Preventing Falling Particles from the Top of a Brick Kiln
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.
Copyright 2006 Brad Walker. All rights