From Belinda Carr.
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0:59 How its made
2:37 Fire resistance
5:35 Types of ceramic fiber
8:30 New products
The production of ceramic fiber blankets begins with the selection of high-quality raw materials, typically 45% alumina Al2O3, 50% silica SiO2, 2% Titanium oxide TiO2, 1% ferric oxide Fe2O3. And other trace compounds like sodium oxide Na2O and magnesium oxide MgO
These raw materials are chosen for their ability to withstand high temperatures. They are melted in a furnace and spun into fibers using centrifugal force. This process creates thin, continuous strands of ceramic fibers. The fibers are collected and formed into a loose mat on a conveyor belt. The mat passes through a needle-punching machine that mechanically stitches and interlocks the fibers, creating a stronger and more cohesive structure. The fiber web is then subjected to a heat treatment process, called "sintering". This step fuses the fibers together, resulting in a solid ceramic fiber blanket. The final product is then cut into the desired dimensions and packaged for distribution and use in various industries.
Another name for ceramic fiber is alumina silicate blanket or ASB named after its main raw ingredients, alumina and silica, as we discussed earlier. There are many different brands that produce ceramic fiber; the most popular one is Kaowool. The brand name is derived from kaolin clay which is a soft, white clay used to make china and porcelain. However, it can also be melted down into a liquid and turned into fibers to make this insulation blanket. I personally find it fascinating that you can turn solids into a cotton candy insulation material.
This process of turning clay into ceramic fibers is identical to turning basalt rock into Rockwool or mineral wool, slag into slag wool and glass into fiberglass insulation. Kaowool ceramic fiber insulation can withstand continuous direct flames at 1200 degrees Celsius or 2200 degrees Fahrenheit. Above that temperature it will begin to shrink, become brittle and eventually melt. This insulation can play a crucial role in preventing heat loss, improving energy efficiency and saving money and resources. It has a lot of other advantages too.
However, just like with every material, there are some downsides to handling and using ceramic fiber insulation. This product is not used in homes because it has a fairly low R value of 2.5 per inch, which is lower than mineral wool, fiberglass and cellulose. Another issue is that it can cause skin, eye and throat irritation because the loose ceramic fibers can get embedded in your skin and respiratory tract. You must wear protective gloves, a mask, safety glasses and long sleeve clothing when handling this material. Moreover, the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA classifies ceramic fibers as a possible carcinogen. Prolonged and repeated exposure to this fiber dust can cause cancer and lung damage. For these reasons, ceramic insulation is mainly used as pipe insulation in commercial settings where pipes are exposed to extreme heat.
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#fireproof #insulation #buildings #energy #ecofriendly #carbonfootprint #ceramic #kaowool #construction