Benefits of Advancer® Kiln Shelves
*from an article in Ceramic Industry by our Marshall Browne*
Lightweight, low-mass kiln furniture can help pottery producers save energy, improve productivity—and increase profits
These advanced SiC refractories are 10 to 28 times stronger than traditional SiC and cordierite refractory materials, which allows for substantially lighter kiln furniture components, such as plates (shelves), support beams and support posts.
An advanced NSiC kiln shelf is thinner (5⁄16 in.) than the typical 5⁄8 to 1-in-thick traditional kiln shelf. Thinner cross-sections and excellent thermal properties result in faster heat transfer and greater energy efficiency—as a result, firing cycles can often be completed in less time using less energy.
And, depending on the percentage of the total kiln load devoted to kiln furniture, thinner kiln shelves can significantly reduce the total load density while increasing ware capacity.
Higher strength allows for smaller cross-sections and lighter components. The light weight of an advanced NSiC kiln shelf is one of its most heralded attributes, because less heavy lifting is required when stacking and unstacking kiln loads.
Pottery producers have also discovered that advanced NSiC kiln shelves require less maintenance compared to conventional kiln furniture. While the exclusion of kiln wash is not necessarily recommended for all users, the extremely low porosity of advanced NSiC shelves does significantly reduce or eliminate other labor-intensive maintenance operations.
Although advanced NSiC kiln furniture is primarily used in gas-fired kilns, it can also be successfully used in some soda, wood and electric fired applications.
For more information about advanced SiC kiln furniture, please contact us.
*Although advanced NSiC kiln furniture offers a number of benefits compared to traditional kiln furniture, as with any product, some limitations exist. Potters must examine their specific kiln and firing applications to determine if advanced NSiC kiln furniture is the right choice for them.
Marshall Browne is an application specialist at Smith-Sharpe Fire Brick Supply, Minneapolis, MN., and can be reached at (612) 331-1345, fax (612) 331-2156 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Dona Turbes, the queen of silicon carbide kiln shelves, is also available there or email@example.com.