Welding Protection, Stress Relieving and Pre-Heating

The largest single applications for REFRASIL cloth involves welding protections for numerous welding maintenance and repair functions.

REFRASIL textiles have found growing use in many welding operations because of their excellent high-temperature performance and outstanding insulating characteristics.  Uses of REFRASIL cloth include weld pre-heat blankets, protective utility cloths and weld station curtains and shields.  REFRASIL cloth is also used in conjunction with ceramic fiber ball insulation for stress-relieving pads.

Pre-Heating and Stress Relieving

Various thermal treatments are often used to reduce stress and distortion caused by the heat of welding.  Treatments may include pre-heating, stress relieving, or both, depending on conditions and needs.  Among the many properties controlled or improved are: distortion during welding, reduction of stresses affecting service performance of the weld, weldability, dimensional stability, machinability, and increased resistance to crack propagation.

Pre-heating involves raising the temperature of the base metal before welding from ambient temperature through 1200°F.  In many cases, the pre-heat temperatures must be carefully controlled or heat loss minimized.  When this type of situation is encountered, an insulation blanket is usually employed.  By retarding heat loss, the blanket helps improve weldability and reduces the magnitude of shrinkage stresses.  In cases where an entire structure such as a heavy forging or casting must be pre-heated, it is almost always recommended that the structure be protected against rapid cooling with some form of insulation.

REFRASIL silica and fabrics have been very effective as the insulating medium in many pre-heat and stress relieving operations.  Some users may buy SO-lineal-yard rolls of REFRASIL Cloth and cut material from them as stress-relieving pad where the REFRASIL is used to contain a ceramic batt.  An additional benefit to customers is that REFRASIL is low in chlorides, making it acceptable for use in nuclear welding work.

Welding Curtains and Utility Cloths

Because of its resistance to molten metal splash, REFRASIL is used throughout industry for personnel and equipment protection during welding operations.

Both UC & AR series insulation cloth are used extensively to replace asbestos in welding curtain applications.  As a utility material for general use, REFRASIL is normally bought in rolls and the user merely cuts the required lengths.  Where the material must be hung as a safety shield or curtain, REFRASIL may be hemmed and grommetted.

Basic Metals

This group consists of industries that melt and process various metals from ores and scrap to finished or semi-finished products.  Six major industries comprise about 80% of the total output.  They are steel (50%), aluminum (17%), copper (12%), and lead, zinc, and ferrous-alloys (1% or less each).

Industrial Heating/Processing

This market includes manufacturers that use some form of heat treating (brazing, anealing, normalizing, quench & tempering, carburizing, and stress-relieving) in the manufacturing processes of more that 5,000 industrial plants in the U.S. and Canada.  Of these plants that use some form of heat treating, 90% are captive heat treaters, i.e., the heat treating operation is done in conjunction with the total manufacturing process, while the remaining 10% are job shops offering custom heat treating services.

Manufacturers of the following products use some form of heat treating in their processes and would be likely candidates for HITCO products.

Successful REFRASIL applications include:

Induction furnace liners, atmosphere furnace curtains, mold blankets, furnace curtains, hydraulic line insulation, personnel shields, furnace separator cloth, zone curtains, and pre-heat and slow cooling blankets.

  • Industrial Maintenance and Repair Operations (MRO)
    • This market represents the function responsible for maintenance and repairs undertaken in any manufacturing or industrial plant.  REFRASIL products offer distributors excellent sales opportunities to industrial maintenance departments and welding operations.  Weld protection, hose/cable wrap, personnel protection, furnace curtains, heat shields, and a host of other maintenance applications offer potential.
  • Electrical Power Generating Plants
    • Market potential in this industry is in two parts.
  • New Construction
    • Competitive conditions usually dictate that volume participation by distributors is inhibited.
  • Existing/Producing Power Plants:
    • Offers good potential for distributors.  Quantities are usually in the 1-5 roll category, or fabricated products.  For scheduled or non-scheduled shut downs, the consumption of welding protection cloth can be significant (50 to 100 rolls) as major repairs are accomplished.
  • Chemical Processing and Petroleum Refineries
    • These industries offer excellent distributor potential for weld protection materials and tape products for maintenance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is refractory material used in?

Refractory materials are used in various industrial processes that involve high temperatures and/or corrosive environments, where ordinary materials would not be able to withstand the conditions.

Some common applications of refractory materials include:

  • Furnaces: Refractory materials are used in the linings of furnaces, kilns, and other high-temperature equipment used in the production of metals, ceramics, glass, and cement. They help to insulate the equipment and protect it from the high temperatures and corrosive materials used in the process.
  • Chemical processing: Refractory materials are used in the construction of reactors, pipes, and other equipment used in the production of chemicals, such as fertilizers, petroleum products, and acids.
  • Power generation: Refractory materials are used in the construction of boilers, furnaces, and other equipment used in the production of electricity, such as gas and steam turbines.
  • Aerospace: Refractory materials are used in the construction of rockets, missiles, and other aerospace equipment that is subjected to extreme temperatures during launch and re-entry.
  • Glass manufacturing: Refractory materials are used in the construction of glass furnaces, where they help to maintain high temperatures and protect the furnace from the corrosive effects of molten glass.

What is silica cloth used for?

Silica cloth is a type of high-temperature fabric made from amorphous silica fibers. It is a highly versatile material that is used in a wide range of industrial and commercial applications where protection from high temperatures, flames, and other hazards is necessary.

Some common uses of silica cloth include:

  • Thermal insulation: Silica cloth is often used as an insulating material in high-temperature applications such as furnaces, kilns, and other industrial equipment. It can be used to line the walls of these units, helping to reduce heat loss and increase efficiency.
  • Welding protection: Silica cloth can be used as a protective barrier for welders, as it is highly resistant to heat and sparks. It can be used to cover work surfaces, welding blankets, and curtains to protect nearby areas and personnel from the heat and sparks generated during welding.
  • Fireproofing: Silica cloth is also commonly used in fireproofing applications, such as in the construction of fire-resistant doors, curtains, and other building materials.
  • Electrical insulation: Silica cloth is an excellent electrical insulator, and it can be used to wrap and protect electrical components from heat and other hazards.
  • Automotive: Silica cloth is used in the automotive industry to provide heat protection and insulation for exhaust systems, catalytic converters, and other high-temperature components.