Batts / Shelves / Tiles
The word “batts” is more generally used for a slab-shaped piece of insulating material used in construction, but within the ceramic industry it is also used for a refractory tile, plate or kiln-shelf.
Batts are used as the basic support element in most kiln and furnace structures, forming a flat, rigid surface which carries the ware during firing, sintering or heat treatment. They are typically made using large, high capacity hydraulic presses with hardened steel moulds to give a product that is flat and uniform to tight tolerances.
Batts are often coated with a wash or engobe to prevent product from sticking to the batt.
Perforated batts are often used to reduce weight or improve heat transfer during firing.
A cast version offers a smooth, sealed surface that helps to minimise kiln dirt.
These are thicker, stonger batts that have channels running through the centre to reduce weight.
The batts are ground on all surfaces to give precise control over sizes and improved flatness.
Often used for heavier loads – such as sanitaryware.
Cover batts are thin batts that are used to retain ceramic fibre used in kiln car bases or kiln walls. The batts provide a rigid surface protecting the soft fibre and reducing kiln dirt.
Recesses can locate product on the batt, standardising product placement and preventing movement.
Saw-tooth and flat-top grooves can stop circular products from rolling and help maintain straightness. Grooves also minimise contact between product and support, reducing contamination or sticking.
Often used in roller kilns as the surface of a cast batt is smoother and harder than the pressed version; so, there is much less kiln dirt as a result of abrasion from the rollers than there is with a pressed batt.
Used to support large circular product such as grinding wheels or electrical insulators.