Development of a Mechanical Insulation Installation Guidelin
Development of a Mechanical Insulation Installation Guideline for Refrigeration Applications (2020) - Pipe and equipment at refrigerated food-processing and distribution facilities are thermally insulated to reduce energy use, control the refrigeration process, and prevent condensed water from dripping onto the outside surface of the insulated items. A major challenge for these systems is water vapor intrusion into the insulation materials, with subsequent condensation to water and/or ice that greatly compromises the insulation’s thermal performance. Severe corrosion of the steel surfaces beneath the insulation, known as corrosion under insulation (CUI), also sometimes results, eventually requiring pipe and equipment replacement. In this IIAR/ARF-sponsored research project, the principal investigator (PI) sought to identify materials, processes, and practices that contribute to greater longevity of these insulation systems. The PI examined insulation removal at older facilities and new insulation installation at those older facilities and at newly constructed facilities. While the PI concluded that the industry is doing a much better job of insulating today than it did a quarter of a century ago, following some insulation installation guidelines could improve the insulation systems’ longevity and performance while minimizing CUI.
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