Fiber blankets are a category of flexible, insulator materials designed for high-temperature applications. They rely on high strength fiber reinforced polymers that have been spun into strands for their exceptional mechanical properties, including near-absolute flame retardancy, ultra-flexibility, and reusability. Mid-Mountain Materials has developed a range of CERMEX® fiber blankets capable of withstanding operating temperatures of up 2300°F (1260°C), with potential applications for refractory applications. But how are fiber blankets made?
Manufacturing Fiber Blankets
The primary components of fiber blankets are fiberglass composites, which are formed primarily from silica glass and a series of chemical catalysts such as calcium oxide, which is applied to improve the reactionary heating process of the raw material. This is prepared in a furnace with sustained temperatures exceeding 2500°F (1371°C) to ensure the molten materials can be aptly formed into glass fibers. There are multiple methodologies for stretching molten glass into thin strands, but the basic method is to feed samples of the melt through heated spinnerets that extrude the material through micro-apertures. Molten glass emerges through the component as exceptionally narrow filaments to be treated via different processes depending upon the eventual application.
To create fiber blankets, the process conventionally involves rapidly cooling the filaments as they emerge from the extrusion using blasts of air or gas. The kinetic force of these blasts breaks the filaments into lengths of roughly similar proportions, and they fall through a second spray of solution before collecting in a needled web on a revolving drum or conveyor. This mass of loosely concentrated filaments is treated with a binder for maximum thermal efficiency and is transferred to an oven for the curing process, after which the product is cut to size and rolled up for application.
Applications of Fiber Blankets
Fiber blankets are primarily used to insulate mechanisms and equipment in refractory environments. Their great degrees of formability make them an attractive alternative to permanent insulation as they can successfully adapt to the complex shapes of industrial equipment, and be moved to adapt to any changes in the working environment.
Fiber Blankets from Mid-Mountain Materials
Mid-Mountain Materials, Inc. is a leading industry developer, manufacturer, and supplier of heat resistant materials for an enormous range of established applications across many industries. Our fiber blankets are made to a range of widths and thicknesses to suit client specifications. The grades of CERMEX® fiber blankets include:
- Low Biopersistence Needled Blanket: a needled and felted fiber blanket with a continuous use limit of 2102°F (1150°C) and available densities from 4 – 160 lbs/ft3 enabling exceptionally low heat storage properties and good thermal shock resistance;
- Refractory Ceramic Fiber Blanket with a continued use limit of 2300°F.