Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Inswool/kaowool saftey


Recommended Posts

Where do the fibers from the ceramic blanket insulation's fall as far as how hazardous they are? Are they more like fiberglass or asbestos? Just trying to figure out what type of respirator I should get.

Thanks,
LouieIV

Link to post
Share on other sites

hope this helps there is also a coating that should be used once you have it in your forge spray or paint on to protect the surface in a gas rich environment


Kaowool® Blanket


Kaowool Blanket is produced from kaolin, a naturally occurring alumina-silica fire clay. Kaowool, the world’s most recognizable name in ceramic fiber blanket, is available in a wide variety of densities and sizes. Kaowool Blanket is air laid into a continuous mat and mechanically needled for added strength and surface integrity. Kaowool Blanket does not contain organic binders and provides excellent resistance to chemical attack.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I will have it coated in satanite and ITC-100. I'm mainly worried about the pre-finished state while I'm handling it and laying it in. I will be using Inswool HP Ceramic Fiber blanket. I assume they are very similar, but not sure about that.

LouieIV

P.S. I realize I should of put this in the safety section. If a moderator wants to move it that's fine by me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The respirator of choice is a HEPA filter. The fibers that hurt you, be they fiberglas, kaowool, or asbestos are small emough to get into the air, and then be inhaled. The body has natural defenses such as tiny hairs in the respirtory system, and mucus. Both tend to trap these fibers and dust. Smoking slows or stops these defenses, so a smoker is much more likely to have the fibers damage the lungs.

The fibers of asbestos that are likely to hurt you are about 4 micrometers long by about 1 micrometer in diameter. A micrometer is 1 millionth of a meter. A red blood cell is about 4 x 6 micrometers so the fibers that hurt you are too small to see.
The HEPA filter is designed and rated for these fibers. Happens that the HEPA filters are also good for weld smoke, and that pesky rust dust from wirewheeling.

A half face respirator, with HEPA filters will protect from low levels of fibers in the air. Great for weld fume. But they only work if worn! They also only work if adjusted to fit and seal. Read all of the instructions and follow them. In the asbestos removal world, the workers have to strip and shower, wearing the repirator, in an airlock, then move to the next chamber to remove the respirator. That way fibers don't come out on their clothes and end up getting in them when the change, or go home with them to hurt their families.

I do not think building a forge with Kaowool needs a Tyvek suit and shower before leaving the shop. I would wear the respirator, and would brush off my hair and eyebrows and so forth outside and before entering my house.

Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all thanks for all the responses. ptree yours was especially informative.

Both Inswool and Kaowool fall under what is called RCF (Refractory Ceramic Fibers)

So from what I've read someone that is not working with it on a regular basis, like most of us assuming you seal it with some sort of coating, are at pretty low risk. Just like with most 'dangerous substances like asbestos, lead, radiation, etc... it is exposure to very large amounts and/or long term exposure that causes problems. With that being said, when I'm thinking and not being stupid I tend to err on the side of safety :D .

The MSDS recommendations are based off 8hr work days and the particle count in the air. I'm guessing most of us don't have a particle counter at home.

I found this recommendation chart My link. I believe this is based off an 8hr work day. This is from Canada and was the most straight forward recommendations I found. The least amount of recommended protection I saw was goggles, gloves and an N95 rated mask, I think this was on an Australian MSDS (not sure though).

I will be using goggles, latex gloves, disposable coveralls, and a P100 respirator. I will be doing it outside, since I don't have HEPA filtration in my garage. Like I said I tend to err on the side of safety.

Disclaimer:
I'm no expert, please do your own research when determining how much or little and what PPE to use.

-LouieIV

Link to post
Share on other sites

Louisv
None of us have particle counters in our homes. almost every fiber count method requires that the air being sampled be pulled for a fixed time period at a fixed volume per time rate. The filter element is then removed from the cassettte and examined by a trained observer and the particles for a given area is counted and that is how the counts are made.

You choice of a P-100 is very good. That is a HEPA rated filter. The P in the rating Stands for "Permissible" as to oil mist in the air. That means a little oil mist won't ruin the filtration.

One last question, do you know how to fit test the respirator? There should be explicit instructions and you need to follow those. If your glasses are fogging the respirator is leaking and not working.

