Making a ceramic burner,

Discussion in 'Boilers' started by Tony Bird, Oct 29, 2015.

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  1. Oct 29, 2015 #1

    Tony Bird

    Tony Bird

    Tony Bird

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    Hi,

    I decided to make a ceramic burner to replace the Sterno tray used to heat the boiler of my recently built oscillating steam engine. The Sterno worked OK but wasn't easily controlled, OK outdoors but really a bit too much heat for indoors, I could have made a smaller tray.

    Hopefully the photographs will explain its construction. The brass sheet used is really a little thick but it was all I had. It is all silver soldered.

    First the control valve from a gas torch was modified to take a pipe.

    [​IMG]

    Pipe connector.

    [​IMG]

    The brass sheet used.

    [​IMG]

    Cut into strips.

    [​IMG]

    Edges machined.

    [​IMG]

    First strips bent.

    [​IMG]

    Ready for first soldering.

    [​IMG]

    Soldered and ready for second soldering.

    [​IMG]

    Second soldering finished and pipe fitted but not soldered with the ceramic element to be used.

    [​IMG]

    Cutting the ceramic.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Air holes drilled and tube soldered in.

    [​IMG]

    Ready for a test.

    [​IMG]

    Test using a No. 5 jet.

    [​IMG]

    General set up.

    [​IMG]

    As the burner worked OK the ceramic will be held in to it using a silicon sealant and some solid pipe work fitted.

    Regards Tony.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
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  2. Oct 29, 2015 #2

    10K Pete

    10K Pete

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    I'm really impressed by these ceramic insert propane burners, Tony. They
    seem to really work well.

    But, pray, what the heck size is a #5 jet? You guys always refer to them
    by number but never say what size hole is in them!!:shrug:

    Thanks,
    Pete
     
  3. Oct 29, 2015 #3

    ruzzie

    ruzzie

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  4. Oct 29, 2015 #4

    10K Pete

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  5. Oct 30, 2015 #5

    Tony Bird

    Tony Bird

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    Hi Pete,

    Now the next question; is that numbering scheme
    international?


    Sorry I don't know; certainly in the UK most gas jets seem to be numbered rather than have a size stamped on them.

    Having been brought up in the horological trade I had used both brass bushes and jewel holes intended for escapements as jets, they are made in very small sizes. With the advent of quartz watches the range of jewel holes has declined.; but brass bushes are still available if interested try KWM or Bergeon bushes both available in the UK and probably the USA as well

    Regards Tony.
     
  6. Oct 30, 2015 #6

    Blogwitch

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    Tony,

    If I could make a suggestion.

    After making dozens of ceramic burners, I can honestly say that silicone is not the medium to use to seal the ceramic matrix into the brass shell.
    It is not very heat resistant, so in reality you would be much better off using a fire cement. This stuff comes in a small container and is like a putty that you bed the element into, and for security, put a couple of small screws in from the side into the ceramic, you don't want the ceramic popping out while it is under the boiler, flames will shoot everywhere, DAMHIK. The cement is designed to withstand the temperatures that these burners produce.

    http://www.selleys.com.au/fillers/rigid-filler/ready-to-use/fireproof-cement/

    Hope this helps.

    John
     
  7. Nov 1, 2015 #7

    Tony Bird

    Tony Bird

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    Hi John,

    After making dozens of ceramic burners, I can honestly say that silicone is not the medium to use to seal the ceramic matrix into the brass shell.
    It is not very heat resistant, so in reality you would be much better off using a fire cement. This stuff comes in a small container and is like a putty that you bed the element into, and for security, put a couple of small screws in from the side into the ceramic, you don't want the ceramic popping out while it is under the boiler, flames will shoot everywhere, DAMHIK. The cement is designed to withstand the temperatures that these burners produce.

    http://www.selleys.com.au/fillers/ri...eproof-cement/


    Many thanks for the information.


    The ceramic burner is finished even painted! it has also been plumbed in.

    [​IMG]

    Low setting.

    [​IMG]

    Higher setting.

    [​IMG]

    How it looks over all. The photograph also shows the pump feed to the boiler and a top-up valve fitted.

    [​IMG]


    Regards Tony.
     
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  8. Nov 1, 2015 #8

    10K Pete

    10K Pete

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    Tony,

    Thanks for the jet info, it's allowed me to get my head around the amount
    of gas these burners use.

    The burner in your pics sure does put out an intense and even heat! I'm
    impressed by the amount of heat produced in such a small unit and it
    sure beats a spirit lamp for ease of use.

