Wonder wool for high temperature insulation
Thermal Ceramics, the global heat management specialist, has announced the launch of an high-temperature insulating wool that matches the performance of refractory ceramic fibres (RFCs) and is not classified as a carcinogen within the European Union.
Superwool 607 HT is an alkaline earth silicate (AES) fibre showing low shrinkage up to temperatures of 1,300ºC, the highest of any AES fibre product.
Under European law, RCFs have a category two classification, which in practise means they must be treated as carcinogens. The downstream Health and Safety regulations of this ruling mean that employers using RCFs are obliged to use a substitute if it presents a lower health risk to workers. Thermal Ceramics say they have found that alternative.
Superwool 607 HT has been ‘exonerated’ from carcinogenic classification because it has low bio-persistence, which refers to the length of time that fibres remain in the lungs if inhaled. ‘The Superwool 607 HT fibres have a half-life of less than 40 days when subject to EU test protocols,’ says Thermal Ceramics’ Technical Director Ron Wainwright. ‘It’s a generalisation, but materials that are durable at high temperatures tend to have high bio-persistence, so basically they are durable in any environment.
The challenge for Thermal Ceramics has been to increase the temperature resistance of the fibres whilst not losing the benefit of low bio-persistence. According to Wainwright, this tends to lead to a higher silica content, which can make the fiberisation process more difficult.
The high-temperature wool has been in development for four years, he says. During 2005, the company tested the insulating wool with a selection of its customers, and the product is now available in a number of forms from blankets to modules.