MinWool-1200: Field-Formed vs Pipe

With the release of JM’s new complete, water-repellent, industrial mineral wool portfolio, insulation system designers and contractors now have more choices in which materials they want to use on their projects. While JM’s MinWool-1200® Pipe insulation has been water-repellent since 2019, the other products in our mineral wool portfolio were only recently made water-repellent. This evolution of our MinWool-1200 portfolio allows system designers and installers to select the JM mineral wool product of their choice, knowing that regardless which material they select, it will be water-repellent.

In our mineral wool portfolio, there are some products, such as MinWool-1200 Pipe and MinWool-1200® Field-Formed that have similar performance characteristics, like thermal conductivity, density, and rigidity. MinWool-1200 Pipe is a mandrel wound, cylindrical mineral wool pipe insulation that arrives at the jobsite in its finished form – either a full cylinder with a slit in one side (up to 7” in diameter) or a half a cylinder (>7” diameter). Installers simply slide the insulation around the pipe and secure it in place with banding wire.

MinWool-1200 Field-Formed is a board insulation with precision-cut grooves cut into it (v-grooved) and pressure-sensitive adhesive factory sprayed into the grooves. Field-Formed is shipped flat to the jobsite, and installers roll the flat insulation to close the grooves and install it on the pipe. The pressure-sensitive adhesive adheres each groove to the one next to it, causing the insulation to remain formed into typical cylinder (if the flat insulation is 48” or less) or half a cylinder (if the flat insulation is >48”) once the grooves are adhered together.

Naturally, since the two products are relatively interchangeable in terms of performance, it can be difficult for system designers to determine why they should pick one product over the other. There are benefits to each, and by selecting the right material, system designers can capitalize on those benefits to optimize jobsite storage and shipping capacity or to meet stringent ISO 15665 acoustical requirements.

The primary difference between the two materials is the form in which they are shipped. Since MinWool-1200 Pipe is in its final, cylindrical shape when it is manufactured, the cylinders (or half cylinders) are placed in a box to ship. 

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By comparison MinWool-1200 Field-Formed is formed on the jobsite; thus it is shipped flat in a stacked arrangement on pallets.

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While the form in which the product arrives may seem like a minor distinction, the MinWool-1200 Field-Formed insulation is substantially more space-efficient. Since the product comes in a flat square, rather than cylinders placed in a box, substantially more of can fit it in the same footprint. In comparing our 12x2 MinWool-1200 Pipe to MinWool-1200 Field-Formed, the Field-Formed material requires 44% less space than the mandrel-wound pipe.

This same, smaller footprint comes into play in terms of shipping as well. While the difference in volume will vary depending on the pipe size, you can ship up to 105% more Field-Formed on a truckload than mandrel-wound pipe. This is both less expensive and better for the environment since it will take fewer trucks to get the same amount of material to the jobsite.

The mandrel-wound pipe is not without its advantages, however. JM’s MinWool-1200 Pipe is the only mineral wool insulation available to meet all four of the ISO 15665 acoustical classes for large pipe diameters (ISO 15665 Pipe Size 3, 26” < D < 40”), up to Class D3. For system designers who are looking for materials that have been tested to the ISO 15665 classifications, MinWool-1200 Pipe choice.

Both of these materials can be installed in approximately the same amount of time, and they each offer equivalent thermal performance. Since they are now both water-repellent, system designers can choose which material is appropriate for the unique needs of their facility and their application. To learn more, visit the MinWool-1200 page on our website.