1. Purpose 2. Scope - West Texas A&M University

1. Purpose 2. Scope - West Texas A&M University
ACADEMIC RESEARCH ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND SAFETY
STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES
SOP No. 24.01.99.W1.02AT WTAMU Hot Shop: Glass Furnace and Kiln Safety
Approved: March 4, 2013
Last Revised:
Next Scheduled Review: March 4, 2015
1. Purpose
This procedure is written to ensure oversight and operations of the GLASS FURNACE, GLASS
KILNS/ANNEALERS and CERAMIC ELECTRIC AND GAS KILNS is conducive to a productive environment for
faculty, staff, students, and visitors. This procedure advises and provides guidance for compliance with regulations
that apply to all public buildings on the WTAMU campus and all WTAMU facilities. This will help prevent
occupational exposures to potentially harmful air contaminants and heat.
2. Scope
This procedure applies to all buildings and structures owned by West Texas A & M University, to all employees and
students of the University, to all occupants of University buildings, and the external organizations who work in or
use any WTAMU facility.
1.
Definitions:
A glass furnace is an enclosed structure to apply heat to glass and contribute to its production, according to
the website Glass Online. Glass furnaces are usually used to melt a batch of glass, maintain working
supplies of molten glass (as it must be heated in a certain temperature range to be malleable), and to reheat
partially formed objects via a glory hole. The HOT SHOP at WTAMU uses a pre-melted glass. No “raw”
batch is to be used. It is critical for the operation of the furnace that it is continually operated 24 hours a day
and is only to be turned off during maintenance. Operating temperatures range from 2000 F – 2350 F. –
Continuous Operation
2.
A glory hole is a reheating device similar to a metal forge. Glory holes are most commonly gas fired with
burner perpendicular to the working opening. The opening must have an aperture door system to gradually
change the size of the working opening. A glory hole is an important part of a soft glass, or soda-lime glass,
furnace in particular and is used to heat or reheat glass that is being formed. Glass is only malleable when
hot. Soda/lime glass cools relatively quickly, requiring that all objects be reheated on a regular and
continual basis the entire time that the object is being worked. Intermittent Operation
3.
A glass kiln or ANNEALER, is an oven used in the production of glass and serves many purposes.
Specifically, an ANNEALER refers to a kiln used for glass cooling from the blowing process. The
operating temperatures for this equipment range from room temperature (approximately 70 F) to 950 F,
depending on the required annealing temperature specific to the glass composition. Kiln forming slumping/fusing, mold melting and enameling are done in the GLASS KILNS specified. This process is
performed at varying temperature and exceeding the annealingtemperature. GLASS KILNS uses for kiln
forming are operated from room temperature (approximately 70 F) to 1680 F. It should be understood that
these can also operate as ANNEALERS for the blowing process. If glass is not cooled / annealed properly
it will create stress and instability. The cooling of glass is directly related to the composition and especially
the thickness. As the thickness changes the time grow exponentially. GLASS KILNS/ANNEALERS must
never be opened higher than 100 F when coming down. Only approved Faculty and Graduate Assistants
will operate all GLASS KILNS/ANNEALERS.
2
4.
A CERAMIC KILN is an oven used in the production of Ceramics (Items composed of clay) and serves
many purposes. The operating temperatures for this equipment range from room temperature
(approximately 70 degrees F to 2350 degrees F, depending on the required firing temperature specific to the
ceramic process or glaze. A CERAMIC KILN may be fired using natural gas, propane, electricity, wood or
other combustible material.
5.
The primary difference of a GLASS KILN/ANNEALER and a CERAMIC KILN is the operating
temperature, atmosphere, construction and length of continuous operation. Glass requires much more
control in temperature and environment. Ceramic materials (refers to objects created using clay) are more
accepting and resistant to thermal shock in comparison to glass which requires extended heating and
cooling times for the glass to be considered safe and stable without stress. Another difference between the
industries is the consideration for environmental and safety. GLASS KILNS/ANNEALERS produced by
professional manufacturers other than those producing CERAMIC KILNS are generally more efficient and
safer to operate. It is the preference of glassmakers to have elements/heating coils on all surfaces. GLASS
KILNS/ANNEALERS must have elements on all the walls, depending on construction. Front loading
GLASS KILNS/ANNEALERS will have at least three walls with elements/heating coils. It is preferable to
have all surfaces covered. The GLASS KILNS/ANNEALERS in the WTAMU HOT SHOP have
elements/heating coils on three walls and the floor. This is very important for properly annealing glass and
efficiency of the GLASS KILNS/ANNEALERS. Due to the differences in temperature GLASS
KILNS/ANNEALERS will primarily use NiChrome for the elements/heating coils whereas CERAMIC
KILNS use FerroChrome or Kanthal elements/heating coils.
