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In the pursuit of energy efficiency and sustainability, the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems play a pivotal role. The demand for energy-efficient solutions is on the rise, proper insulation of HVAC systems becomes paramount. There are a range of products designed to optimise energy usage and reduce environmental impact. This article explores the importance of HVAC insulation and showcases some types of insulation materials.

What is a HVAC system?

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. It is a sophisticated network of equipment and components designed to regulate indoor environmental conditions in buildings. It encompasses heating, cooling, ventilation, and air quality control to maintain comfortable temperatures, humidity levels, and air circulation throughout various spaces. HVAC systems typically consist of furnaces or boilers for heating, air conditioners or heat pumps for cooling, ductwork for air distribution, fans for circulation, filters for air purification, and controls for system management.

The importance of HVAC insulation 

HVAC systems are essential for creating optimal indoor environments in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings, ensuring occupant comfort, health, and productivity. But they can also account for a significant portion of energy consumption in buildings. Inefficient insulation of HVAC systems can result in heat loss during the winter months and heat gain during the summer, leading to increased energy usage and higher utility bills. Additionally, poorly insulated HVAC ducts can contribute to air leakage and reduced indoor air quality.

Effective insulation not only improves energy efficiency but also enhances the overall performance and lifespan of HVAC systems. Insulating materials can be applied to ducts, pipes, and other HVAC components. By minimising heat transfer and air leakage, insulation helps maintain consistent temperatures, reduces the workload on HVAC equipment, and extends its operational life. Moreover, proper insulation can contribute to achieving green building certifications and compliance with energy efficiency regulations.

HVAC insulation criteria

When selecting insulation for your HVAC system, various factors must be taken into consideration to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

  • Operating temperature: Ensure that the insulation can effectively withstand the temperature fluctuations experienced by the HVAC system it will be applied to.
  • Moisture resistance: Select insulation with adequate moisture resistance to prevent the growth of mould and mildew, safeguarding both the system and indoor air quality.
  • Fire resistance: Depending on the location of the HVAC system, prioritise insulation with appropriate fire resistance properties to enhance safety measures.
  • Cost: Evaluate both the initial cost and potential long-term savings from improved energy efficiency when considering insulation options.
  • Availability: Opt for insulation readily accessible in the market and straightforward to install, ensuring seamless integration into your HVAC setup.

Types of duct insulation

There are different types of duct insulation materials available, such as fibreglass, spray foam, and foam boards. Each of these options has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on the characteristics of your HVAC system and your insulation needs. The type of duct insulation is determined by the insulation area, and the type of ducts. There are different types of insulation for different applications, such as ducts and pipings. Common types are:

Fibreglass insulation

HVAC ducts are commonly insulated with fibreglass blankets, particularly in the case of flexible, tube-shaped ductwork. These fiberglass blankets are affixed using a reflective aluminum foil tape, ensuring the insulation remains in place. Fiberglass blanket insulation is favored in HVAC systems for its affordability and straightforward installation. With a high tolerance for operating temperatures and effective moisture resistance, it proves suitable for various climates, both hot and cold. Nonetheless, it possesses a modest fire resistance rating.

Cellular glass

Cellular glass, commonly known as foam glass, has emerged as a recent entrant in the HVAC insulation realm, garnering attention for its impressive attributes. Notably, it boasts a high operational temperature threshold, superb moisture resistance, and exceptional fire resistance. Its versatility extends to its ease of installation and capacity to conform to confined spaces, rendering it well-suited for application in ductwork and piping systems.

PIR boards

Polyisocyanurate (PIR) boards are prized for their excellent thermal performance and durability in HVAC insulation. These rigid foam boards are lightweight yet robust, they’re easy to handle and install on rectangular ductwork. These boards are cut on site and secured to the ductwork using aluminium foil tape (Temfoil SA30) on all joints. Where necessary, for more dense insulation an adhesive or mechanical fix can be used.

Superwool

The main component of Superwool is silica (SiO2). Superwool is needled on both sides, providing it with strong structural integrity, which remains intact even after exposure to heat. It has excellent thermal insulating properties which makes it ideal for use in industrial applications at high-temperatures up to 1150°C. Additionally, its flexibility and ease of cutting and shaping contribute to its simple installation process.

Prefabricated slotted section boards

Circular ductwork often employs prefabricated slotted section boards for insulation. These panels are easily installed onto the pipework, with flexible cladding (such as Vapor-Fas™ 62-05) applied beforehand to provide weather protection. Vapor-Fas joint tape, also available in narrow rolls, is then utilised to seal the system, ensuring optimum thermal performance and energy efficiency.

Ductwork weatherproofing

To weatherproof a ductwork system, it can be clad with metal, but more flexible cladding solutions are now becoming increasingly popular like Vapor-Fas™ 62-05. This is applied directly to the insulation material to prevent moisture ingress into the system. Vapor-Fas™ 62-05 consists of a 5-layer aluminium and polymer laminated film with an aggressive pressure sensitive adhesive and release liner designed for use over insulation on commercial ductwork, piping and equipment.

Benefits of HVAC insulation 

By insulating HVAC systems, building owners and operators can benefit from:

  • Improved energy efficiency: Insulation helps minimise heat transfer and air leakage, reducing energy consumption and lowering utility costs.
  • Enhanced comfort: By maintaining consistent indoor temperatures, insulation solutions contribute to a more comfortable and productive indoor environment.
  • Long-term durability: insulation with high-quality materials and construction ensure durability and reliability, resulting in lower maintenance requirements and extended equipment lifespan.

