Types of Asbestos

Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) has been used in the manufacturing of various products and materials. These products can be found to contain either friable or non-friable asbestos

Friable Asbestos

Friable asbestos is generally quite loose and, when dry, can be crumbled into fine material or dust with light pressure, such as crushing with your hand.

Friable asbestos products have been commonly used in commercial and industrial settings since the late 1800s for fireproofing, soundproofing and insulation.

Examples of friable asbestos-containing material include:

  • pipe lagging
  • boiler insulation
  • fire retardant material on steelwork
  • sprayed insulation

Non-friable Asbestos

Non-friable asbestos products are made from a bonding compound (such as cement) mixed with a small proportion (usually less than 15%) of asbestos. Non-friable asbestos products are solid, rigid and non-friable, and cannot be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to powder by hand pressure. The asbestos fibres are tightly bound in the product and are not normally released into the air.

Examples of non-friable asbestos-containing material include:

  • asbestos cement sheet
  • asbestos cement moulded products
  • bitumen-based waterproofing
  • vinyl floor tiles.

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