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Seeking Advice: kiln design software and firebrick sourceing


Adam Ting

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Howdy Y'all

I have the opportunity to potentially build a wood fired kiln here in Colorado.  The space is figured out and there are kiln shelves to be used.  Now all I need to do is figure out to where to get firebrick for free or very cheap and design a kiln!  easy peasy.....

I was wondering if anyone could point me towards good places to search for used firebrick.  I know firebrick is used in many industrial applications to line furnaces etc but I am unsure exactly what type of businesses would use these.   Does anyone have experience sourcing free firebrick? 

My second question is if anyone is familiar with any good computer software that can be used to design kilns?  Mainly I would like it to just play around with simple designs so it doesn't need to be terribly complex.  If anyone knows of a program like this I would love to hear about it!  

Thanks!

-Adam 

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I've often wondered about getting bricks from the roasters they have at mines- they must cycle through a lot of them. They would be contaminated with what ever metal they are processing - if they use roasters as part of the process. Maybe you can turn them around and one side would be good. Know anyone that works at a mine?  Try these books :  Kilns - Design, Construction & Operation by Daniel Rhodes or  another book about kiln building by Frederick Olsen. See this thread : PQotW: Week 41

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Brick sources -

free-industrials processors like pulp mills-lime kilns-

hot process plants like asphalt plants -I'm not 100% on this source

dry kiln process like lumber dry kilns

old large boiler plants-power conversion plants like co- generators wood to electric power-anywhere where boilers are used.

Ceramic producers with older kilns like brick tunnel kilns

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What type of kiln will you be building? For some types, it's good to have both hard brick for the interior and soft brick for the exterior. I think used bricks are not as easy to find as they used to be. If you find some, make sure they're not contaminated with something bad. No reason to poison yourself to save a few bucks. In general, don't use bricks that were the interior contact layer of whatever they were being used  to heat, unless it was something totally benign.

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