Pipe insulation protects pipes from freezing, which can cause them to rupture and damage your home. It also performs other, less obvious functions, such as limiting condensation and cutting down on noise.
Foam pipe insulation is inexpensive and easy to install. It works for both cold and hot pipes, including copper and PVC.
Thermal insulation slows the flow of heat to or from walls, pipe and equipment. It can be manufactured in rigid or flexible sheets, foam, granular fill and loose-fill forms as well as in spray or liquid-applied systems. It is typically finished with a paper or plastic jacket to protect it from physical and environmental damage.
The type of thermal insulation installed on industrial piping projects depends on many factors including: energy conservation (reducing heat loss or gain), process temperature control, condensation/sweat control, fire protection and noise control. It is essential that the correct product for a particular project be selected because it will significantly influence its performance.
For example, if saving energy is the primary goal, choosing an insulation with a low k-value (i.e. a lower value means less thermal conductivity) and installing it at the right thickness is critical. Additionally, the chemical and physical properties of the insulation are also important.
A good example is ISOVER mineral wool pipe insulation, which has a higher lambda value than traditional stone wool and offers greater efficiency with reduced energy consumption. This product is ideal for applications such as above ground and below-ground steam, hot oil or asphalt storage tanks, refrigeration systems and cryogenic piping. It is also noncombustible, water resistant and resistant to microbes and mold. It can be used in environments with a wide range of temperatures, from -70°F to 1000°F.
Insulation isn’t just useful for keeping pipes at a safe temperature, it can also reduce noise. Uninsulated pipes can make a lot of noise, which can be disruptive for office workers or homeowners who want to sleep. Pipe insulation can quiet the sounds of rushing water or air, and it can even muffle the sound of vibrations from machinery.
The acoustic properties of insulation can be measured using a sound transmission class (STC) rating. While a material’s STC is an indicator of how much noise it can transmit, other factors like absorption play a role in reducing noise levels. This is why many acoustic insulation products are made from materials like rock wool, which can effectively absorb and redirect sound waves rather than just reducing transmission of the sound itself.
In addition to reducing unwanted noise, acoustic insulation can provide a protective barrier against abrasion, heat and sparks. This is especially useful for industrial applications, where piping may be exposed to intense temperatures and dangerous chemicals or gases. This type of insulation is available in flexible cellular foam, closed cell foam and even acoustic fiberglass batting. The lightweight nature of this insulation makes it easier to handle compared to bulky traditional insulation materials, and it’s often resistant to mildew growth, reducing the risk of offensive odors. It is a great choice for insulating flanges, manways and valves, as well as heating and cooling equipment.
Condensation in insulated pipe systems is not only a problem, it also compromises the insulation’s thermal performance. Wet insulation cannot protect against energy loss. In addition, moisture ingress deteriorates the insulation material and leads to corrosion under insulation (CUI). Moisture also causes mold growth, which can be detrimental to human health.
Insulation suppliers can prevent condensation by installing the correct insulation thickness for a given application. The right insulation thickness ensures that the surface temperature is above the dew point, preventing moisture from forming on it. The right insulation also uses closed-cell materials that help prevent water vapour intrusion into the system.
To determine the proper insulation thickness, many factors must be taken into account including line temperature, ambient conditions, and logarithmic ratio of the insulated pipe to the diameter of the insulator. A calculation program can be used to assist with this process. Armacell has a user-friendly program, called ArmWin, that can help make these calculations easier and more accurate.
It’s important to avoid condensation because it can lead to black mould, which is a serious health issue for building occupants. The best way to avoid condensation is by ensuring that the airflow in your home is good and there is adequate ventilation. You should also avoid storing any items that will promote condensation. If you do encounter condensation, it’s best to contact a professional, such as Permagard. They offer a range of products that can help with condensation control and deal with black mould issues.
Fire safety is one of the most important things to consider when designing and building a home or commercial structure. In addition to the obvious protection that pipe insulation provides against thermal damage, it can also aid in preventing fires by slowing their spread throughout a property. In many cases, the installation of fire stopping insulation can protect occupants from injury and death while protecting the integrity of the structure.
The walls and ceilings of homes and commercial buildings are full of penetrations for pipes, wires, HVAC and cables. While these penetrations may seem harmless, they leave your building vulnerable to the spread of fire and smoke. TruTeam’s firestopping insulation installation services are designed to help prevent this from happening. Firestopping products fill the gaps around these penetrations, making them less susceptible to fire and ensuring that occupants have the extra time they need to escape in case of an emergency.
Distributor of fire resistant, fire retardant and intumescent fiberglass insulation for use with metal piping, boilers, furnaces and heat shields. Features include 450 degrees F maximum operating temperature, barium sulfate sound reflector material, riveted nameplate and stainless steel fasteners. Serves industrial, commercial, food processing, refinery, paper mill, pharmaceutical and power generation industries.
FOAMGLAS(r) is a mandrel-wound stone wool insulation that is specially treated to resist both fire and corrosion under oxidation (CUI). This type of fire insulation helps to keep the flammable hydrocarbons or other chemicals contained in the piping system, and slows the spread of the fire so plant personnel have the time they need to safely evacuate the building and enact fire suppression measures.