It takes patience – the 24-year success story about the counterflow kiln at Ziegelwerk Huber

Back in the autumn of 1989, we heard about Riedel’s counterflow kiln through the East German trade press grapevine. While some were touting it as an innovative kind of tunnel kiln, some even as an eco-tech tunnel kiln, others knew for sure from “knowledgeable ­sources” that it was nothing more than a “half-baked idea” that would never work, because: “Things just are not that simple!”.

At the time, not one single kiln in all of Germany had ever been built strictly according the Riedel kiln construction principle. The system was “untested” and, hence, unacceptable for respectable brick people. At Huber‘s brick factory, though, such a kiln was put up despite all the dire warnings (according to which, since a brickmaker only builds one kiln in a lifetime, it better be the “right one”) and all the technical advice to the contrary.

We were not afflicted with too much money, nor did we ­consider ourselves too smart to heed the informed opinions and collective experience of our peers. We simply understood the logic behind the kiln‘s thermal gravity principle so well, that we were practically electrified and thoroughly convinced that we wanted to build just exactly this counterflow kiln and no other.

So, together with the project‘s intellectual father, Rudolf ­Riedel, we built it and found that we just could not imagine it needing any further optimization. It does what it is supposed to do, and it keeps all its promises. Its design principle is simple and easy to fathom, it is rock solid and unbelievably stable, shows ­robust firing behaviour, scrimps on energy and is versatile, ­simple to operate and easy to maintain.

Now, 24 years of operation and lots of experience later, we would do it all again if we had to – despite all the same old, almost incredulous questions that are still being posed about the system‘s performance. Out patent answer: “Yes, things really are that simple, just a little hard to grasp.” This kiln is one system that has been fascinating the experts for over 25 years.

Ralf Huber, Ziegelwerk Klaus Huber GmbH & Co. KG, Graupzig, Germany
x

Related articles:

Issue 2015-7 Wednesday/Mittwoch, 21 October/Oktober 2015, ceramitec Forum, Hall/Halle B1

“Heavy Clay Day” at ceramitec

For the third time now, the trade journal Zi Brick and Tile Industry International is working together with Messe München to organize “Heavy Clay Day” at ceramitec. On 21 October, professionals...

more

Patents February 2014

more patens: see german part 1. Assembly of roofing tiles 2. Tunnel kiln for firing porous ceramic material 3. Ceramic compositions 4. Ceramic mixture for making facing tile (versions) 5. Glaze...

more
Issue 2018-2 Forgestal S.L | B5, 119/220

Refractories and kiln car cleaning systems

Long lasting, low maintenance, energy efficient and easy assembly are key features of the extensive range of kiln car linings from Forgestal, as the more than 500 references worldwide show. For...

more
Issue 2013-12

Flintsbach Clay Brick and Lime Museum

At the heart of Flintsbach Clay Brick and Lime ­Museum ?is the kiln dating from the year 1883 in which lime and bricks were fired up until 1968. On the open air grounds of the ensemble of buildings,...

more
Issue 2013-05

Cleia building new brick factory in Libya

Cleia, the French plant and machinery supplier, recently signed a contract with Almachrek brick co., part of Sahl Group Holding, to build a new brick factory near Tripoli. The new ­factory is set to...

more