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-   -   cullet shortage (http://talk.craftweb.com/showthread.php?t=11849)

Pete VanderLaan 01-30-2018 08:20 PM

A perectly reasonable response.Hands on, it ain;t so easy and I wish it were.

I have to remember one of my color class students when I asked as it repeatedly failed: "what color is the black tin in your recipe?" and the answer is "White".

Seeing and doing really is believing. As Dave suggests, it's not hard thoeretically, but, doing it is sort of harder.

Brian Wong Shui 01-30-2018 11:11 PM

I can confirm that Cristalica is corrosive to refractories. Iíve gotten more casting corrosion in the past 4 months of Cristalica compared to the previous two years of SP87. Cristalica has been chewing out a door that was cast in Supermax MZ

The economics donít seem to be working out either. Working temps are higher, washing out any energy saving from not melting batch. Couple that with more expensive glass to start with and higher maintenance cost, it means that Iím switching back to SP87ER after this pallet is complete. A failed experiment in my opinion.

Pete VanderLaan 01-31-2018 07:26 AM

Brian:
How is it affecting your pot? Do I recall correctly that you have a moly as well?

Mark Rosenbaum 01-31-2018 10:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brian Wong Shui (Post 138294)
I can confirm that Cristalica is corrosive to refractories. Iíve gotten more casting corrosion in the past 4 months of Cristalica compared to the previous two years of SP87. Cristalica has been chewing out a door that was cast in Supermax MZ

The economics donít seem to be working out either. Working temps are higher, washing out any energy saving from not melting batch. Couple that with more expensive glass to start with and higher maintenance cost, it means that Iím switching back to SP87ER after this pallet is complete. A failed experiment in my opinion.

Ouch.... thanks for the info. I guess that I will make the switch back to SP batch after I am done with my cullet....

Eben Horton 01-31-2018 10:57 AM

Don't forget about Jim @ East Bay Batch. Aside from being a super cool dude, he can also provide a good alternative to Cullet.

Mark Rosenbaum 01-31-2018 11:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eben Horton (Post 138299)
Don't forget about Jim @ East Bay Batch. Aside from being a super cool dude, he can also provide a good alternative to Cullet.

Yes, he is an amazing dude! Helped me out when Katrina hit, and he is my go-to guy for color!

Brian Wong Shui 01-31-2018 12:13 PM

Jim's the best. Helped me out in a jam with batch. We purchase the majority of our color from him.

Pete VanderLaan 01-31-2018 12:30 PM

what color I do buy always comes from East Bay, High Temp was handling Spruce Pine batch out of Portland as well.

Brian Wong Shui 01-31-2018 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pete VanderLaan (Post 138295)
Brian:
How is it affecting your pot? Do I recall correctly that you have a moly as well?

Yes to moly.

Crucible isnít too bad right now. Some pitting but the crucible only has 4 months on it. I expect this to accelerate as the crucible gets to middle age.

Pete VanderLaan 01-31-2018 12:47 PM

It gets me to the observation about pricing cullet again. Cristalica may cost $1.00 lb before shipping but I continue to believe that the place is subsidized by the E. German Govt. It's easier to do that than to send out welfare checks. I think it's true at Reichenbach as well.

But that's not quite my point. If it was the case that Spruce Pine cullet was actually available, what would people pay for that? It has always been a very sweet and easy glass to use and it is really easy on a furnace and pot. The wire melter folks are up shitcreek. They can currently watch their tooling dissolve with a cullet that's kind of short. just cheap. They can't really melt batch easily at all. Now you may not think $1.00 lb is cheap but try making your own glass. I think $1.50 would be cheap but $1.75 is actually viable. I'm curious about what real price cullet would do to the actual final sales prices for work. My clear already costs well over this unless I can tag on to industrial volume purchases, which I do. I would make and sell SP7 cullet at $1.75. I have doubts about $1.50

Brian Wong Shui 01-31-2018 02:03 PM

In our situation, at current pricing for SP87ER and electric rates and ignoring maintenance and other operational issue, cullet can get to ~1.45USD/lb before it it becomes more expensive than batch on a total cost of ownership basis.

