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Preventing Falling Particles from the Top of a Brick Kiln

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

One way to treat kiln brick to minimize or eliminate falling kiln brick particles is to coat the brick with a product that's designed to seal the brick.  There are several kinds of products available, but one of the most common is a coating call ITC 100HT.

International Technical Ceramics, Inc. is a company that specializes in making refractory coatings for industry.   ITC 100HT is a coating that is specifically made for applying to the inside of the kiln.  In addition to minimizing falling brick particles, ITC claims that its coating will result in lower energy costs and less wear and tear on the kiln.

To use ITC 100HT, which is available from many ceramics suppliers, first prepare the kiln by cleaning the brick surface thoroughly.  Vacuum if possible, following the suggestions in part four of this tip

Once the kiln is cleaned, the ITC 100HT should be mixed to the appropriate strength.  Usually this involves adding one part water to two parts of the coating. 

Spraying is the preferred method of applying ITC 100HT.  You need to apply a thin coat of the product; thick applications can result in peeling or other problems.  Spray using an inexpensive sandblasting spray gun or a heavy solids gun like potters use to spray pottery; an airbrush will clog and quickly become unusable.  It's also important to frequently stir the solution while applying (not unlike applying kiln wash) to keep the product from settling to the bottom of its container. 

If you aren't able to spray, it is possible to apply ITC 100HT with a small, stiff brush.  A 1" (2.5cm) brush will work well, although you made need a narrower brush for tight areas.  You can dilute the coating as described for spraying, or use it undiluted directly from the jar.  For this approach, dip your brush into water, then use the wet brush to make a small slurry at the top surface of the ITC 100HT container.  Use the brush to apply the product to the kiln brick.  This approach is more time consuming than spraying, but it results in less waste.

Whichever approach you use, you should apply the ITC 100HT on the entire surface of the kiln (it turns grey when applied), including the elements .  Don't forget to unplug your kiln before applying, and give the product a few hours to dry after you're finished.  Then fire your kiln to at least 1600F/870C to thoroughly cure the cement.  The coating works great, and recoating won't be necessary for several years.

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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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