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- ORTON CONES/BARS/WITNESS CONES PYROMETRIC FOR FIRING A KILN
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orton cone info
Pyrometric cones have been used since the late 1800's to monitor the kilns performance. Originally thought to be temperature indicators, studies in 1926 showed that time & atmosphere also affects cone bending behavior.
Orton is the only manufacturer in the united states that makes pyrometric cones.
Large and self supporting cones are used as witness cones to monitor the firing and often are used to to decide when the firing is complete.
Small cones and pyrometric bars are used in the kiln-sitter (R), a mechanical switch that cuts off the power in electric kilns.
Small cones are occasionally used as witness cones, but caution is recommended, since these shorter cones require slightly higher temperatures to bend, as compared to large or self supporting cones.
Cones are still needed when a kiln is equipped with an electronic controller. Electronic controllers allow the kiln to be heated to a temperature. Controllers use a thermocouple to sense temperature. These change with time and ware, causing the kiln to fire hotter than desired. Witness cones placed on the shelf near the outside edge will check weather the controller is firing accurately.
The number representing the cone firing temperature is engraved on the side of every cone in every box to avoid confusion and mistakes in firing. So read the cone to make sure its the right cone temperature you need to fire.
The following are approximate temperatures for firing at medium speed of 270 degrees per hour for self supporting cones. Your temperature may vary by the condition of the kiln.
cone 022- 1094 cone 021-1143 cone 020-1180 cone 019-1283 cone 06-1855 cone 05-1911 cone 04-1971 cone 03-2019
The following are approximate temperatures for firing at medium speed of 270 degrees per hour for small bars and cones. Your temperature may vary by the condition of the kiln.
cone 019-1279 cone 018-1350 cone 017-1402 cone 016-1461 cone 06- 1852 cone 05-1915 cone 04-1958 cone 03-2014
Sm. bar Sm. cone Lg. cone self supporting/witness
Imagine that the witness cone is a clock. If it points straight up and didn't bend, its too cool. If it bends to around three to six o'clock it's a good firing and if it gets past six o'clock or it starts to melt, its in the too hot range.