High temperature insulation is a necessity for many industries. Many processes generate high temperatures and keeping these under control allows for safe, normal operations. Without suitable insulation, damage can occur both to machinery and equipment but also to the user. We specialise in mica-based insulation solutions for a wide range of industries, such as mica roll laminates for industrial furnaces. From EV batteries to foundry and steel, our solutions exist to improve safety and extend useful life without compromising on performance and efficiency.
Over the years, we have developed multiple innovative insulation products that use mica as a core material to achieve the necessary protection from both excess thermal and electrical energy. The majority of our products are manufactured into sheets, tubes and rolls in order to fit the specification of the applications. We’ve worked closely with other manufacturers to learn and develop our solutions, ensuring they meet the exact requirements and functionality. One of our key products is mica roll laminate, which comes in multiple forms and is used predominantly in coreless induction furnaces.
Consumer appliances, no matter how small or large, require specific standards to be met for ensuring they remain safe to use and long-lasting. These appliances are electrical and they pose a risk of fire or harm to users if malfunction occurs. There are many consumer appliance safety standards that are in place to avoid such occurrences, with major manufacturers requiring solutions for their products. As we reach winter months, further consideration should be given to heating appliances such as plug-in radiators and convection heaters.
Insulation is a critical component in electrical appliances, both for functionality as well as safety. Electrical insulators have high resistance to flowing electric currents, where the atoms of the insulating material have tightly bound electrons that cannot readily move. Examples of electrical insulators range from microelectronic components such as transistors and microchips to larger high voltage applications containing transformers and capacitors. Insulation also helps to mitigate high temperatures that can be generated by electrical consumer appliances.
Electric vehicles are everywhere, from the road itself to the adverts on our televisions. There has been a significant increase in the number of electric vehicles being bought in many countries, and the sustainability of electric vehicles is becoming of more importance to buyers. In the UK, the transition from fossil fuel to electric vehicles is constantly growing, and this transition will play a major role in our journey towards net zero emissions.
Our planet has seen dramatic transformation in many areas due to numerous human activities, from deforestation and agriculture to the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels. The release of these harmful emissions into the atmosphere has led to the climate crisis we are currently facing. This has forced nations to collaborate and take desperate action to begin tackling climate change and create solutions.
It’s now easy to notice electric vehicles on our roads and they’re no longer the rare sight that they were many years ago. More electric vehicles equals less petroleum-based vehicles, and therefore implies a reduction in fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions. There are multiple aspects that need to be considered when assessing the sustainability of electric vehicles. Not only the day-to-day running of them, but also their construction, maintenance and eventual disposal.
Winter can be a challenging time for a variety of reasons, affecting millions of people and businesses. The impact on UK industries will vary drastically as some will see financial gain and others will require cost-cutting measures. Businesses within the manufacturing, construction and transport sectors begin to experience pressure points over the winter months as higher energy costs and logistical complications arise with solutions not easily available. As well as businesses, challenges exist for UK homeowners and families as we strive to find the most efficient solutions for energy storage in winter.
The cold temperatures can have detrimental effects on our daily lives, from a mental health and wellbeing perspective, to a financial perspective. Financially, winter is an expensive time of year predominantly due to rising energy costs following the need for heating. As well as heating costs, freezing temperatures can lead to household damage and apply pressure on the efficiency of home energy storage.
Work-related accidents occur across all industries, from minor strains or slips to less common and much more serious injuries. Health and safety is now a priority for all businesses, where businesses in recent years have implemented strict health and safety guidelines and legislations to ensure their workplace and staff remain as safe as possible. Regular health and safety sessions, workshops and even assessments are seen in many workplaces across the UK.
The frequency and severity of work-related accidents highly depends on the industry. There are industries that have lower accident rates than others, often those that are less physical and more office-based. Industries with physically-demanding roles and workplaces that consist of machinery and industrial equipment have a greater number of accidents. Agriculture, forestry and fishing have the most non-fatal, work-related injuries, with injuries in construction and manufacturing also occurring more often when compared to other industries.
Non-fatal accidents and injuries occur daily in the construction and manufacturing industries. The nature of these industries is being hands-on with potentially dangerous equipment when used incorrectly or serviced poorly. Accidents in engineering and manufacturing workshops often originate with tooling, where the constant use of insulated hand tools on a daily basis can lead to malfunctions or lapses in concentration. The prior of these, malfunctions, occurs after significant periods of wear-and-tear. At Elmelin, we create mica-based insulation solutions that help to extend their useful life and improve their safety.
When considering the journey to net zero, it’s worth looking back at why we’re having to begin on this path in the first place. Over the past decades we have had to manage and cope with increasing population growth and demand for resources. This demand has meant there has been significant volumes of natural resources being extracted from the Earth, consequently applying staggering amounts of pressure on our global environment and exacerbating global warming.
Human activities that have impacted the environment considerably include deforestation, agriculture and industrialisation, where the use of fossil fuels has resulted in the dangerous levels of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere that we see today. The consequences of human activities and steep rise in greenhouse gas emissions has led us to the current global climate crisis.
The climate crisis is now an issue that affects everybody, where climate change has been responsible for flooding, droughts and extreme weather events impacting millions of lives. Certain countries have been affected by climate change more than others, and the same applies for regions within countries such as coastal areas undergoing flooding due to rising sea levels.
To answer why silicate mineral is used as a thermal insulator, we should first take a step back and dive into exactly what silicate minerals are. Silicate minerals are made up of silicate groups, and play major roles in the formation of rocks within the Earth. These minerals are actually the largest class of minerals, making up approximately 90% of the Earth’s crust. Silica, SiO2, is found naturally as the mineral quartz and its polymorphs which allow it to crystallise into different crystalline forms. These different forms represent a wide range of combinations, as various silicate minerals occur as the result of different processes taking place over billions of years.
The anions in silicate minerals predominantly consist of silicon and oxygen atoms, and these anions are used to determine the major silicate mineral groups. These groups include Nesosilicates, Sorosilicates, Cyclosilicates, Tectosilicates and our focus for this article, Phyllosilicates. Formed by sheets of silicate tetrahedra, phyllosilicates are highly abundant and include the likes of clay minerals, serpentine, chlorite and mica.
Mica is the key component within many of our high temperature insulation products and solutions at Elmelin. It has a variety of beneficial physical and chemical properties that make it ideal for insulation, and over the years we have continued to develop highly effective mica-based insulation solutions for a range of industrial applications. So, when considering why silicate minerals are used as a thermal insulator, our experience and expertise with mica will be used as a prime example.
Within electric vehicles are numerous processes and mechanisms that take place in order for them to reach their target performance. The most energy-dense part of an electric vehicle is the battery itself, with most functioning in the 400-800 voltage range. Due to the high volumes of energy that are being produced during normal operation of an electric vehicle, significant safety measures that have to be present so that the risks of malfunction, damage or at worse, harm to the driver and passengers, are minimal.
At Elmelin, we specialise in high temperature insulation for a range of industries, most notably for automotive. The shift toward electric vehicles has been a result of both the improvement and greater accessibility of electric vehicles, as well as cultural changes as people are becoming more environmentally conscious and seeking alternatives to fossil fuels. We pride ourselves on being able to provide sustainable, high quality thermal management solutions for electric vehicles.
As a business, we thrive on learning, adapting and developing innovative solutions to support industries on their journey to net zero. Over the past quarter, we have experienced a substantial amount of change within the business. New personnel, reacting to external challenges and beginning multiple exciting projects have meant the past 3 months has been a positive and invigorating phase for Elmelin.