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Temperature on Outside of Refractory Bricks - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Temperature on Outside of Refractory Bricks

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  • Temperature on Outside of Refractory Bricks

    Hi everyone,

    I am currently building my first wood fire bread oven. I have lots and lots of experience working with stone but the things I need to learn to take into account for a wood fire bread oven seem overwhelming, e.g. making the structure strong enough to withstand enormous temperatures and also how to maintain high temperatures.

    I am making the wood fire bread oven with a beehive appearance (see attached graphic drawings of the front and cross section) although the oven will ne a dome. The exterior structure will be natural rock and normal cement, while the oven itself will be made from these Spanish refractory bricks and refractory cement.

    My question is... Is there a danger that the temperature will get so high on the outside of the refractory bricks that it might crack the natural rock and normal cement that the refractory bricks lie immediately next to?

    One person I asked said "in normal operations the outside of the bricks will not get hot enough to crack stone under the hearth but other places like near the chimney where all the hot gasses pass over could get too hot." In which case would you advise I build the chimney out of refractory bricks too? I was just going to use a normal metal chimney tube and surround it by a normal cement mix (see images below to get an idea).

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Leao


    Last edited by Leao; 05-11-2011, 01:37 PM.
    Black Ink Drawings by Leo the Great - www.flickr.com/leothecat

    Affordable & Imaginative Graphic Design by me & Claire - Hereismydesign.com

  • #2
    Re: Temperature on Outside of Refractory Bricks

    Originally posted by Leao View Post
    Is there a danger that the temperature will get so high on the outside of the refractory bricks that it might crack the natural rock and normal cement that the refractory bricks lie immediately next to?
    Not if you insulate properly..
    The English language was invented by people who couldnt spell.

    My Build.

    Books.

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    • #3
      Re: Temperature on Outside of Refractory Bricks

      Hi, the problem is that I have already built the stand and I haven't taken into account the room needed to fit in a refractory insulation blanket and vermiculite.

      I could make the stand bigger but then the entire structure would be an enormous eyesaw. I could also make the oven surface smaller than 80 cm in diameter but then it might not be much use as an oven. The option I am probably going to go for is refractory bricks + refractory cement + a natural rock finish with no insulation.

      Am I crazy to build an oven without vermiculite or a refractory insulation blanket?

      Leo
      Black Ink Drawings by Leo the Great - www.flickr.com/leothecat

      Affordable & Imaginative Graphic Design by me & Claire - Hereismydesign.com

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      • #4
        Re: Temperature on Outside of Refractory Bricks

        Originally posted by Leao View Post
        Am I crazy to build an oven without vermiculite or a refractory insulation blanket?
        Yes.
        Without insulation you will burn tons of wood for little heat as the heat will just escape through the whole structure.
        The English language was invented by people who couldnt spell.

        My Build.

        Books.

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        • #5
          Re: Temperature on Outside of Refractory Bricks

          Originally posted by brickie in oz View Post
          Yes.
          Without insulation you will burn tons of wood for little heat as the heat will just escape through the whole structure.
          Hi Brickie, if I only use the oven every now and then and when I do use it to bake while the fire is burning... is insulation so important?

          I could hopefully squeeze in 2 inches of Perlite or Vermiculite or an insulation blanket but not both, which would be better? I'll ring the local construction firm tomorrow. I'm in Spain and someone I discussed the oven with suggested using salt for insulation. There is also mention of using a clay/wood shaving mix for insulation. Maybe I'll have to look into these alternatives if I can't get my hands on Perlita or Vermiculita.

          What I'm really worried about is not that the oven doesn't get to or maintain high temperatures but that the heat will crack the whole structure.

          Leao
          Black Ink Drawings by Leo the Great - www.flickr.com/leothecat

          Affordable & Imaginative Graphic Design by me & Claire - Hereismydesign.com

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          • #6
            Re: Temperature on Outside of Refractory Bricks

            Ceramic blanket is best if you have little room.

            As for cracking the rocks it would depend on the rock type.
            The English language was invented by people who couldnt spell.

            My Build.

            Books.

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            • #7
              Re: Temperature on Outside of Refractory Bricks

              Hi, I called my local building suppliers today. They said that they didn't sell ceramic blankets but they do have rolls of fibre glass blankets for $4 per square metre. They also sell big bags of perlite at $6 per bag, but they do not stock vermiculite.

