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5/21/2004
New SKK kiln comes on line at Ceramica Catalano

This machine can contain 13 cars and has an operating temperature of 1250°C

A new Sacmi-made shuttle kiln has become operative at the Catalano plant in Civita Castellana: this is a SSK 440 with an effective load height of 1100 mm, a 13-car holding capacity and a working temperature of 1250°C. Catalano uses this SSK to put Fire Clay products through an 18-hour firing cycle. Each cycle produces 286 pieces, while maximum kiln car load is 925 kg. The main combustion air feed pipes are thermally insulated.
As mentioned above, the kiln operates at temperatures higher than 1100°C: consequently, it was not possible to use ecological fibres on this machine (these fibres have been shown to have limited performance at high temperatures). For this reason “traditional” RCF materials - which offer excellent thermal insulation at temperatures up to 1450°C - have been used instead. However, about 4 or 5 years ago, RCF materials were placed in EU Risk Class 2 as they are irritants and can be harmful if inhaled. Therefore, to protect installation workers from any risk of inhalation or direct contact with the ceramic fibre used on the kiln walls and roof, Sacmi Forni has introduced a series of “total safety” systems that prevent environmental contamination and any material-related illnesses:
- the work area is sealed off to prevent pollution spreading to other areas of the plant.
- it is compulsory for workers to wear personal protection gear such as disposable overalls and underwear, face masks with FFP3 filtration rating, gloves and eye goggles.
- workers leaving the contaminated zones must have a shower.
- waste water is recovered and filtered.
- an extractor fan removes fibre-polluted air from the sealed off area; air is renewed at a rate of 5 - 8 times per hour and contaminated air is subject to a 3-stage filtration process before being released into the environment.
- when assembly is over the entire work zone is thoroughly vacuum-cleaned.
- warning signs are placed.
- work residues are eliminated in sealed plastic bags. Refuse is placed in a polythene bag, in turn inserted in another polythene bag (as per asbestos control legislation) and then marked externally with a letter R against a yellow background. The “double” bags are then disposed of in authorised dumps for special waste.

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