Ceramic Insulation for Custom Furnace Applications

Researchers and manufacturers operating within specialized laboratory or industrial sectors typically require bespoke equipment to achieve distinct operation parameters. These custom applications can rarely be served by ready-made instruments with pre-defined dimensions and capacities, despite broad functional improvements to ready-made manufacturing and test equipment. Heat treatment instruments for unique applications are typically made on a custom basis, allowing operators to precisely determine the functionalities of the product, from its heating capacity to the efficacy of its ceramic insulation.

Custom furnaces can be designed to virtually limitless specifications for every established and emerging heat treatment technique. Annealing, quenching, and tempering furnaces can be adapted with advanced ceramic insulation and heating elements for raised temperature requirements of up to 1700°C (3092°F), and additional functionalities such as material loaders and unloaders, chamber door pneumatics, and safe viewing ports for direct observation of heat treatment procedures. These mechanical options are available for custom furnaces of varying sizes, with options for low, medium, and high throughput enterprises.

This enormous range of options requires a versatile choice of integral components such as heating elements and ceramic insulation. Flat plate heaters, board insulation, and high formability fibre blankets are all applied to enable the various specifications of custom furnaces. This article will explore the ceramic insulation available for distinct custom furnaces:

Ceramic Insulation Box Units & Flat Plates

A box furnace is a compact heating component for industrial, and research and development applications. They are typically designed as floor standing or benchtop equipment, with standard temperature capacities ranging up to 1200°C (2192°F). To reach optimal degrees of temperature uniformity, custom box furnaces regularly employ ceramic insulation with embedded wire heating elements. Multiple ceramic insulation boards can be fabricated into a box unit, ensuring exceptionally even heat distribution through a heat treatment chamber.

This principle is routinely used to insulate custom furnaces with cuboid heating chambers, owing to the rigidity of the ceramic insulation board. These boards can be machined to small and large dimensions, enabling the formation of box unit heaters and insulators for small laboratory instruments and large manufacturing furnaces.

Flat plate ceramic insulation heaters are often used individually to treat specific surfaces of products to varying degrees. Auto engineering furnaces commonly use flat plate ceramic insulation for high-throughput heat treatment of large vehicular components. At Thermcraft, we have designed car bottom furnaces using flat plate ceramic insulation for heating chambers of 192” long with weight capacities for up to 3000 lbs.

Cylindrical Ceramic Insulation

Cylindrical ceramic insulation refers to tubular insulation elements with or without embedded heating vestibules. These can be fabricated into tube furnaces for a vast range of applications, from crystal growth to fiber optic manufacturing. The complexities of tube furnaces present unique challenges for custom manufacturing, where furnaces may be comprised of solid or hinged heating chambers.

Split tube furnaces, for example, must be accessible via a hinged sample chamber. This necessitates semi-cylindrical ceramic insulation that maintains a 360° heat distribution throughout the furnace. At Thermcraft, we have designed custom split tube furnaces with long bore chambers of up to 36”, and ceramic insulation capable of withstanding continuous operating temperatures of up to 1204°C (2000°F).

Solid tube and semi-cylindrical ceramic insulation can be fabricated into horizontal, vertical, or angled tube furnaces with no loss in heat uniformity.

Custom Ceramic Insulation from Thermcraft

Thermcraft is a leading supplier and manufacturer of heat treatment equipment for any application. If our established range of ready-made furnaces is not equipped to handle your application, we are confident that we can prepare a custom furnace to support that niche.

Our ceramic insulation products come in flat plate, cylindrical and semi-cylindrical, and custom machined shapes – for distinctly unique heat treatment applications. If you would like to find out more, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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