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Thread: chili pepper kiln

  1. #1
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    Default chili pepper kiln

    My uncle claims that the high heat of a kiln alters the fibers in the insulation of my kiln, that the heat causes the fibers to corkscrew, and if they should be inhaled, they'll forever be in your lungs......and next thing you know you're sick. He says to be cautious and wear a respirator when using this kiln. Can anyone confirm or disprove his claim? I'm completely nervous around this kiln now....

  2. #2
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    I really know nothing about this but I can tell you this is the first I have heard of this. Does your uncle have some training or experience that has lead him to this knowledge??? I'm not saying he is wrong, I am just wondering how he knows this? Is there a better material to be used for this kiln. I have one, too, and I don't want to screw up my lungs! I don't use it everyday, but I use it enough to be concerned.

    Debby

  3. #3
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    Well it is ceramic fiber. But I have had this conversation with Mike G the owner of Jen Kin kilns and he made a very good point. His employees handle this material daily and he would not use something that was dangerous to thier health.
    I have had a chili pepper kiln for 10 years I have 3 now. The fiber is sprayed with a stiffener to keep it neat and contained. After years of use and abuse mine could use and respray. So as with everything you should use caution I lightly vacumn mine to pick up the bead release and stray fiber- not directly on the fiber that would pull it loose.Don't slam it shut as that can make little particles fly. But so far my lungs are clear. They are using I believe the safest form of the fiber. Call Jenkin they are great answering questions.
    There are so many ways we can prevent silicosis just by using common sense.
    Hope that helps.
    Sam

  4. #4
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    Well, my uncle is a university professor of ceramics, so he does have some credibility when it comes to kilns.....although I don't think glass kilns are his specialty. And over the weekend I gathered a small sample from the insulation of my kiln and took it to work. I work in a laboratory and have access to microscopes. I put the fibers in a solution to look at under the scope, and about 99% were straight fibers....only a very few had a shepherd's hook at one end, and there were no corkscrews. There were some crystalline structures, which I suppose were the "stiffeners" that Nina mentioned.

  5. #5
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    Deanna -

    Thank you so much for this information - both your uncle's warnings and your research. Can I take what you have found to mean that these kilns are generally fairly safe? But, as Sam said, it is a good idea to take some precautions - cleaning out loose material from the bottom of the kiln while wearing a mask, etc?

    As I said before, I have one of these but do not use it on a regular basis, but I do use it. And I want to be a safe as possible.

    Thanks!
    Debby

  6. #6
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    I lifted some of the dust from the floor of my toolbox kiln and ran them through the SEM. The kiln has been in regular use for about 5 or 6 years. These are representative images of the fibers that I saw, almost entirely straight or slightly curved, no 'corkscrews'. there were a very few more sharply curved fibers but you'll see these in newly manufactured fiber products. It's a very good idea to clean the floor of your kiln on a regular basis as all fiber walled kilns will shed fiber over time.
    Robert




    Robert Simmons
    Director for Bead Donations
    Beads of Courage, Inc.

  7. #7
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    Wow! Now we know. But I have to tell you, those images are really cool!
    Thanks!
    Debby

  8. #8
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    Thank you Robert!
    Science Rules
    Sam

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