Rigidizing Fiber Kilns
This is part of a series on
rigidizing fiber products. Click here for detailed information
on rigidizing fiber board for use as a kiln shelf.
Rigidizing (or rigidising) is the process of treating fiber
products with a hardener to make them more durable. It's
commonly used to make stronger fiber board shelves, and is also used
to make slumping molds from fiber blanket.
However, and despite the fact that rigidizing is sometimes
proposed as a way to cut down on airborne particles in fiber kilns
(such as particles dropping from the roof of a kiln), rigidizing is
definitely not recommended for fiber kilns.
When you rigidize the fiber blanket in a
kiln, it stiffens the surface of the fiber. For a short period
of time this will improve performance, but after repeated firings
the surface of the rigidized blanket will begin to break down.
As it wears, the coating on the blanket will crack, causing it to
shed badly all over the inside of the kiln. It will soon
become necessary to re-line the kiln with fresh fiber blanket.
To avoid this problem, refrain from using
rigidizer on the lining of a fiber kiln. The blanket will last
much longer if it's left untreated. Even better, consider
covering the fiber lining of the kiln with a good quality silica
cloth (such as refrasil) or (if you're making a kiln) use a product
such as Duraboard HD instead of fiber blanket.
Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.
All rights reserved.
Thanks to various posters on the
Warm Glass bulletin board for information included in this post,
with special thanks to Marty Daily.