Introducing the CAT-60 Continuous Annealing Tube!
The Continuous Annealing Tube, AKA the CAT-60 (the 60 stands for the approximate number of minutes it takes to cool the glass) is the perfect addition to our micro-studios. The idea is based on industrial annealing cycles for bottles, jars and cups, which are cooled at a much faster rate than artists traditionally cool their work. It is essentially a miniature lehr, manually controlled, and it operates on the heat from the Little Dragon - using one of the accessory ports built into the side of the furnace. We have been using variations of this design for a couple of years now, and with it we have successfully annealed thousands of pieces. The introductory model is designed for making ornaments and thin cups, without running out of annealing space. Ever. Pieces are cooled, signed, tagged, and packed an hour after they are blown!
But it's not just for production studios; for those of you in a teaching environment, imagine giving a demonstration and being able to handle it during the same class session! Practice your twisty cups and drink out of them an hour later!
- Manually controlled; essentially a miniature lehr
- Uses heat from the Dragon (Little or Baby), via one of the accessory ports built into the side of the furnace.
- It is designed for annealing ornaments and thin cups
- Based on industrial annealing cycles for bottles, jars and cups
- Works by maintaining positive pressure in the heating chamber of the furnace, so that a slight breeze of hot air is blowing out of the end of the tube.
- A Heat Baffle Block is used to control the amount of air flowing through the tube.
- Adjustments to the baffle, burner settings and the door opening size will affect the flow.
- The temperature needs to stay within a range between 1050 F and 1150 F (565-621 C).
- A series of interlocking trays that are placed in the tube prior to start-up. The work to be annealed is placed on one of the trays and pulled along the tube one tray length every 5 minutes or so. As a tray is pulled from the end of the tube, it is replaced at the hot end for loading the next piece.