Conclusion

In conclusion, where energy efficiency and sustainability are top priorities, proper insulation of HVAC systems is essential. Insulation solutions offer a cost-effective way to optimise energy usage, improve indoor comfort, and extend the lifespan of HVAC equipment. By insulating HVAC projects, building owners and operators can achieve significant energy savings and lower carbon emissions.

In industrial environments, protecting hot insulation systems is essential for energy efficiency and pipe protection. It is imperative to prevent moisture from entering the insulation system. This can reduce the performance of the insulation system and contribute to corrosion of the underlying pipes, vessels, flanges, valves and more. In addition, the weather barrier coating must be able to “breathe” so that any moisture present in the system can get out. This is where FOSTER® brand breather coatings provide a solution.

The problem of moisture in hot insulation

In hot insulation systems, controlling moisture from entering is paramount. Moisture and water can penetrate the insulation system and cause problems. Besides loss of performance, moisture or water can also contribute to corrosion of the underlying pipes, vessels, flanges, valves and other components. This can lead to costly repairs and maintenance work, and can even compromise safety. In terms of thermal insulation protection, FOSTER® weather barrier coatings provide total protection without seams, overlaps or joints that can cause short- or long-term failures. This is especially important on bends, T-joints, vessels and other complex shapes. FOSTER® weather barrier coatings are fully weatherproof and make the use of additional metal cladding optional.

Components of thermal insulation systems

Hot insulation systems consist of several layers to prevent the penetration of moisture and water and optimally protect pipes :

  • Adhesive: When fibrous insulation or calcium silicate needs to be attached to a hot surface, HT Silicate Adhesive 1000 is used. For lower temperatures, FOS-STIK™ spray adhesive (aerosol adhesive) can provide easy, clean, strong bonding of a wide range of materials.
  • Insulation: On the adhesive, the insulation layer is applied, e.g. PIR, PUR or cellular glass.
  • Reinforcement: To reinforce the insulated pipe sections and hold them in place, Filament tape is used; a longitudinally reinforced tape with glass fibres.
  • Weather barrier – A FOSTER® weather barrier coating is applied in two layers over the outer surface of the insulation. A reinforcement such as Scrimtex or Mast-A-Fab is wrapped in the first layer before the second layer is applied. Different colours are often used to ensure no spots are skipped. 
  • Sealant: In hot insulation systems, metal cladding is generally not needed, as the FOSTER® coating already provides a watertight seal. However, when metal cladding is used as exterior cladding over insulation, the overlaps are sealed using Foster 95-44; a flexible vapour barrier sealant.

Support and advice on hot insulation

This article covers best-practices for most situations. But we have other insulation materials in our range for hot applications, such as two-component PU foam and a variety of insulation jackets. For more specific information and technical support, please contact our team. Based on our technical materials for insulation protection, we can advise on specific details and applications.

Many asbestos-containing materials were used in the past, mainly in construction, but also in installations and ships. Asbestos was a cheap, strong, hard-wearing material, which was also resistant to bases and high temperatures. It is now known that inhaling or swallowing asbestos fibres is dangerous and poses a major health risk. It is therefore crucial to remediate or conserve asbestos in a safe and effective way. Read more about the different solutions Temati offers for encapsulating or removing asbestos in this article.

What is asbestos and where does it occur?

Asbestos is a collective term for naturally formed minerals with a fibrous structure. There are three types of asbestos: white asbestos (chrysotile), blue asbestos (crocidolite) and brown asbestos (amosite). Over 80% of asbestos in the Netherlands is processed into asbestos cement products, such as corrugated sheets and water pipes. Furthermore, asbestos occurs in other applications such as:

  • Insulation material
  • Fire resistant boards
  • In gaskets and filters of the chemical and food industries

Asbestos remediation or preservation?

The processing of asbestos-containing material includes several options. The asbestos can be completely remediated (removal) or preserved (encapsulation and finishing). Several factors are considered when determining the right approach for asbestos processing, including the condition of the asbestos-containing material, the location, the intended use of the space, exposure risks and applicable regulations. It is essential to carry out a thorough asbestos inventory and assessment to make an informed decision on whether to remediate or conserve the material.

  1. Asbestos remediation is usually chosen in situations where the material is damaged, worn or highly weathered. Remediation may also be preferred when there is a high risk of fibre dispersion and exposure. The goal of asbestos remediation is to completely remove the material from the environment to eliminate health risks. This requires a careful process that complies with applicable regulations and safety standards.
  2. Asbestos preservation can be a viable option when the material is in good condition, not damaged and the risk of fibre spread is low. Instead of removing it completely, it can then be conserved. This involves encapsulating the material and finishing it with special coatings or sealants. The encapsulation process requires precise application of appropriate products and periodic monitoring to ensure that the encapsulated asbestos-containing material remains intact.

Different solutions

Foster® Products Corporation is an international pioneer and market leader in the development of asbestos remediation products. As Foster®’s exclusive distributor in Europe, Temati offers a comprehensive range of specialised products for encapsulating and remediating asbestos-containing materials.

