How to Tell When Refinery Insulation Needs to be Renewed

It’s been estimated that more than half a million barrels of oil a year could be saved if all the damaged or missing insulation in American refineries was repaired, replaced or reinsulated. It’s a problem that’s easy to understand but hard to fix because management often assumes insulation lasts forever.

If metal jacketing does not look damaged or degraded, the decision-makers often think that the insulation is performing well. If the metal jacketing and the insulation beneath it are damaged on only five percent of the pipe, management is often willing to overlook it. The way to get a reality check on the problem at a given facility is with an insulation survey like NIA’s Insulation Energy Appraisal Program.