What JM Is Doing about CUI

The global cost of corrosion is $2.5 trillion annually1. That staggering number is an aggregate of prevention, maintenance, damage, and recovery efforts for the government and private sector alike. In the industrial industry, the battle against corrosion is an ongoing process that can often be both costly and time consuming.

While specifiers and contractors tend to bear the burden of preventing corrosion under insulation (CUI) by designing systems that can inhibit CUI and installing them according to the specification to ensure that they work effectively, manufacturers can also play a role in contributing to successful corrosion prevention. While it may seem like the role would be limited to offering materials with features like corrosion inhibitors or hydrophobicity, Johns Manville is of the opinion that there is more to it. We have taken an approach that implements three key strategies to preventing CUI:

  1. Testing
  2. Education
  3. Design

These three components may seem small, but when taken as a whole, they can actually play an integral role in helping specifiers and contractors design and install systems that have a robust defense against CUI.

In terms of Testing, all of Johns Manville’s materials are tested and approved per the standard specification requirements set forth by varying governing bodies; that’s a given for every material we sell. However, understanding the intricacies of the interactive relationship between insulation and the corrosion that can occur beneath it is critical to creating and manufacturing materials that contribute to a defensive CUI protection strategy.

As a result, JM has pursued additional testing beyond the required standard test methods. We have worked with third-party research agencies to establish new test methods and protocols that explore long-term (over the course of 6-months) insulation performance in environments that are designed to accelerate corrosion. These test methods were developed to determine how insulation would perform in real-world conditions by testing the material at typical operating temperatures in a fully designed assembly (pipe, insulation, and jacketing). For more information about this third-party test method, we invite you to take a look at these three blogs that describe the test and the results in detail.

  1. A Systems Approach to Corrosion Testing
  2. A Systems Approach to Corrosion Testing Part 2: The Corrosion Results
  3. A Systems Approach to Corrosion Testing Part 3: The Thermal Results

The next step beyond testing is Education. The purpose of this initiative is to ensure that the market is aware of and understands the causal mechanisms of CUI and how to incorporate research and technology to design and install systems that can prevent it. Disseminating this information to the market includes things like educational webinars, blogs, live training, and even giving presentations at trade shows, like NACE. We have aggregated our educational content in The Source, an online portal where you can find detailed webinars on CUI, directly access our blog, and find tools and resources designed to make specifying insulation easier and more accurate.

The intent and purpose of these educational efforts is to ensure that professionals specifying and installing insulation are fully equipped to make the best decisions for their applications. This means helping update specifications, ensuring test methods and product performance are clearly understood, and revealing the results of the cutting-edge research we have performed.

This finally takes us to the Design phase. Design applies to both how we design our products to help prevent corrosion and to how specifiers design systems to withstand corrosion. As we better understand the interrelationship between our insulating materials and the corrosive mechanism, we can better develop technology to further contribute to the fight against corrosion. Likewise, when specifiers better understand how various materials function and key components to system design to prevent corrosion, they are better equipped to design systems that are resilient against CUI.

While corrosion is an enormous problem for many industries, selecting tested materials that are proven to perform under rigorous conditions is often the first step to designing a system that can prevent CUI.

Our approach to addressing CUI as a manufacturer will be discussed in greater detail at the 2018 NACE Corrosion Conference, in the Technology Exchange Group, 351X, on Sunday April 15, at 1:30. You can sign up to attend this event here.   


1. https://inspectioneering.com/news/2016-03-08/5202/nace-study-estimates-g...