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Heat Transfer
Heat transfer, also known as heat flow, heat exchange, or transfer of thermal energy is the
movement of heat from one place to another. When an object is at a different temperature from
its surroundings, heat transfer occurs so that the body and the surroundings reach the same
temperature (thermal equilibrium). Heat transfer always occurs from a higher-temperature region
to a cooler-temperature one as described by the second law of thermodynamics or the Clausius
Where there is a temperature difference between objects in proximity, heat transfer between
them cannot be stopped although its rate can be controlled.
Temperature is a measure of the amount of energy possessed by the molecules of a substance.
It is a relative measure of how hot or cold a substance is and can be used to predict the direction
of heat transfer. The symbol for temperature is T. The common scales for measuring
temperature are the Fahrenheit, Rankine, Celsius, and Kelvin temperature scales.
Heat is energy in transit. The transfer of energy as heat occurs at the molecular level as a result
of a temperature difference. Heat is capable of being transmitted through solids and fluids by
conduction, through fluids by convection, and through empty space by radiation. The symbol
for heat is Q. Common units for measuring heat are the British Thermal Unit (Btu) in theEnglish
system of units and the calorie in the SI system (International System of Units).

Heat Transfer Fundamentals

The principles of heat transfer are well understood and are briefly described below. Heat energy
is transferred by three basic modes. All heating applications involve each mode to a greater or
lesser degree.


All objects above absolute zero temperature radiate infrared energy with warmer objects in the
material by conduction or convection.
Conduction is the transfer of heat energy through a solid material. Metals such as copper and
aluminum are good conductors of heat energy. Glass, ceramics and plastics are relatively poor
conductors of heat energy and are frequently used as thermal insulators. All gases are poor
conductors of heat energy. A combination of expanded glass or ceramic fiber filled with air is

excellent thermal insulation. Typical conduction heating applications include platen heating
(cartridge heaters), tank heating (strip and ring heaters), pipe tracing and other applications
where the heater is in direct contact with the material being heated
Convection is the transfer of heat energy by circulation and diffusion of the heated media. It is
the most common method of heating fluids or gases and also the most frequent application of
electric tubular elements and assemblies. Fluid or gas in direct contact with a heat source is
heated by conduction causing it to expand. The expanded material is less dense or lighter than its
surroundings and tends to rise. As it rises, gravity replaces it with colder, denser material which
is then heated, repeating the cycle. This circulation pattern distributes the heat energy throughout
the media. Forced convection uses the same principle except that pumps or fans move the liquid
or gas instead of gravity. Typical convection heating applications include water and oil
immersion heating, air heating, gas heating and comfort air heating.
Radiation is the transfer of heat energy by electromagnetic (infrared) waves and is very different
from conduction and convection. Conduction and convection take place when the material being
heated is in direct contact with the heat source. In infrared heating, there is no direct contact with
the heat source. Infrared energy travels in straight lines through space or vacuum (similar to
light) and does not produce heat energy until absorbed. The converted heat energy is then
transferred in the material by conduction or convection.
All objects above absolute zero temperature radiate infrared energy with warmer objects
radiating more energy than cooler objects. Infrared energy radiating from a hot object (heating
element) strikes the surface of a cooler object (work piece), is absorbed and converted to heat
energy. Paint drying by radiant heaters is a typical application of infrared heating. The most
important principle in infrared heating is that infrared energy radiates from the source in straight
lines and does not become heat energy until absorbed by the work product.
Thermodynamic Properties
All materials have basic physical constants and thermodynamic properties. These constants are
used in the evaluation of the materials and in heat energy calculations. The constants and
properties most often used are:

Specific Heat (Cp)

Heat of Fusion (Hfus)
Heat of Vaporization (Hvap)
Thermal Conductivity (k)
Thermal Resistivity (R)