·      Impregnating agent to encapsulate asbestos

Preserving or encapsulating asbestos ensures that the asbestos fibres are contained and cannot be released after curing. Various impregnating agents and coatings are available for this purpose, distinguishing between a penetrating impregnating agent and an insulating sealant.

  • Foster 32-20, 32-21 and 32-22 are single-component asbestos impregnants that penetrate deeply into porous asbestos-containing materials. It dries to a solid, damage-resistant mass that prevents asbestos fibres from being released.
  • Foster 32-80 is a bridging coating that forms a tough and elastic coating after drying, which prevents the release of fibres. This coating is also used after asbestos removal on walls and ceilings.
  • Foster 30-52 Fireflex is the preferred product for outdoor applications where an excellent asbestos encapsulation material is required. A fungal and UV-resistive alternative to Foster 32-80.

·      Asbestos remediation products

Foster 32-60 is specially designed to facilitate the removal of asbestos-containing materials from various substrates. This ready-to-use asbestos impregnating agent easily “wets” the individual fibres (also fibres in the air) and traps them. After this, the asbestos can be removed without releasing loose fibres into the air and thus with less risk of inhaling the harmful substance. In addition, the Foster 32-60 asbestos impregnating agent is also effective as a residual fibre locking agent.

·      Coatings to encapsulate residual asbestos fibres

After asbestos removal, it is very important to encapsulate the remaining fibres to prevent further spread and exposure. Even after careful asbestos removal, small asbestos fibres may still be present. By encapsulating residual fibres, they are trapped which ensures that they cannot spread again. An essential step to minimise the risks related to asbestos.

One of the products that can be used for encapsulation is Foster 32-80. This is a special coating that can be applied to walls and ceilings. By diluting it with water, it can also be used effectively to lock remaining fibres on permanent and temporary surfaces. In addition, the asbestos impregnating agent Foster 32-22 can also be used to seal remaining asbestos fibres.

Safety first!

Although the removal and preservation of asbestos may seem simple, the correct encapsulation of the (remaining) fibres is very important to prevent further spread and exposure to asbestos fibres. Indeed, inhaling loose asbestos fibres is the main danger of asbestos. These fibres can cause serious health problems, the symptoms of which can appear as long as 40 years after exposure. Lung diseases such as asbestosis and mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that affects the pleura or peritoneum, are some of the serious consequences of asbestos exposure. Therefore, it is crucial to take strict safety measures when working with or near asbestos-containing materials and adequately protect oneself from possible exposure to asbestos dust.

Get in touch

Are you looking for a product for preserving or remediating asbestos? Or do you still have questions about any of the solutions mentioned? Our dedicated team is ready to answer all your questions and together find the right solution for your asbestos situation!

The European Union recently adopted a new REACH regulation. This includes mandatory training for all employees in EU member states who deal with sprayed PUR foam. From 24 August 2023, all professional and industrial users of products containing > 0.1% monomeric diisocyanates, to hold a valid certificate. This regulation also applies to the use of Temati’s sprayable PU foam products. You can read all about certification in this article.

The importance of correct application of sprayed PUR foam

(Di)isocyanates are basic constituents of PUR foams, adhesives and sealants in particular. These polyurethane (PU) products are versatile and used for various applications in construction, transport, assembly and other sectors. The health and safety risks when processing PU foam are almost negligible, as long as the material is applied according to proper guidelines.

Guidelines for use of (di)isocyanates

Some important guidelines to observe when working with (di)isocyanates are:

  • Avoid inhalation of vapours
  • Avoid contact with skin
  • Avoid contact with eyes
  • Wear the required personal protective equipment (gloves, eye protection and safety shoes)
  • No drinking, eating or smoking in the workplace
  • Make sure the workplace is well ventilated

Knowledge crucial for safe PUR processing

To work responsibly with sprayed PUR, knowledge is crucial. This is why the EU has made training and certification mandatory from August 2023 for all employees handling (di)isocyanates. The aim of this obligation is to increase the quality of processing and protect the environment and human health against the risks of chemicals.

Why this mandatory certification for PU foam?

As mentioned above, the aim of the EU obligation is to prevent health hazards, such as respiratory and skin problems due to improper use of diisocyanates. Therefore, it is essential that every worker, who works with the material, has sufficient knowledge and is aware of the risks. Besides the correct working method, the worker should be able to implement appropriate risk management measures, including the use of appropriate personal protective equipment.

What does this mean for you?

From 24 August 2023, PU foam processors must ensure that they are trained and certified to handle this product safely. In doing so, they must know how to control skin and respiratory exposure to the material in the workplace. The training must be repeated every 5 years to continue working with (di)isocyanates and maintain a high level of quality and knowledge. This rule also applies to the use of Temati’s Froth-Pak, Handi-Foam and Temati Foam products. 

What does PU foam training entail?

For training, 3 levels have been identified, linked to the degree of exposure to the product:

  • Basic (level 1)
  • Medium (level 2)
  • High (level 3)

The highest level is intended for employees performing tasks such as heating or spraying in the open air or in an environment with limited (natural) ventilation. The basic level focuses on assessing the suitability of an area for insulation with PUR foam and assessing any risks. Which level your employees should follow and which modules belong to it can be determined using this matrix.

Where can you take the course?

There are several parties providing training materials. These include FEICA, the umbrella organisation for the adhesives and sealants industry, which is working on training for PU certification. And the European industry has also developed an elearning platform. More information on the REACH restriction can be found on the Legislation.gov.uk website.

