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How Does Cremation Work?

Cremation is becoming more and more popular as an interment option. It can be much more affordable than a burial and offers more flexibility in memorializing the remains. But how does cremation work? The process involves… and takes up to three hours.

The Cremation Process

The Cremator. Crematories can be found in a variety of different places. Sometimes they are a part of a funeral home and sometimes they are a standalone building and service. Inside a crematory you will find a “cremator”, which is the space where the body is cremated. Cremators are made up of two chambers, one where the body is placed and the other that circulates the gasses to produce the intense heat that cremates the body.

Cremains. The body is placed in a combustible container, and is then placed in the cremator. It is “cremated”, vaporized by intense heat, generally between 1800 and 2000 degrees. The process produces what is called “cremated remains”. Many people call these the “ashes,” but actually they are vaporized remains – and we call them “Cremains.”

Generally, only one body can be cremated at a time due to legal regulations. Cremation usually takes between one and three hours, depending a number of factors. Some crematories allow the family to be a present in the room during part of the process.
Permanent Placement. After the the body is fully cremated, any metal is removed using a magnet. Then, the remainder is pulverized to form a fine powder which is then given to the family of the deceased in a cremation urn or other container. Families can then choose to bury or spread the remains, or many families choose to showcase the urn in their home.

What are the Benefits of Cremation?

Cremation offers a number of benefits in addition to affordability. Flexibility is a big factor because you can choose where to scatter the remains. If your loved one was an avid sailor, you can scatter them at sea. If they had a favorite spot in the woods that they liked to retreat to, you could scatter them there. There are a few regulations governing the scattering of cremated remains, so just be sure to check before you make your decision.

Interested in learning more? Many crematoriums offer tours so you can see for yourself what it’s like and the process that is used.