Many bereaved have questions about the cremation process itself, specifically how the cremation chamber, or oven, works and how hot it actually gets. Keep reading to learn more about Columbia, TN cremation service ovens, how they work, and what they’re made of.
The cremation chamber, sometimes called an oven or a retort, operates between 1,400- and 1,800-degrees Fahrenheit. This high heat is necessary to break down the body into small fragments of bone and ash and is generally produced by propane or natural gas. Most cremation ovens are made out of fire-resistant bricks and special masonry. The fire-resistant bricks line the interior of the chamber on the ceiling and walls. Specially made masonry materials cover the bottom of the chamber as that is the area that is exposed to the highest temperatures. Cremation oven walls are usually about 6 inches thick to keep the extreme heat contained. They can have manually or mechanically operated doors depending on the model and design.
All bodies are placed in a cremation container before the cremation takes place and for the duration of the process. This is to stay in compliance with health and safety codes and to maintain the dignity of the deceased before, during and after the cremation. There are certain container specifications that also must be met for health and safety laws, but the remainder of the container details can be chosen by the bereaved. Many choose standard corrugated boxes, and others choose wooden containers or caskets. No matter what kind of container is chosen, its purpose is to hold the body before the cremation and break down entirely during the cremation, so no residue is left.
Organic body materials like skin, tissue, organs, and muscle are oxidized and then vaporized during the cremation process, as the human body is mostly made of water, bone, and carbon. These vapors are filtered and released through the oven’s exhaust system. All that remains after a cremation is bone fragments and non-organic materials like artificial bones or joints, implants, or dental work. All jewelry and removable medical devices are taken off the body before the cremation. The bone fragments are separated from non-organic materials and then left to cool. After cooling, they are processed and broken down into what we call ashes, with a texture like coarse sand. These ashes are placed in a sealed bag and returned to the bereaved so they can inurn, bury, scatter or spread them as they so choose.
These are just the basics of how cremations and cremation ovens work. If you have more questions about the cremation process or would like to learn more about your options for Columbia, TN cremation services, Williams Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help. We offer a wide range of services from 2517 Trotwood Ave, Columbia, TN 38401. Please feel free to stop by and visit us or give us a call at (931) 388-2135 to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss.