Guys who’ve been doing ceramics for decades tend to call everything a kiln. Back in the day you could point to some differences between a ceramic kiln and a high temp furnace used for metallurgy. A Kiln had a slow heat-up, a soak period, and a slow cool-down that minimized thermal shock to what were usually thermally sensitive ceramic materials. Metallic materials had little sensitivity to thermal shock and featured relatively fast heating and cooling cycles.
But today the lines are indeed blurred as the modern kiln and furnace converge. The increased resilience of modern ceramic materials and the increased programming flexibility of furnace models now accommodate both processes. Today the terms, and indeed the machines, are often used interchangeably.
High Temperature Production Kiln Design Considerations
In analyzing requirements, both heating and gas elements are considered, including discharge gases. For heating, the ability to heat in a batch or continuous fashion any process material to a desired temperature at a desired rate for a desired soak time and them cool it down at another rate with the ability to perform many cycles of heating/cooling.
Continuous vs. batch furnaces are perhaps an even more basic production furnace consideration. Throughput considerations are key as are power considerations. It takes a lot more power and time to heat up a cold furnace than it does one that is already warm.
Special atmosphere’s are another consideration. Typically they include the need for a minimum or maximum oxygen content or dew point and a particular process or protective atmosphere such as Hydrogen (reducing), Argon or Nitrogen. The ultimate temperature, heating cycle and atmoshphere required for the process drive the size, type, and power of the kiln required.
Another considering for furnace designs has also become power and efficiency. No longer a secondary concern in a world trying to reduce carbon emissions, for many manufacturer’s the power requirements of a programmable kiln are a key purchase consideration. Efficiency numbers for materials and furnace heating elements will and should be scrutinized.
CM Furnace Kilns for Batch and Production Processing
CM Furnaces see use as both kilns for ceramic processes, and batch or production furnaces in hundreds of industries and applications. We’ve been selling our version of heavy duty, long lasting production furnaces made in the USA for over 70 years.