Therser UK Blog

What Goes On Inside An Industrial Kiln?

Posted by Joanne Hunt on 22-Feb-2018 13:58:57

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Kiln technology originated in ancient times, and its development from earthen trenches filled with fuel and items to be fired, up until the present day, happened in stages over thousands of years. The first kilns were recorded in use around 6000 BC, but it was the Chinese who appear to have been the furthest ahead in their technologies, and had developed kilns capable of firing at 1000 °C before the year 2000 BC.

A modern day kiln is basically a type of oven with a thermally insulated chamber which is used to produce temperatures high enough to complete many processes, including drying, hardening, and other chemical processes, with a myriad of uses in modern day industry, including:

  • Fusing and deforming glass
  • Tobacco, hops, and grains
  • Firing ceramics and bricks to harden
  • Melting metal
  • Smelting ore
  • Pyrolysis of chemicals
  • Heating gypsum to make Plaster of Paris
  • Cremation

There are basically just two types of kiln: Continuous, or Tunnel Kilns, and Intermittent Kilns. Both are made up of an insulated box with the ability to have the inner atmosphere and temperature controlled and elevated to produce enormous heat.

The Continuous Kiln

Also called a Tunnel Kiln, as it is designed to have the contents to be modified passed through it slowly, or in some cases, pass the heat source slowly over the contents. It is a long structure, rather than round or box-like, and only the central portion is heated, so that items enter at room temperature at one end, pass through the heat source, then slowly cool again as they pass towards the other end, exiting back at room temperature.

The Continuous Kiln is designed to be energy efficient as not only is the heat given off during the cooling process is recycled to the beginning to begin the heating process by pre-heating the items before they enter the kiln proper, but also they are never allowed to cool, loading and removing products continuously, so they are never reheated from cold.

There are a number of different types of continuous kilns available in the market. Our Continuous Kilns, for instance, include four types: Tunnel, Roller, Belt, and Batt.

These kilns all work well with automated systems, making production runs less labour intensive, and more cost effective, and are therefore ideal for large volumes.

The Intermittent Kiln

Also known as a Batch Kiln, the Intermittent Kiln is designed to be closed, with the product inside it, and has a scheduled heating and cooling process. It will process batches consisting of different shapes and sizes and is shut down between batches, making it ideal for small production volumes.

In the UK these kiln types are mainly: Fixed Hearth, Shuttle, Top Hat, Up Draught, and Down Draught; all of which are manufactured by our team at Therser. Modern day Bespoke Kilns can be any of the ranges available, customised to the client’s industrial needs.

Bespoke Kilns

Our design engineers work with you to create a bespoke kiln that precisely fits your needs and business goals. We make sure we understand your products, industry, production targets, and required volumes.

Our kilns are flexible, efficient, and use the best of modern technology in the areas of:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Clean air
  • Heat reclaiming
  • Automation
  • Reduced costs
  • Reduced wastage
  • Shorter firing cycles
  • Commissioning & Support Services

Our support team are always keen to answer your questions, provide advice, and ongoing maintenance once you are up and running.

Call Now

Please speak to one of our engineers by calling +44 (0) 1782 824453. You can also contact our technical sales team by email on For more information, take a look at our free Buyer’s Guide To Industrial Kilns, which can be downloaded by clicking here.

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