Design and construction of a portable gas kiln for Senior Secondary Schools in Ghana

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Ceramics is one of the elective courses offered within the Senior Secondary School Visual Art Programme. One basic problem facing the teaching and learning of ceramics is the lack of kilns for firing clay wares. For this reason, Senior Secondary Schools which have no kilns are compelled to depend on private and educational ceramics studios like that of the Ceramics Section of College of Art, KNUST, and the Pottery and Ceramics Section of the Centre for National Culture, Kumasi, for the firing of green wares produced by both teachers and students of ceramics. Unfortunately, kilns available in these institutions are not always accessible when their use is required by the schools. It is therefore necessary that Senior Secondary Schools offering ceramics acquire kilns to satisfy the needs of their staff and students. This project report therefore focuses on the design and construction of a prototype gas kiln for use in Ghanaian Senior Secondary Schools. The sample portable gas kiln described in this report is very easy to manage and control. Refractory bricks were used in constructing the kiln while the metal parts were fabricated with locally made machines in private welding shops where the researcher sought professional help. The sample gas kiln, which has a capacity of 6.5 cubic metres, was subjected to test firing of various shapes and sizes of green earthenware at a temperature of 923°C cone 09. The results obtained from the test firing compares favourably with wares fired in an electric kiln, indicating its cost effectiveness for school purpose.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Arts in Art Education, 2002