6.
GLASS FURNACES burners inject fuel and an oxidizer, generally propane and forced air or natural gas
and forced air. Some GLASS FURNACES, such as the one operated in the HOT SHOP at WTAMU, use
recuperation which provides preheated air prior to ignition. The burner is mounted externally and fires
into the combustion chamber. This process creates temperatures in glass furnaces that may reach as high as
2400 degrees Fahrenheit. GLASS FURNACES AND KILNS/ANNEALERS should be operated with a
PID controller that allows for ramping.
7.
GLASS FURNACES burners inject fuel and an oxidizer, generally propane and forced air or natural gas
and forced air. Some GLASS FURNACES, such as the one operated in the HOT SHOP at WTAMU, use
recuperation which provides preheated air prior to ignition. The burner is mounted externally and fires
into the combustion chamber. This process creates temperatures in glass furnaces that may reach as high as
2400 degrees Fahrenheit. GLASS FURNACES AND KILNS/ANNEALERS should be operated with a
PID controller that allows for ramping.
Procedures
3.1 Yearly inspections
Semi Annual inspections and evaluations of Glass furnace and Kiln systems, work areas, and related equipment
should be performed by the AR-EHS to ensure safe operation, cleanliness, and effective performance of the
environmental control systems, laboratory work areas, and related equipment. This will reduce the risk of
potentially harmful exposure to faculty, staff, students, and visitors. Records will be kept and maintained by the
AR-EHS documenting all investigations, evaluations, and maintenance operations.
3.2 Glass Furnace and Kiln Safety Procedures
The Principal Investigator (PI), Designated Faculty/Instructor, and AR-EHS will also conduct inspections and
training for safe operations of glass furnaces or kilns used in conjunction with any Fine Arts course, faculty/student
research, or public exhibition.
Safety Investigation Protocol:
 Investigating complaints from building occupants.
 Performing visual assessments of the workplace; for example, unsecured equipment, potential electrical
hazards, potential flammable hazards, etc.
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Conducting appropriate environmental monitoring.
Recommending appropriate corrective measures.
The PI or Designated Faculty/Instructor will maintain record keeping and retention for future reporting and
evaluations. All record keeping and retention will be in compliance with A&M policy and the specific
discipline. The format for this process will be defined by AR-EHS and the PI or Designated
Faculty/Instructor.
Responsibilities
4.1 Furnace and Kiln Safety Responsibilities:
Read, understand and implement the installation and operating manual as well as the controls manual before
operating your GLASS FURNACE OR KILNS/ANNEALERS. Please direct any and all questions to contact the PI
or designated safety officer.
GLASS FURNACE OR KILNS/ANNEALERS are as safe as any other electrical appliance when used under normal
and proper operating conditions. To create and maintain this safe environment, observe all safety precautions.
The staff working in and around furnaces or kilns must maintain a monthly report documenting maintenance
records, work assignments, periodic training opportunities, and injuries.
4.2 Emergency Shut Off Provision
The GLASS FURNACE AND KILNS/ANNEALERS power supply connection (plug/receptacle, breaker or
disconnect) acts as the emergency electrical power shut off. Access to these devises should be unobstructed and safe
at all times.
All electrical installations for direct-wired models (those without a plug/receptacle connection) must include a
power disconnect near the GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES AND KILNS/ANNEALERS and that is easily
accessible and safe for emergency power shutoff.
Additionally, the GLASS FURNACE AND GLORY HOLES have redundant safety systems that allow the
equipment to only run if all systems are complete operable. These include, UV/flame sensors, high and low-pressure
gas sensors linked to solenoids and air pressure sensors linked to solenoids. If any of these are not complete the fuel
will not be allowed to flow and prevent the equipment from operating.
4.3 Electrical Safety
A licensed electrician should be used for all electrical installation and service. All applicable local, state and federal
electrical codes must be followed.
Use correct voltage, wire size and fuse or breakers. GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR
KILNS/ANNEALERS electrical requirements are located on the GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR
KILNS/ANNEALERS nameplate or within the designated control panel. Make sure all electrical connections are
tight. Avoid using aluminum wire. GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS require the use
of TGGT - high temperature wire in certain locations and under certain conditions. Most KILNS/ANNEALERS of
any quality and meeting the standards of the industry as well as code will also have redundant fusing to protect all
components with the control system.