Specific Heat (Quantity of Heat Energy) All materials contain or absorb heat energy in
differing amounts. The quantity of heat energy or thermal capacity of a particular material is
called its specific heat.
The specific heat of a substance is defined as the amount of heat energy required to raise one
pound of the material by one degree Fahrenheit. Specific heat factors are usually defined as
British thermal units per pound per degree Fahrenheit (Btu/lb/F). The specific heat of most
materials is constant at only one temperature and usually varies to some degree with temperature.
Water has a specific heat of 1.0 and absorbs large quantities of heat energy. Air, with a specific
heat of 0.24, absorbs considerably less heat energy per pound.
Heat of Fusion or Vaporization Many materials can change from a solid to a liquid to a gas.
For the change of state to occur, heat energy must be added or released. Water is a prime
example in that it changes from a solid (ice) to a liquid (water) to a gas (steam or vapor). If the
change is from a solid to a liquid to a gas, heat energy is added. If the change is from a gas to a
liquid to a solid, heat energy is released. These energy requirements are called the heat of fusion
and the heat of vaporization.
Heat of Fusion is the amount of energy required to transform a material from a solid to a liquid
(or the reverse) at the same temperature.
Heat of Vaporization is the amount of energy required to transform a material from a liquid to a
gas (or the reverse) at the same temperature. Water has a high heat of vaporization, 965 Btu/lb.
large amounts of heat energy in the form of condensing steam.

Thermal Conductivity is the ability of a material to transmit heat energy by conduction.

Thermal conductivity is identified as k and is usually expressed in British thermal units per
linear inch (or foot) per hour per square foot of area per degree Fahrenheit. (Btu/in/hr/ft2/?F) or
(Btu/ft/hr/ft2/?F). k factors are used extensively in comfort heating applications to rate the
thermal insulation. k factors are also used in the calculation of heat losses through pipe and
tank insulation.
Thermal Resistivity or R is the inverse of thermal conductivity. Insulating materials are rated
by R factors. The higher the R factor, the more effective the insulation.


the act of protecting something by surrounding it with material that reduces or prevents the
transmission of sound or heat or electricity
Pipe Insulation Basics
Insulating pipes prevents temperature extremes from escaping, thus keeping hot water hot and
cold water cold. Insulation also prevent pipes in colder areas from freezing---especially those
that run outside. These methods can also reduce any noises produced by the pipes. Know the
different forms of insulation and materials available in order to sort through them and choose the
right one.
Piping Materials
The types of materials actually used will depend upon whether the installation is underground,
outside buildings, underground within buildings, or aboveground within buildings. The
availability of certain types of desired piping materials and fittings may also govern the type of
pipe actually used.

Figure 8-12.-Types of pipe insulation.

Underground piping outside of buildings may be cast-iron soil pipe, vitrified clay or concrete, or
plastic polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe, but PVC pipes are the most common. Underground piping
within buildings may also be of cast iron, galvanized steel, lead, or PVC; however, cast iron and
PVC are the most popular materials used. Aboveground sewage piping within buildings consists
of either one or a combination of the following: brass or copper pipe, cast iron or galvanized
wrought iron, galvanized steel or lead, and PVC pipe. Again, the reason for the growing
popularity of plastic PVC piping is the unique combination of chemical and physical properties it
has, ease of installation, and cost effectiveness. Descriptions and characteristics of some of the
most common piping materials used in a sanitary drainage system follow.
Insulation details
Nomenclature Description
Ih Insulation for heat conservation
It Insulation for steam traced line

Is Insulation for personal safety

Ic Cold insulation for anti condensation
Ie Insulation for electrical traced line
Ij Insulation for jacketed line
Ik Insulation for dual insulation lines

The term thermal insulation can refer either to materials used to reduce the rate of heat transfer,
or the methods and processes used to reduce heat transfer. Heat energy can be transferred by
conduction, convection, radiation. Thermal insulation prevents heat from escaping a container or
from entering a container. In other words, thermal insulation can keep an enclosed area such as a
building warm, or it can keep the inside of a container cold. Insulators are used to minimize that
transfer of heat energy.

