Several types of ceramic fibres are available with good thermal and chemical resistance, low thermal mass (heat storage), resistance to thermal shock and low thermal conductivity.
Carbon fibres, including graphite fibres have excellent properties including high stiffness and tensile strength and they are relatively inert to environmental conditions.
Polypropylene fibers has been used to reinforce flooring products and underlay felts while Polypropylene fibers has been used to reinforce flooring products and underlay felts.
Steel fibres have not been substituted for asbestos despite their strength and heat resistance, good availability and low cost, due to inadequate corrosion resistance. Steel alloys could solve the corrosion problems but their cost is too high.
Nylon was one of the first of the polymer fibres to be tried in substitution for asbestos in fibre-cement products.
Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) fibres have a high modulus and low elongation under load, which confers on them a high tenacity (the capacity to reinforce composites). They impart high strength and impact resistance to composites.
Ararnid fibres, better known by their trade name Kevlar, are aromatic polyimides and are produced either in monofilament or in pulp form.
Cellulose fibres, including wood pulp, cotton linters; cotton libres, coconut fibre and sisal, have been used as asbestos substitutes in fibre-cement sheet products, in papers, in filters and in felts. Some corrugated fibre-cement sheeting has been produced with sisal in Kenya.
Glass fibre is a relatively low cost fibre with high strength, elevated temperature resistance and superb dimensional stability.
While there are many other products currently used in residential and commercial construction, and for water distribution and sewerage, none matches the combination of technical and economic advantages of chrysotile-cement. Here is a short review of some of the alternative products on the market.