Which mica properties make it so ideal for industrial insulation?
Mica is at the core of our range of industrial insulation solutions. Our goal is to improve the safety, performance and lifespan for a range of industrial applications. Mica is a widely-used mineral that is sourced from mining in many countries but predominantly India and Madagascar, using artisanal mining techniques Here we’ll discuss mica basics and essentials, as well as which of its properties make it so ideal for industrial insulation.
There are a variety of properties that make mica ideal for industrial insulation. Whilst the thermal and electrical resistance of mica are the standout properties for insulation solutions, its versatility in applications is excellent for manufacturing mica-based insulation products with unique specifications. Mica can be processed into tubes, sheets and laminates for many sectors and industries:
- Battery storage
- Foundry and steel
- Consumer appliances
- Power electronics
Muscovite mica is recognised as the most suitable type for electrical, a potassium-rich white mica that can withstand temperatures up to 900°C and has a dielectric strength of 20kV/mm. It is therefore widely-used for electrical applications, from high voltage capacitors to train and automotive insulation.
Phlogopite mica is often used in thermal applications as it can withstand temperatures above 1200 °C. Rather than white, phlogopite mica often has a green appearance and alongside its excellent thermal insulating properties, it has a great dielectric strength of 18kV/mm. At Elmelin we produce products made of both muscovite and phlogopite mica.
Mica is resistant to high temperatures, making it ideal for insulation for a range of applications in a variety of sectors. The non-combustible nature of mica makes it a perfect choice for slowing down and reducing the effects of electrical fires. Many industrial processes will require thermal management to ensure machinery performance remains consistent as well as safe and long-lasting.
Excess heat that is generated can be mitigated using mica insulation, as it remains stable at high temperatures with phlogopite mica remaining stable up to well over 1000 °C. In addition, mica is also non-combustible under high temperatures which further enhances its stability. Elmelin’s mica-based thermal management solutions use mica roll, tubes, sheets and laminates in order to protect equipment, devices and the people using them.
Mica is also dielectric, therefore being a poor conductor of electricity. Because of this, mica has excellent capabilities for electrical insulation. Phlogopite mica has a dielectric strength of 18000V/mm, with muscovite mica having an even higher strength at 20000V/mm. Muscovite is therefore commonly used in the electrical industry.
Applications for mica in the electrical industry vary. In the automotive sector, the demand for electric vehicles is growing at an exponential rate, and therefore the need for bespoke insulation solutions to improve performance and safety is a necessity. Electric vehicle battery storage is an area that we have been working in for a while, providing electrical and thermal insulation solutions.
A key requirement for industrial insulation is being able to withstand high temperatures over long periods of time. This durability is becoming increasingly important as demand on production continues to rise globally. Replacing insulation can be costly and a timely process, further highlighting the need for strong, resilient insulation.
Mica is highly durable, allowing it to remain stable under pressure and stress, withstanding extremely high temperatures. The mechanical strength of mica ensures that its insulating capabilities remain effective after extended periods of time. At Elmelin, we produce flexible and rigid mica sheets, which are both highly durable and have chemical resistance.
Mica can be easily cut and shaped into rolls, tubes and sheets of various lengths and dimensions. Therefore our mica-based products and solutions are versatile in the sense that they can be manufactured into a range of shapes and sizes. The mica sheets are often incredibly thin as well, meaning they’re lightweight and ideal for transportation and logistics.
Due to how easily mica can be cut and shaped, individual specifications can be met depending on the application. At Elmelin, we can tailor our mica insulation products to your requirements. Individual measurements, shapes, and sizes can be accommodated; owing to the flexibility and versatility of mica.
There are numerous properties and characteristics of mica that make it so ideal for industrial insulations in many different applications and sectors. As well as being highly resistant to heat, mica also has high dielectric strength and permittivity, is affected by very little to no moisture absorption, is non-hazardous and is highly durable as well as flexible.
We continue to develop and expand upon new ideas and aim to continue producing the highest quality of mica-based insulation solutions available. If you would like to find out more about our products and solutions, or have a specific customisation project to discuss, then please do get in touch here.