Asbestos-Containing Materials in Valves
Asbestos-containing materials (ACM) appeared the perfect choice for valve seats, packings, gaskets, and insulation.
Asbestos was a flexible mineral material with natural fireproofing properties. Not only was asbestos proven to resist fire, but it also controlled temperature and withstand high pressures.
Asbestos valve materials were electrically non-conductive, non-corrosive and chemically inert. Asbestos didn’t react with any material it regulated. Asbestos materials were easy to work with and cost-effective.
There were many reasons to use asbestos valves for these various roles:
- Agriculture and food processing facilities.
- Automotive and machinery manufacturing.
- Chemical producing factories.
- Paper mills and steel smelters.
- Power generating plants.
- Shipbuilding and repair dry-docks.
Valve-making employed two asbestos material classifications. One was chrysotile or white asbestos. This fiber type served lower heat and pressure applications.
The other was amphibole asbestos fibers used in high-temperature and extreme pressure valve components.
Both asbestos classes were harmful when fibers became airborne and exposed workers to tiny particles. However, amphibole asbestos fiber exposure was far more dangerous.