National Geographic : 1963 Apr
Fire-retarding Foams Suggest Giant Cupcakes Cheap, abundant water power and rich deposits of rock salt made Niagara Falls the cradle of the U. S. electrochemical industry. Here in the Hooker Chemical Corporation's plant, research engineers have produced buoy ant Hetrofoam, a polyurethane plastic designed for insulation at high and low temperatures. This laboratory technician lathes samples into hourglass shaped cores that will be ma chine-tested for tensile strength. Not even a blowtorch can sear Fiberfrax, a ceramic insulation that stands up under in tense heat-2,300 0 F. Manufactured by the Carborundum Company in its Niagara Falls, New York, plant, cottonlike fibers 25 times finer than human hair are processed into blanket, yarn, rope, cloth, and sheet form. Molten stream of aluminum silicate (lower left) pours from a furnace heated by a post HROMES BY WALTERMEAYERSEDWARDS© N.G.S. like electrode. A jet of steam converts the liquid into fluffy Fiberfrax.