Advanced kiln furniture systems increase energy efficiency, reduce production time and improve general manufacturing processes for ceramic manufacturers all over the world.
Kiln furniture is the general term for a ceramic support or support system used to hold or help form the shape of ceramic products at elevated temperatures inside of a kiln.
Refractory materials are used to form these support parts. Refractories are Inorganic non-metallic materials or products with melting points above 1200°C and which therefore prove themselves ideal in high temperature processing.
It is important that the kiln furniture body has the ability to withstand thermal shock without fracture, as in almost all kilning applications there is a significant rise and fall of the temperature cycle – this is defined by the product being fired in the kiln.
To help improve resistance to thermal shock and also to improve fuel efficiency, the design of kiln furniture should be Low Thermal Mass (LTM). By using stronger or lighter refractory materials, perforations, single layers etc, LTM kilns and furnaces require less heat input per degree of temperature increase.
Products which are incorporated into the spectrum of ceramic kiln furniture include sintering plates, setter supports, saggars support posts, support beams, caps and splicers.
Various types of material are used to manufacture kiln furniture, and are usually defined by the temperature at which a product needs to be fired.
Cordierite used at temperatures up to 1300C, is a magnesium aluminosilicate exhibiting very low and uniform thermal-expansion.
Mullite is a simple compound of alumina and silica that is strong at high temperatures due to a ‘needle-like’ crystal matrix. Limit of maximum firing temperature is less than 1600C.
Generally used at temperatures over 1300C, Carbide Refractories are non-oxide ceramics made from Silicon Infiltrated Reaction Bonded Silicon Carbide (SCS/SiSiC), Recrystallised Silicon Carbide (SCR/RSiC) and Nitride or Oxide-bonded Silicon Carbide (NSiC/SCO). These refractories exhibit high thermal-shock resistance, high bending strength, good wear resistance and also chemical resistance, which can be adapted very well into the design of kiln furniture.
Anderman Ceramics has many years experience of designing and supplying kiln furniture parts and systems for a wide range of ceramic parts and applications providing solutions and systems to improve and increase energy efficiency.