What is muscovite mica and what is it used for?

What is muscovite mica and what is it used for?

As you’re no doubt aware – insulation can be made of a whole host of other materials – fibreglass, cellulose, mineral wool. That being said, mica has very unique properties that make it an excellent choice as a basis for insulation in a range of industrial applications.

Here we’re going to look at a particular form of mica – muscovite mica – its properties and how it’s used by the industry and by Elmelin to make a variety of processes safer and more efficient.

Reducing Carbon Footprint with High Temperature Industrial Insulation

Reducing Carbon Footprint with High Temperature Industrial Insulation

Reducing the UK’s carbon footprint is a business issue as much as a government one, as various industries depend on high temperature insulation for both their energy efficiency and profitability.

The UK Government is committed to reducing greenhouse gases to zero emissions by 2050. In fact, it is the first major economy to pass a zero-emissions law. It also has the concept of clean growth at the heart of its Industrial Strategy.

However, this then puts pressure on the industry to deliver the practical measures to reduce the country’s carbon footprint. One of the central aspects of achieving this will be high temperature industrial insulation.

Why is High Temperature Industrial Insulation Important?

The part high temperature industrial insulation plays in reducing our carbon footprint is a vital one, and it is all about cause and effect.

The key is energy efficiency. The more energy-efficient industries are the fewer emissions they cause, and the less energy they consume. High temperature insulation enables and supports this energy efficiency.

The more effective the insulation, the more energy-efficient the industrial processes or products. Consequently, it makes sense for businesses to invest in advanced high temperature insulation to, ultimately, reduce their carbon emissions.

What industries are we talking about here?

An obvious sector where insulation is central is in construction. However, many other industries depend on it to optimise performance and processes, including the foundry and steel industry, automotive, aerospace, power electronics and manufacturers of consumer appliances.

Elmelin’s role is to support these industries with specialist products that are designed to improve high temperature insulation and maximise energy efficiency in various industrial processes.

These products use mica and microporous technology.

High Temperature Insulation in Everyday Use

While clearly industry is a major contributor of carbon emissions, how we live our daily lives also has a cumulative impact on the environment. This is why high temperature insulation in consumer appliances is critical in reducing our carbon footprint.

The more sophisticated and smart our consumer appliances get, the more energy efficient they will need to be. This is because their advanced electronics are both sensitive and heat-generating.

Within the manufacturing sector, mica provides high temperature insulation for a broad range of consumer appliances. These include hairdryers, toasters and microwaves.

high temperature insulation in everyday use

Mica’s natural heat transfer properties and electrical resistance make it ideally suited for these types of product.

High Temperature Insulation for Electronics

As technology advances, electronic devices and systems are becoming more energy efficient, but this depends on them having effective high temperature insulation to ensure their optimum performance.

At the intuitive, user-end of the process, simplicity combines with low energy use, but to achieve this requires an enormous amount of complex development, including minimising the heat transfer of powerful electronic components to enable them to remain stable.

As a material for capacitors, resistors and other components, mica provides a superior level of insulation and long-term durability for electronics in manufacturing.

Meeting the Demands of the Automotive Industry

Where once it might have almost been taken for granted that vehicles would continue to be a major pollutant and source of emissions, now the emphasis is very much on reducing the collective carbon footprint of the automotive industry.

The demand is for more efficient, cleaner transport, with the rise of the electric vehicle (EV) at the forefront of new developments in this sector.

The challenge it continually strives to meet is for enhanced performance while reducing its environmental impact. Again, electronic components in vehicles have become increasingly sophisticated and sensitive to enable these kinds of improvements.

For these components to function effectively and safely, they require the right degree of high temperature insulation. Mica laminates and components contribute significantly to vehicle efficiency and safety.

The latest generation of low and zero emission vehicles requires carefully managed battery temperatures. This temperature regulation, through insulation, is what enables them to reduce their environmental impact while maximising their output.

In this context, high temperature insulation is not about directly reducing the carbon footprint of electric vehicles, but ensuring that as alternatives they are operationally effective, and therefore an increasingly attractive alternative to consumers.

high temperature insulation for the automotive industry

High Temperature Insulation for Foundry Processes

In the foundry and steel industry, there is an inherent amount of heat and energy in the processes used to melt different metals. High temperature industrial insulation extends the life of furnace linings, making them more energy efficient.

