The Heat Is On: A Guide to Ceramic Fiber Papers

Jul 15, 2023

For applications up to 2,300°F, traditional insulation materials fall short. Specialty ceramic fiber papers fill this ultra-high temperature insulation role. Materials like aluminium silicate ceramic fiber paper provide lightweight, flexible, and efficient insulation for extreme heat situations. This blog explores the composition and uses of ceramic fiber papers.

ceramic fiber paper insulation

What Is Ceramic Fiber Paper?

Ceramic fiber paper consists of aluminium oxide and silica fibers processed into a thin, flexible mat or sheet. The raw materials are melted and formed into interlocking fibres using either a blown or spun process. Blown fibre papers have more consistency and strength, while spun papers offer greater heat resistance.

Ceramic fibre papers offer thermal insulation coupled with chemical stability, low thermal conductivity, and low heat storage. Exposure to temperatures up to 2,300°F has minimal effect on structure or performance. The result is reliable, efficient insulation for the most demanding environments.

Typical Applications

With their incredibly high temperature ratings, ceramic fiber papers excel in roles like:

• Furnace, kiln, and boiler insulation
• Fire protection systems
• Automotive exhaust wraps
• High temperature gaskets and seals
• Thermal insulation for industrial processes
• Insulation for heating elements
• Expansion joint packing
-passive fire protection systems

Any process or application dealing with extreme heat depends on the thermal barriers and protection provided by ceramic fiber papers. These materials outperform conventional insulations by hundreds of degrees.

Types of Ceramic Fiber Papers

Within the category of ceramic fiber papers, there are a few specific types and compositions:

• Aluminium silicate fibre – The most common type, made from alumina and silica. Handles up to 2,100°F.
• Alumina-silica fiber – Higher alumina content for increased strength and stiffness. Rated beyond 2,000°F.
• Polycrystalline fibre – Made from purified alumina-silica crystals for superior heat resistance past 2,300°F.
• Zirconia fibre – Added zirconium oxide boosts use temperatures over 2,700°F. But also makes these papers more rigid.
• Fiberfrax paper – A brand name referring to spun ceramic fiber papers rated to 2,012°F.

While higher alumina and zirconia blends extend performance, they also increase cost. Aluminium silicate papers offer the best balance of affordability and performance for most high temperature insulation needs.

Benefits Of Ceramic Fiber Insulation Paper

Compared to mineral fiber wool paper, calcium silicate, perlite, and other conventional insulations, ceramic fibre papers provide:

• Superior high-temperature ratings past 2,000°F
• Lower thermal conductivity for improved insulation
• Increased resiliency and tensile strength
• Higher heat reflectance and lower storage
• Excellent corrosion and chemical resistance
• Higher melting point and less shrinkage
• Lighter weight per square footage

For situations where reliability at extreme temperatures is critical, ceramic fiber papers are the first choice.

Common Forms and Grades

Ceramic fiber papers come in a range of product styles, densities, and sheet sizes:

• Bulk fibre – Loose fibre for blowing/packing into spaces
• Blankets/batts – Flexible rolls wound with wire or tape
• Paper – Ranging from lightweight tissue to rigid boards
• Ropes – Twisted or braided fibre strands
• Specialty shapes – Die-cut gaskets, wraps, seals and more

Within each form, grades offer different density and fibre content to suit the temperature range. Be sure to select the proper grade for your operating temperature.

The Future Of High Temperature Insulation

As industrial processes continue pushing operating parameters upward, ceramic fibre papers provide the thermal protection and efficiency needed at extremely high temperatures. Their specialized composition and fibrous structure maintain integrity in environments that quickly destroy other materials. With the hottest applications covered by ceramic fiber papers, the future of insulation looks bright!