Asbestos Fiber | Manufacturing Process of Asbestos | History of Asbestos Fiber | Uses of Asbestos

Asbestos Fiber
Asbestos is a nonmetallic mineral fiber, which is nonflammable. The fiber is woven into fabrics and used for theater curtains and industrial uses where flame-resistant materials are needed. The fibrous form of several minerals and hydrous silicates of magnesium. The name may also be applied to the fibrous forms of calcium and iron. Asbestos fibers can be molded or woven into various fabrics. Because it is nonflammable and a poor heat conductor, asbestos has been widely used to make fireproof products such as safety clothing for fire fighters and insulation products such as hot-water piping.

Asbestos Fiber
Asbestos Fiber
History of Asbestos Fiber
The first recorded use of the word asbestos is by Pliny the Elder in the 1st century ad, although the substance itself was known as early as the 2nd century bc. The Romans made cremation cloths and wicks from it, and centuries later Marco Polo noted its usefulness as cloth.
 
Manufacturing Process of Asbestos
Asbestos is of two principal classes, the amphiboles and the serpentines, the former of relatively minor importance. Chrysotile, in the serpentine class, constitutes most of the world supply of asbestos. Countries that have produced asbestos include Russia, Kazakhstan, China, Brazil, and Canada.

Asbestos is obtainable by various underground mining methods, but the most common method is open-pit mining. Only about 6 percent of the mined ore contains usable fibers.

The fibers are separated from the ore by crushing, air suction, and vibrating screens, and in the process are sorted into different lengths, or grades. The most widely used method of grading, the Qu├ębec Standard Test Method, divides the fibers into seven groups, the longest in group one and the shortest, called milled asbestos, in group seven. The length of the fibers, as well as the chemical composition of the ore, determines the kind of product that can be made from the asbestos. The longer fibers have been used in fabrics, commonly with cotton or rayon, and the shorter ones for molded goods, such as pipes and gaskets.
 
Application of Asbestos
Asbestos has been used in building-construction materials, textiles, missile and jet parts, asphalt and caulking compounds and paints, and in friction products such as brake linings.

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