This is down to mica’s superior slip plane characteristics, which also help increase furnace capacity, supporting best practices when it comes to reducing the environmental impact of this industry.

Longer Lifecycles

Extending the lifecycle of products and improving the efficiency of industrial processes will help reduce the carbon footprint of industry as a whole, and of end users of manufactured products.

Elmelin’s high temperature insulation solutions apply to a broad spectrum of industries, and include practical R&D support for new or refined and adapted products and processes.

Can we help you reduce your carbon footprint using high temperature industrial insulation? Call us on +44 20 8520 2248, or email sales@elmelin.com. You can also complete our enquiry form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Elmtherm Properties and the Benefits to Your Industry

Elmtherm Properties and the Benefits to Your Industry

Elmtherm is a range innovative high temperature insulation products, based on microporous technology. Designed to perform consistently at a peak level of excellence, Elmtherm has several applications across different industries, including foundry and steel, aerospace, petrochemical and fire protection.

This microporous material is durable with superior thermal insulation characteristics. It is used primarily as a lining material, protecting products, equipment and technology from heat incursion, and so ensuring their safety.

image of factory pipes for blog by Elmelin about the properties of Elmtherm

How Microporous Technology Works

The technology underpinning Elmtherm is separation technology. This involves small particles of silica, dispersed through an area, to the extent that they create small openings, or micro-pores. These micro-pores have tiny diameters of less than two nm, or nanometres.

When combined, these micro-pores create molecular sieve membrane. This sheet has a low density but an extremely effective porous structure.

What does this mean in practice?

Used in high temperature insulation, microporous material blocks conductive, convective and radiant forms of heat transfer.

Microporous technology restricts conductive heat transfer through minimising the contact between molecules, impeding their ability to transfer energy, from one molecule to another.

The structure of microporous sheets also creates pockets of trapped air which stop the free pathway of air, thereby containing convective heat transfer. This means there is limited or no heat transmitting through the microporous material.

For combatting heat transfer from radiation, microporous material has infrared opacifiers loaded into it to reduce the occurrence of radiant heat transfer. These added substances help make the material impervious to light-generated heat.

Elmtherm is highly energy efficient, helping reduce operating costs in the industries in which it is applied, while ensuring good temperature control through its excellent thermal stability.

Where there are issues to do with consistency and safety in performance, Elmtherm can help.

Microporous Product Grades

Elmelin produces four different grades of Elmtherm microporous material for high temperature insulation.

Each of these grades comes in a different ranges of thickness, which determine their heat transfer capabilities.

Image of Industrial plant for blog by Elmelin about the properties of Elmtherm

Elmtherm 1000 and 1100 are microporous in composition and can withstand maximum temperatures of 1,000°C and 1,100°C respectively. They come in thicknesses of between 3mm and 50mm.

Elmtherm 1400 and 1600 grades combine microporous materials with ceramics to form effective heat shields, designed to withstand temperatures of up to 1,400°C and 1,600°C respectively. Thickness for these grades depends on their specific application.

Applying Elmtherm Across Industries

High temperature insulation is an essential requirement across different industries and sectors, but microporous technology is proving to be a widely applicable, adaptable and highly effective solution.

The low thickness but high strength of Elmtherm make it well-suited for applications where safety, efficiency and energy saving are all key requirements.

Low weight combined with high compression strength means microporous solutions can both protect equipment and other materials while ensuring peak performance.

Elmtherm for Foundries

Elmtherm lines ladles in foundries, ensuring that they can safely hold molten metal at intense temperatures. This type of lining increases the capacity of ladles by 10% while having a positive impact on energy conservation, offering improvements in this area of around 50%.

For furnaces, Elmtherm helps with even heat distribution, and also protects against heat loss, to the tune of 30%. At the same time, because of its thinness, it is a more efficient insulator than other, alternative board materials.

