What happens during cremation of a body?

There has been some debate going on regarding cremation as a choice to traditional burial. Some prefer it because of its spiritual representation, while others choose it due to practical and financial reasons. But what exactly goes on during the cremation of a dead body?


Peaceful Preserve crematorium
Modern Cremation Unit

The four steps of this process are:

Preparing the Body

Before the body gets placed inside the cremation service chamber, mechanical devices such as pacemakers are removed. This is done because they may explode due to the intense heat and may damage the cremation equipment as well as endanger the lives of the staff.

Items like rings, wristwatches, and other similar objects are removed too, as they are likely to break down during the process.

After this, the corpse gets placed in a casket that got made from a combustible material that will burn down together with the body. The chamber is preheated to a specific temperature, and then the body is quickly moved there through a mechanical door to prevent heat loss.

Under Intense Heat

Once the body is ready, it undergoes incineration where it gets subjected to extreme heat caused by a fiery furnace fueled by oils, natural gas, propane, etc. The heating temperature typically ranges from 1,400 to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit and helps break down the body to its basic elements.

The heat dries and burns the body, including the skin and hair. The muscles also stiffen, soft tissues melt and then eventually the calcified bones crumble. The gasses that get produced during the process are discharged using an exhaust system, usually leaving minimal or no smell at all.

Some crematories would make use of secondary afterburner to ensure that the body gets burned completely. If that is not available, the cremation technician uses a hoe-like rod to crush the partially burned remains manually.

Remains and Fragments

Once the corpse gets entirely reduced to its remains and fragments, it is then collected and placed in a pan or tray and allowed to cool for some time. Afterward, the pieces are manually checked for any residues or particles that may have remained.

After the manual inspection, heavy duty magnets and forceps are also used to remove metal objects that are present such as dental work, dental gold, surgical screws, prosthesis, implants, etc. Getting rid of all metal objects before proceeding to the next process is necessary to avoid damaging the equipment used for pulverization.

Like Grains of Sand

Finally, using a machine called the cremulator, the dried bone fragments are grounded further until it gets a fine sand-like texture. The produced cremation remains are often white in color.

These remains are then put in a cremation urn and presented to the deceased person’s family or relative. If an urn is not prepared or available, the crematorium sometimes makes use of plastic, wood, or cardboard box to place the ashes.

It only takes about one to three hours to cremate a human body, although there are still some factors that need to be checked; from the size and fat content of the body to the quality of the cremation equipment to be used. Understanding the process of cremation can help a person decide whether it should be considered over traditional burial or not.

This article was submitted by Thomas Snyder from Peaceful Preserve,  a Cremation service provider from Houston, Tx.

Benefits of cremation is also popular in Mexico

The cremation process has become a popular practice in most countries these days. This is because many people may need to find an economical way to deal with the funeral process. As a matter of fact, the traditional funeral process is one of the most expensive ways to bury a person, and people today are not in a position to spend thousands of dollars for the burial ceremony. To help such people, the cremation process has been introduced. This process ensures a lot of benefits for family members who just lost their loved one.

Cremation requires far less effort and far less cost as compared to the traditional burial process. That is why it has been considered as the preferred way to bury a person who just passed away.

Dia de los muertos

Here are some of the well known benefits of using the process of cremation that you should know:

Can be conducted at a reduced cost

Cremation can be conducted at a reduced cost and is cheaper than traditional funeral services. This is because if you prefer cremation, you will not have to arrange a casket, or a burial vault. You will not have to buy a burial spot in a cemetery. In addition to that, there will be no headstone required and nothing extra after the burial services. All these costs will be cut short and you will only be paying for cremation.

Allows greater flexibility

Cremation also allows greater flexibility to treat the ashes however the family wants or wherever they want to keep them according to their own preferences. They can carry the ashes wherever they go. They can keep them as a part of their family assets. They can also make sure that no disputes rise by distributing the remains to other family members.

Environmentally friendly process

Most of the people consider it as an environmentally friendly option. This is because there will be no grave, no grave stone, no plot occupied, and nothing left on the earth, leaving the environment free of any remains of the dead body.

Portability and customized service

Due to the fact that they cremated remains can be kept in an urn, they can be carried anywhere. If people want to take the ashes with them, they can carry the urn along to their desired place and disperse the ashes there. That is why cremation has become a preferred mode instead of a traditional burial ceremony.

Variety of disposition options

The remains can be disposed in a variety of ways; you can disperse in the air, in the water, or on the ground depending on your preferences.

All these benefits have made the process a very popular way to deal with the dead body in an effective manner. This is a dignified process preferred by most people in the developed countries as well. So, if you are not sure if it’s right or not, you should go through all the benefits and see how it seems to you.