The majority of asbestos used in Australia during the 20th century was used to make asbestos cement sheeting – known commonly as AC sheeting or fibro. However, asbestos was also used to make a wide variety of insulation products as well as car brakes, underlay, sectional lagging, tiles and more.
James Hardie was the main consumer of asbestos in Australia and primarily manufactured asbestos cement products.
In addition to James Hardie, Wunderlich (now known as Seltsam Pty Ltd) and the Colonial Sugar Refinery Limited company (CSR) were the manufacturers responsible for nearly all of Australia’s asbestos products.
From September 1964 to 30 June 1974, James Hardie, Bradford Insulation and CSR had a partnership called the Hardie BI Partnership to make and market insulation products.
In 1977, Wunderlich ceased making asbestos products.
Asbestos products were marketed under many different names – it can be useful to review a list of names when trying to recall the types of products that you or your family member may have used:
James Hardie products - sheets
Fibrolite – generic name used pre 1960s
Tilux – coloured and patterned sheets often used in bathrooms
Colorbord – permanently coloured sheets
Hardiplank – building planks (pre 1981)
Super 6 – corrugated sheets (pre 1985)
Hardiflex – flat sheets used externally (pre 1981)
Versilux (manufactured pre 1977)
Shadowline (pre 1985)
Coverline (pre 1985)
Log Cabin – profiled wall panels
Chamferboard – horizontal profiled wall panels
Villaboard (manufactured after 1977 by James Hardie)
James Hardie – other
Ceramic tile, vinyl and cork underlay
Deep 6 – corrugated sheeting
Duradec – sheets manufactured between 1957 and 1977, similar to Tilux
Wunderplank – weatherboard
Wunderflex – similar to Hardiflex
Villaboard (manufactured pre 1977 by Wunderlich)