steam) without fracturing when exposed to rapid heat rise. Tapper clays are refractory (having a very low percentage of fluxing oxides like K2O, Na2O). We have the flexibility to work with your lab and production department to adapt our existing tapper mixes (e.g. Tapper II and Tapper V) to your application and preferences. We can provide references to current customers that use our products. We are located on the prairies in Canada, not far north of the Montana border, so our plant may well be closer to you than your current supplier. The Canada:US dollar exchange rate is currently very favorable to American customers. Remember, Plainsman service and flexibility are second-to-none.

Metal Smelting, Crucibles, Kilns, Ovens

We stock a wide range of supplies for building kilns and ovens (e.g. bricks, hardware, refractory fiber, burners, elements, castable refractory) and for making refractories for use in ovens (furniture, shelves, crucibles). We stock dozens of minerals and man-made materials that can be used to make even hi-tech products (e.g. zirconium, alumina, mullite, pyrophylite). We sell kilns of all types. We manufacture tapper clay. We are also knowledgeable in the fabrication of ceramic parts.

Here are just a few examples of the kinds of products we stock that might help you in metal casting.