Eco Fibre Papers
The appearance of the Eco fibre paper is the same as standard ceramic fibre paper. The feel is less fibrous with fewer sharp “prickles”. The fibre paper cuts easily and cleanly with scissors or knives. There is much less tearing than with ceramic fibre paper.
The burnout of the binders creates a “chemical” odour, a faint smell similar to finger nail polish. The odour starts at about the same temperatures as ceramic fibre paper, but continues to higher temperatures – up to ca. 600C.
The unfired strength is as good as ceramic fibre paper. But after firing the fibres have little strength, becoming “fluffy” without changing shape. The effect is that the paper comes off the shelf with the glass at all forming temperatures. Spreading powdered batt/kiln wash over the fibre paper reduces this grabbing of the glass, but does not eliminate it.
The texture imparted by Eco fibre paper is indistinguishable from ceramic fibre paper. This can be reduced by smoothing batt/kiln wash over the fibre paper.
The fluffy nature of the Eco fibre paper means there is almost no dust. The cleanup is easy as the fibre paper can be pulled or wiped off and the final clean with water is simple.
This is a one use paper. Trying to fire a second time leaves a heat mark and fires fibres into the bottom surface of the glass at temperatures above 700C.
I have not yet tried to use this in a rigidised form, or as a mould material with colloidal silica, but it would appear to be well suited for this.
The Testing Conditions were for kiln carving (830C), fusing (804C) tack fusing (770C), and painting (580-650C) in gas and electric kilns. The fibre paper tested was of 1mm and 3mm thicknesses.
The amount of ceramic fibre in the Eco fibre paper is very much smaller than standard ceramic fibre paper making it more healthy to use. There is less dust with the Eco fibre paper, meaning less dust in the studio atmosphere, and easier disposal.
The cost of Eco fibre paper is about 1/3 less than the equivalent thicknesses of standard fibre paper.
The Eco fibre papers stick to the glass very easilly and requires sprinkling of powder over the paper to reduce (although not eliminate) the sticking.
It is a one use fibre paper because of this sticking, whereas the standard papers did not stick to the glass, allowing more than one firing with careful use.
Eco fibre paper is available from Pearsons Glass.
I have yet to test the fibre board made by the same company, but look forward to obtaining some for testing.
The performance of the Eco fibre paper in a rigidised form is much more fragile than the "standard" fibre paper. It is not recommended for rigidising, as there is much less strength in the fired out rigidised form.