Ceramic Fiber Blanket ? Useful Consequence of Refractory Ceramic

Posted by maryparker on December 6th, 2012

A refractory which is bereft of insulation is like a volcano waiting to explode. Thermal insulation is a must in every refractory and for it to be effective the insulator should conform to certain parameters. Some of the examples of contemporary insulation materials are ceramic fiber blanket and ceramic fiber board and these are widely used not just in industries but for homes as well. Ceramic fiber is a product of ceramic yarn and it has all the attributes of withstanding the pressure in a refractory. Also known as mineral wool, this man-made fiber is perfect for providing insulation against heat.

Parameters which play a seminal role in selecting materials for refractory are composition, stability, melting point and viscosity. While the presence of silicon and aluminum is a must in terms of composition, another imperative attribute is high melting point and stability at the time of interacting with acids. To this effect, the ceramic yarn scores well on all points and this is why ceramic fiber blanket and ceramic fiber board have proved to be good insulators. Because this yarn is chemically stable and can resist the most corrosive materials, it is excellent for providing insulation.

Named as mineral wool, ceramic yarn is a man-made mineral fiber which is obtained by melting silica and then spinning it into strands which are as thin as hair. These are then blended with organic fibers to create soft and purified strands called rovings. At this stage reinforcement is introduced in form of a steel or glass wire so that there is a dramatic increase in the tensile strength. Subsequently the yarn is woven into various insulation objects – if it is thin then the product is ceramic fiber blanket where as something that measures at least 8 inches in thickness is the ceramic fiber board. 

Ceramic yarn has many industrial applications and insulation uses and a popular variety in this regard is the ceramic fiber blanket. Thinner than ceramic fiber board and mainly used as a substitute for asbestos, this blanket is lightweight and is very much capable of withstanding thermal shocks. Having been spun from high strength ceramic fibers, it boasts of unmatched tensile strength and as a result is perfect for insulation not just in furnace but nuclear applications as well. Wrapping of mold casting is another usage as is filtration of high temperatures.

Slightly thicker variation of ceramic yarn than ceramic fiber blanket but based on the same principles is the ceramic fiber board. Being a board it not only provides thermal insulation but is able to resist chemical attacks and oxidation and reduction reactions as well. These are more versatile as well in terms of dimensions and shapes and are most suitable for areas in which thickness in insulation is a plus point. Chimneys, furnaces and industrial chambers are some of the places where these boards are visible in requisite thickness and at times they provide insulation to boilers as well.

There are other uses of ceramic yarn as well and it is now employed for the production of warm clothing to combat the winters. Even though the percentage of ceramic is very low, meaning 5% as opposed to 95% rayon, the fabric is successful in trapping the heat within and keeping out the harmful UV rays. Like ceramic fiber blanket it has many protective qualities and hence is considered as being most suitable for infants and kids. Unlike ceramic fiber board it is washable, soft and silky and hence definitely a pleasure to wear in addition to the insulation provided.

One of the most useful products of ceramic yarn is the ceramic fiber blanket and it is widely used in various industrial applications to provide insulation. A thicker variation is the ceramic fiber board and yet another is the soft and silky fabric for making winter garments while the insulation factor remains the same in all.

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