Skutt APM Elements
What are APM elements?
APM elements are elements that are designed to withstand very frequent and very high firings. Unlike the standard Kanthal A-1 elements that are available in most kilns, APM elements won't pop, warp, or sag over time. Additionally, they efficiently handle frequent firings that go over cone 10. Because of these additional technical features, as well as the complex fabrication process they require, they are more expensive than standard elements.
How do I know if APM elements are right for me?
When potentially buying APM elements, there are three main factors that should be considered:
1. How often do you fire your kiln?
Most regular kiln elements last for about 200 firings -- that can last even relatively busy studios for quite along time! APM elements, by contrast, last up to 500 firings and are designed to be fired very frequently, which makes them great for production set-ups and extremely high-traffic studios. If you are only firing your kiln a few times a week (or less), APM elements are probably not for you.
2. How high do you typically fire your kiln?
APM elements make a big difference when you regularly fire to high temperatures -- that is, cone 10 and higher. You will find they simply hold up better and last longer than regular elements -- as they are designed to do. If you only fire to low or mid-range temperatures, however, adding APM elements to your set-up is unlikely to make a difference.
3. What type of firings do you typically do in your kiln?
Most of our customers use their kilns for simple bisque and glaze programs. However, if you use your kiln for more complex firings, such as crystalline firings, APM elements might be a good choice. Because they are specifically designed to withstand long temperature ramps and holds, they do tend to last longer and perform better than regular Kanthal A-1 elements over the course of repeated firings.
If you only occasionally do long-hold firings (such as a crystalline program), the extra cost of the APM elements might not be worth it -- and you might not even notice much of a difference. However, if these are firing programs that you use on a regular basis, APM elements very well may be worth the investment.
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