5.2 Types and Application

The Insulation can be classified into three groups according to the temperature ranges for which
they are used.
Low Temperature Insulations (up to 90 C)
This range covers insulating materials for refrigerators, cold and hot water systems, storage
tanks, etc. The commonly used materials are Cork, Wood, 85% magnesia, Mineral Fibers,
Polyurethane and expanded Polystyrene, etc.
Medium Temperature Insulations (90 325 C)
Insulators in this range are used in low temperature, heating and steam raising equipment, steam
lines, flue ducts etc. The types of materials used in this temperatures range include 85%
Magnesia, Asbestos, Calcium Silicate and Mineral Fibers etc.
High Temperature Insulations (325 C above )
Typical uses of such materials are super heated steam system, oven dryer and furnaces etc. The
most extensively used materials in this range are Asbestos, Calcium Silicate, Mineral Fibre, Mica
and Vermiculite based insulation, Fireclay or Silica based insulation and Ceramic Fibre.
INSULATION - When hot fluid flows through pipe then generally pipe is insulated.
There are two primary reasons for insulating the pipe carrying hot fluid.
 Containing the heat inside the pipe. Insulation preserves the heat of the fluid. It is
called Hot Insulation
 Personnel safety, so that people do not get burn injury by touching hot surface of
pipe. It is called Personnel Protection Insulation
Cold pipes are also insulated
 Cold or chilled fluid carrying pipes are insulated to prevent heating of cold fluid
from outside. It is called Cold Insulation.

 Some times cold pipes are insulated to prevent condensation of atmospheric water
vapor on pipe surface. It is called Anti-Sweat Insulation.
Other types of Insulation
 When gas flows through pipes at high velocity, it creates noise. In such cases pipes
are insulated to reduce noise. It is called Acoustic Insulation.
Some times pipe and its content are heated from outside, by heat tracing element. In that
case pipe along with heat tracing element are insulated to conserve the heat of the tracer. It
is called Heat Tracing Insulation

Isulation Material
Insulation will be discussed in this manual according to its generic types and forms. The type
indicates composition (i.e. glass, plastic) and internal structure (i.e. cellular, fibrous). The form
implies overall shape or application (i.e. board, blanket, pipe insulation).
1. Fibrous Insulation: Composed of small diameter fibers which finely divide the air space. The
fibers may be perpendicular or horizontal to the surface being insulated, and they may or may
not be bonded together. Silica, rock wool, slag wool and alumina silica fibers are used. The most
widely used insulation of this type are glass fiber and mineral wool.
2. Cellular Insulation: Composed of small individual cells separated from each other. The
cellular material may be glass or foamed plastic such as polystyrene (closed cell), polyurethane,
polyisocyanurate, plyolefin, and elastomeric.
3. Granular Insulation: Composed of small nodules which contain voids or hollow spaces. It is
not considered a true cellular material since gas can be transferred between the individual spaces.
This type may be produced as a loose or pourable material, or combined with a binder and fibers
to make a rigid insulation. Examples of these insulations are calcium silicate, expanded
vermiculite, perlite, cellulose, diatomaceous earth and expanded polystyrene.
Insulation is produced in a variety of forms suitable for specific functions and applications. The
combined form and type of insulation determine its proper method of installation. The forms
most widely used are:

1. Rigid boards, blocks, sheets, and pre-formed shapes such as pipe insulation, curved
segment, lagging, etc.: Cellular, granular, and fibrous insulations are produced in these forms.
2. Flexible sheets and pre-formed shapes: Cellular and fibrous insulations are produced in
these forms.
3. Flexible blankets: Fibrous insulations are produced in flexible blankets.
4. Cements (insulating and finishing): Produced from fibrous and granular insulations and
cement, they may be of the hydraulic setting or air drying type.
5. Foam: Poured or froth foam used to fill irregular areas and voids. Spray used for flat surfaces.
Not all properties are significant for all materials or applications. Therefore, many are not
included in manufacturers' published literature or in the Table of Properties which follows in this
section. In some applications, however, omitted properties may assume extreme importance (i.e.
when insulations must be compatible with chemically corrosive atmospheres.)
If the property is significant for an application and the measure of that property cannot be found
in manufacturers' literature, effort should be made to obtain the information directly from the
manufacturer, testing laboratory, or insulation contractors association.
The following properties are referenced only according to their significance in meeting design
criteria of specific applications. More detailed definitions of the properties themselves can be
found in the Glossary (Section XI).
Thermal properties are the primary consideration in choosing insulations. Refer to the Glossary
for definitions.
a. Temperature limits: Upper & lower temperatures within which the material must retain all
its properties.
b. Thermal conductance "C": The rate of heat flow for the actual thickness of a material.
c. Thermal conductivity "K": The rate of heat flow based on 25 mm (one inch) thickness.
d. Emissivity "E": Significant when the surface temperature of the insulation must be regulated
as with moisture condensation or personnel protection.

