- In 1942, Refractory Ceramic Fibre (RCF)/Alumino Silicate Wool (ASW) was developed.
- In 1953, it became a commercially available product.
- In the 1970s, the use of ASW/RCF grew substantially as a consequence of the first energy crisis.
- PCW was developed in the 1970s.
- LBP wool was developed in the late 1980s and continue to be developed.
- At the end of the 1990s, the nomenclature was changed into High Temperature Insulation Wool (HTIW).
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 fiberising a stream of the molten material. By analogy with traditional pottery processes, which also use kaolin, the name “ceramic” was chosen although the fibres have a „glassy“ (amorphous) structure.
The use of High Temperature Insulation Wools increased substantially in the 1970s. Their popularity stemmed from a combination of fast-rising energy costs and growing awareness of their benefits – which include excellent heat resistance, low thermal conductivity, excellent thermal shock resistance, low mass and excellent flexibility.
For example, industrial furnace operators realised that they could 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.
Because of the ambiguity of the term “ceramic” and the development of new materials for the high-temperature range, the nomenclature was changed to High Temperature Insulation Wools (HTIWs) at the end of the 1990s.