Antoine, could you answer some questions regarding the Four Grand Meres?
I'm specifically curious about the brick lining on the 950. The bricks look a bit strange- they're not quite perfectly rectangular and the surface looks like wet refractory that's been wiped prior to drying. Is it safe to assume that these bricks aren't actually firebricks, but actually refractory shaped into a brick like appearance?
Yes, I would be happy to
The bricks used are actual refractory bricks, just like the ones used for the floor of the oven but are a smaller size bricks. The bricks are actually specially made for the construction of WFO. They also use uniquely shaped refractory bricks for the bricked landing of the oven and the bricked entry arch way. That way the oven can support a lot of heat without any cracking.
The oven dome is build around a mold using the refractory bricks and refractory mortar. Because the oven are designed to be used commercially and are often shipped very far, like Canada or Asia, they need to add strengths to the dome. Therefore they pour a refractory concrete over the bricks, that is reinforced with metal fibers. I have to say the technology used is very modern, and no other manufacturer has been able to master it.
I am currently out of town helping a resort in Jersey with the installation of an oven, but as soon as come back I will take a picture of the brick and post it on the forum.
I hope this answered your question, please let me know if you need further details.