e. Thermal resistance "R": The overall resistance of a "system" to the flow of heat.
f. Thermal transmittance "U": The overall conductance of heat flow through a "system".
Properties other than thermal must be considered when choosing materials for specific
applications. Among them are:
a. Alkalinity (pH or acidity): Significant when corrosive atmospheres are present. Also
insulation must not contribute to corrosion of the system. See Section III.
b. Appearance: Important in exposed areas and for coding purposes.
c. Breaking load: In some installations the insulation material must "bridge" over a
discontinuity in its support.
d. Capillarity: Must be considered when material may be in contact with liquids.
e. Chemical reaction: Potential fire hazards exist in areas where volatile chemicals are present.
Corrosion resistance must also be considered.
f. Chemical resistance: Significant when the atmosphere is salt or chemical laden.
g. Coefficient of expansion and contraction: Enters into the design and spacing of
expansion/contraction joints and/or the use of multiple layer insulation applications.
h. Combustibility: One of the measures of a material's contribution to a fire hazard.
i. Compressive strength: Important if the insulation must support a load or withstand
mechanical abuse without crushing. If, however, cushioning or filling in space is needed as in
expansion/contraction joints, low compressive strength materials are specified.
j. Density: A material's density affects other properties of that material, especially thermal
k. Dimensional stability: Significant when the material is exposed to atmospheric and
mechanical abuse such as twisting or vibration from thermally expanding pipe.
l. Fire retardancy: Flame spread and smoke developed ratings should be considered.
m. Hygroscopicity: Tendency of a material to absorb water vapor from the air.

n. Resistance to ultraviolet light: Significant if application is outdoors.

o. Resistance to fungal or bacterial growth: Is necessary in food or cosmetic process areas.
p. Shrinkage: Significant on applications involving cements and mastics.
q. Sound absorption coefficient: Must be considered when sound attenuation is required, as it is
in radio stations, some hospital areas, etc.
r. Sound transmission loss value: Significant when constructing a sound barrier.
s. Toxicity: Must be considered in food processing plants and potential fire hazard areas.
The following is a general inventory of the characteristics and properties of major insulation
materials used in commercial and industrial installations. See the Insulation Property Tables at
the end of Section II for a comparative review.
Calcium silicate is a granular insulation made of lime and silica, reinforced with organic and
inorganic fibers and molded into rigid forms. Service temperature range covered is 37.8C to
648.9C (100F to 1200F). Flexural strength is good. Calcium silicate is water absorbent.
However, it can be dried out without deterioration. The material is noncombustible and used
primarily on hot piping and surfaces. Jacketing is field applied.
a. Fibrous: Available as flexible blanket, rigid board, pipe insulation and other pre-molded
shapes. Service temperature range is -40.0C to 37.8C (-40F to 1000F). Fibrous glass is
neutral; however, the binder may have a pH factor. The product is noncombustible and has good
sound absorption qualities.
b. Cellular: Available in board and blCk form capable of being fabricated into pipe insulation
and various shapes. Service temperature range is -267.8C to 482.2C (-450F to 900F). Good
structural strength, poor impact resistance. Material is noncombustible, non-absorptive and
resistant to many chemicals.
Rock and/or slag fibers are bonded together with a heat resistant binder to produce mineral fiber
or wool available in loose blanket, board, pipe insulation, and molded shapes. Upper temperature

