Choosing the Right High Temperature Insulation for Your Sector
Specialising in high temperature insulation means we work across a broad range of sectors, providing essential solutions and support to different industries. In fact, the versatility of mica, mica-based products and microporous technology results in so many applications that, for some manufacturers, they may benefit from what we offer without immediately realising the extent.
For example, you will find mica insulation in a great many consumer appliances, where a thermal barrier is an essential component for either heating or electrical purposes.
However, there are also industry sectors where we have a long-established, close working relationships, and continue to innovate and refine our manufacturing solutions for their benefit. These include the foundry and steel industry, power electronics and petrochemical, cement and glass continuous process industries.
Here, we look at the main sectors we serve, and at how various high temperature insulation applications are an essential to manufacturing processes in a wide assortment of industries.
Processing and Protection for Foundries
There is a high level of complexity to producing metal castings. Foundries must maintain constantly high temperatures for optimum results, which requires a degree of insulation that will both prevent heat loss and protect people working with heat.
As a material, mica has clear technical advantages in this context. Its superior slip pane qualities are enormously helpful in extending the lifespan of foundry linings. Mica allows linings to expand and contract but reduces the instances of cracks appearing. Furthermore, mica’s protective qualities also help speed up the relining process in foundries, drastically reducing downtime and thereby boosting productivity.
Elmelin’s products designed for this purpose include pure mica and combined mica laminates and mica roll.
In addition, Elmelin specialises in thermal management solutions for foundries. Our Elmtherm microporous insulation material is made to withstand temperatures of up to 1600°C and has micro-pores to minimise thermal transfer from convection. It also has infra-red opacifiers to reduce heat transmission by absorbing and reflecting radiated heat.
For induction furnaces, safety is an ever-present concern. We provide a specially formulated laminate, Elmesh, which acts as a sensor, giving an early warning where there is the danger of metal penetrating close to the furnace’s induction coil. Elmesh is especially well-suited to foundries processing materials such as nickel alloys or scrap metals.
In some processing, metal vapour can form deposits on the induction coil, which, over time, may lead to malfunctions or misreadings. We supply, Vapourshield, a mica laminate product, which will prevent this vapour penetration, and act as a barrier and alarm.
For furnaces, early warnings are hugely valuable in helping them shut down in advance of any more serious damage to the coil occurring.
Lightweight Insulation Solutions for Aerospace
Naturally, for an industry concerned with flight, aerospace requires lightweight but durable solutions to high temperature insulation. The thinness of mica, combined with its superlative heat insulation, electrical resistance and natural resilience, make it ideally suited for aerospace applications.
These include battery insulation, and heat shields for aircraft thrust reversers and ducts.
Mica’s adaptability and flexibility means that its use covers aircraft exteriors and interiors, maintaining its mechanical stability in the thinnest of lightweight layers.
Flight recorders are crucial to aircraft, and must meet stringent specifications to ensure they can withstand any extreme conditions resulting from incidents or accidents. Consequently, insulating them against intense heat is a priority for the aerospace industry. Here, again, mica provides the solution, with an insulating layer that protects the flight recorder without interfering with its intricate circuitry.
Insulation for Continuous Processes
For the petrochemical, cement and glass industries, safety and functionality are critical. Expert insulation for pipes and tubes, using microporous products, helps the petrochemical industry’s continuous improvement in refining its processes.
This high temperature insulation helps bring down emissions, energy consumption and operating costs.
Cement and glass processing involves very specific temperature-controlled processes using furnaces and kilns. Thermal barriers and other reinforcement materials need to support consistency in productivity, but also help improve processes to increase competitiveness.
At Elmelin, we work closely with industries and businesses in this sector to find the right insulation solutions for them, helping to expand the capabilities of industrial ovens.
The automotive industry must continue to evolve to survive. It must look to improve performance while reducing its environmental impact, by controlling consumption and emissions.
Mica’s unparalleled dielectric insulation properties make it the preferred choice for many manufacturers looking to ensure they meet the highest safety standards.
Mica provides the basis for many key automotive components such as thermal gaskets, starters, alternators and washers. These sensitive components require high insulation to make sure they will perform in any given situation, or in extreme conditions. In laminate form, mica also forms the basis for essential battery insulation, helping prevent thermal runway and protect against short circuits, which would otherwise compromise safety.
Multi-functional Power Electronics
Meeting the trend for ever-greater integration and smooth functionality, mica-based products support the ongoing development of the power electronics sector.
More than ever, there is a dependence on single materials being able to perform multiple functions, helping to drive efficiency in performance. With naturally high resistivity and stability, mica helps ensure the integrity of insulation in electronic components, seeing off the threat of material degradation.
The main mica products in this sector are mica tubes, used for capacitors and resistors; and mica components used in manufacturing.
With its high dielectric strength, mica can withstand intense electric fields and temperatures as high as 650°C, making it a superior, and cost-effective, insulation choice in a market that is very much focused on smart electronic systems.
Insulation Solutions for Other Sectors
This is just a snapshot of the sectors we serve, making the most of mica’s adaptability and excellent performance. As an insulation material, mica is the natural choice for components in every day consumer appliances such as hair dryers, toasters, heaters and microwaves.
However, besides these lifestyle-essential white goods, there are plenty more applications, such as tooling for various uses, including elements in heat guns, and machined parts such as lathe fixtures and grinding and milling industrial processes.
In specialist military and transport-related settings, high temperature insulation is imperative, whether this is protecting data recorders or fire-proofing passenger cabins or storage areas.
In fact, for a wide range of fire-proofing applications, mica is the natural, safe successor to asbestos. It is the foundation for many modern heat protection solutions.
What is Your Sector?
Do you need high temperature insulation support with your manufacturing processes or products? We provide ready-made and bespoke insulation products and services, and we can develop and prototype specific solutions for your industry or business.