Always use the proper electrical receptacle. Never alter the GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR
KILNS/ANNEALERS cord-set or cord-set plug. Alterations can be dangerous. Alterations will void any warranties
along with nullifying any Listing Agency markings.
AR-EHS recommends that a voltage check be performed before placing the GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES
OR KILNS/ANNEALERS into service, ideally before actual purchase. The GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES
OR KILNS/ANNEALERS operating voltage (printed on the glass furnace or kilns nameplate or in the control panel)
must match the applied voltage (actual electrical service voltage). If it does not, do not install or operate the GLASS
FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS as potential electrical and fire hazards exist.
The GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS must be properly grounded.
Unplug or disconnect the GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS from the electrical
service before accessing the chamber for servicing or vacuuming. Do not attempt to touch or replace the heating
elements while any KILNS/ANNEALERS are plugged in or connected to the electrical service. Before servicing the
appropriate power should be shut off using any power switch located on the equipment, then the safety disconnect
and finally the main breaker. Failure to comply or follow this policy may result in electric shock, serious injury or
death.
Only the appropriate cord that meets the electrical requirements of the equipment may be used. This may only be
done in intermittent or temporary use or for use in emergency situations such as a power outage.
4.4 Glass furnace or kiln Location Safety
The best location for the glass furnace or kiln is a concrete floor. If not available, GLASS FURNACE OR
KILNS/ANNEALERS must be placed on a minimum of 2” of masonry extending at least 12” beyond the outside
perimeter of the GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS.
Do not place or use GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS on combustible surface.
The surface on which the GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS are placed shall be
capable of safely supporting the combined weight of the GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR
KILNS/ANNEALERS, load and any operating personnel.
Observe all building, fire and safety codes when installing the glass furnace or kiln.
Do not install the GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS closer than 12” (31cm) from
combustible wall surface or object or 36” from any ceiling surface in all opened and closed positions.
Install in a covered, well-ventilated area that is not open directly to the elements and maintains an ambient operating
temperature of 40-100 F.
Never place the GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS in a small, enclosed area such as
a closet, cabinet or very small room. The room in which the glass furnace or kiln is placed into service shall be
capable of safely dissipating all heat produced by the GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR
KILNS/ANNEALERS.
It is the user’s responsibility to be knowledgeable regarding any and all contaminants, produced by the ware during
firing, and take steps to properly and legally contain and dispose of these contaminants.
It is the responsibility to provide ventilation capable of removing all gases, fumes and other airborne contaminants
produced by the ware during firing safely from work the area and building structure.
Do not store flammable or combustible products near or in the same room the glass furnace or kiln such as gasoline,
paint, aerosol cans, paper, curtains, plastics, etc. These items must be stored in another separate structure designed
for this purpose.
Position the power supply cables, power supply conduit, controller cables, pyrometer thermocouple leads and other
materials in such a way as not to create a tripping hazard around the GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR
KILNS/ANNEALERS and in a way that does not hinder movement around the equipment for normal operation,
emergency and meets ADA requirements.
The area around the GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES AND KILNS/ANNEALERS should be free of
obstructions that interfere with the proper and safe operation of the GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR
KILNS/ANNEALERS.
Never place anything under or above the GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS for
storage. It is common studio and school practice to use the area around this equipment to dry plaster molds. This
should be done only with the expressed permission and direction of the PI or designated safety officer.
4.5 Glass furnace or kiln Use Safety
The surface of the GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS is hot and burn injuries are
possible and common. Keep all children and unsupervised personnel away. Always wear protective clothing, gloves
and eyewear when operating and handling a GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS.
Use extreme care when accessing a functioning and/or GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR
KILNS/ANNEALERS. The GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS is equipped with a
power interrupt/limit switch assembly that is designed to remove electrical power from all heating elements when
either the lid or chamber is opened. This power interrupt/limit switch assembly is a mechanical devise and it can fail.
Under no circumstances should you touch the heating elements with your body or any other devises like tools.
Electrical shock may result in serious injury or death. It should be understood that if the switch fails no current will
be allowed to flow through the switch as it is a NO (Normally Open) switch.
Use care when accessing or looking into a GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS, this
includes looking through a cracked lid or peepholes. High heat escapes quickly and burn injury may result. When
accessing or looking into a GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS, approach slowly
deliberately with caution and wear; protective clothing and gloves designed to withstand high heat and eyewear
capable of filtering Infrared, Ultraviolet light and possibly Soda Flare. All three of these are common and are also
produced by the sun.
