Have you ever wondered what actually happens to your body once you die. And we’re not talking about all that after life stuff here, we’re talking about what physically happens to your body once you’ve passed. Well, if your family decide to get you cremated, there’s quite a lot that happens to your body.
A crematorium is the process where the body is reduced to fine ash, and that is literally all that is left of you.
Even after death it’s a fairly risky process. If the deceased person had a pacemaker, there is a risk that it could explode inside the cremator. To be extra cautious, all items of jewelry will also need to be removed beforehand. Some cremators can even cause hazardous gases to be released, so they need to be checked regularly.
During the cremation process, the chambers are heated to a temperature of 1400 and 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. To make sure the chamber can withstand the heat, industrial bricks are always used on its outer layer.
In the majority of cases, the chamber will hold just one body at a time. Exceptions are only made when there is a deceased mother and a stillborn child for example, as it is often considered illegal to cremate more than one body together.
The body is actually placed in a combustible coffin when it is placed into the chamber. To make sure the chamber contains as much heat as possible, its door will only open ever so slightly to allow the coffin to enter.
And once the coffin is in the chamber, it becomes engulfed by flames as the cremator is fueled by either natural gases, propane or diesel.
Initially, the flames will engulf the coffin before then progressing to the body itself. Firstly, the skin and hair will be burned. This is then followed by the muscles before finally, the body’s soft tissue is vaporized and the bones will be calcified. Water will then leave the body as steam.
When only skeletal remains are left, the bones are manually crushed using a tool similar to that of a farmer’s hoe.In some cases, there may be an additional afterburner which can help to reduce emissions, odours and smoke.
The whole process takes between two to three hours, although this depends on various factors, such as the weight of the body, the type of coffin and the temperature of the crematorium.
The remaining dust is then removed from the chamber and placed on a tray, where a magnet is used to remove any metal pieces, such as surgical screws.
Following this, a cremulator is used. A cremulator is a small machine which grinds down any small bones that may remain.
And finally, the cremated remains are then placed inside an urn and returned to the loved ones. This usually occurs on the day of the funeral but it may also take place 24 hours following.