Fire Brick

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truckwiz
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:52 am
Location: Buffalo MN

Fire Brick

Unread post by truckwiz » Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:16 pm

Hi,
My father in-law scraped out a furnace and gave me the fire brick out of it ,is there any chance that they would have asbestoses in them ?

Brian
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Martin Pansch
Posts: 312
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:44 am
Location: Young America, MN

Re: Fire Brick

Unread post by Martin Pansch » Sun Apr 12, 2015 4:11 pm

Brian,

Yeah, it is possible depending on when and where it was made. In the 1980's (I believe) it was banned from building materials in this country. Stuff coming in from China and elsewhere might still have it. You could have them tested but that sort of defeats the purpose of free brick.

What you need to worry about if you are going to use it is whether it is friable or not. That is just a fancy word for being able to crush up into a form you can inhale. A lot of old floor mastic and vinyl tile had asbestos in it but it is generally left in place without the much concern unless you like taking a floor buffer to it extensively. The asbestos that is usually the most concern is the stuff that is like fiberglass insulation and is often found around pipe. This is easily crushed and breathed it. Even this though, unless it is damaged already or in the way of construction, it is often managed by encapsulation in place (i.e. either coating in a special paint or almost a papermache like substance).

What does this mean for you? If it is hard brick and you aren't cutting or otherwise breaking them up you are probably good. If they are soft brick they are more likely to crush up and get breathed in you may want to consider precautions or use them in a way that won't damage them. If you are using it in a gas forge you can seal it with another refractory (ITC 100, Satanite, some sort of rammable refractory, etc) to give it some protection.

If you are still worried about them toss them and get new bricks at Smith Sharpe. I am betting they know where there bricks were made and what is in them and, for the quantity most of us use them in, it should be fairly cheap for peace of mind.

Of course, even with bricks that aren't asbestos you want to avoid breathing in brick dust. Sillicosis won't do you any favors either.

truckwiz
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:52 am
Location: Buffalo MN

Re: Fire Brick

Unread post by truckwiz » Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:09 am

Martin,
As much as I enjoy free ,I think I'll go the safe route. Thank You for the info.

Brian

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