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Kaowool Refractory Ceramic Fiber Insulating Board - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Kaowool Refractory Ceramic Fiber Insulating Board

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  • Kaowool Refractory Ceramic Fiber Insulating Board

    --------------------------
    UPDATE - 12/20/2007:

    After completing my oven, I can NOT recommend using Kaowool board under the oven. Due to moisture in the board, parts of my oven are settling (sinking) into the moist, mushy board and causing cracks and joint failures. Please: Don't use this stuff!!. Stick with vermiculite concrete or the SuperIsol sold by Forno Bravo.

    -------------------------



    I think I may be the one of the first to use Kaowool rigid insulation board under my oven so I thought I would do a review of the product.

    When shopping for the board, I had a choice between 1" CalSil board (stacked to get 2") or 2" thick Kaowool. I went with the Kaowool so I wouldn't have to monkey with stacking CalSil sheets.

    Manufactured by Thermal Ceramics, the product is shipped 3 sheets to a box. Dimensions are 2' x 4' x 2". Several grades of board are available. The stuff that was available to me was Kaowool M - Low Temperature Board (2300 degrees F). Spec Sheet
    Price was $10USD/SqFt (very high).



    Comparing the spec sheets of SuperIsol and Kaowool, it looks like the SuperIsol is the stronger, sturdier of the two products (I'm not much of an engineer... if anyone can do a real comparasin of the two sets of Spec numbers, I would appreciate it!) I can push my thumb into the Kaowool and feel it "give" with a few pounds of pressure. I don't think there will be a problem with supporting the oven. When dry it's pretty dense. If the dome sinks at all, it won't be more than a few millimeters. I really doubt it will. Too much surface area.

    The board was easy to cut with a jigsaw and light enough for one person to comfortably handle.

    Positioning the floor bricks on it was easy. There is a level, smooth, dark side and a slightly textured, lighter colored side. A friendly engineer at Thermal Ceramics told me either side can face the heat. I also told him what I was doing with the board and he said it should work just fine.





    I have not used SuperIsol/CalSil board. But from reading about others experience, it appears that the Kaowool is more susceptible to moisture damage.

    This picture was taken after I finished gently sponging the excess mortar from my brick.



    Once wet, the ceramic wool really gets soggy and easily comes apart. Each time I got near it with the sponge, some of the dark, smooth surface flaked away. After an hour or so in the sun, it returned to it's original firm state.

    My analysis: I think this stuff will work fine. After everything is sealed up, I don't anticipate moisture will be an issue. The Kaowool is more expensive than other competing products (WAY more expensive than vermic-concrete). If I did it over again, I would go with the double set of 1" CalSil sheets or even the vermiculite.
    Last edited by Ken524; 12-20-2007, 03:07 PM. Reason: clarification
    Ken H. - Kentucky
    42" Pompeii

    Pompeii Oven Construction Video Updated!

    Oven Thread ... Enclosure Thread
    Cost Spreadsheet ... Picasa Web Album

  • #2
    Re: Kaowool Refractory Ceramic Fiber Insulating Board

    Probably would work great for an indoor oven...


    ~runs off to bookmark page~
    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

    "Success isn't permanent and failure isn't fatal." -Mike Ditka
    [/CENTER]

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    • #3
      Re: Kaowool Refractory Ceramic Fiber Insulating Board

      Your boards seem to perform about the same as mine. I was able to get a box, more than enough material, of 6 or 8 sheets for $96. They were 12"x36"x2" boards. I started mortaring today, but I didn't put any mortar on the bottom side of my floor bricks. Should I be doing that?
      Oven Progress
      Bread Photos
      Oven Stand Thread

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      • #4
        Re: Kaowool Refractory Ceramic Fiber Insulating Board

        RL,

        I just used the clay sand mix to level out the seams on my boards. If you are level, I don't think you will have any issues. Ken brings up a point of concern though about it getting wet. What's going to happen to us when rain / snow flies into the entry way. I think we are going to need a cover to protect that part of the oven. Just another project for the project

        Les...
        Check out my pictures here:
        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/les-build-4207.html

        If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving isn't for you.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Kaowool Refractory Ceramic Fiber Insulating Board

          Originally posted by rlf5 View Post
          I started mortaring today, but I didn't put any mortar on the bottom side of my floor bricks. Should I be doing that?
          I don't have any mortar between any bricks and the insulation boards. I leveled the floor bricks where necessary with fire clay (reclaimed from my HF saw).

          My soldier course is sitting directly on the board. It's firm and level. As it's been said before, gravity will assure the dome won't be going anywhere!
          Ken H. - Kentucky
          42" Pompeii

          Pompeii Oven Construction Video Updated!

          Oven Thread ... Enclosure Thread
          Cost Spreadsheet ... Picasa Web Album

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Kaowool Refractory Ceramic Fiber Insulating Board

            Originally posted by Les View Post
            RL,
            Ken brings up a point of concern though about it getting wet. What's going to happen to us when rain / snow flies into the entry way.
            I'm not too worried about moisture entering the dome and getting below the floor. I'm definitely building a door for the oven that will stay in place when not in use. The floor bricks under my vent and landing will be mortared for weather resistance.
            Ken H. - Kentucky
            42" Pompeii

            Pompeii Oven Construction Video Updated!

