View Full Version : 7/6/11 Product Info's Tip of the Week: Why Venting Is Necessary

Blick Art Materials
07-06-2011, 10:49 AM
Why Venting Is Necessary
Ventilating a kiln is a crucial aspect of firing a ceramic kiln for a couple of reasons. For one, it aids in the quality of the firing schedule. By aerating the kiln, it encourages oxygen to circulate throughout the chamber, allowing glazes to vitrify. If air is stagnant, then glaze may appear dull and lifeless. Ventilation also removes excess clay dust and gasses emitted from the clay body, such as excessive amounts of carbon monoxide emissions.

Ventilating a glass kiln is debatable. Glass is inert and virtually impermeable to oxygen. Because it doesn’t give off any vapors or harmful fumes, some artists feel it’s unnecessary to vent the kiln. However, because glass kilns can reach in the upwards of 1800F, ventilation pushes hot hair out of the chamber to help prevent unnecessary stress on the kiln. It also moves any particles around inside the chamber, moving them off of delicate parts, such as elements and the thermocouple.

Why would I choose a bottom mount ventilation system over an updraft system?
Bottom mount ventilation systems are indiscrete. Simply stated, they’re out of the way. Models offered have a motor mounted either directly under the kiln or installed on the exterior wall from which they’re ventilated outdoors. Because they are bottom mounted, these vents suck air downwards, mixing fumes with cooling air with direct contact. Because no holes are drilled, updraft systems suck up air which escapes from the kiln, so air circulation is more limited in comparison. The benefit to updraft systems is they may be used on kilns located centrally in a building, where the kiln isn’t located by an exterior wall.

-Kristal F.
Product Information Specialist

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