limit can reach 1037.8C (1900F). The material has a practically neutral pH, is noncombustible,
and has good sound control qualities.
Perlite is made from an inert siliceous volcanic rock combined with water. The rock is expanded
by heating, causing the water to vaporize and the rock volume to expand. This creates a cellular
structure of minute air cells surrounded by vitrified product. Added binders resist moisture
penetration and inorganic fibers reinforce the structure. The material has low shrinkage and high
resistance to substrate corrosion. Perlite is noncombustible and operates in the intermediate and
high temperature ranges. The product is available in rigid pre-formed shapes and blocks.
Foamed resins combined with elastomers produce a flexible cellular material. Available in preformed shapes and sheets, elastomeric insulations possess good cutting characteristics and low
water and vapor permeability. The upper temperature limit is 104.4C (220F). Elastomeric
insulation is cost efficient for low temperature applications with no jacketing necessary.
Resiliency is high. Consideration should be made for fire retardancy of the material.
Insulation produced from foaming plastic resins create predominately closed-cellular rigid
materials. "K" values decline after initial use as the gas trapped within the cellular structure is
eventually replaced by air. Check manufacturers' data. Foamed plastics are light weight with
excellent moisture resistance and cutting characteristics. The chemical content varies with each
manufacturer. Available in pre-formed shapes and boards, foamed plastics are generally used in
the low and lower intermediate service temperature range -182.8C to 148.9C (-297F to 300F).
Consideration should be made for fire retardancy of the material.
Refractory fiber insulations are mineral or ceramic fibers, including alumina and silica, bound
with extremely high temperature binders. The material is manufactured in blanket or rigid form.
Thermal shock resistance is high. Temperature limits reach 1648.9C (3000F). The material is
The use and design of refractory range materials is an engineering art in its own right and is not
treated fully in this manual, although some refractory products can be installed using application
methods illustrated here.
Insulating and finishing cements are a mixture of various insulating fibers and binders with
water and cement, to form a soft plastic mass for application on irregular surfaces. Insulation
values are moderate. Cements may be applied to high temperature surfaces. Finishing cements or

one-coat cements are used in the lower intermediate range and as a finish to other insulation
applications. Check each manufacturer for shrinkage and adhesion properties.

Insulation Material

Low Temperature Range High Temperature Range





Calcium Silicate




Cellular Glass





Elastomeric foam










Mineral Wool






Phenolic foam
Polyisocyanurate or polyiso















By providing a medium for retarding heat transfer, thermal insulation serves many useful
functions in industrial and commercial piping applications. In specifying an insulation system, it
is important to consider the parameters of your process and application needs. These are the
whys of insulation system design. Why, or for what purpose, is the pipe going to be insulated?
The following are some common design criteria used in insulation system design for piping
Controlling heat loss on hot piping
Providing personnel protection
Providing personnel comfort in commercial buildings
Reducing heat gain on cold piping
Limiting or retarding surface condensation
Providing process control
Economic optimization or energy conservation
Providing fire protection
Providing freeze protection
Providing noise control
In many applications these criteria will overlap, and designing for one condition will benefit by
the attainment of another. One example of such overlapping criteria occurs with the control of
heat loss. In designing for a maximum heat loss of a given value, an added benefit may be that
the surface temperature is sufficient to provide personnel protection. Another example of

overlapping criteria is condensation control. In humid environments, when insulation is sized

according to condensation
control parameters, the added benefit will often be an economically optimum design for the
reduction of heat gain on the cold pipe.
Environmental, physical, and mechanical conditions play an important role in insulation system
design. Indoor applications, for example, generally do not require the complexity of design that
outdoor applications require. Similarly, below ambient designs are oftenmore complicated than
above ambient designs. The physical abuse and mechanical conditions that an insulation system
is subject to are also important to consider in the design process. The following paragraphs offer
a brief explanation of the purpose

In addition to defining the purpose of the insulation system, it is important to define the
conditions under which the insulation system will be used. Some of the conditions to be
considered are
Indoors or outdoors
Conditioned space or nonconditioned
Geographic location (coastal regions, northern climes, southern climes, rainy, dry, etc.)
Long, straight runs or frequent bends
Personnel traffic area or unaccessible
Aboveground or below ground
Numerous conditions or combinations of conditions require consideration in insulation system
One other area that needs to be considered when properly designing an insulation system is the
service that the piping is providing. Service is very important in designing insulation systems
because of the different physical properties of the