              Would you advise buying the a fibre glass blanket, I think I read somewhere on this forum that it burns and should never be used? How many bags of perlite would you recommend to insulate the floor and dome (the dome is 80 cm in diameter on the inside, 102 cm on the outside).

              Warm regards

              Leao
              Black Ink Drawings by Leo the Great - www.flickr.com/leothecat

              Affordable & Imaginative Graphic Design by me & Claire - Hereismydesign.com

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              • #8
                Re: Temperature on Outside of Refractory Bricks

                I called my local building suppliers today. They said that they didn't sell ceramic blankets
                They wouldn't. It isn't a building material. You need a refractory dealer.
                They also sell big bags of perlite at $6 per bag
                That's a good price for a 4 cu. ft. bag. Perlite is as good as vermiculite. If you're limited to two inches that isn't so good, though. The minimum recommended cover for vermiculite/perlite concrete is four inches. If it's just a couple of places near the enclosure you could use the firestopping material that they sell in good builders suppliers.
                I read somewhere on this forum that it burns and should never be used
                The fiberglass doesn't burn, it's the organic binder. Don't use it.
                Am I crazy to build an oven without vermiculite or a refractory insulation blanket?
                Don't even think about building an uninsulated oven. If you think an oven is an eyesore, think about having one that doesn't work.
                My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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                • #9
                  Re: Temperature on Outside of Refractory Bricks

                  Originally posted by dmun View Post
                  If you're limited to two inches that isn't so good, though. The minimum recommended cover for vermiculite/perlite concrete is four inches. If it's just a couple of places near the enclosure you could use the firestopping material that they sell in good builders suppliers.
                  I have room to do the insulating hearth with 4 inches of perlite. That's no problem. The problem is the sides of the dome. Hopefully I can squeeze in a 1 inch ceramic insulating blanket and 1 inch of perlite around the bottom of the dome and increase the quantity of perlite higher up the dome to the recommended 4 inches at the top.

                  Does this sound any better?

                  Thanks so much for your time and patience!

                  Leao
                  Black Ink Drawings by Leo the Great - www.flickr.com/leothecat

                  Affordable & Imaginative Graphic Design by me & Claire - Hereismydesign.com

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                  • #10
                    Re: Temperature on Outside of Refractory Bricks

                    I managed to get to the building suppliers. The bags of perlite they had were in fact grinded perlite mixed with plaster for rendering walls. They had no vermiculite either, so I bought some arlita (see this post by Xabia Jim). It seems very common to use arlita in place of vermiculite in Spain. The owner of the store said his dad used it to insulate his oven. They didn't have any ceramic fibre blankets but did sell a rock wool blanket. It looked dusty and nasty, but will this do the trick and not burn like the organic binder in fibreglass?
                    Black Ink Drawings by Leo the Great - www.flickr.com/leothecat

                    Affordable & Imaginative Graphic Design by me & Claire - Hereismydesign.com

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                    • #11
                      Re: Temperature on Outside of Refractory Bricks

                      Rock wool is a phrase so general that there's no accepted universal meaning. It could be almost anything. Maybe one of our European members could chime in here.

                      Also, expanded clay is a material unknown in the United States. Let us know how it works out. I can't imagine that it's more insulative than vermiculite, which, again, takes four inches to do it's job.
                      My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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                      • #12
                        Re: Temperature on Outside of Refractory Bricks

                        Originally posted by dmun View Post
                        Rock wool is a phrase so general that there's no accepted universal meaning. It could be almost anything. Maybe one of our European members could chime in here.
                        The man in the shop said he knew simply of 2 types of insulation blankets - 'lana de vidrio' and 'lana de roca', i.e. fibre glass and rock wool. He insisted also that rock wool would be less likely to burn which made me think it would be appropriate for an wood oven. I haven't bought any yet. I wanted to make sure I wasn't about to buy something that was going to emit a stinky smell out of my wood oven.

                        I'll be sure to tell you how the arlita works.
                        Black Ink Drawings by Leo the Great - www.flickr.com/leothecat

                        Affordable & Imaginative Graphic Design by me & Claire - Hereismydesign.com

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