Silicon Carbide Kiln Shelves

Kiln shelves are essential elements of kiln furniture that support ceramic pieces during firing, sintering or heat treating processes. Their size, shape and material all vary widely to provide optimal results.

Silicon carbide is an exceptional material with exceptional thermal shock resistance, high mechanical strength and chemical stability – characteristics which make it an excellent choice for use in kiln furniture applications.

Low Porosity

Silicon carbide kiln shelves feature low porosity and have a smooth glassy surface, making it easier for glaze drips or pieces to come away easily from the shelf when firing at high temperatures, or using gas kilns for soda firing. This feature makes life much simpler for firing to higher temperatures or using gas kilns for soda firing.

Cordierite kiln shelves are thicker at 1″, with a higher porosity rate that causes issues with glazing dripping or adhering to their surfaces, as well as uneven heating/cooling cycles that lead to warping.

Nitride-bonded silicon carbide shelves are very thin and low thermal mass, significantly decreasing energy needed to keep a steady operating temperature and virtually eliminating warping, leaving more room for pottery production while saving significant energy costs. Their sturdy shelves may not even require turning during firing; these work well in both gas and electric kilns.


Silicon carbide’s physical strength enables it to withstand extreme temperatures and mechanical strain without suffering structural degradation from abrasion, while still remaining aesthetically pleasing under abrasion. Furthermore, silicon carbide resists chemical interaction within kiln environments to protect furniture against damage by corrosion-causing elements without altering product quality in any way.

Kiln shelves come in many shapes and sizes, but all share one essential function – providing support to carry items during firing, sintering or heat treatment processes. Common materials for shelves include cordierite, high alumina or nitride bonded silicon carbide construction.

Traditional oxide bonded silicon carbide shelves have long been used by potters firing to cones 9-11 in gas, wood, salt and soda kilns. With high durability and the option to be coated with an alumina-based kiln wash coating solution. Thinner and lighter than their conventional ram pressed counterparts while simultaneously having lower thermal mass consumption to save on heating costs for your kiln heating costs.


Silicon carbide kiln shelves are ultra lightweight and non-warping, allowing for tighter packing in your kiln space and increasing production capabilities. Furthermore, their lower thermal mass allows more efficient energy consumption as they require fewer BTU’s for heating the furniture of the kiln furniture.

Advancer Kiln Shelves are constructed from top quality nitride-bonded silicon carbide for maximum strength and thickness reduction compared to standard oxide-bonded cordierite shelves; in fact, these shelves are 19 times stronger and 50% lighter! Specifically designed to support top loading electric kilns that remain flat.

Saint-Gobain conducted exhaustive tests before offering Advancer kiln shelves for use in electric kilns, conducting numerous trials to verify that while this material conducts electricity, it does not create a safety hazard under normal operating conditions and when used with proper kiln wash. This addressed one of the primary concerns among kiln users regarding electrical conductivity. To prevent moisture penetration that might cause uneven heating or cause sudden steam explosion, always dry your shelves thoroughly prior to firing – this ensures optimal results!

Heat Resistance

Contrary to conventional cordierite shelves, our advanced silicon carbide shelf will not warp when exposed to high temperatures – an invaluable feature for both hobby and production studios alike as it saves energy, money, and time during kiln operation.

Silicon carbide kiln furniture also boasts an outstanding thermal shock rating, making it capable of withstanding rapid temperature changes without cracking or degrading over time. This property makes silicon carbide furniture especially long-lived.

Our Advanced NSiC shelf’s low surface porosity makes it highly glaze resistant and will prevent vitreous clays like porcelain from adhering to it. Kiln wash can also help protect against glaze drips when used sparingly; any build-up of wash layers can be removed by using either an angle grinder or silicon carbide scraper.

As with any powered equipment, extreme caution must be exercised when loading or unloading Advanced NSiC shelves to ensure that their electrical source has been disabled; otherwise this could result in an electrical shock hazard.

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