A temperature controller is a devise either attached to the kiln, or a stand alone model. This unit removes the electric power to the heating components when the desired temperature has been attained. These devices are also referred to as a digital controller, kiln controller or even a kiln sitter.
Most glass fusers in time recognize the need and the desire for more than the minimal means of control. Employing a controller aids in reaching sought after final results because of better accuracy and the option of duplicating the same outcome in future firings. This control can be furnished by a control system.Manual operated kilns are harder to negotiate. You have to rely on either watching the fusing object to see what is occurring, or observe the pyrometer which signals the temperature of the air inside the kiln. While visually noticing a piece, it usual entails opening the lid of the kiln to see what is happening to the piece inside. Simply gapping the lid of a kiln a bit can drastically alter the temperature within the kiln. The infinite switch on a manual controlled kiln doesn't permit the setting of a temperature, but is only an electric switch. This switch turns on then heats up to the peak temperature possible for that individual kiln. The dial can be turned from low to high to operate the rate of heating, but no set temperature can be reached and held without manually adjusting the dial. This type of control demands constant supervising, alterations, timing and adjusting the kiln up and down to try and control the temperature. The pyrometer is said to offer temperature data, but they are exceedingly incorrect and the temperature is really difficult to interpret. They need periodic aligning and can be as much as 100 degrees off in the reading.
Glass is a meticulous material that demands real cautious manipulation of both the temperature and hold times. It has a delicate heating stage. During this stage the basic goal is the prevention of thermal stress. Glass also has a working phase where it fire polishes, tacks, melts, slumps or flows into its wanted shape. It also has a precise cooling down stage where it's exceedingly essential to cool it slow and even through the annealing temperature range so that it doesn’t crack or shatter. This slow and even cooling also helps to inhibit any stress that might have built up during the firing process.
Two Primary Types of Kiln Controllers
Set-point Controller - This controller permits the kiln temperature to be raised at full power. It also allows the rate set by the infinite switch to the temperature that has been set on the controller and then will accurately hold that temperature until it is turned off. This controller is great for annealing beads.
Ramp and Hold Controller - This controller controls both temperature and time. It can even permit complex profiles to be programmed into the controller. The controller can be set to reach a set temperature, an amount of time to keep the project at that temperature and the ramp time to reach a particular temperature from the current temperature. A few of these controllers will also allow a multitude of these steps, and the information can be saved and retrieved for other projects.
Yes you can glass fuse with a manual operated kiln, but as you can see by the descriptions above, the temperature control is an important asset. Having this control in the firing method is clearly as significant as the kiln itself. An electronic kiln temperature controller is more accurate for glass fusing projects.
So, how come you need a temperature controller? You need a temperature controller to attain utter control and superior results of your project, each and every time. It's so great to spend the time designing and honing your fusing projects and not having to babysit a kiln.