When you factor in that Cristalica has to be 100F hotter across the range to get into a decent viscosity range and its appetite for refractories, I think that it washes out the cost advantage.

Operationally for us, cullet allows us peak capacity during the busy season where we need to charge late at night and be ready in the morning. It also allows us to maintain a cleaner studio by cutting down on the dust issues.

The best scenario for us would be to run batch primarily with cullet being available for peak capacity, quick turnaround situations.

--Brian

Scott Novota 01-31-2018 02:04 PM

It has damn sure taken a bite out of my door as well. Like I said the last time this came up as soon as I am done with this round I am going to SP. Or I am getting my mix tent set up in the shop.

One way or the other I want to get where cullet being gone has no effect on me.

Eben Horton 01-31-2018 02:59 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I use SP 87 for the bags. They make great tablecloths.

Pete VanderLaan 01-31-2018 03:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brian Wong Shui (Post 138308)
In our situation, at current pricing for SP87ER and electric rates and ignoring maintenance and other operational issue, cullet can get to ~1.45USD/lb before it it becomes more expensive than batch on a total cost of ownership basis.

When you factor in that Cristalica has to be 100F hotter across the range to get into a decent viscosity range and its appetite for refractories, I think that it washes out the cost advantage.

Operationally for us, cullet allows us peak capacity during the busy season where we need to charge late at night and be ready in the morning. It also allows us to maintain a cleaner studio by cutting down on the dust issues.

The best scenario for us would be to run batch primarily with cullet being available for peak capacity, quick turnaround situations.

--Brian

*********
I think a question I always have is the sustained time it takes to melt batch as opposed to cullet. As they say, time is money. Convenience is yet another issue. Further, in wire units, it's not a choice really. With Moly's what I really disliked about it was that you couldn't turn up the heat

I continue to want to look to the final product. At what point is raising the price necessary and how much would it be noticed? Is working a glass one actually likes as opposed to one that you just tolerate a factor at all?

Pete VanderLaan 01-31-2018 03:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scott Novota (Post 138309)
It has damn sure taken a bite out of my door as well. Like I said the last time this came up as soon as I am done with this round I am going to SP. Or I am getting my mix tent set up in the shop.

One way or the other I want to get where cullet being gone has no effect on me.

*******
Mixing in small quantities is not going to save money unless you buy lots of chemicals and in Florida, they won't like the humidity so that needs addressing. Getting what you want? Priceless.

Slate Grove 02-01-2018 12:05 PM

As the Glass Facilities Manager at Ball State University, we've been charging Cristalica twice a week since August, in what was then a brand new, natural gas fueled, 560 lb. round day tank. We melt the Cristalica ~50 lbs./hour at 2250, cook for 6 hours, drop to 2050 and hold there for 3 hours, then back to our preferred working temp. of 2150. We are obviously an educational studio, so glass quality isn't priority...but 12 hours after the last charge goes in, I would put the quality on par with what I was turning around while managing the SPB charges at the UrbanGlass studio.

The furnace refractory doesn't show any more signs of deteriorating than any other furnace I've used after 6 months...and we have introductory students dripping on the sill, students learning charge, to ladle, etc.

For liability reasons, we won't bring dusty batch into the studio. For educational reasons, we want a glass that we can blow, sculpt, and cast and this seems to fit that bill well. With SPB trying to maintain an on-hand inventory of 40 tons, we will continue our patronage in that direction.

Max Epstein 02-01-2018 12:38 PM

I would *love* SP87 cullet. I *might* even pay $1.75/lb for it if shipping were reasonable.

$1.50 would pretty much be a no-brainer for me.

Then again, I'm working out of a Dragon-type portable furnace and don't plan on it lasting more than about 2 years without a rebuild, so maybe the corrosive Cristallica won't affect me as much as others.

Pete VanderLaan 02-01-2018 12:38 PM

Slate, If it's gas, I do expect it to do better than electric because it gets flued out. The reports are certainly mixed. I looked at a door this morning that was really messed up.
As to your reaction Max, keep calling in. I am really weighing the response to making SP cullet and am quite serious.

