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Important info on our Ceramic Fibre Insulation Blankets

Over the past few months many of our customer service representatives have received numerous enquiries for ceramic fibre insulation blankets. For many years AG has supplied Refractory Ceramic Fibre (RCF) (familiar brands are Kaowool® or Cerablanket®), however in light of some recent developments, we are phasing out supply of these products. To shed a little light on why we’re doing this, we have put together this article which provides a brief overview of the origins of RCF, why it’s being phased out and what’s available to replace it.

The Evolution of Refractory Ceramic Fibre Insulation Blankets

Since its commercialisation in the 1950’s up until around the turn of the century, Refractory Ceramic Fibre was one of the primary forms of insulation chosen for use in high temperature applications requiring a non-rigid, blanket-type insulation. RCF is produced from a naturally occurring alumino-silicate clay or a synthetic mix of alumina and refined beach sand. RCF was immediately popular because of its high temperature resistance, good thermal shock resistance, low thermal conductivity and good tensile strength.

Since then it has been used for countless applications such as furnace lining, chimney insulation, boiler and water heater insulation and anything else requiring a blanket that will provide efficient heat containment.

Health Considerations

During the 1990’s studies began to confirm the suspicion that aside from causing skin, eye and throat irritation, RCF’s and other fibres with a high bio-persistence have the potential to cause cancer by inhalation. Their high bio-persistence means they are unable to breakdown in the lungs making them very unsafe for unprotected human exposure.Hazardous Sign

Since this discovery regulatory bodies have sought to ensure that these products are clearly marked as hazardous, as well as establishing provisions (in Australia under the Workplace Health and Safety Act) for safe exposure levels to airborne particles, administrative controls and personal protective equipment required during handling etc.

Hence when using RCF or other high bio-persistent materials it is important to take into account several considerations including the correct use of PPE, safe exposure limits for workers and other controls that may be necessary such as exhaust systems etc, or you could substitute the product for a healthier alternative.

SuperWool® – A Safer, Healthier Option

SuperWool® is blanket manufactured by Morgan Advanced Materials that falls under the AES (Alkaline Earth Silicate) family. AES materials have a low bio-persistence and have been confirmed as safe by in-vitro studies. The materials used to make Superwool® are even found in many food products in their non-fibrous form.

To read more about the key health properties of Superwool you can click here, the results of it’s toxicology study can also be viewed here.Superwool Blanket

SuperWool® is in fact the only low bio persistence fibre available with a classification temperature of 1300°C (2372°F). The best part is it also offers superior performance (when compared to various standard forms of ceramic fibre blanket) with studies proving it offers up to 20% improved insulation over both RCF and competitor AES materials. It has also found to be equal in tensile strength to RCF products and stronger than competitor AES materials as it contains up to 30% more fibres.

Using an AES product like SuperWool® also helps you proactively meet environmental and safety standards and can even save you money as it can be disposed of in non-hazardous waste landfill.

Available Sizes

Superwool Plus (Classification Temperature 1200°C) Fibre Insulation Blankets are available in the following sizes and densities:

96 kg/m³ Density
13mm thick, 610mm wide x 14.6 metres
25mm thick 610mm wide x 7.2 metres
50mm thick 610mm wide x 3.6 metres

128 kg/m³ Density
13mm thick, 610mm wide x 14.6 metres
25mm thick 610mm wide x 7.2 metres
50mm thick 610mm wide x 3.6 metres

Superwool HT (Classification temperature 1300ºC) is also available in the same sizes and densities.

In addition to these full roll sizes, Associated Gaskets is pleased to offer SuperWool cut or fabricated to meet your needs. Whether it’s high temperature gaskets, strips or fully sewn composite heat blankets we’ve got the ability and experience to assist. Contact your local Associated Gaskets branch for more info.

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