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Basic components used in asbestos based formed or molding products: this article series about asbestos plastics & molded materials describes the history, manufacturing process & uses of asbestos plastics and molded materials such as asbestos reinforced handles, the Vanguard rocked nose cone, automobile parts & housings, electronic equipment (radar scanner), asbestos-filled Teflon, rocket motor parts, plastic drop tanks for the Hawker Sea Hawk, and hundreds of other products.
This articles series about the manufacture & use of asbestos-containing products includes detailed information on the production methods, asbestos content, and the identity and use of asbestos-containing materials.
How Asbestos Fabrics & Fillers Were Combined with Phenolics to Form Molded Plastic Products
By the use of asbestos fillers, phenolics can be made into
many standard forms to meet the design requirements of
high-impact strength, tensile strength, electrical insulating
qualities, heat resistance, chemical resistance, moisture resistance,
and wear resistance.
Figure 9.3. Automobile air-conditioning housing made of polyester
premix compound containing 55 per cent asbestos.
- Courtesy Houston Reinforced Plastics Co. [Click to enlarge any image]
For laminated or molded items,
asbestos fabrics, papers, felts, mats, loose fibers and yarns
The fabrics used are generally of heavy construction and
low cost which meet National Electrical Manufacturing
Association (NEMA) requirements.
The asbestos papers used for combination with phenolics include
low-cost, low-strength paper products as well as such specialty
paper products as Quinterra* and Novabestos.**
* Johns-Manville Corp.
** Raybestos-Manhattan, Inc.
The specialty grade papers, which are also more expensive,
have been developed specifically for rigid electrical
requirements. Table 9.2 provides for general information
concerning asbestos felts.
TABLE 9.2. Properties of Standard Asbestos Felts
Thickness (based on height of 10
plies), in. ± 10 %
Weight per 100 sq ft, lb, ± 5%
ASTM Grade ( D375-52)
Asbestos fiber contained in the felt,
Note: significant data for modern readers is that the asbestos content in these felt product ranges from 80% t0 99%! - Ed.
In molding compounds, short asbestos fibers such as
"shorts and floats" can produce attractive surface finishes
and satisfactory molding properties. Long asbestos fibers
tend not to produce highly attractive surface finishes and
have inferior flowing characteristics. To remedy these problems,
shorter asbestos fibers are generally mixed with the
Increasing filler content increases the viscosity of the
resin systems. For example an unfilled polyester resin system
with a viscosity of 2,500 centipoises at 75°F would increase
to 60,000 centipoises with 20 per cent asbestos filler. Actually
thick and stiff putties or pastes can be made with a
high percentage of asbestos fillers in the various resin
In many of the past applications, asbestos reinforced or
filled plastics were not evaluated as basically structural
materials. However, in the past decade there have been
tremendous strides with regard to reporting and developing
high strength and high modulus asbestos base plastics by
industry. These types of plastics are gradually entering into
such diversified fields as automotive parts, electronic parts,
chemical equipment, aircraft, and missiles.
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 Asbestos, its Industrial Applications, D.V. Roasato, engineering consultant, Newton MA, Reinhold Publishing Co., NY, 1959, Library of Congress Catalog No. 59-12535. We are in process of re-publishing this interesting text. Excerpts & adaptations are found in InspectApedia.com articles on asbestos history, production & visual identification in and on buildings.
 "Asbestos in Plastic Compositions", A.B. Cummins, Modern Plastics [un-dated, pre 1952]
 "Asbestos in Your Home," Spokane County Air Pollution Control Authority, Spokane WA 509-477-4727 www.scapa.org provides a one-page image, a .pdf file drawing of a house warning of some possible sources of asbestos in the home. The sources are not ranked according to actual risk of releasing hazardous levels of airborne asbestos fibers and the list is useful but incomplete.
 The US EPA provides a sample list of asbestos containing products epa.gov/earth1r6/6pd/asbestos/asbmatl.htm
 "Characterization of asbestos exposure among
automotive mechanics servicing and handling
asbestos-containing materials", Gary Scott Dotson, University of South Florida, 1 June 2006, web search 3/9/2012 original source: scholarcommons.usf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3505&context=etd [copy on file as /hazmat/Automotive_Asbestos_Exposuret.pdf ].
 Asbestos Identification and Testing References
Asbestos Identification, Walter C.McCrone, McCrone Research Institute, Chicago, IL.1987 ISBN 0-904962-11-3. Dr. McCrone literally "wrote the book" on asbestos identification procedures which formed
the basis for current work by asbestos identification laboratories.
Stanton, .F., et al., National Bureau of Standards Special Publication 506: 143-151
Pott, F., Staub-Reinhalf Luft 38, 486-490 (1978) cited by McCrone
 ASBESTOS IN YOUR HOME U.S. EPA, Exposure Evaluation Division, Office of Toxic Substances, Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington,D.C. 20460
 Asbestos products and their history and use in various building materials such as asphalt and vinyl flooring includes discussion which draws on ASBESTOS, ITS INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS, ROSATO 1959, D.V. Rosato, engineering consultant, Newton, MA, Reinhold Publishing, 1959 Library of Congress Catalog Card No.: 59-12535 (out of print, text and images available at InspectAPedia.com).
 "Handling Asbestos-Containing roofing material - an update", Carl Good, NRCA Associate Executive Director, Professional Roofing, February 1992, p. 38-43
 EPA Guidance for Controlling Asbestos-Containing Materials in buildings, NIAST, National Institute on Abatement Sciences & Technology, [republishing EPA public documents] 1985 ed., Exposure Evaluation Division, Office of Toxic Substances, Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington,D.C. 20460 Copy on file as ASBESTOS IN YOUR HOME - U.S. EPA, Exposure Evaluation Division, Office of Toxic Substances, Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington,D.C. 20460
Basic Information about Asbestos, US EPA, web search 08/17/2010, original source: http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/help.html
"Handling Asbestos-Containing roofing material - an update", Carl Good, NRCA Associate Executive Director, Professional Roofing, February 1992, p. 38-43
EPA Guidance for Controlling Asbestos-Containing Materials in buildings, NIAST, National Institute on Abatement Sciences & Technology, [republishing EPA public documents] 1985 ed., Exposure Evaluation Division, Office of Toxic Substances, Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington,D.C. 20460
Copy on file as ASBESTOS IN YOUR HOME - U.S. EPA, Exposure Evaluation Division, Office of Toxic Substances, Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington,D.C. 20460
[copy on file as /hazmat/Vermiculite_US_EPA.pdf/ Current Best Practices for Vermiculite Attic Insulation - May 2003, U.S. EPA
[copy on file as] /hazmat/Vermiculite_Health_Canada.pdf] Vermiculite Insulation Containing Amphibole Asbestos - September 2009, Health Canada
Managing Asbestos in Place, How to Develop and Maintain a Building Asbestos Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Program, U.S. EPA, web search 01/20/2011, original source: http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/management_in_place.html
Asbestos Strategies, Lessons Learned about Management and Use of Asbestos: Report of Findings and Recommendations on the Use and Management of Asbestos, 16 May 2003, US EPA, web search 01/20/2011, original source: http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/asbstrategiesrptgetf.pdf
prepared by the: Global Environment & Technology Foundation, 7010 Little River Turnpike, Suite. 460, Annandale VA 20003
Other US EPA Publications on asbestos: web search 01/20/2011, see http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/pubs.html
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
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The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume.
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