Furnaces & Kilns for Ceramics and Ceramic Matrix Components (CMC's)
Ceramic kilns are used for firing clay objects or vessels to make them hard, durable and impervious to water. The ceramic kiln is one of man’s earliest tools dating back to 8000 B.C. Contrary to popular opinion, the use of wood or coal instead of gas, oil and electricity, didn’t mean any serious limitations of temperature since a well-designed kiln could reach temperatures in excess of 1300°C. Refractories withstanding these temperatures are oxides, carbides, nitrides, silicides, sulphides, borides and carbon. Depending on the application, we build kilns with various refractories and combinations. Technical and economic factors determine the choice of refractories. Today, the term kiln (used for ceramics) and furnace (for metal) are mostly interchangeable. Pyrometric cones to measure the effect of temperature and the length of firing on the ware of the kiln are still used today, but thermocouples and infrared sensors are preferred today because they can measure the actual temperature. Exact temperature control is mandatory between 5700°C and 600°C where the firing must proceed slowly when quartz is changing from alpha to the beta form and binder burn out occurs.
For nearly half a century, Keith has pioneered developments enabling ceramic manufactures to become more competitive and profitable. Keith innovations like the fuel-efficient Twin-Trak™ doublewide kiln, Fast-Trak™ fiber lined fast-firing car tunnel kilns, FastHeat ™ high temperature research furnaces, and multi-hearth elevator kilns have become production standards throughout the world. Our customers include leading manufacturers of electronic ceramics, pottery, and technical ceramics, refractories, as well as wall and floor tile.
Furnaces for BioCeramics
Over the last several decades, bio-ceramics have helped improve the quality of life for millions of people. These specially-designed materials—polycrystalline aluminum oxide, hydroxyapatite (a mineral of calcium phosphate that is also the major component of vertebrate bone), partially stabilized zirconium oxide, bioactive glass or glass-ceramics, and polyethylene-hydroxyapatite composites—have been successfully used for the repair, reconstruction, and replacement of diseased or damaged parts of the body, especially bone. For instance, aluminum oxide has been used as the joint surface in total hip prostheses because of its exceptionally low coefficient of friction and minimal wear rates. It has been used in orthopedic surgery for more than 20 years
Homogeneous temperatures to 1800°C, carefully controlled organic removal, uniform rapid firing of dense loads, low tolerance for particulate contamination, and near-net shape geometries are examples of the many ceramic firing challenges solved by Keith.
Since the 1950s, Keith has pioneered new technologies for increasing productivity and product quality, including multiple hearth systems, fast firing, and sophisticated temperature and atmosphere management systems. This spirit of innovation continues today.
Refractories & Structural Ceramics
Special refractories may require special firing conditions, to temperatures as high as 1800°C. Keith provides solutions for high moisture removal, oxidation of process volatiles, unusual loading geometries, precise temperature and process atmosphere control and fast-firing of dense loads.
Pottery & Tile
Keith is the ceramic kiln of choice of more than 500 potteries worldwide. We are the bridge between the art and science of your business. We understand the importance of economics, operational flexibility, workplace safety, and production reliability to your success. These critical values are built into every Keith kiln.
Contact Keith Company to order a ceramic furnace for your application, or for more information about any of our products.