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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.

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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.

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Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

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