Black silicon carbide kiln shelves are durable and versatile, ideal for many high-temperature applications. However, it is essential to select the appropriate shelf based on your kiln’s application.
Kiln shelves come in various shapes, sizes and materials – including cordierite, high alumina or oxide-bonded silicon carbide.
Silicon carbide is an exceptional material with remarkable strength that remains relatively unchanged when heated to high temperatures, making it an excellent choice for kiln shelves. Thanks to this material’s resistance against warping and its strength retention at higher temperatures, conventional black ram pressed silicon carbide (SiC) shelves have long been relied upon by potters firing to cone 9-11 on gas, electric, wood, multi-fuel or multi-fuel multi-fuel kilns; additionally suitable for salt firings such as raku and soda firings as well. Nitride-bonded forms significantly increase strength while warping resistance.
Nitride-bonded SiC shelves are exceptionally thin (as thin as 0.394 inches thick) with very low thermal mass that helps cut energy costs significantly. When stacked without concern for warping or warp flipping or rotation is unnecessary to maintain flatness; and their low porosity facilitates cleanup with glaze drips releasing effortlessly; they don’t require any kind of kiln wash for anything other than soda firings.
Nitride-bonded Silicon Carbide Kiln Shelves boast an improved coating which drastically decreases their electrical conductivity when compared with standard cordierite or other black silicon carbide kiln shelves. This allows nitride-bonded SiC shelves to be safely used without the need for separate shelf liners in top loading electric kilns.
IPS Ceramics’ Advancer Kiln Shelves are among the world’s strongest, lightest, and thinnest! Not warping even at high temperatures (up to cone 16), their ultra thin construction significantly reduces thermal mass thus saving energy when electric firing your kiln. Plus they stack tightly without sagging so you can maximize space inside your kiln to stack more work!
Black silicon carbide boasts excellent high-temperature resistance and can withstand temperatures as high as 2730degC (4950degF), making it suitable for use in furnaces and kilns that operate at such extreme temperatures.
Material made of silicon carbide is both hard and durable, being resistant to impact and heavy loading, making it suitable for many forms of kiln furniture such as shelves, posts, and support rods. Your type of kiln and materials you’re firing will dictate which furniture pieces you require; shelves typically feature rectangular slabs made of black silicon carbide that hold and support materials during firing – they come in various thicknesses and sizes to meet dimensions and weight loads within your kiln and should be covered in shelf wash (also called “kiln wash”) to reduce glaze build-up during their firing cycle and ensure maximum protection is offered against sticking issues and sticking issues during firing cycles – this should be applied regularly for maximum effectiveness.
Conventional, oxide bonded shelves have long been used by potters in gas reduction, multi-fuel, wood soda and salt firing applications. Firing to cone 9-11 without warping under heavy loads after repeated use makes these kiln shelves an excellent choice for potters looking for long-term reliability in their shelves.
Nitride-bonded silicon carbide shelves are thinner and lighter than their Cordierite counterparts, yet stronger; meaning they can handle even heavier loads without sagging. With their very low thermal mass, you won’t have to rotate them during firing cycle; making these ideal for gas, soda and electric kilns alike; they are less prone to glaze runs and drips but require kiln wash coating for increased protection.
3. Energy Efficiency
Nitride Bonded Silicon Carbide Kiln Shelves are designed to be more energy efficient than other kiln shelf products due to the way they’re manufactured, which features shelves equipped with expansion joints (small cuts in the shelve) that reduce stress during firing while helping prevent cracking of shelves – this design makes these shelves much longer-lived products than cordierite or high alumina shelves.
Nitride Bonded Shelves offer superior long-term and energy efficiency when compared with other shelf materials, thanks to a unique bonding process which eliminates their conductivity as conductors for electricity. Furthermore, their low coefficient of thermal expansion reduces power usage for load holding requirements significantly.
Nitride Bonded Shelves offer another benefit over Cordierite: no shelve wash is required, saving time and money on maintenance while preventing glaze run-off damage to shelves. High Alumina shelves do require shelve washing in order to preserve shelve longevity and ensure surface integrity.
No matter the shelve material chosen, it is important to gain an understanding of its performance in your kiln and conditions of use. A thorough knowledge of shelve chemistry will enable you to make an educated choice that works for both ware and your kiln while preventing costly mistakes like purchasing more shelves than necessary or cutting corners that lead to damaged shelves after only a few firings.
4. Warp Resistance
Kiln shelves used in ceramic and glass production must be constructed of sturdy materials that can withstand extreme temperatures while being easy to maintain and clean – two features which have made silicon carbide a popular choice among producers of these items.
Kiln shelves are essential components of any kiln, yet selecting the appropriate one can be challenging. There is a wide range of materials and coatings to choose from – each has their own set of advantages and disadvantages that must be carefully considered when making your selection. When picking out shelves for your kiln it is essential to take into account temperature requirements of firing processes as well as size/shape considerations of your vessel.
Finding the ideal shelf can make all the difference for the performance and safety of your kiln, and can ensure your pieces remain undamaged through its firing process. At Bailey Ceramic Supply, Advancer advanced kiln shelving is perfect for many different applications – it is lightweight yet high density refractory shelf designed to withstand high temperature firing as well as warping without losing structural integrity or warping over time.
Advancer shelves are thinner and have significantly less thermal mass compared to their cordierite counterparts, which reduces energy costs and energy waste. Perfect for electric kilns as they won’t sag during firing cycles, Advancer is recommended for heat up to cone 11, but should not be used in salt, soda or wood firing environments; when used it is important to apply a thin layer of kiln wash so as to keep glaze from adhering.
Kiln furniture provides the essential support required for materials undergoing thermal processing in a kiln. Selecting appropriate shelves will help ensure that materials can handle temperatures necessary for firing; additionally, proper maintenance is key to extend their lifespan and avoid issues like warping or damage to them.
There is an assortment of kiln shelves on the market, each material offering its own distinct properties that can help guide you when sourcing shelves for your kiln. Understanding these properties will allow you to make the best choice when outfitting it.
Cordierite shelves are an economical, easy, and efficient option for kilns that frequently fire ceramics or glass products. Their installation is quick and effortless, as well as their rating up to cone 11 heat output. However, being porous requires that kiln wash be applied over them in order to protect from glaze drips causing irreparable damage to them.
High alumina kiln shelves are similar to cordierite in that they use higher concentrations of alumina which boost their temperature rating to cone 11. Their decreased susceptibility to warping makes these kiln shelves ideal for cone 11 firings, and more resistant to glaze drips than cordierite without needing as much rotation and flipping / rotation.
porous silicon carbide kiln shelves are manufactured from recrystallized silicon carbide and feature low heat capacity to help minimize energy costs while keeping an even firing temperature, saving money on energy bills while increasing production throughput. Plus, we make them in custom sizes to perfectly suit any kiln you own!