A cryogenic insulation system consists of a combination of the following main components:

Insulation material – polyisocyanurate rigid foam (PIR)

For the properties of rigid polyisocyanurate foam, please refer to the minimum requirements summarised in CINI 2.7.01. The main requirements are specified below, otherwise CINI 2.7.01 is the minimum reference.

Composition according to ASTM C591

  • Rigid Polyisocyanurate (PIR) foam, manufactured with CFC-/HCFC-free propellant.
  • Foam structure: maximum closed cells (> 90% according to EN ISO 4590 – ASTM D2856).

Properties of rigid PIR foam

  • Temperature range: from -200°C to +120°C,
  • Specific gravity (EN ISO 845 – ASTM D1622): minimum 40 kg/m3 and maximum 52 kg/m3,
  • Thermal conductivity coefficient for non-aged foam (EN 12667 – ASTM C177): max 0.021 W/mK at +20°C and max 0.016 W/mK at -160°C,
  • Thermal conductivity coefficient for ageing degraded foam (value determined for dimensioning of thicknesses): 0.025 W/Mk for an average temperature of -65°C,
  • Closed cells (EN ISO 4590 – ASTM D2856): more than 90%,
  • Water absorption (ISO 2896 – ASTM D2842): max 5% by volume,
  • Water vapour permeability (ASTM E96 Procedure A – ISO 1663): 30 (+/-10) g/(m2.24h) at 23°C and 85% relative humidity,
  • Chloride content (ASTM C871): max 60 mg/kg.
  • Minimum compressive strength (EN 826 – ASTM D1621): higher than (250 kPa and 200 kPa).
  • Minimum tensile strength (ASTM D1623) higher than (420 kPa and 320 kPa),
  • Dimensional stability (EN 1604): less than or equal to 1%,
  • PH: 6 > 7,
  • Foam should be protected from prolonged exposure to UV radiation.

Flammability and fire reaction classification

  • Temperature index EN ISO 4589-3: above 390°C.
  • Fire behaviour classification: category A2 or B according to NF EN 13501 (euro class – low flammability), fire reaction test requirements:
    • Category M1 according to NF P92 501;
    • Category B1/B2 according to DIN4102 (vertical burning).

Insulating material – Cellular glass

The properties of cellular glass are summarised in the minimum requirements of CINI 2.9.01. The main requirements are specified below.

Composition according to ASTM C552 or EN 14305

Cellular glass, without binder and composed of closed cells.

Properties of cellular glass

  • Temperature range: -196°C to +430°C;
  • Density (ASTM D1622 or EN 1602): 115 kg/m3;
  • Thermal conductivity coefficient of plates (ASTM C177 or EN 12667): max 0.048 W/mK at +50°C and max 0.02 W/mK at -180°C;
  • Thermal conductivity of shell panels (ASTM C177 or EN ISO 8497): max 0.052 W/mK at +50°C and max 0.022 W/mK at -180°C;
  • Closed cells (EN ISO 4590 – ASTM D2856): 100%;
  • Water vapour permeability (ASTM E96 Procedure A or EN 12086): max 0 ng / (Pa.s.m) at 23°C and 50% relative humidity;
  • Compressive strength (ASTM C165 or EN 826): 500 kPa in all directions.
  • Chloride content (ASTM C871 or EN 13468: ion chromatography): max 10 mg/kg;
  • PH (ASTM C871 or EN 13468): between 7 and 10.5;

Insulating material – loose Mineral wool for cryogenic applications

The properties of mineral wool for cryogenic applications. Use reserved for contraction joints and specialist parts of the insulation system such as valves, flanges, etc:

  • Loose stone/glass wool for cryogenic applications,
  • Thermal conductivity coefficient between 0.017 and 0.022 W/ m.K at -170°C, to be specified in the contractor’s quotation,
  • Acceptable temperature range of -200°C to +120°C, to be specified in the Contractor’s quotation,
  • No organic binder,
  • Density: to be specified in the Contractor’s quotation,
  • Maximum compression in use: 50%,
  • Minimum required fire behaviour: A2 (M0).

Primary vapour barrier

For the characteristics of the primary vapour barrier, refer to the minimum requirements summarised in section 4.4.21 of the CINI 1.3.02 data sheet and the CINI 1.3.53 data sheet. The main requirements are specified below:

Regarding the coating used as vapour barrier:

  • Solvent-based elastomeric coating according to CINI technical specification 3.2.03,
  • Permissible temperature range -50°C to +100°C,
  • Water vapour permeability, max 0.001 g/m2.h.mm Hg (according to ASTM E96 Procedure E),
  • Chloride content (ASTM C871): max 90 ppm,
  • Flame dispersion index (ASTM E84): less than 7.

With regard to the fibreglass scrim fabric:

  • Glass fabric, type and version recommended by the coating supplier,
  • Fabric and number of threads per length to be specified,
  • Mass per unit area, in g/m2 to be specified,
  • Minimum required fire behaviour: A2 (M0).

Secondary vapour barrier

For the characteristics of the secondary vapour barrier, refer to the minimum requirements summarised in CINI datasheet 3.3.10. The main requirements are specified below:

  • Three-layer construction of polyester foil / aluminium foil / polyester film,
  • Permissible temperature range of -60°C to +120°C,
  • Water vapour permeability, max 10×10-6 g/m2.h.mm Hg (ASTM E96 Procedure E),
  • Minimum thickness: 12 micron polyester film and 25 micron aluminium film, total thickness minimum 50 microns,
  • Mass per unit area, greater than 100 g per m2,
  • Tensile strength, min. 100 MPa,
  • Tear strength (Elmendorf), min. 400 g/mm.

