in the petrochemical industry the fluidized catalytic cracking unit is an important vessel for refractory castables application due the necessity of obtaining specialized products. usually, the selection of these materials is based on the chemical analysis, apparent density, cold crushing strength and cold erosion test. for the evaluation of the present selection requirements, five high-alumina castables, being three of low cement and two conventional of commercial use, were characterized under cold crushing strength and cold erosion tests. additional tests that are actually not used in the selection were also performed, such as: thermal shock cycling, hot modulus of rupture and carbon deposition by co atmosphere exposure. the analysis showed that the present specifications are mainly based in the experience with the use of products not designed for this application and that the development of more suitable castables is inhibited due to the close restrictions of the present specifications. it is also verified that the materials selection is limited by the absence of tests for the performance evaluation next to in-service conditions. in this sense, the carbon deposition test by co atmosphere exposure was interesting in order to provide the better selection of dense antierosive refractory castables.