The term Refractory Ceramic Fibres (RCFs) was adopted as the original fibres were made by fusing calcined china clay (kaolin) at a temperature approaching 2000 °C and then fiberizing a stream of the molten material. By analogy with traditional pottery processes, which also use kaolin, the name “ceramic” was chosen.
For example, industrial furnace operators realized that they could greatly reduce their energy consumption and costs by replacing conventional hard refractories - which had to be kept constantly hot, even when industrial production was not on stream - with ASW/RCF. This was in spite of the fact that the products were relatively expensive at the time.
Since the 1980s, HTIWs have also been used in the automotive industry, in the production of exhaust systems, catalytic converters and latterly diesel particulate filters. Such products play a key role in reducing harmful emissions from vehicles and in improving air quality for the general public. A small but important proportion of HTIW products is used in the production of various fire protection and fire prevention products.