Given the fact thatasbestos has been increasingly employed in numerous branches of industry, aswell as in everyday life by people in general, many of us are already, more orless, familiar with certain properties of this specific material. Basically, asbestosstands for a group of minerals that can be found in the form of thin fibers. Forthose people who did not have any need for asbestos, or simply did not havespare time to get to know its properties, regarded as some of the mostprominent ones are the following:In the first place it is heatresistantAdditionally, it is fire resistantWhen it comes to chemicals, itsresistance is high in this respect, as wellIn terms of electricity it must bepointed out that it is well known for its fairly good conductingcharacteristicsExceptionally durableEndowed with extremely desirablesound-absorbing properties
Usage and tiles
Having in mind a timeperiod of approximately two decades, i.e. all the way until the beginning ofthe eighties, the greatest majority of floor tiles were based on asbestos. Backthen, the tiles in question could be found in the 9’x9’ size, and today in 12’x12’size. The main reason why tile manufacturers decided to include asbestos in theprocess of tile production is that it made the entire production processuncomplicated and more than easy in comparison to other materials employed backthen. In addition, it was known for its great durability and cost-effectiveness.As for these specific tiles, they were made from polyvinyl chloride polymers.
Furthermore, besides asbestos, other constituents were limestone, plasticizer, stabilizer, pigment and binder.This mixture was then exposed to high temperatures – 300 degrees Fahrenheit,and later on placed into a roller for the purpose of pressing it, thusproducing the thickness according to the needs. The next step was to press thisthrough cylinders so as to acquire a uniform thickness. In the phase to followwhat was done is first the pigmentation and then surface designs – while thetiles were still hot and soft.
Asbestos fibers –role and significance
The fibers in questionendow asbestos with the following favorable characteristics - it is resistant to abrasion, it boosts its overall strength and durability, it makes it moreflexible and it moisture resistant, as well as resistant to grease, oil, heat. Important to pointout is the fact that their propensity to endure high temperatures made themalso resistant to cracking.