Fireballs were the item that first got Rasmussen out of just being logs. Instead of wood in your fireplace, you could have something else, something striking and different, but not out of place. From there our fireplace sets have grown to shapes and stones and glass and who knows what next will come. Was hadn't changed though was the process we were using to make our Fireballs and other similar items, but that has changed.
Recently, we updated our mould making process from our old latex moulds to new silicone moulds. Our old moulding process took a long time, the mould would be thing and prone to dimples or imperfections, and needed replacement fairly frequently. Our new mould making technique improves on all of these aspects and makes a higher quality fireball. The new moulds take about a day before they can be used where the latex moulds would take 2 weeks to be ready. The new moulds are thick and sturdy and retain their shape better and the shape of the item it's based off better. The old process would be an imperfect match, but mostly close enough. They were also much thinner and needed support while the new moulds can stand on their own without a support structure.
In addition to a new material, we've improved how we're using it as well. For starters, we're using a vacuum chamber to remove as much air as possible from the material before pouring the mould. This means there are no bubbles in the mould, which means there are no bubbles on the Fireballs and they are much smoother than before. In addition to the mould, we've added vibrating tables to shake any air bubbles out of the concrete material we use to make the Fireballs themselves out of. As a result, the new Fireballs are noticeably better and more consistently better as well.
From handling both the new and old balls, the difference just from picking them up and feeling them is instantly noticeable. The old natural uncolored balls would leave your hands chalky and you'd get powder on them, they'd be rougher to the touch, and finding good angles for pictures was difficult at times because of bubbles and imperfections. The new balls are the exact opposite: they are surprisingly smooth to the touch and dont leave anything on your hands, and it's difficult to find imperfections in them at all, which will make taking photos of them in the coming year easier.
The change to our Rasmussen Fireballs seems to be a win across the board. On our end it will save us time and money, cause less wasted or rejected fireballs, and there's not much of a downside aside from higher moulding material cost and the initial cost of extra equipment, which is offset by the moulds lasting longer and less rejected batches. For the consumer, the balls are just better quality and shape, less imperfections and no dimples or anything. We are nearing the end of the process of replacing all of our old Fireball moulds with the new ones, so any non-clearance Fireballs ordered will be the new higher quality balls.
The new process will also be used on Fireshapes & Firestones, and possibly our logs as well.