Pottery-makers and kiln-users of all kinds, be they potters, ceramic artists, blacksmiths, knifemakers, glass blowers, or hobbyists, know that they are dealing with two highly contradictory demands when it comes to building and maintaining their firing kilns. On the one hand, the kiln has to achieve very high temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, the high temperatures can harm the structure for the kiln itself. Using a ceramic coating kit is a good solution to the problem, which will also help to reduce energy costs and speed up the firing process.
Setting up your own kiln
The potter’s art is one of the oldest human crafts and the oldest kilns found by archeologists have been dated to 6000 BCE. These could reach temperatures as high as 900 degrees Centigrade or 1,652 Fahrenheit. They produced unique and distinctive types of pottery, which are still used to establish the dates and extent of ancient cultures. A kiln is essentially a type of oven that produces the extremely high temperatures needed to turn clay into pottery by hardening the materials.
Most ceramic artists, potters, glassblowers, hobbyists and others who use kilns eventually feel the need to set up their own kilns, to give them more control over the processes of hardening, drying, and the chemical changes that can influence the color and design of the object being fired. Average temperatures in contemporary kilns can reach from 1,800 to 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Protecting your kiln with a ceramic coating kit
While the high temperatures are necessary for the processes to work successfully, they can also stress and harm the structure of the kiln. Most kiln owners use a ceramic coating, which can withstand high temperatures of up to 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit. There are five levels of high temp ceramic coatings, namely ITC 148, ITC 100HT ceramic coating, ITC 213 ceramic coating which is used for metals, the ITC 296A ceramic which is a top coating, and ITC 200 EZ used for ceramic repair.
High temp ceramic coatings help to protect the kiln, but they also have several other benefits. They can help to reduce energy usage for the kiln, reduce firing times, and extend the usable life of the kiln. Ceramic insulation like ITC 100 can be sprayed on to the bricks of the kiln in liquid form. ITC 100 ceramic coating will harden to form a solid surface like a wall. This is a fairly simple do-it-yourself project using a ceramic coating kit.
How to apply ITC 100 HT coatings
You can use a ceramic coating kit to apply a ITC 100 HT ceramic coating. It can be applied as the final coating over other products or as a stand-alone. First, you should clean all loose dust, brick fragments and other debris from all interior surfaces and parts. Mix the ITC 100 HT coating with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions on the container. The mixture should be sprayed on the entire interior to a thickness of one-sixteenth of an inch to one-eighth of an inch.
The layer should not be too thick. The coating should be allowed to dry overnight. The first firing following the coating should be at lower heat for around six hours. The kiln is then ready for regular use.
Kilns have been used for thousands of years to produce pottery and other materials. Kiln owners can use ceramic coating kits to protect their kilns from the high temperatures, to extend their lives, and to speed up the process of firing. Ceramic coatings also help to reduce energy use and the carbon footprint of the kiln.