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Preventing Falling Particles from the Top of a Brick Kiln

This is part three of a multi-part tip on falling kiln brick particles.  Click here to go to part one.

In most cases, falling brick particles come from the roof of a kiln that has deteriorated in some fashion.  There are several reasons for the deterioration, but one of the most common has to do with rapid changes in the temperature of the kiln.

Opening (or venting) the top-loading kiln at high temperatures, which exposes the bricks in the lid of the kiln to cooler air from the room surrounding the kiln, is often recommended as a way to rapidly cool the kiln.  However, one of the problems with this technique is that it can cause hairline fractures to appear in the bricks that line of the lid of the kiln.  With repeated venting episodes, the cracks can grow, causing pieces of the kiln brick to loosen and fall down onto the glass below.  Closing the kiln lid, as is usually done after a period of venting, can jar the kiln and actually hasten the problem, dislodging even more particles.

The easy solution, and one way to help the kiln brick stay intact for longer, is to open the kiln at high temperatures only when absolutely necessary.  Avoid flash venting or rapidly cooling the kiln, and open the lid only when necessary to comb glass or peek quickly inside.  If you do this, the brick is more likely to stay intact, and particles are less likely to fall onto your glass.

Click here for more on preventing kiln brick dust from falling, including suggestions for repairing damaged kiln bricks. 

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Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

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

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