Sunday, November 21, 2010

Woodfiring Symposium-Logan Clay Field Trip

While the kilns were cooling, we all took a trip over to Logan Ohio, to get a tour of the Logan Clay Plant. Logan Clay is one of the last remaining ceramic sewer pipe factories in the country. We used some of their clay which is mined in nearby Perry County during the symposium. It is an orange-greenish clay with high iron content, it looked beautiful in the reduction cooled train kiln. The above picture is the grinding machine where they process the raw clay.
This is the largest tube kiln at Logan Clay, this kiln hasn't operated in several years, due to high energy prices. Most of the sewer pipes are fired in Beehive Kilns outside. Our tour guide told us that occasionally a pipe will tip off of the car bed (see below) and drag against the wall. Highly sensitive machinery can detect the drag, and a worker is suited up in a silver suit and sent into the firing kiln with a shot gun to shoot the fallen pipe... completely crazy.
these are the cars for the tube can see several racks of drying pipes in the background.
A list of retired workers painted on a warehouse beam.
This the yard where they store finished pipes. The beehive kilns are the black roofs in the background. Most of the pipes made here go to big cities (New York, Chicago) which have old infrastructures. A PVC pipe will last about 75 years, while a ceramic pipe lasts about 200.
Here is Bryce in the Drying room, which was completely packed with green ware, it was like a forest of clay trees.
This is the extruder used to make the pipes, which were under such huge amounts of pressure that they come out steaming...again, completely crazy.

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