Thread: cullet shortage
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Old 02-26-2018, 05:21 PM
Pete VanderLaan's Avatar
Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
The Old Gaffer
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Chocorua New Hampshire
Posts: 21,967
Pete VanderLaan is on a distinguished road
So, I had this interesting conversation with Fred Metz fromSpiral Arts today. He had ordered a pot but then called , so I called back. We talked about a ton of stuff but what is pertinent here is sintering and cristallica as two subjects.

First. I had suggested to Fred today that he sinter as much as possible the High Temp pots. I am pushing 2500F which is a typical outside limit for the refractories in many furnaces. Some simply can't do it at all. ( wire kilns). Fred suggested that he refired his selling pots to 2650F and they lasted a lot longer. . With K26 brick you can't try that, even 28 is a risk. He suggested that Engineering had really let it's quality control fall off and we talked Fafnir pots from Germany but neither of us is willing to jump through the hoops to bring them in. Croucher had told me that he got about 18 melts from the Fafnirs but John is brutal in his melts.

The other part was Cristalica. I had written Andreea, their spokesperson who I initially talked to when bringing in the cullet to the USA for Spruce Pine about 18 months back urging her to get the borax out of the cullet. That met what I thought to be some bullshit resistance about EU needs on bar ware which I chucked aside.
So, I wrote to her again last week on the same subject and got no answer which did not surprise me. They rely on Peter Kuchinke as their glass chemist. That's fine but this issue is specific. Cristalica currently is simply no different that SYS96 with a different expansion. Durk did a great job of explaining how the boron with water create moisture creating borates that attack silicates and fireclays in a serious way. That is dissolution of the Kiln. Canned Heat has complained, Fred says its real, I'm not surprised but we all were surprised that the pots were not being hit.

So now, Cristalica is saying it will change the formula. That's maybe good news but it depends entirely on how they do it. Adding Lithium is a serious price change and using Fluorine will crash the wire melters and moly people. I have my opinions and have made them clear but they don't call me.
If Oceanside was to commit tomorrow to making the purloined SP 87 formula in Mexico, they could turn this world upside down.

Even so, $1.70 cullet is coming right at you. I'm off to Portland to get silica.
Where are we going and why am I in this basket?
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