Protective clothing should be worn when operating the GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR
KILNS/ANNEALERS. This includes, but is not limited to, cotton clothing, heat resistant gloves and eyewear
capable of filtering Infrared, Ultraviolet light and possibly Soda Flare. Under no circumstances are any polycarbon
materials such as synthetic fleece or nylon to be worn at any time while operating a GLASS FURNACE, GLORY
HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS
Do not operate the GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS over the maximum
temperature rating printed on the nameplate, listed in the control panel or printed information from the
manufacturer. All operation will be performed by the PI or designated Faculty/Instructor. The operating
temperatures are addressed in each course. Please notify the PI or designated Faculty/Instructor as soon as possible
if the any of the GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS exceeds the operating hi and low
temperature, flame is not present or an error or failure message is shown on the specific computer.
Never fire a GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS unattended beyond its anticipated
firing schedule. THE GLASS FURNACE must remain on at all times. This may only be shut-off by the PI or
designated Faculty/Instructor
Never allow the power cord to touch the GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS. If the
cord, plug or receptacle becomes damaged discontinue use and replace immediately.
Do not remove the heat resistant, fiberglass sleeve affixed to a power cable. This sleeve protects the power cable
from heat directed from the firing chamber.
If the GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS model is equipped with support and safety
bars (hold open the lid and/or chamber) be sure that they are secured before releasing the lid or chamber. The
hardware used for these support and safety bars should be inspected periodically for damage and wear. If these
devises are not operating properly discontinue GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS
use until repair or adjustment is made.
It is recommended that a fire extinguisher, capable of dousing an electrical fire, be accessible in the event of fire. No
water should EVER be used on any GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLE OR KILN/ANNEALER.
Keep the GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS lid and/or chamber closed when not in
use.
It is the user’s responsibility to have knowledge of the material intending to be fired. If you are unsure as to the
safety of firing a particular material contact your materials supplier for guidance and get approval and guidance from
the PI or designated Faculty/Instructor. If you remain unsure as to the safety of firing a particular material do not do
it. Firing hazards include materials that explode or produce toxic gases is prohibited. Finished ware hazards include
materials containing lead. Materials containing lead should not be used for articles intended for food use.
Fire all ware according to the material manufacturer’s instructions. Improper firing may result in damage to the
GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS or ware.
Do not use the GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS to prepare food, heat a living
space, dry clothes or ice-laden articles or use as a storage devise. The GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR
KILNS/ANNEALERS is designed for one purpose and one purpose only: the firing of glass materials.
All GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS models not equipped with an automatic
shutoff devise (electronic control or glass furnace or kiln sitter) must not be allowed to exceed the rated operating
temperature indicated on the glass furnace or kiln nametag. To prevent GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR
KILNS/ANNEALERS from exceeding this maximum temperature disconnect it from the electrical power supply.
A GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS will remain very hot long after the firing is
complete. All safety recommendations should be followed, even with the glass furnace or kiln unpowered, to avoid
any burn injuries. Keep children and other unauthorized personnel away.
. This is not applicable and may cause damage to the electrical components and should only be performed by the PI
or designated Faculty/Instructor.
4.6 Glass furnace or kiln Maintenance Safety
Disconnect electrical power from the GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS before
performing any GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS maintenance. Failure to
disconnect the electrical power supply may result in electrical shock that can cause serious injury or death.
Replace any worn, damaged or defective parts immediately. Discontinue use GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES
OR KILNS/ANNEALERS until parts are replaced.
When vacuuming the GLASS FURNACE, GLORY HOLES OR KILNS/ANNEALERS use only HEPA filters on
the vacuum. Prolonged exposure to dust and other loose refractory materials can cause lung injury if appropriate
respiratory precautions are not practiced. It must be understood that standing undisturbed refractory is very safe until
it becomes airborne in a particulate.
Inspect all electrical service connections periodically for wear.
Periodically check chamber jacket clamps for tightness. Tighten as necessary.
Related Statutes, Policies, or Requirements
24.01.01.W1.02AR WTAMU Hazard Communications Program.
24.01.01.W1.24AR WTAMU Lockout/Tagout Hazardous Energy Procedure.
24.01.01.W1.33AR WTAMU Chemical Hygiene Plan
Contact Office
WTAMU College of Art, Theatre and Dance
(806) 651-2811
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