Anybody have experiencing machining lava?
I need a plate that can be easily drilled,
and can withstand high temperature
(annealing iron in a kiln). Are there gotchas
I need to know about drilling lava?
Do I need special tools (there could be
up to about 100 holes in the piece)?
Does it crack easily?
Here's a web page on a lava I'm considering:
The same company offers a partially fired
alumina bisque that might work, but it shrinks
15 to 18% on firing. That seems like a lot
to me, and I'd be worried it would distort.
If anyone has experience with another favorite
material that takes high temperature (at this
point, I can't say exactly how high -- dull red
heat, maybe, for a few hours), I'd like to hear
any recommendations. Must be electrically
non-conductive. Must be non-magnetic (in
the usual sense -- i.e. weakly diamagnetic).
Cost is not a big deal (it's a one-of-a-kind
prototype -- labor cost will be high, so saving
a few bucks on material won't matter). Must
be available in small quantity (like one, plus a
few extras to break, if it cracks easily).
I'd like it to be as thin as possible, which would
imply high strength, but I wouldn't want to use
a ceramic if it's going to distort when fired.
If it shrinks very uniformly and predictably,
maybe I could use it, but I can't afford to go
through several rounds of redesign and learning
curve to understand how to work with the material.
It's got to be cut it, fire it, and it works.
18 years ago