Monday, May 2, 2016

To Steel or Not to Steel?

I do not use steel in the construction of my brick ovens.

Some oven designs, like sprung arch vaults and of course the metal wood-fired ovens that roll around your patio, require steel to contain the structure.

Given that a brick oven will last as long as the brick lasts (in many cases hundreds of years), why would a necessary component be made of steel which can corrode or distort under the strain of firings?

Why not use the strength of the arch and force of gravity?

The engineering for buttresses and domes is very old.  The Roman aqueducts and the vaulted churches of the middle ages are testament to the strength of well-placed arches and buttresses.  There are many structures older than three thousand years.  The ovens of Pompeii are a couple of thousand years old.

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