Flexible self-adhesive tapes and metal foils

Glass fibre reinforced tape

The first layer of rigid PIR foam, on the pipe side, and any intermediate layers of the same foam should be fixed with tape as referred to in Technical Specification CINI 2.25.01 (chapter 2.4 “Synthetic tape”). The main requirements are specified below:

Steel strapping and fasteners

The outer layer of rigid PIR foam, the metal cladding and the housing of valves are strapped by means of steel straps and associated clamps. Both components are made of austenitic stainless steel, partly in accordance with the technical specification of CINI 2.25.01 (section 2.1 “Tape on rolls of 10-20 kg”). The main requirements are specified below:

  • Austenitic annealed stainless steel, Cr-Ni 18-10 grade (e.g. ASTM A167 TP 304),
  • Minimum width and thickness: 13 mm x 0.5 mm for DN 400 and smaller,
  • Minimum width and thickness: 19 mm x 0.5 mm for DN 400 and larger,
  • Clamps of annealed austenitic stainless steel, of equal thickness guaranteeing the same live load as the steel strap, of a type corresponding to the type of steel strap used.

Contraction joint and associated protection system

The Contraction joint is made of mineral wool for cryogenic applications and is listed in technical specifications CINI 5.1.06 (“Cold insulation – Contraction joints”) and CINI 3.25.01 – 2.1 (Auxiliary materials for cold insulation).

Two types of protection of contraction joints, depending on their location in the cold insulation system:

  • The contraction joints of the inner and intermediate layers of rigid foam are covered and protected by a secondary vapour barrier as described earlier.
  • The contraction joints of the outer layer of rigid foam are covered and protected by a corrugated layer of butyl rubber 1 mm thick, in accordance with ISO 188 (CINI 3.25.01 – 2.1). This butyl rubber protection of the joint is secured on both sides of the shrinkage zone with steel tape, as described in the previous paragraph.

Vapour stop coating – end pieces and terminations

The characteristics of the “Vapour Stop” coating used for compartmentation and end pieces are based on the minimum requirements summarised in the CINI data sheet 3.2.09 (“Two-component sealing”), with an additional reinforcement of lattice fabric made of glass fibre. The main requirements are specified below:

Cryogenic, two-component elastomeric coating for use as a coating for seals and barriers:

  • Two-component” elastomeric coating, according to CINI technical specification 3.2.09,
  • Permissible temperature range of -196°C to +120°C,
  • Water vapour permeability, max 0.001 g/m2.h.mm Hg (ASTM E96 Procedure E),
  • Average solids content (ASTM D1644): 55% by volume,
  • Chloride content (ASTM C871): max 90 ppm,
  • Flash point (ASTM D93): 23°C,
  • Two layers of coating when used as a vapour barrier and three layers when used as a Vapour Stop.

Additional reinforcement for Vapour Stops:

  • Glass fabric, type and version recommended by the coating supplier,
  • Fabric and number of threads per length to be specified,
  • Mass per unit area, in g/m2 to be specified,
  • Minimum required fire behaviour: A2 (M0).

The vapour control coating chosen is uniform for the entire system and thus allows all joints for the permissible temperature range (-196°C to +120°C) to be finished with a single cryogenic coating. The use of a second type for the temperature range (-50°C to +120°C) is not acceptable. 

Cryogenic joint sealant

The properties of the joint sealant used to fill the longitudinal and circumferential seams of the various rigid foam elements and vapour control coatings meet the minimum requirements summarised in CINI data sheet 3.2.09 (“Two-component sealant”). The main requirements are specified below:

  • Cryogenic joint sealant of the “two-component elastomer” type, in accordance with CINI Technical Specification 3.2.09,
  • Permissible temperature range of -196°C to +120°C,
  • Water vapour permeability, max 0.001 g/m2.h.mm Hg according to (ASTM E96 Procedure E),
  • Average solids content (ASTM D1644): 55% by volume,
  • Chloride content (ASTM C871): max 90 ppm,
  • Flash point (ASTM D93): 23°C. 

External protective metal cladding

The characteristics of the protective metal cladding, of the type “steel plate coated with pure aluminium, known as type 2 and pre-painted”, are referred to the minimum requirements summarised in data sheet CINI 3.1.02. The main requirements are specified below:

  • Steel sheet coated on both sides with pure aluminium, minimum thickness 50 microns,
  • Type 2, i.e. “pure aluminium coated”, with 300 g/m2 per side,
  • Minimum thickness of cladding:
    • 0.55 mm for cold insulation systems with an outer diameter of less than 400 mm;
    • 0.8 mm for cold insulation systems with an outer diameter of more than 400 mm (according to the recommendations of DTU No 67.1);
    • 1 mm for valve boxes and accessories;
  • Standard NF A36.345 – Iron and steel products – Steel sheets fully coated with aluminium – Sheets and coils – Thickness 0.5 mm to 3 mm – Maximum width 1540 mm,
  • CINI Standard 3.1.02 (Chemical properties according to (ASTM A463M), Table 2 Commercial grade – Corrosion resistance according to (ASTM A463M) – Minimum width 500 mm),
  • Special requirements and deviations from the properties of the metal cladding may be specified as “alternatives” in the Contractor’s quotation and submitted to the Client for approval.