Next, you do know if you are in condition to wear the respirator? The respirator will stress your cardio-pulmonary system. If you have had a heart attack or astma you ought to do yourself a favor and ask your Doc.

If you have facial hair along the seal line of the respirator you will find it very hard to seal. An old trick, messy but sorta works is to grease up the face with vasoline along the seal line to paste down the facial hair. Icky!
 

 

I was a certified fit tester, a certified Asbestos abatement supervisor and a lead inspector and work as an Environmental Health and Safety Specialist.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I know how to seal/seal check the respirator, but as far as a certified fit test that's a bit more in depth than I'm prepared to do.
I am fit and have used respirators before, thanks for the heads up though.
I'm thinking I will shave. I just keep a short goatee any way, so growing it back will be quick and easy :D .

Thanks,
LouieIV

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 years later...

A fit test is just documenting that you have tried on the mask for the best fit possible. It is for insurance policies and plain documentation. A fit test can be performed by using an aerosol or other odor being dispensed by control. Most hepa masks and such have adjustable fits(such as straps and custom face pieces). The mask is then "fitted" until the odor being released can no longer be detected.

 

 

I am a certidied OSHA hazmat first responder.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...
On 9/5/2014 at 4:34 AM, onetreeforge said:

Its good to wear tight fitting googles with a mask wheen working with Kawool, asbestos etc, the dust can be carryed in thrugh your tear ducts into your body.

Son of a xxxxx, that is a new one on me!

thanks

Link to post
Share on other sites

Its good to wear tight fitting googles with a mask wheen working with Kawool, asbestos etc, the dust can be carryed in thrugh your tear ducts into your body.

 

But I don't breath through my tear ducts!

 

Your caution is valid for toxic dusts, gasses, etc. but Ceramic wools, silica dust, asbestos are long term breathing hazards. There isn't anything chemically dangerous in these unless a person has an allergy or you're working with a toxic material, say sanding lead paint.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 years later...

I have a gas fireplace insert in which a technician recently placed a small amount of Inswool to better direct the flame. I want to have the product removed. My local service company (did the install) and is willing to remove. They typically use a vacuum cleaner to remove the product. I am concerned about fibers becoming airborne in my house. Is this a real safety issue? Is there a better way to remove the product? Thanks.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Debra,

  I'm not an authority on this. That being said, I think vacuuming it out will be fine. The dangers of this are in handling and being exposed to airborne fibers long term on a daily basis. 

 

Hope this helps,

LouieIV

Link to post
Share on other sites

Debra: The airborne fibers are NOT the hazard folk think they are. The service company uses PPE because they work with it all the time. The MSDA clearly says it's only a breathing hazard in large or repeated exposures, there is a stronger warning about it as a skin and eye irritant.

Still a person doesn't want to breath things they don't have to. Wear a dust mask and goggle type eye protection and you're covered to remove it. To control the fibers wet it down with a spray bottle then vacuum it out. Your vacuum should have a HEPA filter to catch it all but a little bit isn't going to cause health issues. UNLESS you are allergic in which case you'd know already.

The stuff is NOT toxic! Seriously your grandmother's bright yellow tea cup is a LOT more toxic.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

My pleasure to be of help. If you look up the MSDS you might reconsider removing it at all. You can stabilize it with a rigidizer and enjoy the benefits without potential health hazard.

I did forget one tip. Handling ceramic blanket has a lot in common with fiberglass insulation, it can really make you itch but a soapy shower takes care if it. However two tips for taking a decontamination shower correctly: Tip 1, DO NOT remove your goggles until AFTER you've washed your hair and then keep your eyes closed until you rinse your eyebrows.

Tip 2, DO NOT take a HOT shower, it will open the pores i your skin and CAN allow particles deeper penetration into your hide. A luke warm rinse, uncomfortably cold will remove the bulk of debris then soap, rinse and take a hot shower.

You pick up on stuff working in a soils lab, we handled some nasty chemicals and had several emergency showers on the floor. We used to give the handle a pull if we could sucker someone into standing under one. It was fun. :lol: Yeah, us lab rats were easy to amuse.