contents of the pipe. The following are some, but not all, generalized service types that are
common to industrial and commercial construction:
Hot water and chilled water
Steam and condensate return
Heat-transfer fluids
Hot oils
Liquefied gas (cryogenic service)
Sanitary and sewerage water
Hot Water and Chilled Water. Hot water and chilled water lines are generally employed in
commercial and institutional facilities as a means of providing climate control. The heated or
cooled water is transported through a pipe loop system from the mechanical facilities room of the
building or buildings and is used as a heattransfer medium to provide either heating or cooling
Steam and Condensate Return. Steam and condensate return lines will operate without
insulation. Therefore, the chance of a process failure or process upset condition due to a poorly
insulated steam line is rather small. However, the savings
that can be achieved by properly insulating steam lines are substantial.
Heat-Transfer Fluids. Heat-transfer fluids are liquids that are used as a means of providing
process control. These liquids are generally thermally stable fluids. They can be heated or cooled
to a given design temperature and transported to its desired process control point while
maintaining temperature stability. Insulation system design for heat-transfer fluids must take into
account the temperature range that the fluid will be operating at and whether it is a constant
temperature or a cyclical temperature.
Hot Oils. Hot oil piping and equipment applications require the same attention to detail as do
heat-transfer fluids with respect to insulation system design. For hot oils, even though they
frequently do not operate at the temperature extremes of heat-transfer fluids, the auto-ignition
can be just as serious. Fires have occurred in oils at temperatures as low as 176 to 302_F (80 to
150_C), in coal tar distillates at temperatures as low as 212 to 482_F (100 to 250_C), and in
mineral oils at temperatures as low as 392 to 572_F (200 to 300_C).11
The accessory materials referenced in the above paragraphs and throughout the chapter are a
necessary part of the insulation system. There are many manufacturers and suppliers of these
materials, and the quality can vary dramatically from one
to another. The following are a few of the more common accessory materials used in industrial
and commercial insulation system specifications. See also Table B7.23.
Acrylic Latex Mastic

Acrylic latex mastic is a heavy-bodied weather barrier coating used primarily to cover rigid
insulations such as cellular glass and polyurethane. It is generally applied in two coats with a
reinforcing mesh fabric for impact and tear resistance. This material does not provide vapor
Aluminum Banding
Aluminum bands are used as securement for many types of insulation materials. The most
common sizes specified are 0.5 in _ 0.020 in (13 mm _ 0.5 mm) aluminum bands with matching
seals for piping vessels, or equipment with ODs of 48 in (1219
mm) or less. For larger ODs, use 0.75 in _ 0.020 in) (19 mm _ 0.5 mm) aluminum bands. These
bands are secured in place with metal band clips or seals of common dimensions. Aluminum
bands should not be used in applications where the insulation
is being installed for fire protection applications.
Aluminum Jacketing
Aluminum jacketing comes in many different sizes and finishes. In piping applications, either
smooth or slightly embossed jacketing of 0.016 in (0.4-mm) thickness is most common. When
specifying aluminum jacketing for use with permeable and
hygroscopic insulation materials, it is important to specify the jacketing with a factory-applied
moisture barrier liner.
ASJ jacketing stands for all-service jacket. This material is a Kraft paper/foil/scrim
laminatematerial used exclusively on indoor commercial applications. ASJ jacketing is usually
factory-applied and serves the primary function of providing protection
to the outer insulation surface. These are classified as vapor retarders.
Asphalt Cutback Mastic
Asphalt cutback mastics are heavy-bodied asphalts that are cut with mineral spirits so they can
be applied by spraying or with a trowel. When applied, the mineral spirits dissipate, and leave
behind a hard asphaltic vapor barrier finish. It is generally
applied in multiple coats used in conjunction with reinforcing fabric. Metal jackets are used to
cover this finish on aboveground, outdoor applications for ultraviolet protection to the mastic.
FRP Jacketing
FRP stands for fiber resin plastic or fiber-reinforced plastic. Either definition is acceptable. The
material is a hard plastic membrane reinforced with glass fibers. FRP jacketing can be used in
many of the same applications where aluminum is
used. FRP jacketing is often the material of choice in chemical resistance areas. The jacketing
comes in sheet or rolled form, and the laps are sealed with a resin sealant recommended by the
Hypalon Mastics
Hypalon is a trade name for a highly flexible and durable vapor barrier mastic material. There
are numerous products on the market that use this material in their compositions to form what are
referred to as elastomeric membranes. These elastomericmembranes are referred to as hypalons.

