High Temperature Insulation for Fire Protection
High temperature insulation is not only about helping industries maintain efficiency, or ensuring electrical devices function consistently. It plays a key role in fire protection.
Fire protection is something we specialise in, and our mica-based and microporous high temperature insulation products and technology cut across many industries, providing essential safeguarding against fire risks in various situations and settings.
A Safe Substitute for Asbestos
Like mica, asbestos is a rock-forming silicate mineral. What has made asbestos so broadly applied is its resistance to heat, electricity and fire. Consequently, it has been used in building insulation and in hotplate wiring, though, in effect, you can find asbestos almost anywhere, from ceiling tiles and insulated pipework to textured coatings and loose fill insulation.
Far from its heyday as a widely-used miracle mineral, asbestos is now recognised as a serious health-risk. Although it is heat resistant up to 800°C, it is also a hidden killer. Asbestos fibres, when airborne, are a cause of fatal lung diseases.
The implications are obvious: where once asbestos might have been the preferred choice, there is a clear requirement to find a substitute which will not pose a serious health hazard, but has the same kind of qualities when it comes to fire protection, and heat and electrical resistance.
Elmelin’s high temperature insulation products and solutions provide just such a substitute.
High Temperature Insulation
Innovative microporous insulation materials are lightweight but strong, with excellent thermal insulation properties. Elmelin’s Elmtherm range of microporous insulation sheets uses separation technology, where small particles of dispersed silica create micro-pores, leaving the finished material with a significantly reduced heat conductivity.
This form of insulation acts to block three kinds of heat transfer: convection, conduction and radiation.
This means that microporous insulation is adaptable across different sectors, for varying applications. The thing these diverse applications has in common, however, is fire protection.
The other significant element in our fire protection solutions is mica.
Just as asbestos provided certain natural mineral qualities which made it, at the time, the right material for use in fire protection, so mica has proven to be an excellent substitute.
Examples of fire protection products include: microporous insulation for fire doors and lift doors; mica heat shields; protection for electric cables; and pipe and tube insulation for the petrochemical industry.
Insulation for Fire and Lift Doors
One of the main aims of fire protection in buildings is preventing the spread of fire, should it occur. This is known as passive fire protection (PFP). Where active fire protection systems include fire detectors and suppressants, including extinguishers and sprinklers, passive fire protection is about structural fire resistance in a building.
PFP is where the fabric of the building acts as a fire suppressant, including fire resistant walls, floors and doors. PFP systems do not extinguish fire, but contain it. It is a form of compartmentation, where every room in a building becomes a sealed unit. This greatly improves people’s chances of survival through evacuation of the building.
Fire and lift doors are key parts of PFP.
Fire doors are the first line of defence, should a fire occur. Consequently, they must be properly fire resistant. Microporous insulation boards are thin and lightweight, but act as highly efficient barriers to flames and heat when used to line fire doors.
Lift shafts are a potentially lethal fire hazard, because it is through them that fire can spread rapidly through a building. Consequently, lift doors must be fire resistant, and again, microporous technology provides the solution. These insulation boards will maintain thermal performance in the event of fire, and are compliant with, and tested to, buildings and fire door regulations.
Mica Heat Shields for Transport
In both the automotive and aerospace industries, heat shields are essential for fire protection. In vehicles, their internal combustion engines give off intense heat. This has the potential to damage components and bodywork.
Mica heat shields protect vehicle components and improve insulation, while cooling engine vents and can help manage the heat from exhausts.
In the aerospace industry, mica heat shield protect the structural and mechanical integrity of aircraft from the extremes of heat generated through jet engines’ reverse thrust.
Mica’s insulating qualities also contribute to fire protection for other mechanical components, and for aircraft ducts and tubing.
Fire Protection for Electric Cables
Mica insulating tape ensures the fire-resistance of electric cables. This is another asbestos-free solution to fire protection, providing the means for essential electric cables to withstand exposure to flame and mechanical shocks.
The object is to guarantee maximum safety for strategically important electrical equipment should a fire occur, allowing it to continue to function in extreme heat.
These are signal and control cables, instrumentation cables and cables for supply and power. Typically, they are used in airports, hospitals, hotels, power stations, petrochemical and other industrial locations.
Protecting Petrochemical Processes
The petrochemical industry involves continuous processes in hazardous environments. Working with critical high temperatures requires engineered solutions that will ensure fire protection while maximising efficiency and minimising operating costs.
Elmelin provides thermal control and fire protection through microporous insulation for pipe and tubes. These linings are lightweight but extremely tough, flexible but supremely resistant to both heat and mechanical stress.
They support process pipes and extend their life, while, at the same time, providing optimum thermal management.
Are You Protecting Your Industry?
High temperature insulation is essential for a broad range of industries and their processes, ensuring manufacturing consistency, business continuity and, critically, providing essential fire protection.
Could your business benefit? Even if we have not mentioned your sector here, we can provide bespoke thermal management and insulation solutions to fit your specific needs.
Elmelin’s mica-based and microporous insulation solutions are flexible, adaptable and, most of all, extremely effective.