The retort or the cremation chamber is big enough to accommodate one body at a time is similar to a pizza oven and can reach a temperature as high as 2000 degrees Farenheit. It is lined with a high density, heavy duty fiber brick designed to keep the heat inside. Those bricks eventually deteriorate with repeated contraction and extraction and are replaced once their thickness are worn down.
The industrial creators can cost about $80,000 for the basic type up to $250,000 for the modern models. The contemporary incinerators are computerized or automated and can be programmed to control the temperature when needed. It uses propane, diesel or natural gas rather that coal and coke that fueled retorts in the late 1960s. This makes it more efficient and hotter with less smoke or odor.
During the cremation process, a second column of flame is being fired up in a secondary chamber to incinerate any dust or particles in the air leaving the chamber, to lessen emissions, odors and smoke. Some chambers likewise have a wet scrubber in the emissions stack that releases a mist of water to trap the escaping particles.
Once the burning process is completed, the retort is then cooled and the ashes or the cremated remains, which is also referred to as human skeletal remains are collected with a wire-bristle broom or long-handled hoe into a tray. To pick up the metal parts left behind like plates, fillings and hip replacements, a powerful hand-held magnet is run through the ash. These metals can affect the grinding process. These metals are either disposed or recycled. The remnants and bones are placed in the simulator or grinder, that make use of a rotating blade or ball bearings similar to a blender. The remains are then pulverized and placed in a plastic, an urn or lined container of the family’s choice.
The family has the options to pick up the ashes or have it mailed via Postal Service, which needs a sift-proof box and signed confirmation upon receipt. There might be some residue mixing, the bodies are burned one at a time to make sure the cremated remains are separated properly. Most of the time, a disk is used to identify the person. The identification papers are placed outside the incinerator and the box of ashes is labeled and identified properly to avoid mix=up.
What is Witnessing?
There are crematoriums that allow witnessing, where the closest family members witness the cremation process. Most of the time the family members choose to leave the crematorium once the body has entered the retort, but there are some who prefer to wait until the process is completed. They can witness the removal, sifting and pulverizing of the ashes before placing it in the container. The filled urn or cremation vessel can then be turned over to the relatives on the spot. Some family members find reassurance if they witness the complete process. There are some crematoriums that offer contemporary, state of the art witnessing area, clean, well-kept and comfortable, with furniture to sit and watch. But chamber witnessing areas can likewise be gritty, unfriendly and industrial, and you should ask what to expect. Others feel that witnessing is an underwhelming experience. It all depends on the funeral provider and it’s usually with added cost.
Once the ashes are handed to the family members, it is up to them whether they will place the ashes in a crematorium or they will scatter it in a memorable location. A memorial service is usually held after the cremation and it normally takes several days depending on their faith and beliefs.