Company History

1891 - The Carborundum Company founded
1942 - J.C. "Charlie" McMullen invented ceramic fiber; trademarked - Fiberfrax®
1987 - British Petroleum owns Carborundum
1996 - Carborundum sold to Saint Gobain, Unifrax partners with Kirtland Capital Partners
2000 - Acquisition of Carborundum Insulation Technology (CIT)
2003 - Unifrax partners with ASCP
2004 - Acquisition of Asfil (Germany)
2004 - Acquisition of ETS Schaefer - duct wrap fire protection business
2006 - Unifrax partners with AEA
2007 - Acquisition of Keraunion (Czech Republic)
2009 - Acquisition of Chaney Refractories Private Limited (CRPL) - India
2009 - Acquisition of ALFATEC - Austria
1940’s -
In 1942, one of our own research scientists, J.C. “Charlie” McMullen, discovered a method for attenuating molten droplets of alumina-silica into ceramic fibers, thus inventing ceramic fiber which was trademarked under the Fiberfrax® name over 50 years ago.
The key technology in the production of Unifrax ceramic fiber products is the fiberization of the molten ceramic. This advanced process is the result of more than five decades of experience in refining and processing technologies developed by Unifrax engineers. The fiberization process takes place at our New Carlisle, Indiana facility using computer-controlled furnacing technology. Our proprietary process allows an extremely high degree of precision in the control of fiber dimensions which is critical to the final product characteristics.
ceramic fiber insulation invention
1950’s -
Methods were developed to convert refractory ceramic fibers to a variety of product forms including
felt,boards, papers, cloths and a variety of ropes and braided forms. Fiberfrax insulation products
are available in more than 50 product forms and have traditionally been used in heated vessels in the production and processing of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, industrial chemicals, petroleum products, power generation, and ceramic, glass, and other industries employing process temperatures up to 2800ºF.
fiberfrax high temperature insulation products
1960’s -
Refractory Ceramic Fiber found ready acceptance in a variety of high-temperature insulating, gasketing and packing applications in ceramic and glass plants, steel mills, oil refineries, chemical plants and a variety of heat-treating facilities.
Over the past decade, as the need for excellent insulating properties, weight reduction, easy handling, and fabrication increased, new engineered applications for ceramic fiber products developed in the automotive, aerospace, defense, appliance, building construction, and other industries.
1990’s -
Isofrax® Thermal Insulation was introduced in 1998, after a long-term research and development effort by Unifrax which began in 1991. Isofrax is a revolutionary new fiber that utilizes a unique, patented silica-magnesia chemistry to solve a variety of demanding, high temperature application problems. Isofrax has the high temperature performance characteristics required in many applications at temperatures up to 1260ºC/2300ºF, combined with an improved dissolution rate in simulated lung fluid, and also meets European regulatory requirements (Directive 97/69/EC). Isofrax fiber is used in the manufacture of many high temperature product forms.
high temperature insulation Isofrax
The ceramic and engineered materials businesses that developed in the 1960’s and 1970’s became the basis for Unifrax growth businesses in the 1980’s and 1990’s. As ceramics helped to shape industry in the past, new advanced engineered materials, both ceramic and non-ceramic, will help direct the shape of industry’s future.