            Oven Thread ... Enclosure Thread
            Cost Spreadsheet ... Picasa Web Album

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Kaowool Refractory Ceramic Fiber Insulating Board

              Originally posted by Ken524 View Post
              I'm not too worried about moisture entering the dome and getting below the floor. I'm definitely building a door for the oven that will stay in place when not in use. The floor bricks under my vent and landing will be mortared for weather resistance.
              Oh then that must be your sand/clay mixture. My mistake!
              Oven Progress
              Bread Photos
              Oven Stand Thread

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Kaowool Refractory Ceramic Fiber Insulating Board

                Originally posted by rlf5 View Post
                Oh then that must be your sand/clay mixture. My mistake!
                I'm not sure what you mean... I'll clarify just to make sure: The floor bricks that are under my vent and landing will be sitting directly on the insulation board like the others. I will use HeatStop to mortar these bricks together to inhibit moisture intrusion through the cracks.
                Ken H. - Kentucky
                42" Pompeii

                Pompeii Oven Construction Video Updated!

                Oven Thread ... Enclosure Thread
                Cost Spreadsheet ... Picasa Web Album

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Kaowool Refractory Ceramic Fiber Insulating Board

                  Originally posted by Ken524 View Post
                  I'm not sure what you mean... I'll clarify just to make sure: The floor bricks that are under my vent and landing will be sitting directly on the insulation board like the others. I will use HeatStop to mortar these bricks together to inhibit moisture intrusion through the cracks.
                  Oh i see where the confusion is coming from. The top of your boards are a totally different color than the middle of the board. That dark top part of the board made it look like a layer of mortar under the bricks. Again, my mistake.
                  Oven Progress
                  Bread Photos
                  Oven Stand Thread

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Kaowool Refractory Ceramic Fiber Insulating Board

                    Originally posted by rlf5 View Post
                    The top of your boards are a totally different color than the middle of the board. That dark top part of the board made it look like a layer of mortar under the bricks.
                    Ahhh... Got it. Yeah, the boards have a dark, flat side to them. Looks like dark 60 grit sandpaper. The other side of the boards are cream colored and textured.

                    No problem! Happy to clarify.
                    Ken H. - Kentucky
                    42" Pompeii

                    Pompeii Oven Construction Video Updated!

                    Oven Thread ... Enclosure Thread
                    Cost Spreadsheet ... Picasa Web Album

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Kaowool Refractory Ceramic Fiber Insulating Board

                      Good post.

                      I can't justify the expense of using a fiber board, but you made me feel better about vermiculite!

                      I got some bricks today!!

                      woohoo!!

                      gonna post some pics
                      My thread:
                      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...ress-2476.html
                      My costs:
                      http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?k...Xr0fvgxuh4s7Hw
                      My pics:
                      http://picasaweb.google.com/dawatsonator

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Kaowool Refractory Ceramic Fiber Insulating Board

                        Originally posted by asudavew View Post
                        Good post.
                        I can't justify the expense of using a fiber board, but you made me feel better about vermiculite!
                        Vermiculite has a lot going for it. You won't have to worry about the moisture issues and it's tried and proven. If I did it again, I would build a 4" high form on top of my stand roughly the shape of the oven (maybe a bit bigger) and pour the vermiculite/portland mixture in. That way studs can be attached directly to the concrete if desired.

                        The money I spent for the Kaowool board should have been saved for finishing touches. Live and Learn (and have a blast doing it!)

                        Oh... and don't forget; after you pour the vermiculite, make sure you post a message saying "This stuff is really weird, did I do this right?"
                        Ken H. - Kentucky
                        42" Pompeii

                        Pompeii Oven Construction Video Updated!

                        Oven Thread ... Enclosure Thread
                        Cost Spreadsheet ... Picasa Web Album

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Kaowool Refractory Ceramic Fiber Insulating Board

                          Originally posted by Ken524 View Post
                          Oh... and don't forget; after you pour the vermiculite, make sure you post a message saying "This stuff is really weird, did I do this right?"
                          Dude, that made me laugh my butt off.

                          If I did it again, I would build a 4" high form on top of my stand roughly the shape of the oven (maybe a bit bigger) and pour the vermiculite/portland mixture in.
                          That's my plan Ken. I'm gonna use Masonite as the form. But I'm not sure how to anchor it. I'm thinking about just using wet clay balls to hold it in place....and let them dry. They will be easy to remove and wash away. And maybe some bricks around it.


                          Still thinking about it though.
                          My thread:
                          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...ress-2476.html
                          My costs:
                          http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?k...Xr0fvgxuh4s7Hw
                          My pics:
                          http://picasaweb.google.com/dawatsonator

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Kaowool Refractory Ceramic Fiber Insulating Board

                            Dave,
                            I was planning on going that route as well but went down the insblock path. I was going to cut a few pieces of wood to support the form and ram set them into the hearth. They can be remove fairly easy - just a thought. Wet clay balls just isn't as cool as firing off a few rounds... Plus you neighbors come out side wondering - what the hell was that..

                            Les...
                            Last edited by Les; 09-20-2007, 07:39 AM. Reason: spelling
                            Check out my pictures here:
                            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/les-build-4207.html

                            If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving isn't for you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Kaowool Refractory Ceramic Fiber Insulating Board

                              correct me if I am wrong, but isn't the new FB board a kaowool board equivalent?

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