The use of silica fume in refractory castables provides better particle packing. It allows for less water to be used while maintaining the same flow characteristics. It also promotes low temperature sintering and the formation of mullite in the matrix of the castable. This produces a castable that has a low permeability to avoid gas, slag and metal penetration. Castables incorporating silica fume are stronger than non-silica fume containing castables especially at high temperatures with higher density they attain lower porosity and are more volume stable.