Hypalons are usually reinforced with a 10 _ 10 or a 10 _ 20 fiberglass fabric to provide stability

and tear resistance. Hypalon mastics should not be used in conjunction with cellular glass.
Stainless Steel Banding
Stainless steel bands are used to support or secure insulation materials to piping, tanks, or
vessels. Typical sizes specified are 0.5 in _ 0.015 in (13 mm _ 0.38 mm) stainless steel bands
with matching clips or seals for caustic service or where the insulation is being used for fire
protection applications.
Stainless Steel Jacketing
Stainless steel jacketing is used to cover insulation materials of all types for various applications.
Due to the cost, stainless steel is generally used where it is required for its chemical or fire
resistance. Stainless steel usually has a smooth finish and is 0.010 in (0.25 mm) thick. On some
large diameter applications 0.015 in (0.38 mm) thick may be specified.
Stainless Steel Tie Wire
Wire may be used to secure fitings or insulation sections. Check with the insulation manufacturer
for recommendations on its usage. Soft annealed wire is best suited for field conditions, so as not
to work-harden in the field. Wire is typically utilized in 18 and 16 gage thicknesses.
Fiberglass-Reinforced Tape
Tape is typically 1-in (25 mm) wide, high-tensile-strength, fiber-reinforced, strapping tape. Tape
is appropriate for providing temporary insulation securement for piping with insulation ODs 18
in (457 mm) or smaller as long as it is covered with metal
jacket afterward. Tape is not acceptable as a primary means of securement if the insulation
system is being designed to provide fire protection.
Mesh Fabric
A 6 _ 6 mesh refers to the number of strands of primary fiber in 1 in2 of fabric (2.4
meshes/cm2). A 6 _ 6 mesh will have six primary strands going in one direction and six primary
strands perpendicular. In a polyester mesh fabric, the primary strands are woven together by a
method designed to create a fabric that does not fray or pucker. This fabric is typically specified
to accompany applications of heavybodied mastics such as acrylic latex and asphalt cutback.
Glass Scrim
Glass scrims come in many different configurations. The most common scrims used in industrial
and commercial piping applications are the 10 _ 10 (3.9 meshes/cm2) or the 10 _ 20. As with the
mesh fabric, the numerical designation refers to the
number of primary strands in 1 in2 of fabric. Glass scrims are best suited to lightbodied mastics,
paints, and elastomeric membranes.
Safety and Preparation

Before installing insulation around the pipes, take a few important precautions. Wear
goggles and gloves while working with certain materials such as fiberglass, for example, and
do not insulate the part of a pipe that lies relatively close to a flue.

In preparing to insulate the pipes, clean them by removing the dirt, grease or oil from the
piping. Give them time to dry, or wipe them, before starting the rest of the task.
Insulating with Pipe Sleeves

Pipe insulation sleeves come in three main materials: fiberglass, rubber and polyethylene.
Each one does have its advantages: Fiberglass promotes fire safety, rubber prevents
condensation and frost, and polyethylene closed-cell piping also prevents condensation.
Purchase sleeves in the correct size for your piping.
Sleeves can insulate both water pipes and refrigeration lines. Flexible and easy to use, they
have a slit down the side to fit over the piping. Cut the sleeve to the length you need., open
the slit, slide the sleeve over the pipe and close it up. Most sleeves come with a strap or latch
made from metal or cloth to keep them secure.
Insulating with Wraps and Tapes


Although you'll find insulation sleeves well made and easy to work with, you have some
other simple, inexpensive options in the form of wraps and tapes. Follow the instructions that
come with the products, as each may vary slightly. However installation of all of these
products follows the same basic concept. Instead of sliding the material over the pipes, wrap
it around them. As with sleeves, purchase the wrap or tape that fits your purpose---for
example, having extra protection against condensation or extra heat barriers. Ask your local
hardware store salesperson for help in choosing the right wrap or tape for your particular