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Author Topic: Adding extra insulation to a kiln?  (Read 1973 times)
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Steampunkglass
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« on: July 20, 2015, 07:01:01 AM »

I've got a kiln that's now getting quite old, and is fibre lined rather than brick lined, and doesn't seem to keep in the heat very well (it's only rated up to 649 deg c). When running it a bit hotter for boro (about 565-585 deg c) the metal case is getting really hot to the touch, and by the end of the day with the torch running as well it's making my workspace pretty unbearable to work in with all the heat it's wasting.

I am wondering can I pack kiln bricks around it to add to the insulation, and make the kiln a little more efficient? I am assuming the kiln controller will adjust and then not add more heat if it's not loosing so much, or would this all be a waste of time?  Huh Huh Huh

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Lee - Kilncare
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« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2015, 07:22:04 AM »

send me or post a pic matey.
This will depend totally on the style and construction of the kiln.
It won't effect the way the controller behaves but it may be detrimental to the metal frame of the kiln and don't forget that you cannot insulate the side or area where the wiring is.
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Steampunkglass
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« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2015, 08:58:19 AM »

send me or post a pic matey.
This will depend totally on the style and construction of the kiln.
It won't effect the way the controller behaves but it may be detrimental to the metal frame of the kiln and don't forget that you cannot insulate the side or area where the wiring is.
Cheers Lee  Grin

This is the only photo I have, the 'electrics' are at one end and just bolted on the side, so I was either going to leave that clear, or maybe try to add some metalwork to extend it out  Undecided although I'd probably just leave it as it is. Top and back come away quite easily (despite the million bolts they used to put it together) which is just a sheet of steel, so I guess I could leave that off? And then again I wonder if I'd be better leaving it as is and adding more insulation to the front so that the front has a deeper opening so it's not loosing so much there? (Of course the real ideal is getting a better kiln, but I'm still saving up money for that  Wink )
 
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Lee - Kilncare
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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2015, 09:51:56 AM »

Ah a Bluebird. Those things do run hot indeed. When we were developing the MAXI we were aided by Sally Carver and one of her issues with her Bluebird was that it lost so much heat. She had done similar to what you are thinking of and put extra insulation on the roof.

Casing the kiln in with bricks or fibre will help to a degree. You may find that you are losing heat through the doors as they may have worn and have large gaps around them, There isn't a lot you can do about that apart from replace the door insulation. To be honest, the roof and floor is probably the biggest culprit to heat loss after the doors of course.

However, as I said, you are best not adding any insulation to the end where the element connects.
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Steampunkglass
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2015, 10:40:54 AM »

Thanks Lee, yes, it's an old Bluebird, and an old version of it too made before they started putting the controller in the base, and has only one element rather than two   Undecided There aren't too many gaps around the doors, although one of the doors is a little too tight and sometimes sticks closed  Lips sealed Lips sealed Lips sealed I might look into a few kiln bricks as there a place local to me that stocks lots of pottery supplies I'd wanted an excuse to visit, and see if that helps until I have the cash for a new one  Wink Wink Wink Wink
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Lee - Kilncare
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2015, 10:45:50 AM »

Ideally you want the light weight 23 grade brick
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Steampunkglass
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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2015, 10:52:50 AM »

Ideally you want the light weight 23 grade brick
Cool, Ta, I think I got some of those before when I repaired and refurbished my other kiln, nice and easy to cut to size too  Grin
« Last Edit: July 20, 2015, 11:23:37 AM by Steampunkglass » Logged

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