What Materials Are Kiln Furniture Made Of?
Posted by Callum on December 9, 2019
At IPS Ceramics, we supply cordierite kiln furniture to the global ceramics industry and have done so for a collective 250+ years. The term kiln furniture is a broad one which encompasses a wide range of products, including:
- Kiln shelves
- Tiles and plates
- Cover batts
- Tubes and beams
- Props and fittings
- Profile setters
- T-cranks, Y-cranks and pin crank systems
Kiln furniture must be stable, resistant to thermal shock cracking, lightweight, and able to withstand not only extreme operating temperatures but also the stress of repeated heating and cooling. We produce kiln furniture in a range of materials which are all compatible with these requirements.
Materials Used For Kiln Furniture
One of the most common materials that we make kiln furniture in is cordierite, though we also make it in materials such as mullite, silicon carbide and alumina (often for specialist applications).
Cordierite Kiln Furniture
Cordierite is an excellent material for kiln furniture for a number of reasons. Our cordierite kiln furniture is both porous and low density, making it extremely cost-effective for producing supports that can be used in a range of heat treatment processes.
Cordierite also has a very low creep rate, which means it deforms under stress at a much lower rate to other materials. It is also resistant to thermal shock cracking and stable at high temperatures, all of which are essential elements for cost-effective kiln furniture, especially in the manufacturing of sanitaryware and heavy clay products.
Mullite Kiln Furniture
Mullite, also known as porcelainite, is a naturally occurring constituent mineral that forms under high temperatures through the reaction of silica, alumina and magnesia. When used as a material for kiln furniture, it remains strong at high temperatures, resisting bending and breaking under the stress of the load.
Mullite is suitable for temperatures up to 1300 ºC (2372 ºF). For higher temperatures, kiln furniture made from materials such as silicon carbide or alumina may be more suitable.
Silicon Carbide Kiln Furniture
Silicon carbide is extremely resistant to thermal shock, as well as being lightweight with high mechanical strength. It is also suitable for high temperatures (from 1300-1650ºC). We manufacture and supply silicon carbide products in the form of batts and kiln shelves, beams, burner nozzles, adjustable props, tubes, rollers, saggars, setters, heating elements, and in bespoke shapes to suit the needs of your manufacturing process.
Alumina is a commonly used technical ceramic due to its high mechanical strength and rigidity. We supply a range of alumina products including tiles, alumina tubes, crucibles and boats, ignition trays, stilts, pins and pips, discs and investment casting plugs.
For more information on kiln furniture and the different types of materials that we use for our products, please feel free to contact us today.