Throughout most of the twentieth century asbestos spread abundantly throughout the UK, developing as one of the countries top building materials, due to its durability, insulating properties as well as its ability to withstand intense heat and fire. However, in recent years, due to the exposed health and environmental risks associated with asbestos, new technologies have been developed in the search for an alternative material. These new methods include:
1. Polyurethane Foams
These foams can be used within a spray on any type of structure and are extremely safe to use, as they don’t emit any harmful gases. Icynene foam is particularly good for homes whose inhabitants suffer from allergies, as the water-based foam creates an extremely tight seal allowing little space for either dust or mould to form. This alternative product is reported to reduce energy costs by around 30-35 per cent annually, making it a relatively cheap alternative in the long run.
2. Flour Fillers
This alternative product utilises natural resources to form a filler for cracks and crevices, aiding natural insulation. These materials may include pecan shell flour, rice hull ash, rice flour, and wheat flour all of which are sourced from natural sources. One of the main benefits of using this product is its ‘green’ status, meaning it presents no harmful hazards to those exposed to it.
3. Cellulose fibres
This is one of the most popular alternatives to asbestos, made from finely shredded newsprint and chemically treated to increase its level of fire resistance. Cellulose fibre is generally made of 5 per cent recycled content, which makes it another viable green alternative. Records have shown that on average it cuts energy costs by around 30 per cent annually.
4. Thermoset Plastic Flour
Wood flour and other low priced fillers can be used to fill thermoset plastics, providing a balance of good insulation and strength. The low cost associating with using this method has made in very popular amongst the construction industry, with it beginning to be used as an alternative to asbestos for heat, cold, and sound insulation.
5. Amorphous Silica Fabrics
These fabrics contain high temperature resistant materials, used for a wide range of insulation and protection industries, including aerospace, shipyards, molten metal and electric power generation. These fabrics in many industries have replaced similar products that once contained asbestos.
We hope that you found this blog interesting, and for any further information please don’t hesitate to call us on 0333 772 0424.