Oh, cold water wash and double rinse the LONG SLEEVE shirt and pants you WILL be wearing . . . right? Gloves aren't really necessary but cold water wash your hands before touching yourself anywhere. Yes?

Frosty The Lucky.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 years later...

Hello I forge iron community!  I am a beginning ceramic shell casting person and have similar safety concerns as members in this community when constructing furnaces in my case for melting metals.  Have used inswool, rigidizer and refractory coating all while using recommended PPE. 
 

Some fellow casters use inswool surrounding hot ceramic shells as a weight stabilizer basically for holding the empty shells vertical in a steel bucket in ready for pouring hot metal into the shell.   
 

My concern with this procedure is how effective rigidizing inswool is.  
 

Does anyone in this community have any words of advise?  Roy Carter

Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome aboard Roy, glad to have you. If you'll put your general location in the header you'll have better chance to hook up with members living within visiting distance. 

This is primarily a blacksmith forum though with more than 50,000 members in around 150 countries I'm sure there are any number of casters aboard. 

I can hazard a guess and make a suggestion though. If they aren't rigidizing during or immediately after the shells are wrapped maybe not so effective. Bending rigidized blanket is going to shake fibers loose. I don't know how flame movement during pre-heating will spread the now vitrified fibers though. PPE is a must regardless.

Then there are refractory blanket brands made with water soluble ceramic fibers. So long as a person isn't sensitive (allergic) to or is subjected to a serious exposure it is dissolved and excreted from lungs and body reasonably well. 

I don't recall the names or manufacturers of soluble refractory blankets, my memory for that kind of detail sucks since the accident but they're out there. Like so often I depend on and expect folk who know the brands and types to pipe up shortly. It's good to have backup eh?

Frosty The Lucky.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Frosty!  Great to receive an early reply reply on this forum.  The community of small scale ceramic shell casters is very very small in comparison to you folks.   I will look into water ceramic fiber and focus on alternate means for stabilizing empty ceramic shells in readiness to receiving molten metal.  BTW, the shells are by necessity very hot prior to receiving poured metal.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We just happened to be looking at the forum at the same time, it happens all the time. Water soluble refractory ceramic blanket. The term SOLUBLE is the key. 

By stabilizing do you mean keeping them in position or chemically/thermally stable?

One of our club members is a professional caster and instructor, specializing in bronze. He pours investments directly out of the burn out kiln and supports them in a tray of heated 350-400f sand maybe 4-6" deep.  Heating the sand does a couple things, it prevents thermal shock to the molds and more importantly it drives off any moisture in case of a spill or a blow out. 

Probably the most important "special" technique he uses is building his investments Dip, sand, set, dip sand, set. HIs investment is never allowed to sit still any length of time. He uses a foot switch to stop it to dip his forms and it's back on. He built it from a plastic drum on an axle tilted to maybe 40* +/- there are agitators on 3 sides that keep everything churning. He used to use a cement mixer but purpose designed this for capacity and better action.

Frosty The Lucky.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Frosty!  Great to receive an early reply reply on this forum.  The community of small scale ceramic shell casters is very very small in comparison to you folks.   I will look into water ceramic fiber and focus on alternate means for stabilizing empty ceramic shells in readiness to receiving molten metal.  BTW, the shells are by necessity very hot prior to receiving poured metal.

lATER !  Maybe we are still on at the same time.  Good that there is another caster on the forum.  By stabilization I mean keeping in physical position.  The professional caster you referenced  is using a means I have seen by video used in industrial settings.  It’s highly dramatic!  Worker literally removes by gloved hands and wearing super PPE clothing a red hot burned out ceramic shell and fairly physically implants it into a sand bed ready for receiving pored metal.   Curious how the professional caster on forum heats up sand.  I do have a weed burner powered by propane.  
 

Some comments if there are other ceramic shell casters on the forum:  1. Many as I will, are now using a hot water bath (turkey roaster) as a means for wax removal.  Reported results are for much less or no shell cracking, good wax retrieval and being environmentally safer 2. For small operations automated slurry stirring is no longer necessary with new slurry formations from Remet and Ranson and Randolph (suspendaslurry).  Monthly stirrings are sufficient.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...