Aerosol Measurement: Principles, Techniques, and Applications. Willeke K, Baron PA, eds., New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1993 Jan; :560-590
The term fiber has been applied to a wide variety of particles having an elongated shape, i.e., one particle dimension significantly greater than the other two. Because of this elongation, fibers can have aerodynamic and other properties quite different from more compact particles. Certain fibers have several unique properties that make them not only useful from a commercial standpoint, but also important from a health standpoint. Asbestos, for instance, includes six commercial fibrous minerals that have high tensile strength, chemical resistance, and heat resistance. These properties have made asbestos useful in a variety of products, including friction materials, high-temperature insulating materials, acoustic insulating materials, fire proof cloth and rope, and floor tiles. While the bulk materials in these products consist primarily of macroscopic-sized fibers, many of them can release long, thin fibers into the air.