Questions or contact?

If you have technical or commercial questions about the components of a cryogenic insulation system or any of our other solutions, please contact us. We will be happy to work with you to find the most efficient insulation solution for your application.

Temati’s focus is on protecting insulation, particularly in cold insulation. That is exactly the challenge for which the companies Insulcon and Isopartner Netherlands sought a solution for their clients. Insulcon specialises in heat management and has been working with Temati for four years now. The cooperation with Isopartner Netherlands, wholesaler of technical insulation materials, goes back longer and has lasted for 40 years. We spoke to Hans Vlasman, Senior Sales Executive at Isopartner Netherlands, and Patrick Schults, Technical Product Manager at Insulcon, about this collaboration.

Emergence of cooperation

Hans Vlasman explains that he has known Temati for a very long time as a supplier of accessories for cold insulation in particular. This goes back as far as 40 years, when they traditionally purchased Foster® materials and Froth-Pak. Later, VaporStop foil, in practice also called Mylar foil, was added as a finish for rigid foams from our own production. For Patrick Schults, that experience is somewhat shorter. About four years ago at Insulcon, they got their first order in the cold application, where Temati’s foils, tapes, coatings and adhesives offered a good solution in addition to the insulation materials that were in their own programme.

Who are Isopartner Netherlands and Insulcon?

Isopartner Netherlands has been operating as a wholesaler with a focus on technical insulation materials since 1951. With a wide range of products in technical insulation in stock, a high level of knowledge, reliable logistics and advanced machinery, Isopartner Netherlands is the partner for insulation companies in the HVAC, industrial, marine and O.E.M. markets.

Insulcon was founded in 1980 and specialises in heat management. They provide solutions involving thermal shock, chemical and abrasion resistance and/or high thermal insulation properties at high temperatures, up to 1600°C. Headquartered in the Netherlands, with manufacturing, sales and engineering offices across Europe and a network of agents and distributors, Insulcon covers the globe.

Professional with knowledge

As far as Isopartner Netherlands was concerned, the reason for choosing Temati was the fact that they had the know-how and the right product in house and were also fairly unique in that respect. Hans Vlasman: “When bonding polyurethane pir, we always contacted Temati as a professional in that field. And then particularly the Foster® products.” Temati is also exclusive distributor within Europe of this brand.

What was also very important for Insulcon is the fact that Temati itself does not mainly supply insulation material. Patrick Schults: “There are certainly other parties supplying the products, but it makes sense for us to look into the group first. With a group partner like Temati, it is often easier to share competitively sensitive details.”

Support to the joint end customer

For both companies, Temati provides support to the joint end customer. One way they do this is by sharing knowledge and recommending the right products. Patrick Schults and Hans Vlasman can always call with any questions they have in the field of cold insulation. In addition, Harold Snoeren (Technical Products Manager at Temati) goes to the end customer himself and also together with Hans Vlasman to give advice. And with Temati’s products, Insulcon can offer a complete package.

The companies complement each other well in this way. “We supply something they don’t have and they supply something we don’t have. And together we should be able to give good advice to a customer in that. That is something we do try to distinguish ourselves with in a partnership,” says Johan Sentjens (Business & Product Development Manager at Temati).

Quality and service

Both gentlemen are very satisfied with the cooperation. They both mention the quality of the service, both of the products and the people, and the delivery reliability. One strength is to get the right products, in the right place at the right time. Patrick Schults: “Contacts with the office staff are good and information is always delivered neatly and completely. In the past four years, nothing has ever gone wrong with that”.

Sharing knowledge

According to Patrick Schults, the art of the game is to be present throughout the chain and make sure people understand that you are the party that can help. Cold and cryogenic is something specialised after all, and there too it is noticeable that more and more knowledge is disappearing. By pooling and sharing that knowledge of the companies in this sector, the sector should remain able to continue to serve its customer group optimally and with customisation.

The IPCOM group

All three companies have joined the IPCOM group. The IPCOM group is a fast-growing and ambitious European group of companies specialising in the distribution and conversion of innovative solutions for cold insulation, high-temperature insulation, passive fire protection and sound insulation. A major advantage of this group is that it provides (more) contacts outside the Benelux, which brings the opportunity to deploy products internationally more often. But new companies joining the IPCOM group also offer opportunities. They may now buy elsewhere and get to know new suppliers within the group.

Anticipate

The insulation market is changing enormously and rapidly, which makes it important to keep abreast of events, according to Hans Vlasman. A development that is also important, according to Patrick Schults, is the disappearance of craftsmanship. Knowledge to work properly with products like Pir and Foamglas is slowly disappearing from the market, making the installation of these insulation materials increasingly difficult. Towards the future, the demand for alternative and new products, which are easier and require less knowledge to process, is likely to increase.

As insulation materials are installed for a longer period, efficient, durable and lifecycle-proof systems are required, as well as regular inspection plans. Insulating plant and piping is an important factor in reducing energy consumption and associated CO2 emissions. But it does create a major concern in the industry due to corrosion under insulation (CUI).

