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Cremate or Not to Cremate

How Long Does a Cremation Take: Understanding the Cremation Process

September 21, 2023

How long does it take to cremate a body?

With a rising preference for the method of cremation over traditional burials, interest in the specifics of the process has increased. 

Whilst how long a cremation takes varies depending on a variety of factors, a standard procedure for an average adult body typically ranges from 2 to 3 hours from the full process. The cremation process is intricate and methodical, ensuring the respectful and complete reduction of the body to its basic elements.


The Cremation Process

Preparation of the Body for Cremation

Prior to the cremation process, the body is subjected to a thorough preparation phase. This phase is vital to ensure the efficient and safe operation of the subsequent steps. During this stage, any non-organic materials, including medical implants such as pacemakers and other electronic devices, are carefully removed to prevent any possible interference. Once this has been completed, the body is then positioned inside a specialised container. This container is designed to uphold the dignity of the deceased, while also facilitating the safe transport and placement of the body into the cremation chamber.


Placement of the Body in the Chamber

After the preparation, the body is placed into the chamber, often referred to as a retort. The retort is constructed to accommodate and maintain the necessary high temperatures crucial for the cremation process.


Temperature and Duration of the Process

Once the body is securely inside the chamber, the retort is then activated, elevating its internal temperatures to a range of 760°C to 980°C. Within this environment, the body undergoes a transformative phase, being reduced to its elementary components. As mentioned, this process generally takes 2 to 3 hours for an average-sized adult body. 


Collection and Processing of the Remains

Once the cremation has been completed, the remains are retrieved from the chamber. Before any further steps are undertaken, these remains are allowed a necessary cooling period. Following this, they are processed to ensure a consistent granular texture. The ashes are then prepared for their final containment, which is typically in a receptacle or urn as selected by the family or the individual’s pre-existing wishes.


Factors That Affect The Process

What Types of Cremation Equipment is Used?

The effectiveness and speed of the cremation process often depend on the type of equipment in use. Modern cremation chambers, with the newest technologies have been designed to enhance efficiency and can speed up the process. Chambers from earlier generations or those that are not well-maintained may require longer periods to achieve the desired results.


Does the Size and Weight of the Body Matter During a Cremation?

The mass of the body being cremated are among the primary determinants of cremation time. Larger bodies naturally require more energy and time for complete process. This means that the process might be prolonged due to the need for sustained high temperatures to ensure every part is thoroughly cremated.


What Environmental Factors Affect a Cremation?

The environment in which the process takes place can impact the overall duration too. Factors like ambient temperature and relative humidity can play a role. In regions with colder temperatures, it might take longer for the chamber to reach the necessary temperature. Similarly, high levels of humidity might affect the efficiency of the burners and the overall process. Both these elements, when not ideal, can extend the overall duration of the cremation.


Have You Lost a Loved One?

Our team at is available to answer any queries you or your loved ones may have on the benefits of cremations over traditional burials. If you’re looking for a Perth cremation package for your loved one, we would love to help you through the process.

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