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Ceramic Fiber

This is part two of a two part article on ceramic fiber refractory products.  Click here to go to part one.

Most ceramic fiber products are made of aluminosilicate fiber, which is a possible cancer hazard by inhalation.  Laboratory tests have shown no increase in respiratory disease in factory workers, but animals which have been exposed to levels hundreds of times higher than normal exposure have developed lung cancer and related problems.  Some people also find the dust particles from ceramic fiber products irritating to breathe. For this reason it's a good idea to wear a respirator if you're using ceramic fiber.

Some ceramic fiber products, notably Isofrax and Insulfrax, are made using a synthetic vitrious fiber which is not a possible cancer hazard.  Some people still find the fiber particles irritating, however, so a mask is also recommended when using these products.

Ceramic fiber is often referred to by its trade names, the most common of which are "Fiberfrax" and "Kaowool."

Several other related products of note are:

"Wet felt" (or "moist pack") -- these are fiber blankets that have been pre-moistened with a fiber mold hardener, so they can easily be used to make molds

"Thinfire" paper -- marketed by Bullseye Glass, this is a paper thin fiber product that can be used as a shelf liner.  It leaves a relatively smooth surface on the bottom of the glass and does not require pre-firing.

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Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

This list compiled from numerous sources, including the Warm Glass board, manufacturer's materials, and Graham Stone's Firing Schedules for Glass.

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