Image of foundary for blog by Elmelin about the properties of Elmtherm

In aluminium launder systems, Elmtherm contributes to the speed and efficiency of the casting process, where speedy transfers between furnaces are critically important. Elmtherm optimises the movement of molten aluminium between smelting and casting processes, saving on heat and time.

Elmtherm is also used to line tundishes, to assist in continuous casting operations; and is also found in kilns and rotary kilns.

Aerospace Applications for Elmtherm

Microporous insulation is an industry standard for aircraft, when it comes to ensuring the lowest possible thermal conductivity and keeping things as lightweight as possible.

Elmtherm provides essential thermal protection for aircraft auxiliary power units and flight data recorders. It also provides heat shield material for thrust reversers, and flexible insulation inside aircraft engines.

In the form of panels, it can also insulate galley ovens on aircraft, as well as providing wings with fire protection.

Protecting Process Piping

For pipeline materials in the petrochemical and other industries, protection against extreme heat and fire is vital, as process piping is inevitably going to involve highly inflammable materials.

Because it is lightweight and flexible, but also very strong, Elmtherm is an ideal lining solution for process pipework. It is used in power plants, the petrochemical and cement and glass industries.

Microporous Fire Protection

With fire and elevator doors playing essential, strategic roles in passive fire resistance, ensuring they are as fire-proof as possible is essential.

Elmtherm has proved ideal for this form of insulation, being lightweight but highly fire-resistant, and easily adaptable to a range of situations and locations.

image of firefighters fighting a blaze for blog by Elmelin about the properties of Elmtherm

These microporous insulation boards are a safe, modern alternative to asbestos, opening up new possibilities for high performance, high temperature insulation in buildings management and safety.

What Insulation Solutions are You Looking For?

Elmelin’s Elmtherm range of microporous high temperature insulation solutions is highly adaptable across a very broad spectrum of industries and sectors. We have only touched on a few key examples here.

Discover more about Elmtherm and how it could benefit your business and your industry by calling us on +44 20 8520 2248.  Alternatively, please email sales@elmelin.com, or complete our online enquiry form. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Happy Christmas from Elmelin

Happy Christmas from Elmelin

It’s the time of year when thoughts turn to festive things, and where considerations of high temperature insulation, furnace safety systems and thermal management for industry may take a back seat.


But please, bear with us, and let us take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year, with a few musings to go along with the mood of the  season.

Thermal Management in Fire Safety

Thermal Management in Fire Safety

Fire safety, thermal management and high temperature insulation are all connected, and mica, as both solution and product, has a key role to play across industries where these things are a major concern.


Fire protection is a key requirement for the automotive and aerospace industries, but also is an essential facet in various continuous processes, involved in the petrochemical and other industries.


Fire safety touches the lives of pretty much everyone; whether it’s when they are using everyday consumer appliances, or when they are at work, where fire protection is part of the infrastructure of their surroundings.


What does mica contribute to fire safety, and why is it such an important material?


Mica’s Fire Safety Qualities


high temperature for fire protection, image of a fire fighter in front of a fire.

Mica’s natural mineral properties mean that it is an excellent insulator while being extremely durable and adaptable. Whether in pure form, or combined with other materials, including microporous insulation, mica offers a range of solutions across different industries when it comes to fire protection and ensuring fire safety.


Microporous technology is effective in blocking three types of heat transfer: conduction, convection and radiation.


Conduction involves heat flux through solid materials; convection is where heat flows through gases and liquids; and radiation is where heat travels through electromagnetic waves.


Addressing these types of heat transfer means high temperature solutions can offer essential fire protection for different products and functions, including electrical, industrial and transport.


Making Consumer Appliances Safe


Faulty consumer appliances can be the cause of household fires, and is especially prone to causing injury and damage, because they are heat-generating.

hair being dried with a hairdryer insulated with mica

Items such as hairdryers function through heating up and cooling down quickly, but to do this safely they must have the right degree of high temperature insulation.


The nichrome element in hairdryers is wound around an insulating board, which must be thermally resistant and provide a high level of protection from the risk of fire.

Mica is an ideal solution, as, in rigid form, it can be cut into custom shapes. Its natural heat resistance, combined with strong dielectric properties, make mica the perfect fire safety material for consumer appliances.


