Specifying Industrial Insulation: Navigating The Maze Of Options

The choice of which type of insulation you should indicate for a given industrial project is just as important as the type of pipe you might specify.  Choosing items like ferrous vs stainless steel, diameter or wall thickness may seem like a walk in the park compared to the myriad choices available for various forms of insulation and configurations of commercially-available industrial insulations.

One rule that can be universally applied is that no single product is a panacea for every application.  The decision as to which insulation(s) to specify should be based entirely on the individual project conditions and long-term performance requirements.

Many manufacturers of insulation offer only a single type of insulation and may be involved in non-industrial applications for their products that can divide their focus, expertise and loyalties.  What answer can one realistically expect from “Manufacturer A” other than “Product A” when they’re asked which material they would recommend for a given project and “A” is the only thing they make?

The tendency for some manufacturers to view their single product offering as a universally viable solution regardless of the project conditions is understandable from a sales perspective, but cannot be considered sound engineering practice.

What are some of the design criteria that should be considered when choosing the type or types of chemical formulations to specify?

  • Operating Temperature
  • Desired Safe-to-Touch Temperature
  • Process Requirements
  • Freeze Protection
  • Corrosion Protection
  • Design Life
  • Abuse Conditions
  • Vibration

Often the depth and breadth of a suppliers’ product offering is directly proportional to their ability to objectively consult with industrial professionals and provide reliable, project-specific recommendations that may include several options — including hybrid systems.  The right solutions provider should be willing and able to recommend a competing material if that is what is right for your job.

If you would like to schedule a free “lunch and learn” session on industrial insulation benefits, design guidelines and material options to address your specific requirements, click here.

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