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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.
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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 are used.
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.
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.
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 long fibers.
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 systems.
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.
Continue reading at ASBESTOS PLASTIC PROPERTIES
Asbestos, Its Industrial Applications - Rosato: Text & Chapter Index 
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Web search 01/20/2011, original source: http://epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/verm_questions.html
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