Max Epstein 02-01-2018 12:44 PM

I know my furnace was already falling apart, but both doors are totally cooked now. And everything seemed to start deteriorating much faster after the switch to Cristallica 8 months ago.
-------------------------------------------------
Pete, you'd need a warehouse like OCR in Atlanta, maybe one West, too, to help with shipping, methinks. Especially if you melted your blend or had it available, I could see a lot of business coming your way. But it's definitely risky as the big players might decide to step back in for the $$$.

I have to move shops, there I might be able to do batch. Not here. And I also do mobile gigs, so cullet is preferred. I know I'm in the minority.

It would be nice to have a product free from all the issues you bitch about.

Pringle Teetor 02-01-2018 01:03 PM

I have 6 barrels of Gabbert clear cullet behind my house in Chapel Hill if
Anyone is interested 🤣🤣🤣

Pete VanderLaan 02-01-2018 01:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Max Epstein (Post 138338)
I know my furnace was already falling apart, but both doors are totally cooked now. And everything seemed to start deteriorating much faster after the switch to Cristallica 8 months ago.
-------------------------------------------------
Pete, you'd need a warehouse like OCR in Atlanta, maybe one West, too, to help with shipping, methinks. Especially if you melted your blend or had it available, I could see a lot of business coming your way. But it's definitely risky as the big players might decide to step back in for the $$$.

I have to move shops, there I might be able to do batch. Not here. And I also do mobile gigs, so cullet is preferred. I know I'm in the minority.

It would be nice to have a product free from all the issues you bitch about.

**********
I'm quite aware of the logistics as well as the capitalization. Eveline and I looked really hard at this a few years ago doing it in Shanghai, but the Western ports were simply not reliable. . I would not do it there but it would be American in nature. It takes a village as they say.
Price is really critical. $1.00 lb cullet is something that is subsidized, I'm certain of that. Borax is not something friends let friends put in glass. Good cullet will cost more, period. If this happened it would be SP87.

Mitcheal Veenstra 02-01-2018 06:20 PM

We switched to Cristalica back in August in our wire melter(Skutt 80 pounder). It's managed to eat a nice flue out of my furnace and we are always brushing off borax buildups off our lid around the hole it ate.

I'm expecting an early element failure in this furnace this year. I'm really curious as to what the inside of it will look like when we take it down this summer, if we make it that long before an element failure.

So far our pot (one of Pete's, brand new last summer) is holding up fine, not noticing anything too objectionable with it yet, but the day is still early.

If you are running gas and/or have a flue in your furnace, you wn't see the build ups nearly as bad as those of us running sealed electric units without a flue. C will make a flue around your door.

We are talking about what we will replace this wire furnace with if the inside is as trashed as we are starting to fear we'll find. Whatever we do, it'll be hot enough to melt batch because I'm not going to keep playing this game after a full rebuild. I'll build a gas furnace if I have to, I don't know that I can afford to go molly, startup costs are too high for me to go that route.

Pete VanderLaan 02-02-2018 08:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mitcheal Veenstra (Post 138344)
We switched to Cristalica back in August in our wire melter(Skutt 80 pounder). I don't know that I can afford to go molly, startup costs are too high for me to go that route.

********
Moly would not help if you are melting a borax laden batch. I think you'd see similar dissolution of the fireclays and silicates. I'm mildly surprised to keep hearing the pots seem OK. It's a high alumina and the borax doesn't seem to be eating it.

I think Gas will be better. I also think building a flue into the door on your skutt that you plug when you're not melting would help. I know of one glassblower who actually has a small blower that he turns on for 30 seconds every half hour or so that exhausts those fumes. with positive pressure in the kiln. That's being done to dispel Fluorine in a silicon carbide unit.

Jordan Kube 02-02-2018 11:24 AM

I never saw the high borax spectrum stuff eat crucibles. It was only the condensate around the doors and flues as the hot gasses exited the furnaces that destroyed the surrounding structure.

Eben Horton 02-02-2018 12:47 PM

I had a big project about 10 years ago that required me to go up to Boston and rent some studio time at a public access studio there. They used the original spectrum nuggets that had borax in it. Their furnaces looked like they were just eaten alive by it. They charged hot and I think that a lot of that glass attack could have been avoided by charging colder. It was bad enough for me to know to avoid that cullet at all costs in my own equipment


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