How to Anneal Glass Beads

Annealing is a process of heating and then gradually cooling a metal or glass to strengthen it by removing internal stresses. Removing this stress is important in order to keep the metal or glass from cracking or breaking after some time, which can even be years in some instances.

If you are making glass beats using a torch, then it is imperative that you remove the internal stresses in them to improve their durability. Keep in mind that annealing glass beads require certain equipment and expertise. The former of the two can be easily acquired, but the latter will have been learnt through experience and proper guidance.

Things Required:

- Glass beads
- Kiln
- Pyrometer
- Watch

Instructions

  • 1

    The first thing you need to do is to gather your glass beads. If you have not made them yet, buy them from the market or order them online.

  • 2

    Once you have the glass beads with you, put them in a kiln at room temperature and close it.

    Make sure the glass beads are not touching each other, as that may cause them to melt and merge with each other during the heating process.

  • 3

    Start heating the kiln gradually. Increase the temperature inside it at a certain rate, which will depend on the size of glass beads that you are heating. For instance, if the diameter of the beads is two inches, set the temperature inside the kiln to increase at 6 degrees F (Fahrenheit) per minute.

  • 4

    Allow the temperature inside the kiln to increase until it reaches the point when the beads are to be left at for soaking the heat.

    Both the temperature and the time for which the beads should be allowed to soak the heat vary from beads to beads, depending on their size.

    Since you cannot over-soak a glass bead, use a soak time that matches the largest bead in the batch, which you are de-stressing. Use the watch to monitor the time period for which you allow the beads to soak.

  • 5

    After the soak time is over, start lowering the temperature inside the kiln gradually. Allow the temperature to decrease at almost the same rate at which you configured it to increase initially.

  • 6

    After a few minutes, turn off the kiln and let the temperature inside it reach room temperature, before opening it and taking the glass beads out of it.

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