Friday, 6 August 2010

Effect of Shape on Bead Annealing

The shape of the bead has significant effects on the annealing time required. This is because the shape has an effect on the speed at which the centre can cool. Spheres have the most even transmission of heat, because the heat can radiate equally in all directions. Cylinders are more restricted in heat radiation because they can radiate heat from the circumference but not so effectively along the length. Flat shapes can radiate heat in only two directions, making them the most difficult to anneal.

As indicated, spheres can be annealed most quickly. The annealing schedules given in this blog apply to spheres as this is the most common form for beads.

Cylinders which by definition are longer than the diameter need to be annealed at two thirds the rate of spheres. So, from the tables you choose the annealing rate for a piece 1.5 times larger than the diameter of your cylinder.

Flat shapes require the most care in annealing so you should choose the rate that is three times the thickness of the piece you are annealing.

These cautions will help to adequately anneal your beads, what ever their shape.