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XeraBond KF vs. Conventional Kiln Furniture

XeraBond KF vs. Conventional

Sialon-bonded silicon carbide Kiln Furniture

Below highlights some of the benefits of using XeraBond KF compared to more traditional methods.

Advanced Silicon Carbide Kiln Furniture

XeraBond KF has been developed as a superior kiln furniture product.

XeraBond KF is a stronger and more chemically stable conventional refractory product with a protective coating for high and low temperature oxidation resistance. It also has the advantage that it does not require turning because it does not warp in service.

Lightweight kiln furniture can help pottery producers save energy, improve productivity—and increase profits.

XeraBond KF is 10 to 28 times stronger than traditional silicon carbide and cordierite refractory materials, which allows for substantially lighter kiln furniture components, such as batts (kiln shelves), support beams and support posts.

XeraBond KF kiln batts are thinner (5⁄16” or 8 mm.) than the typical 5⁄8” (16 mm) to 1” (25 mm) traditional silicon carbide or cordierite batt. Thinner cross-sections and excellent thermal properties result in faster heat transfer and greater energy efficiency—as a result, faster firing cycles can be adopted, using less energy and, depending on the percentage of the total kiln load devoted to kiln furniture, thinner kiln shelves can significantly reduce the total amount of refractories while increasing ware capacity.

The light weight of XeraBond KF batt is one of its most important factors, because less heavy lifting is required when stacking and unstacking kiln loads.

Pottery producers have also discovered that XeraBond KF batts require less maintenance compared to conventional kiln furniture. While for some applications a washcoating may be required, the low porosity of XeraBond KF does significantly reduce or eliminate other labor-intensive maintenance operations.

Although XeraBond KF kiln furniture is primarily used in gas-fired kilns, it can also be successfully used in some soda-, wood- and electric-fired applications because of its ability to resist glaze fusing onto the batt surface.

In addition, Xerabond KF can be used for lower temperature applications (800-1100°C) because the protective layer increases the oxidation resistance, which prohibits the use of conventional silicon carbide refractories. This protective layer is self-healing, if damaged during handling.

Conventional Kiln Furniture

Traditionally, the manufacturers of pottery, sanitaryware and building products have used cordierite, alumina or silicon carbide based refractories for kiln furniture. These refractory kiln furniture products are heavy and have inherent problems. With the exception of SiSiC, these products are porous and require a washcoating of alumina or zircon to prevent glaze sticking to the batt.

  1. Cordierite - Cordierite kiln furniture is relatively inexpensive and has good thermal shock resistance but has a very low strength, is heavy and is susceptible to warping in service. It must, therefore, be turned frequently. Cordierite has a maximum usage temperature of 1380°C
  2. High Alumina - High alumina kiln furniture is denser and stronger than cordierite and is less susceptible to warping but is also heavy and require turning.
  3. Recrystallized Silicon Carbide (R-SiC) - R-SiC is a pure silicon carbide product, which is expensive to manufacture. It has a maximum operating temperature of 1650°C and has a wide range of applications because of its high strength. R-SiC has a high porosity and is prone to oxidation.
  4. Sintered Silicon Carbide (S-SiC) - S-Sic is the highest strength conventional silicon carbide product and can be used up to 1650°C. It is limited to beams and rollers mainly because of its high cost.
  5. Silicon Impregnated Silicon Carbide (SiSiC) - The pores of the material are filled with silicon creating a dense body. The impregnated silicon melts at ~1420oC. The maximum operating temperature is 1380oC for this reason. As the material goes through two energy processes the material can be costly.
  6. Silicon Nitride Bonded Silicon Carbide (N-SiC) - N-SiC kiln furniture is a strong refractory product, which is supplied as batts, beams, posts and other shapes. It has a good resistance to oxidation, particularly over the range 1200-1550°C. Between 800-1100°C, N-SiC is less resistant to oxidation.

Summary

  • Xerabond KF is thinner and lighter than conventional silicon carbide or cordierite.
  • Xerabond KF reduces the refractory : ware ratio, improving efficiency.
  • Xerabond KF can be used in low and high temperature applications.
  • Xerabond KF has a protective coating which reduces maintenance during use.
  • Xerabond KF can be used for faster firing cycles.
  • Xerabond KF does not warp.

Read about the typical applications of our silicon carbide ceramic kiln furniture >

Working in Partnership

Materials and Engineering Research Institute
Sheffield Hallam University
Therser UK
Finance Yorkshire
Development
Development

We are continuing our research and development into other Industrial and technical environments, and are constantly seeking to meet new challenges.

XeraCarb materials are currently being evaluated for use as personal body armour with the research sponsored by the UK’s Ministry of Defence.

This material offers significant advantages over existing armour in terms of the cost, shape and size of components which are possible and in terms of the total system weight.

Read more about the development of our ceramic products and the advantages it can bring >>

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