Heat Shields in Transportation


Fire safety is a critical issue in various forms of transportation, including automotive, aerospace and specialist, military transport.


Typically, internal combustion engines will give off large amounts of heat, which can damage components and, in certain conditions, lead to outbreaks of fire.


Similarly, the intense temperatures from jet engines in reverse thrust mode mean that fire is an inherent risk in modern air-flight.


Mica is the basis for heat shields in both aeroplanes and vehicles, helping to cool engine vents and provide thermal management for exhausts.


Even as electric vehicles become more prominent, mica will continue to play an essential fire safety and protective role, helping to insulate sophisticated electrical components.


Fire Safety in Industry


In the petrochemical processing industry, hazardous environments come with the job, and much of the industry’s continuous processes involve working in dangerously high temperatures with extremely combustible materials.


Thermal control combined with fire safety considerations are integral to safe, productive working.


Microporous insulation of pipes and tubes helps extend their lifespan, while ensuring thermal management. These specialist linings are extremely hardwearing and heat resistant, but are also lightweight and flexible.


Also, across various sectors, effective insulation is required for electric cables, to ensure their resistance to fire and to mechanical shock. In many industries, electrical equipment has a vital, strategic importance, and where fire does occur, it is important that it can continue to function as long and as effectively as possible.

picture of flames outside closed lift doors to illustrate Elmelin's fire control solutions

This sort of cabling carries power supplies in hospitals, airports, power stations and other key locations.

Mica insulating tape offers the protection these cables require for fire safety.


Fire Safety Solutions for Buildings


Reliable, reassuring fire safety for buildings involves passive fire protection, which is designed to contain and prevent the spread of fire.


This works as another protective measure alongside active fire prevention elements such as sprinklers, extinguishers and other suppressants, and fire alarms.


Good passive fire protection means having fire resistant floors and doors. Fire doors help to compartmentalise any fire outbreaks, creating sealed units within a building, which then increase people’ chances of making a safe evacuation.


Microporous materials provide fire resistant linings to fire doors, in the form of lightweight and thin insulation boards. The same applies to lift doors, which should also be fire resistant to prevent the spread of a fire through a building’s lift shafts.


A Safe, Mineral Alternative


Asbestos was once seen as the wonder miracle for fire safety applications, until it was exposed as a serious health risk.


Like asbestos, mica is a silicate material, formed in rock, but, unlike asbestos, mica is safe. For anyone looking for a safe alternative to asbestos, which will combine strength with heat resistance performance, mica is the answer.


It is more than an asbestos substitute, however. Used with other materials, or in pure form, mica is extremely versatile, and its combined qualities of electrical resistance and high temperature insulation make it the right choice across a diverse spread of industries and sectors.


Have You Got the Right Fire Safety?


You might be working with hazardous materials, manufacturing electrical goods, or working in an office environment. Fire safety will need to be a basic part of your working life regardless.


At Elmelin, we work with different businesses and organisations drawn from a broad spectrum of disciplines and sectors. What provide is peace of mind through expert fire safety, thermal management and high temperature insulation solutions.


For more information, please call us on +44 20 8520 2248, or email sales@elmelin.com. You can also complete our online enquiry form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

What is High Temperature Insulation?

What is High Temperature Insulation?

What is high temperature insulation? High temperature insulation is an insulating substance that protects from extremely high temperatures and is used in manufacturing, cars, electrical appliances, and tooling, amongst other things.

Many different industries rely on high temperature insulation to carry out essential processes, manufacture products and components, and ensure optimum, economic performance.


Insulation is vital for preventing the transfer of heat. By doing this, it reduces the amount of energy that is needed to raise temperatures, and it protects that are adjacent to the heat source from damage.

How Are Mica Sheets Made?

How Are Mica Sheets Made?

If you look at the end products and applications of mica, they can seem a long way from mica in its natural state. As a product, mica in sheet form is one of the most versatile, widely-used forms of processed mica, and here we answer how are mica sheets made?


Mica sheets come in different grades for a wide variety of applications. They can be either flexible or rigid, and can be composite or pure in composition.


Lets have a look at them.