Indeed, CUI is a difficult phenomenon to control and also often difficult to detect. The rate of degradation also depends on many factors. Corrosion under insulation occurs throughout the global process industry and can lead to major, unwanted failures. Preventing corrosion requires not only the application of suitable coatings, but also the timely detection of corrosion under insulation. Below are some products as examples:

• Inspection holes for insulation

To inspect insulated pipes, vessels, tanks and equipment, it is sometimes more convenient to install an inspection plug, instead of removing parts of the insulation. Inspection plugs enable recurrent Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) or CUI inspections to be carried out safely, and with minimal exposure, through resealable entrances. Because the inspection plug seals tightly, you maintain a weatherproof seal to protect insulation. Moreover, the plugs are made of silicone rubber which also makes them resistant to high temperatures, mechanical damage, weathering and UV.

• Sealants and coatings

The ability to completely seal an insulation system is one of the most effective ways to prevent corrosion under insulation. Sealing of seams and fittings in insulation materials in cold insulation systems such as multicellular glass, polyurethane, polyisocyanurate requires a vapour sealant. Foster 95-50 Flextra® Sealant and Foster 30-45 Foamseal® Sealer form a flexible buffer in the seams of the insulation material. These Foster sealants do not shrink or crack. Even during repeated cycles of alternating high and low temperatures, e.g. due to commissioning and decommissioning.

Foster 95-44 Elastolar Sealant is used, among other things, for vapour sealing seams and overlaps in aluminium cladding. Elastolar Sealant is a flexible butyl – elastomer-based vapour barrier sealant. This elastic coating provides a seamless and weather-resistant membrane that prevents water penetration. Moreover, the sealant has good resistance to high and low temperatures which makes it suitable for both cryogenic and thermal insulation systems.

• Flange protection

Space between flanges are difficult to access, making maintenance difficult. The high risk of leaks at gaskets is therefore a reason not to insulate flanges. From the point of view of energy loss, this is not a desirable choice. In addition, leaks due to weakened flange bolts can eventually lead to corrosion under insulation or worse; fire and explosion risks.

A flangebelt is generally used to detect leaks in flange connections, but also provides personal protection in the case of so-called “spray outs”. In cold/cryogenic insulation systems, flangebelts are also referred to as “sniffer belts”. A stainless steel Protectem Flangebelt™ with a leak detection pipe not only prevents moisture from leaks from entering the insulation and causing CUI.

The Protectem Flangebelt™ remains under the insulation, allowing the entire system to be insulated. If a final test reveals that there is a leak in the flange connection somewhere, the insulation only needs to be removed there. After solving the leakage, only that flange connection needs to be re-insulated, leading to high cost savings.

• Drain plugs

Due to various causes, water or moisture can still enter the insulation, eventually leading to deterioration of thermal properties and incipient corrosion (C.U.I.). With the installation of drain plugs in the outer jacketing, any water or moisture entering the insulation system can drain or evaporate unhindered. A Temati drain plug ensures dry insulation and thus extends the life of the installation. The drain plugs are easy to install and adapt to the insulation thickness. For environments with high fire behaviour requirements, Temati supplies TN5 fireproof drainplugs™

Another way to detect the presence of water and/or moisture in an insulation system can be with the Temati Drainplug Water Indicators (TWI) in combination with other forms of NDE inspections. This reduces risk areas and allows visual inspections to be planned more economically. The water indicator responds to all liquids. Its primary function is to indicate the presence of liquids due to: water ingress, leakage and condensation.

• Spacer system mechanical protective layer

As mentioned earlier, CUI can occur when wet and saturated insulation materials come into contact with pipes or equipment (substrate). From a corrosion prevention point of view, the most logical solution is to disconnect the insulation from the substrate. A proven method is called Non-Contact. This can be easily achieved by using spacers or specially designed rings, as shown below.

However, from a thermal insulation point of view, the phenomenon of chimney effect may occur which may lead to additional heat loss. Therefore, Non-Contact should be carefully considered at the design stage.

Another system also described in the CINI manual is to create an air cavity on the outside of the insulation system. By using a studded profile foil such as Temafol, the cladding/sheathing is detached from the insulation material. This creates a draft in the cavity allowing moisture to evaporate. And because in this system the cladding/sheathing is always colder, moisture can condense against the inside of the cladding and drain freely from the system.

Questions or contact?

If you have technical or commercial questions about corrosion under insulation products or any of our other solutions, please contact us. We will be happy to think along with you for the most efficient insulation solution in your situation.

Thermal insulation protects installations from heat loss and/or heat absorption. It ensures that no energy is lost from industrial installations such as pipes and fittings in boiler rooms. Saving energy, also caring for the environment and CO2 reduction, is a topic that has been around for decades within the industry, but the energy crisis anno 2022 makes insulation more topical again than ever. Different materials exist for thermal insulation. In this article, we will further discuss the origins of thermal insulation, the reasons for insulation and what products are available for industrial thermal insulation.

The origins of industrial thermal insulation

Thermal insulation has been used since the late 18th century, not so much for energy conservation, but to protect personnel from being burned by hot parts. After WWII, new types of insulation materials such as stone wool came along, which were also widely produced. In 1973, industrial thermal insulation received a huge boost from the oil crisis. Due to the scarcity and high fuel prices, insulation in the (petro)chemical industry became additional and more widespread.

What is industrial thermal insulation?

