Asbestos has become a dirty word in the modern age, nobody wants anything to do with it. But it was not always this way. Asbestos has some remarkable qualities and for this reason it was widely used before it was discovered to be dangerous in the 20th century. Asbestos is highly resistant to heat, it is a natural fibre, and it is very resistant to friction damage.
Here are some of the ways asbestos was used in the past.
- Ancient Times: It has been discovered that as far back as 4000 years ago, asbestos was being used in clay for cooking pots and utensils. It was also said to be woven into materials. The word asbestos comes from the Greek language, a variation of the Greek term for inextinguishable. The Greeks prized the material for its fire-resistant properties.
- Industrial Revolution: Although it was known from ancient times that asbestos often made people sick. The material began being widely used during the industrial revolution. Particularly as heat shielding and to protect machinery from boiler fires and other sources of ignition. Asbestos is also very resistant to friction and this led to its use in friction plates for brakes, clutches, grinding wheels and many other industrial applications. Although an effective material, caution should be used whenever these kinds of disks are in use. The dust may be full of asbestos particles.
- Home Use: As the quality of living rose, many products were devised to be used in the home, despite the known risks. Baking sheets and cookware were made from asbestos fibres, and so were tablecloths and other fabrics. Asbestos was also widely used as insulation, either as blown-in fibre material, or wrapped around pipes as a fabric. If you suspect that your home may contain some asbestos, an internet search will help you arrange for asbestos removal quotes in Perth. The handling and removal of asbestos should be left to experienced and qualified experts.
Today, asbestos is still in use, but it is no longer a popular material. Safer modern materials and better technology have made it possible to phase out asbestos usage wherever possible. Contrary to popular belief, Asbestos is not entirely banned, but there are strict standards governing its use. Today you will mostly find it being used in heavy industry, in steel mills, mining, and other specialty areas that still require the unique properties of asbestos. Great care is now taken so that asbestos is no longer making people sick. But the asbestos from the past is still a problem that needs to be cleaned up.