Asbestos Products.

Manufacturer and builder 10, 1880

It is only of late years that systematic efforts have been made in the direction of utilizing asbestos for industrial purposes, and Mr. H. W. Johns, of this city, the pioneer in the attempt to establish the manufacture of useful products from asbestos on a commercial scale, by dint of perseverance in the face of difficulties that is deserving of the highest praise, has achieved a notable success. As is the case with most industries, after the workd of creating a marked and a demand for new products has been accomplished. Mr. Johns has had many imitators, but his name has been so intimately identified with asbestos for years, and his manufactures have attained such a general recognition for excellence, that when one ears or speaks of asbestos products, it is taken for granted, unless special mention to the contrary is made, that Johns' producs are meant. Mr. Johns has three distinct branches of asbestos manufactures, which are specially worthy of notice; these are respectively, asbestos roofing, boiler coverings, and paints. We devote in what follows a few lines of description respecting each of them.

The asbestos roofing of Johns is a very useful and practical application of asbestos. It is manufactured in the form of a flexible sheet, resembling leather, and consists, first, of an upper layer of asbestos-coated felt, beneath which is a layer of fire and water proof composition, into which asbestos enters as and ingredient; then follows a strong canvas, then another layer of the fire and water proof asbestos composition, and lastly a manilla lining. These materials are compressed in the process of manufacture into a thin sheet, and produced in continous rolls about 40 inches wide and containing about 200 square feet. Its weight is about 50 pounds per 100 square feet, or abotu one-tenth that of gravel roofing. The mode of applying it is simply to tack it to the boards, and is attended with no difficulties. When laid, the roofing is coated with a special coating prepared for the purpose - a species of asbestos paint. This roofing forms a smooth, water and air tight surface, which is a good non-conductor of heat, and practically fire-proof; it is adapted for all climates, and is especially intended for roofs of large buildings, such as factories, warehouses, railroad buildings, etc.

Mr. Johns' applications of asbestos as a boiler and steam-pipe covering are of several forms. One method consists in applying a cement mortar containing asbestos in a flocculent condition, resembling paper pulp, directly upon the boiler or pipes, which compound, when it has set, forms a good non-conducting and fire-proof covering. Or the process is modified by applying a turn or two of a lining felt composed of asbestos, and applying the cement upon that. Or several alternating layers may be employed, as desired. The asbestos lining felt is also used in connection with hair felt forming fire-proof air-chambers, which are asserted by eminent practical engineers to be the most effective non-conducting coverings known.

Last, but not least in importance of Mr. Johns' asbestos manufactures, are liquid paints, which are especially designed for dwellings and other exposed wood and iron structures. These paitns are in use upon the finest buildings and most extensive structures in this country, and have been adopted by the several departments of the United States government, which, in addition to the fact that they command a highher price than any other paints for structural purposes, is a sufficient guarantee of their quality. They are manufactured of a great variety of shades, to suit special requirements, and are prepared ready for the brush.

Further information respecting these and other asbestos products, may be obtained on application to the H. W. Johns Manufacturing Co., 87 Maiden Lane, this city.

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