Industrial thermal insulation is characterised by the variety of technical requirements placed on the materials. But also because of the wide temperature range from -200 to 1,200°C, combined with extreme environments where the insulation is applied, it differs from architectural insulation. Industrial insulation is the insulation of technical, mechanical installations and structures. Usually these are complex installations of a lot of piping combined with tanks, heat exchangers, distillation columns and vessels.

Applications for industrial insulation include:

  1. (Petro)chemical industry
  2. Energy producing industry
  3. Offshore
  4. Shipbuilding
  5. HVAC (Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning) installations

Why industrial thermal insulation?

The main reason for thermal insulation is to prevent unnecessary energy loss. An uninsulated piping system loses heat unnecessarily, leading to higher energy costs. In practice, pipes are often insulated, but fittings such as valves are not. Thermal insulation of these fittings not only saves energy, but due to high gas prices, the payback time is also very short. In the image below, a thermal image shows the difference between insulated fittings and fittings without insulation.

Industrial thermal insulation of fittings can be done easily and quickly with Temket insulation mattresses. These insulation mattresses are made of Temtex™ glass fabrics that are heat-resistant. Developed especially for utilities, this range of insulation mattresses can be installed without technical knowledge. The mattresses are a flexible solution for insulating fittings, valves and pumps and can be easily installed with the Velcro closure. The insulation mattresses come in universal versions, but can also be produced in any shape and size up to a temperature resistance of 1050°C.

Regulations on thermal insulation

Since 2019, the Netherlands has had an information duty around energy saving. Saving energy is important because everything we do not use does not need to be generated, imported or paid for. Companies and organisations, including EU ETS and mandatory permit companies, can make a substantial contribution to this by taking energy-saving measures from the Recognised Energy Efficiency Measures List (EML) with a payback period of 5 years or less. Examples include insulating non-insulated parts such as fittings or using LED lighting. Besides the information obligation, there is also a research obligation with an energy report. Part of this is an insulation scan. This involves an inventory of insulated pipes and fittings plus a specification of savings measures.

Subsidy opportunities for industrial thermal insulation

With the EML, the energy saving obligation can be met. Energy-saving measures ultimately lead to lower expenses, but this requires an investment first. Fortunately, there are several subsidy options such as the Energy Investment Allowance (EIA) for measures from the Energy List 2022, the Sustainable Energy Investment Subsidy (ISDE) for heat pumps, solar panels, etc. and the Accelerated Climate Investment (VEKI) for measures with a payback period of more than 5 years.

Choice of insulation type

Important terms in industrial insulation are reliability, availability and safety, but durability and energy saving have also become increasingly important in recent years. The reason for insulation determines the right type of insulation material and finishing material.

Some of the reasons are:

  • Thermal (cold or hot)
  • Safety (fire safety, health etc.)
  • Acoustic

Each insulation material has unique properties, which are important when choosing the type of insulation, e.g. its insulating capacity. This is also known as thermal resistance and is indicated by the Lambda value. Another important aspect is the degree of flammability. Most industrial plants are critical industrial processes where safety for people and the environment is the highest priority.

Conditions of use of thermal insulation

Every insulation material has processing instructions, which determine its final quality and long-term use. 2K pu foam should be processed between 23 and 27 °C. When processing under lower temperature conditions, the 2K PU foam insulation set will first have to be brought to this temperature with, for example, heat blankets. In addition, wearing necessary personal protective equipment such as a mouth mask is required in most cases when using e.g. Thermat glass fibre insulation blankets and Superwool insulation blankets.

Maintenance of insulated pipes

In due course, inspection and maintenance of the components of the insulated pipes and installations is needed. During maintenance, part or all of the insulation often needs to be removed. With the use of Temket’s insulation mattresses, this is not an issue. With the removable mattresses, you not only have good insulation, but by means of the Velcro closure, all important elements such as fittings and pumps also remain accessible at all times. This also makes them easy to clean and reusable.

Corrosion Under Insulation

In addition, for industrial plants equipped with thermal insulation, it is important and sometimes required by law to check them regularly for CUI (Corrosion Under Insulation). This hidden defect is often difficult to predict and where good insulation plays a major role. Good insulation means an insulation system that allows moisture that has penetrated in an undesirable way to escape. For instance, by means of a drain plug. For some inspections, it is more convenient to install an inspection plug instead of removing parts of the insulation.

Various coatings for thermal insulation are available that also protect against solvent attack in chemical-resistant finishes.

Specialist in insulation solutions

Temati has been a specialist in insulation solutions for 60 years and is happy to think with you for the most efficient insulation in your situation. Contact one of our specialists for advice or a quotation.

All Temati offices will be closed starting Friday 23rd of December at 4.00 pm. Our office in the Netherlands will re-open on Monday 2nd January 2023 at 8.30 am. Other offices will re-open Tuesday January 3rd at regular opening hours. Please contact your local office to get information about transport options in our last opening week.

The Temati team wishes you happy holidays and all the best for 2023!

Temati would like to inform you that Froth-Pak has replaced the propellant HFK-134a with the propellant HFO.

The propellant HFO has no ozone depletion potential (ODP) and a very low global warming potential (GWP). These changes do not affect the excellent processing properties you have come to expect from Froth-Pak.

In addition to the environmental improvements achieved by the new composition, it can also withstand lower temperatures. Bringing down the minimum service temperature to -150°C which makes the application range even more extensive.

If you have any technical or commercial questions about Froth-Pak or other solutions, please contact us.

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