Different Types of Asbestos Materials

We are all, hopefully, aware of the dangers of asbestos and how it was once extremely prevalent in our building industry. This caused untold amounts of damage to those closely involved in the installation of the asbestos and those living amongst it. However, there are different types of asbestos, so here is a breakdown of those and the differences they possess.

The most common varieties of asbestos are chrysotile (crystalline structure from the crystallization of the rock serpentine) and Amphibole (irregular fibrous aggregates in metamorphic rocks). The Amphibole includes crocidolite, grunerite (amosite), tremolite, anthophyllite and actinolite.

The most used varieties were chrysotile, amosite and crocidolite. The latter is the first that suffered restrictions on marketing and use, because of its danger. The physiochemical properties are particular to each of the varieties of asbestos, and have been conditioned to their use. However, the varieties used such as, chrysotile, amosite and crocidolite, have the following common properties:
– Resistance to:
High temperatures, a property known since antiquity and has determined that one of its main applications is in its high resistance to fire. Resists temperatures over 1000 ° C.
Electricity. The asbestos mineral is not electrically conductive and therefore it is a good electrical insulator.
Abrasion and traction. Because of the structure of fibres and fibrils, which give flexibility and stability, asbestos has a high degree of abrasion resistance.

It is known as white asbestos, but its colour varies from grey to white or yellow. It is a magnesium silicate. Its fibres are flexible, easily separable and have a silky look, for this reason it is easy to spin and weave. It can be attacked by acids and is heat resistant.
Represents 90% of asbestos used, and is found mainly in Canada, Zimbabwe and Russia.

The Amosite name is the brand name of the mineralogical variety corresponding to the initials of Asbestos Mines of South Africa grunerite asbestos.
Amosite or brown asbestos is a silicate of magnesium and sodium. It comes in the form of bright and straight fibres and is not suitable for spinning because of its hardness. It is resistant to acids and heat, and is used in isolation.
It is found mainly in South Africa.

It’s called blue asbestos for its lavender blue. It is a silicate of sodium and iron. The fibres have an intermediate hardness between chrysotile and amosite, and longer can be spun. The most important deposit is in South Africa.

This is white in appearance and is a magnesium silicate with a varied content of iron. It appears as bundles of short fibres. The most important deposit is in Finland.

The fibres are greenish, silky and hard to the touch. Has poor flexibility and therefore, are unsuitable for spinning, but are resistant to acids. The main deposits are in South Africa.

White and bright in colour. Fibres break easily.

If you are concerned about asbestos in your home or business premises we can provide you with an asbestos survey and an asbestos removal quote. Contact us at info@crucial-enviro.co.uk or call 01903 297818.