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The mechanical properties of asbestos include the tensile strength of asbestos fibers, fiber dimensions, and related data given here. Our articles about the properties, manufacture & uses 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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Tensile testing of fibers has been predominantly used in order to develop mechanical properties at both room and elevated temperatures. The types of asbestos generally evalu- ated are chrysotile, crocidolite and amosite. These particular fibers produce the maximum strength. In Table 2.6, the tensile strength of various materials as well as asbestos is in- eluded. The tensile strength values for the asbestos fibers reported in the table are based upon breaking loads applied to fiber bundles measuring approximately 20i in cross see- tion.
TABLE 2.6. COMPARISON OF AVERAGE TENSILE STRENGTHS OF VARIOUS MATERIALS *
[Click to enlarge any image]
Types of Material Tensile Strength for comparison with asbestos: Lb per Sq In Ingot iron 4500 Wrought iron 48,000 Carbon steel 155 1 000 "Nichrome" steel 243,000 Piano steel wire 300,000 Cotton fiber 7300 to 89,000 Rock wool 60,000 Glass fiber 100,000 to 200,000 Chrysotile asbestos 80,000 to 200,000 Crocidolite asbestos 100,000 to 300,000 Amosite asbestos 16,000 to 90,000 Tremolite asbestos 1,000 to 8,000
*Can. Mining and Met. Bull. (1951)
Such organic fibers as wool and cotton, as well as such synthetic products as rayon permit a certain plastic strength. of single fiber up to the breaking point. This characteristic shows that the fibers are elastic and have a certain degree of plasticity. The single asbestos fibers, however, are simi- lar to glass; they are non-plastic and elastic only. Although asbestos fibers are non-plastic, they are extremely flexible. This property is caused by the fact that the individual fibers are much finer than any of the other fibers.
The tensile modulus of elasticity for asbestos fiber (chrysotile) is reported as 25 x 10 psi.
Literature on the subject shows a difference in opinion with regard to the strength of most heat resistant fibers. This fact results primarily from the different methods of test and evaluation that have been used. Generally, the chrysotile fibers and blue asbestos fibers are considered the strongest insofar as high temperatures are concerned.
However, principal interest is with the chrysotile fibers for use at the higher temperatures. At ordinary temperature, blue asbestos is considererl than chrysotile, but even at heating beyond the low temperature of 400°F, blue asbestos loses some of its strength, while chrysotile is not affected even at temperatures up to 700°F.
It is reported that chrysotile has little decrease in strength in saturated steam and in moist air in temperatures up to 400°F. Above 400°F blue asbestos loses strength to a much greater extent in moist than in dry air. At this temperature, it undergoes decomposition.
In Table 2.7 [below] the tensile strength of chrysotile asbestos from room temperature to 1,200°F is reported. Exposure time at test temperature was 3 min with physical testing being conducted at room temperature. When one hour ex- posure periods were used, strength at 400°F resulted in
128,000 psi, 600°F of 100,000 psi, and 1,200°F of below 2,000 psi.
TABLE 2.7. TENSILE STRENGTH OF CHRYSOTILE VS. TEMPERATURE *
Tensile Strength, Per cent of Original Temperature Lb per Sq In Tensile Strength Normal 131,000 100.0 Heated 3 min at 600°F 120,000 91.6 Heated 3 min at 800°F 96,000 73.3 Heated 3 min at 1,000°F 78,000 59.5 Heated 3 min at 1,200°F 42,000 32.0
* Canadian Mineral Metallurgical Bulletin, April, 1951.
Asbestos is being used in combination with different fibers in order to improve the tensile strength and the heat re-. sistance of the other fibers at elevated temperatures. An example concerns a method to improve heat resistant glass tapes by incorporation of asbestos. Fabrics are constructed so that the warp is glass yarn and the filler is asbestos. There are other combinations such as glass core asbestos yarn. Interest also exists in using a combination of glass fiber and asbestos fiber in order to prepare a glass-asbestos yarn.
Continue reading at ASBESTOS TEMPERATURE 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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