Ceramic Insulation: A Brief Introduction
Technical ceramics are among the highest performing engineered materials on earth, displaying unprecedented thermodynamic characteristics. From low thermal conductivities to high mechanical stability at temperatures exceeding 1000°C (1832°F), many fine ceramic materials are naturally suited for industrial insulation purposes.
What is Ceramic Insulation?
The most effective and efficient method of integrating ceramic insulation into ovens and furnaces is to utilize components built using refractory ceramic fibers. These low-mass filaments or threads are typically generated from oxide ceramics like alumina (Al2O3) or silica (Si3O4), using a choice of precision or bulk manufacturing processes, such as:
- Chemical vapor deposition
- Melt drawing
The resulting fibers are gathered and either compacted together into a matt or wound into roving for use in injection-molded, pultruded composites, or vacuum-formed parts. By using many small-dimension refractory fibers rather than bulk material, engineers dramatically reduce part weight, as well as the up-front costs and machining times. It also significantly widens the available configurations, enabling manufacturers to generate semi-cylindrical shapes and profiles with custom surface features.
At Thermcraft, we utilize vacuum forming with a low-sodium inorganic bonding agent to generate heat radiant furnace parts and insulating linings suitable for working temperatures of up to 1200°C (2192°F). These are engineered with grooved surfaces that are embedded with helically-wounded heating elements, which exploits the low heat retention of the underlying ceramic insulation to better radiate heat throughout the processing chamber. The result is greater thermal uniformity and improved process efficiency.
We can engineer ceramic insulation products in a range of formats, including semi-cylindrical components, conformable fiber blankets, moistened formable insulation, and flat boards. Alongside this core group of vacuum molded insulation products, we offer a choice of CNC-machined accessories for specific geometries.
Ceramic Insulation from Thermcraft
Thermcraft is one of the industry-leading manufacturers of vertically-integrated thermal processing equipment for a wide range of markets. Our success is built on a commitment to excellence at every stage of the design process. This has yielded a broad range of high-performance insulation and heating products that offer rapid heat-up times, high continuous and peak temperatures, reduced maintenance requirements, and ultimately, greater productivity.
If you would like to learn more, read our previous blog post The Importance of Using High-Temperature Insulation Materials in Furnaces