Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene (FEP)
FEP has properties similar to extruded polytetrafluoroethylene, but will melt at soldering temperatures. It is rated at 200°C and is, therefore, considered a high-temperature insulation. There are no known toxic vapors from FEP. Common-sense practice, however, requires that you provide adequate ventilation during any soldering operation.
Asbestos insulation was used extensively in the past for high-temperature insulation. Today, it is seldom used by the Navy. Many naval ships and aircraft, however, still contain asbestos-insulated wiring. Aboard ship, this is particularly true in galley and laundry equipment. The reason for discontinuing the use of asbestos as an insulator is that breathing asbestos fibers can produce severe lung damage. It can render you disabled or cause fatal fibrosis of the lungs. Asbestos is also a factor in the development of cancer in the gastrointestinal tract. Safety precautions concerning asbestos will be covered in more detail at the end of chapter 3.
Avoid inhalation of asbestos fibers. Asbestos fibers have been found to cause severe lung damage (asbestosis) and cancer of the gastrointestinal tract. Follow Navy safety precautions when working with all asbestos products.
One type of asbestos-covered wire is shown in figure 1-9. It consists of stranded copper conductors covered with felted asbestos. The wire is, in turn, covered with asbestos braid. This type of wire is used in motion-picture projectors, arc lamps, spotlights, heating element leads, and so forth.
Figure 1-9. - Asbestos Insulation.
Another type of asbestos-covered cable is shown in figure 1-10. It is combination of asbestos and varnished cambric. This type of insulation serves as leads for motors and transformers that sometimes must operate in hot, damp locations. The varnished cambric covers the inner layer of felted asbestos. This prevents moisture from reaching the innermost layer of asbestos. Asbestos loses its insulating properties when it becomes wet. It will, in fact, become a conductor. Varnished cambric prevents this from happening because it resists moisture. Although this insulation will withstand some moisture, it should not be used on conductors that may at times be partially immersed in water. Under those circumstances, the insulation must be protected with an outer lead sheath.
Figure 1-10. - Asbestos and varnished cambric insulation.
The NEC has designators for eight types of asbestos wire. The designators and a description of each are listed below.
Type AVB Asbestos, varnish-cambric insulation with an outer flame-retardant cotton braid Type SASilicone rubber insulated with outer heavy glass, asbestos-glass, or asbestos braid
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