Friday, October 22, 2010

Electric Cone Ten

Thinking of doing a cone ten firing in your electric kiln? You should know what effect it will have on the kiln's elements (heating coils).

Although most electric kilns for ceramics can go to cone ten, it's not the most practical way to fire your kiln. Often times if a kiln CAN reach cone ten, it's the kiln's maximum temperature. The more you fire to the maximum temperature, the more likely you'll wear out those elements. To give you better perspective, checkout the information from Skutt kilns below. This chart presents the number of firings you can expect from a BRAND NEW 1027 kiln. As noted in a previous post, brick thickness really counts, so here are the estimated firings for a 2 1/2in brick and then with a 3in brick kiln...

KM1027 with 2 1/2in brick
cone 04: 1500+ firings
cone 6: 200+ firings
cone 10: 35-40 firings

KM 1027 with 3in brick
cone 04: 1500+ firings
cone 6: 350 + firings
cone 10: 80 firings

As you can see, those cone ten firings really wear out the elements. That's why cone ten firings are most ideal for gas kilns. Personally I love the look of porcelain fired to cone ten, but my studio isn't equipped with a gas kiln. When I do cone ten firings in my own studio, I have one specific kiln I use just for cone ten and it's small. This way when the time comes I need to replace the elements, it doesn't cost me as much as it would if it were a larger kiln. Otherwise, if I had a gas kiln, I wouldn't bother using an electric kiln for cone ten.

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