    I seem to recall that, in a long past post, someone mentioned where that
    ceramic material is obtained, or what commercial use it has. Could
    you please refresh my memory on that? I'd like to make one of those
    burners

    Thanks,
    Pete
     
  9. Nov 1, 2015 #9

    Tony Bird

    Tony Bird

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    Hi Pete,

    I get my ceramic panel here in the UK from a model engineering supplier Polly Engineeering www.pollymodelengineering.co.uk the last panel I bought from them cost about £20; not cheap, but it does make a lot of burners. The panels are used in portable gas heaters, there appears to be two types of panel; one made out of a hard ceramic, the other out of a very soft ceramic which is the one that is used. There are several different patterns of matrix in the soft material I have used several types they all seem to work OK if you want extra heat extra holes can be drilled in some of them. I know some people manage to get the panels cheaply from car boot sales or scrap yards; even cracked panels can be cut up. Personally I prefer to be in my shed playing; it must be terrible to grow up!

    Hope this helps.

    Regards Tony.
     
  10. Nov 2, 2015 #10

    10K Pete

    10K Pete

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    Thanks for the information, Tony!

    Pete
     
  11. Nov 2, 2015 #11

    gus

    gus

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    Hi Tony,
    Good job.Plan to monkey see,monkey do. Please advise supply source for the ceramics.
    Plan to make same burner for a mini tractor engine build three years ago.

    IMG_0253.jpg
     
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  12. Nov 2, 2015 #12

    Tony Bird

    Tony Bird

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    Hi Gus,

    Please advise supply source for the ceramics.

    See my last post. Does anyone in the group know of an American source of ceramic material?

    Regards Tony.
     
  13. Nov 2, 2015 #13

    KBC

    KBC

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    Tony,
    Don't know of any suppliers in the U.S. but the ceramic material is used by Jewelers for silver and glold soldering so try Jewelery supplies, even e-bay.
    George.
     
  14. Nov 3, 2015 #14

    Tony Bird

    Tony Bird

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    Hi George,

    I was apprentice in the jewellery trade: we used to use carbon blocks to solder on. Ceramic would be a sensible replacement; do you know of anyone that has used it to make a burner?

    Regards Tony.
     
  15. Nov 4, 2015 #15

    KBC

    KBC

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    Hi Tony,

    I have never used the Honycombe ceramic plates which can be had on e-bay (
    252005849509 ) type in this number and there are some plates available as Jewlers soldering plates.
    These plates don't have the raised pimples with holes in them but at the price it may be worth a try. I have never used them so I can't comment on their performance, at present I have a couple of these Ceramic plates in my stock but if my supplier dries up and I need more I would certainly try the Jewelers block as I can't see how they wouldn't do the job.
    I have bought these plates from people that sell L.P.G. gas in bottles and all of the associated fittings for welding equipment, they are 6" x 3.5" x 1/2" thk and are actually the radiants used in portable heaters that have the big L.P.G. tank enclosed, the ceramic is quite hard but can be cut with a fine saw blade to the sizes required and I use Gun Gum to seal them in. I buy the Gun Gum from Auto local Auto shop.

    During my searches I have found they can be bought in the U.S. and China from many companies , if members type in (Honeycombe ceramic plates)they will find many in the U.S.

    Here are pics of 2- burners that I have made , one for a Yarrow boiler and the other for my test boiler of 3.5" dia. the burner is 2" dia.

    I hope that this helps.

    George.

    Lit burner:2.jpg

    Lit burner:3.jpg

    2" Ceramic burner lit.jpg

    2" ceramic burner..jpg

    Fire gum.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015
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  16. Nov 5, 2015 #16

    Tony Bird

    Tony Bird

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    Hi George ,

    A great help! Especially the Gun Gum.

    Regards Tony.
     
  17. Nov 6, 2015 #17

    KBC

    KBC

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    Hi Tony,
    You can buy Gun Gum from Halfords either in a tin of paste or a tube for under £5, the tubes are resealable and last for ever, some members use High Temp Silicone but like all Silicone it hardens in the neck of the tube.
    At a fiver you can thro' it away and by a fresh tube if if it goes off after years lying in the cupboard.

    Glad to help.
    George
     
  18. Jul 16, 2018 #18

    Ripper

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    George - How did you get on with the ceramic burner under your Yarrow boiler. I am just preparing for the same project and would be grateful for your experience with it.
    Rod
     
  19. Jul 16, 2018 #19

    fcheslop

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  20. Jul 17, 2018 #20

    tjwal

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    Just a note, 3D printer head nozzles are commonly available down to 0.2 mm (#5). They aren’t a pipe thread fitting though. IIRC they are 6mm machine thread.
     

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