An Inside Look: Are Insulation Surface Temperatures Safe?

How hot does the outer surface of an insulation blanket get? When thinking about insulation temperatures, it’s important to remember that fabrics do not conduct heat; metals do. As a result, the relative temperature of a fabric surface can be higher, and still be safe to touch. However, it wasn’t until 1998 that a formal differentiation was made between metal and other surface types. For both, 140° F (60° C) had been the accepted standard temperature.

The UL220 Specification for Stationary Engine Generator Assemblies, issued in September of 1998, was the first standard to quantify acceptable temperatures. Based on this specification, fabric surfaces, such as insulation blankets, can reach temperatures up to 203° F (95° C), and still be safe enough for casual contact.

For more information about safe contact temperatures for insulation materials and more, please see our Firwin Insulation Insights FAQ.

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