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thresh 2019-04-27 5:43pm

Measuring flame temperature?
Hi everyone,

I am looking for advice about industry standards for measuring flame temperature and/or appropriateness for working different kinds of glass.

I have built an electrically-driven apparatus which is able to increase the working temperature of oxy-fuel surface mix torches. As an example, it allows me to work quartz glass to a similar degree as I can with boro when running small oxy-propane burner fed using a single 10lpm oxygen concentrator (though I am skeptical that it maintains high 90% concentration at max flow rate).

Right now I can only qualitatively describe the improvements (aka drastic increase in sodium flare brightness, ability to work quartz glass). I want to put some numbers to it.

Does anyone know if industry standards exist for this? If none exist (or if you think they are inadequate/could be improved upon), do you have any suggestions for quantitative metrics I could use?

Thanks in advance,

PS - Would something like this interest any of you guys here? If I decide against trying to develop this as a full-on commercially available product, and if there was any community interest, I could still make a couple dozen or so available for sale.

Subduction 2019-04-27 6:45pm

I have no interest in working quartz but it looks like it melts at around 1700C. If the flame isn't oxidizing, perhaps a molybdenum sheathed thermocouple?

thresh 2019-04-27 8:09pm

:( It's actually more oxidizing than a flame running an equivalent amount of 100% oxygen.

And molyb doesn't need "not oxidizing", it needs completely inert (like argon) atmosphere or it falls apart.

khammil 2019-04-27 9:39pm

I’d be interested in this product. I haven’t heard an industry standard for measuring flame temperature, but torches advertise in terms of how quickly they can melt a certain size of boro rod or how large of a boro marble they can make.

thresh 2019-04-28 7:55am

Putting a bit more thought into it, it really comes down to a combination of max temperature and total heat delivered (BTUs) per unit time. I work mostly with scientific apparatus... Havent made a bead in my life (or even bought any coloured glass/rod... Only colourless for me lol).

Are there any trusted community members located in Toronto that maybe I could meet with to demo it and tell you guys what they think?

Speedslug 2019-04-29 4:27am

My first thought runs to ceramics and the temperature 'cones' used in kilns for clay work.

My second thought is that perhaps industrial catalogs like Grainger or McMaster-Carr may have either what you are looking for or can give you a pointer in a direction toward helping find a source.

Another thought is scientific supplies of some sort.
The blast furnace industry probably use calibrated infrared based cameras to measure metals just prior to pouring.

LarryC 2019-04-29 4:09pm

This question would definitely be more appropriate and much more likely to be answered by those with pertinent background on the Glassies group on facebook. Also the ASGS would also be able to help.

thresh 2019-04-30 3:49pm

Speedslug: Cones are a great, easy to access starting point that basically are the very definition of an "industry standard for temperatures" (if interpreted slightly loosely). I am absolutely going to look at availability across different temperature range, and also into how they work to see if they can be made at home.

[Note: the pottery world is fantastic for keeping hobbyists with direct access to chemicals and raw materials for every step of their processes. You guys could buy all the parts to build ramp-controlled kilns for garaging and annealing for a couple hundred bucks]

As for the IR temp measurement, I'm pretty sure that BB radiation peak at the temps of our flames is in the UV?

LarryC: I will definitely hit up both those groups. Thank you for the referrals.

I have lots to go on for now; thank you guys. Quick side question ... Do the lampworking communities already have good tutorials on minimalist kiln-building, or should I take some pictures next time I do a build (it's really just a PID controller, SS relay, K or J thermocouple, resistive wire, firebrick/similar refractory material, and an enclosure). I really want to get involved/contribute in the community

Speedslug 2019-05-03 12:58am

I built a mailbox kiln from instructions I found here on LE.

I did make the mistake of buying an inexpensive controller though and although I am sure it functions perfectly the instructions that I got with it look like they had been written in Chinese then translated through every language in the world before finally being translated into english.

I spent 17 years as an electronics tech in the Navy so I was able to make some sense of them but it's an uphill battle.

These days they have much better instructions and simpler controllers available for a third of the price and if I hadn't got a really good deal on a barely used JenKen I would still be using my mailbox kiln but these days I just use it to pre-warm glass tips if I use it at all.

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