Safety First: The Role of Insulation and Pressure Relief Systems on Process Equipment

Insulation is used for many reasons in the petroleum and chemical industry. The most common use is for energy savings and personnel protection. However, insulation can also be useful in reducing the problem of containing vapors and the expense of providing large relief systems in the event of a fire. A properly designed insulation system will reduce the amount of heat absorption into a vessel and significantly reduce the amount of vapor generated. It also increases the amount of time before internal pressure reaches a critical point and the relief system opens.

Since insulation reduces the amount of vapor generated, the size of the piping and equipment required to contain and properly dispose of the fumes will not have to be as large. Insulation can also help reduce any damage to piping or vessels by slowing the transfer of heat and allowing time for firefighting intervention. Insulation is also effective in limiting vessel wall stresses that could led to vessel failure. Two products from Industrial Insulation Group,  Thermo-12® Gold Calcium Silicate insulation and Super Firetemp® L are designed to meet these requirements for both fire protection and insulation to help support the pressure relief and vapor containment system.