Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Anneal soaks

An odd concept was presented recently.  This in summary was that if you have long soaks on the way up to top temperature you do not need to have such a long anneal soak as normal.

This is a fundamental misunderstanding of the physics of glass.  As the glass temperature rises above the upper strain point (about 55°C above the annealing point), the molecules become disordered.  No amount of soaking at any temperature on the way up to the top temperature will change that. 

The glass (and the molecules of it) will need to be cooled relatively quickly from the top temperature to avoid crystallisation of the glass.  This is the reason for the fast cool to the annealing soak.  It is also a reason to avoid a soak at approximately 50°C above the annealing point – there is a slight risk that crystallisation could form.  This would appear as scum marks on the surface, rather than in the interior.

Whatever soaks you have performed on the way to top temperature, you will need the full length of soak for the full or tack fuse.  And you will need it for the slump too.

No amount of soaking on the way up to top temperature in kilnforming will have any effect on the requirements for the annealing soak at the cooling part of the schedule.  The soaks in the early part of the schedule, no matter how many or how long, do not change the annealing requirements.

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