Don Kopy on fri 27 mar 98
I have used the ITC coating on one of three identical kilns (10 cubic foot
One has tired elements and I only bisque in it (element life of 5 years +or
so). The other two had the elements changed at the same time. I was unsure of
how the ITC would improve my fuel efficiency (electric in this case).
After treating one of the two remaining Olympics I wanted to do a comparitive
test. In both of the kilns, with new elements, my OHM meter read 3.9 OHMs. I
loaded them with the same # of shelves of the same thickness, with loads as
close to exact as a potter can discern by eye (relative ware spacing as well).
I ran them on the same exact profile. The controller I use has the ability of
savings profiles of each firing. It can repeat the firing profile with great
percision ( accurate to .0045 of range with an error adjustment of + - 0.2
Dergees F. over the entire scale).
The controller logs three things on any time frame you wish. I chose intervals
of one minute. These records are stored in a text file that may be graphed
with a spreadsheet .
#1- Programmed profile temperatire
#2- Actual temperature of the kiln
#3- The percentage of power that the kiln is using at that moment . The range
is from 0.0 to 100.0 giving a thousand steps that regulate power over this
I then took the logged the results and put them into a spreadsheet. I not only
graphed the comparative power usage but set up a column to use the data to
calculate how much power was being used by each kiln in KILOWATT MINUTES over
the course of the two firings. This was then converted into KWH's and gave the
total power used by each kiln.
By this method I calculated both the treated kiln's usage to compare.
My savings came out to about a 9% reduction of KWH's (don't have the figures
at hand). When you read the ads in the catalogs you will see that "some
potters have claimed fuel reduction of up to 40%. These are unsubstantiated
claims based on hearsay from "them". Read the wording in catalogs very
I have seen many people on TV who "claim" that they have been abducted by
aliens. I doubt it.
In my experience, in my circumstances, with my kilns, I found a 9% reduction.
The coating is quite tough and at times small flakes may drop at stress points
such as along cracks in the lid where some shifting occurs. I just took my
kilns apart and moved them. At that time I wanted to patch a few flakes from
the lid. I went at it with a silicon carbide brick with a handle as used in
masonry. I went over the whole lid with this in the hopes of catching any
other loose flakes. This coating was tough enough to take a rather vigorous
scraping with no additional flakes removed. The ITC 200 patch is better than
other ceramic patches I have used. I used it in conjunction with the ITC 100
to repear some brick damage that was incurred during the move.
If plannining to spray a three ring kiln with this coating I can sugggest
masking the space between the rings because the rings will be stuck together
and need a lot of coaxing to come apart.
Is it a magic formula that will drive all evil spirits from your kilns? No
Does it produce the savings that "they" claim to have had? Probably not.
Does it form a tough coating to protect bricks from minor impacts? It did for
Is it a miracle? Not really, but it has it's place.
Did it hold bricks together that had multiple cracks? Sure did.
Would I buy it again? I just plunked down another $176 ( or whatever it cost
me) for a new gallon.
I under stand that this is not exact science. It gave me some useful figures
to compare and quantify.
Not wanting to invest anymore time or energy on the subject,
Off to throw,
Bear Hills Pottery
Jeff Lawrence on sun 29 mar 98
Here are some more observations for the stew on ITC 100 and ITC 296.
ITC 100 - electric kilns
I ballparked my ITC 100 savings at 10-15% on one kiln I coated with ITC 100,
four heterogenous electric kilns, based on firing times of comparable loads
with all switches on High. E.g. expected 9 hour firings took 8 hours after
coating. I applied the coating to my other two kilns (different makes,
different sizes), and noticed similar shortening of firing times with the
same settings. Actually I stopped using the High settings after a couple of
firings because the second two now fired too quickly. Before I started using
a gas kiln, my electric bill averaged $500US/month. Assuming firing costs at
$400, I saved the cost of the ITC 100 every 3-4 months in electric bills.
ITC 100 - gas kilns
On my gas fiber kiln, I have no "before and after" fuel consumption
comparisons, since I applied the coating before firing for the first time. I
do find ITC 100 less susceptible to cracking and breaking up than the AP
Green Sairset I troweled on some areas. I have had no problems with "fiber
floaties" others have reported; the surface appears sealed by the coating.
ITC 296 - electric kiln elements
Due to my experience with the ITC 100, I bought ITC 296 metal coating for my
elements. This gave me trouble at first, due to a thick coating, which
flaked off and floated around the kiln, landing on everything. Now, I dilute
it in a bowl and snake the elements through it fast. The resultant coating
is so thin, it doesn't look like it would do any good. However, new elements
treated in June are still springy and show none of the wasting away that
untreated elements have always been prey to in firing my ware.
Note: This is a lousy "before and after" test for the ITC 296, since I don't
fire the electrics daily since the gas kiln went online in October. For the
prior three years, without the coating, I usually changed elements every 3-4
months, when firing times got ridiculously long. On that basis, I expected
two element changes that haven't proven necessary yet. A new set of elements
costs me $120-$170 and a good hour and a half of thankless work. Based on
this, I am fairly confident the ITC 296 was for me a time- and money-saving
For me, the character of the people I do business with counts a lot. The
Delkics, who developed and sell these products, have never given me service
that is anything but exemplary, even though I'm a small customer. Others in
this forum have said the same. If you are considering products like this,
this track record is a factor to consider.
Sun Dagger Design
Rt 3 Box 220
Espanola, NM 87532