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Stainless steel in the kiln??

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Hello, I am wondering if anyone has fired stainless steel and how it went. I used some SS nails to make a few stilts. Google says SS begins to melt above 2550° F and im only firing to cone 6. To me this seems like it will be fine. Nichrome melts at 2550°...  but I guess operating temperature is way lower for SS. Im not sure what happens to it before it melts. Any experience? Thanks!

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From my work with high temp heat exchangers probably not ideal. Depending on what you have it may soften quite a bit. Honestly many steel products melt as high or a higher temp. It’s always been too easy just to buy cone 10 rated stuff for me and some of the degraded heat exchangers made me stay away from trying it. Some interesting reading, 2nd  paragraph onward might influence your decision.


Edited by Bill Kielb
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hi, cbo, welcome to the forum.   i have a friend who makes animals and uses long horseshoe nails with the heads the hoof end of the legs.   they do not melt at cone 6 and always look good.  you might try them  with the pointed end up and may not need the long ones.



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Haven’t used stainless, but did use mild steel as moulds for slumping glass for a project at an art glass place I used to work at. Mild steel melts at 2570F. 

Glass slumping is done at much lower temperatures than we work with clay at, about 12-1300 F.  Even then the moulds would spall, and we had to protect the glass so it didn’t pick up black flakes of metal when it was soft. Bill’s article mentions spalling too, as well as changes in the material’s working properties after being heated and cooled.

The spalling might not matter if the metal stains don’t show up on, or better yet, are incorporated into your end piece like with Oldlady’s friend.

The metal flakes can stain kiln shelves at glass temperatures. I don’t know when they’d melt enough to cause damage in a pottery kiln.

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