Did you even know there is asbestos in cars?
Among the many industries known for heavy asbestos use was the automotive industry. Asbestos was found in brake pads/shoes, gaskets, internal combustion components, and hundreds of other assorted automobile parts. Asbestos possesses the unique ability to both insulate and prevent heat transfer, making it ideal for use in any number of automotive applications which are centered around the internal combustion engine and friction-based brakes.
While asbestos was widely used in automobile industries in the western world, and no longer used in manufacturing, asbestos in cars can still be found in older vechicles produced before the asbestos bans was introduced in the western nations. Asbestos has also been found in numerous modern cars manufactued in Asia, especially China, where asbestos is still legal to use. Recently Australia recalled 23000 chinese cars after finding asbestos in engine and exhaust gaskets.
So you might be at risk for asbestos exposure when doing any car repair work, that involves older western cars or new cars manufactured in Asia.
Areas of application
Hood liners protected the underside of the car’s hood from damage due to engine heat. Asbestos was used in hood liners and other automotive parts that were required to withstand heat damage.
Perhaps the most common place to find asbestos in cars are in the brake constructions. Asbestos was used in brake shoes, pads, and rotors, and still are in some brake parts manufactured in countries where asbestos is legal to use. Brakes rely on the forces of friction to function properly. Friction releases a great deal of heat, which asbestos insulates against.
Clutches, like brakes, are built to withstand a great deal of friction and grinding. Asbestos was used to protect against corrosion and wear, and still are in some clutches manufactured in countries where asbestos is legal to use.
Gaskets were used in automobile hoses and engine parts. Asbestos was used to increase durability and prevent heat transfer for this purpose, and still are in some cars manufactured in countries where asbestos is legal to use.
Heat seals were used to protect against heat transfer among many different engine and automotive body parts,
and still are in some cars manufactured in countries where asbestos is legal to use.
A valve ring is a type of gasket, used to provide a secure seal between two surfaces so as to prevent leakage
It was commonly containing asbestos, and still are in some cars manufactured in countries where asbestos is legal to use.
Asbestos packings was used in for examble piston rings, intended to reduce wear upon the cylinder walls of the cars motor. It was applied in similar fashion elsewhere as well, and still are in some cars manufactured in countries where asbestos is legal to use.
The internal combustion engine used in the great majority of all automobiles releases a great deal of heat. Engine components must be protected against that heat to function properly. In many instances, asbestos was used in the engine part components and compounds to serve this purpose, and still are in some cars manufactured in countries where asbestos is legal to use.
While asbestos was adept at insulation and prevention of heat transfer, it was also durable, making it attractive for inclusion in fiberglass or plastic compounds from which auto body parts were made. Body parts that were modified or repaired could potentially release asbestos fibers, endangering those in the vicinity. Asbestos could still be used like this in countries where asbestos is legal to use.
The same asbestos that was used in engine components to protect against heat transfer could be used an engine firewall between engine compartment and interior, in body insulation materials to keep a car’s inhabitants warm or cool depending on the outside temperature. Asbestos is still used are in some cars manufactured in countries where asbestos is legal to use.
Asbestos shorts and floats were used to toughen asphalt compounds for undercoating automobiles, and still are in some cars manufactured in countries where asbestos is legal to use.
Asbestos was also used as insulation of car batteries, both as loose fill asbestos between casing walls, and in the casing itself. Read more at asbestos-in-batteries
Consult your local authorities and mechanics for more detailed information about asbestos in cars.