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PrincessofPersia
03-04-2011, 10:16 PM
I'm wondering what would happen to a person if you put him inside a kiln and switched it on. I've seen ones big enough to at least kneel inside, so I'm thinking one of those. If it matters, the person is alive when you put him inside.

stephenf
03-04-2011, 10:25 PM
Hi
A Kiln is an oven and if you put someone in one they will roast. I'm a vegetarian,so I don't know much about roasting meat but I would guess a unprepared body would swell and eventually explode.

tiny
03-04-2011, 10:41 PM
Depends. Gas kiln or electric. Inside or outside. Updraft or downdraft. A gas kiln would require tending to get it to reach temperature (about 12 hours for pottery but you don't have to worry about a body exploding and ruining the load through quartz inversion). My gas kiln was rated to between 2300 and 2400 degrees. It will smoke and smell (not that I've done it) but if can reduce a body to ash if you can get it to fire up properly.

Electric kilns can and will fire on their own, mine also goes to 2300, but the body must not touch the elements.

Kilns come in all shapes and sizes. They can also be front loaders or top loaders. Bodies are heavy. Front load down draft gas kiln would be your best bet in my opinion. Alive or dead just matters to the person inside though if they are not restrained getting out would be fairly easy unless it's an industrial kiln with a metal sheathing.

PrincessofPersia
03-04-2011, 10:43 PM
Yeah, I'm a vegetarian too, so I'm completely unfamiliar with what happens, and I wasn't sure if the person being alive would make a difference.


Depends. Gas kiln or electric. Inside or outside. Updraft or downdraft. A gas kiln would require tending to get it to reach temperature (about 12 hours for pottery but you don't have to worry about a body exploding and ruining the load through quartz inversion). My gas kiln was rated to between 2300 and 2400 degrees. It will smoke and smell (not that I've done it) but if can reduce a body to ash if you can get it to fire up properly.

Electric kilns can and will fire on their own, mine also goes to 2300, but the body must not touch the elements.

Kilns come in all shapes and sizes. They can also be front loaders or top loaders. Bodies are heavy. Front load down draft gas kiln would be your best bet in my opinion. Alive or dead just matters to the person inside though if they are not restrained getting out would be fairly easy unless it's an industrial kiln with a metal sheathing.

Thanks! I was thinking a gas kiln that is outside. I was also thinking a downdraft might be more efficient and destroying a body. So, yeah I think we're on the same page. The time it would take doesn't really matter to me. Thanks a lot.

I'm curious what the actual process is. Does the body dry out, etc?

tiny
03-04-2011, 11:35 PM
Yeah, I'm a vegetarian too, so I'm completely unfamiliar with what happens, and I wasn't sure if the person being alive would make a difference.



Thanks! I was thinking a gas kiln that is outside. I was also thinking a downdraft might be more efficient and destroying a body. So, yeah I think we're on the same page. The time it would take doesn't really matter to me. Thanks a lot.

I'm curious what the actual process is. Does the body dry out, etc?

Well... I've never tried it myself. But, during college I had a friend who used a whole fish to slump glass. The fish, from the store so it was gutted, was reduced to ash. The kiln put out the nastiest smoke and pissed off the prof. something fierce.

You may want to talk to someone who's versed in cremation since that's basically what you're doing. I'm not sure of the temps, but I do know bone is reduced to ash in the temperatures I fired to.

Bodies that are cremated are not embalmed and are not dried out. They do not explode, and the temps used, which I believe are considerably lower than say high fire stoneware, sometimes leave bits of teeth. Sometimes.

I've had access to kilns a person could stand up in and lay down in. They come in all sizes. Most gas kilns have a brick door meaning your character will have to close the kiln a brick at a time.

I'm assuming like pottery, the body must dry before the organics (which in this case would be all) start to burn. The smell would be putrid and the smoke would be thick, though I'm not sure of the color. When you reduce a kiln meaning more fuel than oxygen the smoke is black and heavy.

And the body would have to be away from the draft. Anything entrance or exit blocked would keep the kiln from firing up to any decent temp.

:D

PrincessofPersia
03-04-2011, 11:53 PM
Haha, only writers could get away with talking about stuff like this. Thanks for the info. Very helpful. :D

Lil
03-05-2011, 12:56 AM
I don't know if you're familiar with her books, but Margaret Maron has one where the killer does this. Unfortunately, I can't remember the title. Might have the word clay in it.

The reason I mention it is that she was pretty clear about what happens to the victim, and her books seem to be well researched. You could probably trust her description.

PrincessofPersia
03-05-2011, 04:49 AM
Awesome. Thanks Lil.

jclarkdawe
03-05-2011, 05:16 AM
Interesting question and one thing I don't know is how fast the heat build up of a kiln. First thing to remember is how things are heated. You can try this with a vegan roast that's frozen. Put it in an oven set at the appropriate temperature and then grab a meat thermometer. Notice how the temperature increases externally and then slower the further you go into the roast. Gradually the internal temperature will slowly increase.

With meat, this produces stronger cooking on the outside of the piece of meat and a pink center that isn't very well cooked. Gradually, the temperature of the roast will end up equal to the oven's temperature, and way overdone.

Going to a body, as the heat in the body increases, the fluids will both leak out and evaporate. But they won't present any obstacle to the body burning. Other than that, the body will slowly burn. Cremation can be done as fast as about one hour per 45 kilos of body weight. Normally it's a bit slower, and a two hundred pound body would probably take in the range of three to four hours. Temperature range for a cremation oven is 1400 - 2100 degrees F.

Bones are not especially destroyed in a cremation and are put through a cremulator that pulverizes the fragments left. Those are the actual cremains.

Without good ventilation of the oven, it will produce a noticeable odor, something like burnt meat. My guess is that a crematory has scrubbers in the smoke stack to reduce odors.

People will do virtually anything to avoid being burned to death. When the World Trade Centers were on fire, numerous people jumped from the upper floors to avoid being burned to death, as jumping to their death was better than burning. So your kiln had better be rock solid, and absolutely secure, because your victim is going to try everything, including tipping it over to safe himself/herself.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe