CREMATION is the irreversible process of reducing human remains to bone fragments through extreme heat and evaporation.
“Cremains” is the technical term for “ashes.” Cremains are generally gray in color and have a consistency similar to playground sand or fine gravel. The term "ashes" is misleading.
What you get back is not a soft powder, but a grey, coarse material, akin to fine gravel, made from the ground-up remains of bones.
The body is prepared by removing pacemakers, which can explode in the heat, prostheses and silicone implants and sometimes, but not always, jewelry.
The incinerator is preheated to about 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit (593 degrees Celsius) and up to 2,000 degrees F before the body enters.
An average human body takes from two to three hours to burn completely and will produce an average of 4 to 9 pounds of ash, enough to fill a 12″X 4″ container.
The amount of ash depends usually on the bone structure of the person and not their weight.
After the incineration is completed, the dry bone fragments are pulverised by a machine called a Cremulator.
While there may be some inevitable residue mixing, the bodies are burned one at a time to ensure the separation of the cremated remains.
To remove the human remains from the cremation chamber, a hoe-like instrument is used. Every effort is made to completely remove every piece from the chamber floor. However, tiny particles may remain in the cremation chamber and become commingled with particles from another cremation.
Most funeral homes return cremated remains in a small cardboard box fitted with a plastic-bag liner. You do NOT need to purchase an urn because ANY container, including the simple cardboard box, is sufficient for storage purposes.