We have already discussed the criteria that need to be analyzed when choosing the correct insulation blanket material. With that out of the way, now it is time to look at the actual insulation materials typically found in insulation blankets.
This classic insulation material is used in most standard insulation blanket applications. It is odorless, does not contribute to metal corrosion, is excellent at sound absorption, and resists decay, mold, and vermin. Fiberglass has a temperature limit of 1200°F (649°C), so it is not right for higher temperature applications.
This material is slightly more expensive than fiberglass, but it has a much higher temperature limit of 2192°F (1200°C). It’s also odorless, does not contribute to metal corrosion, is excellent at sound absorption, and can withstand decay, mold, and vermin.
The big plus of mineral wool is its low moisture absorption qualities and excellent thermal resistance. Its temperature limits are the same as fiberglass, and it is a decent sound and vibration absorber. It is also slightly more economical than fiberglass.
This is the top-of-the-line when it comes to insulation materials. It is superior to both fiberglass and CMS wool and is ideal for a limited clearance application or where blanket weight is a concern. In fact, ½” thick Aerogel has the same properties as 1.5” thick fiberglass. As you might expect, it also carries with it a top-of-the-line price tag. It also has a slightly lower temperature limit of 1100°F (600°C).
Stay tuned for Part 3, where we cover the different materials available for your insulation’s outer and inner covers.
When it comes to insulation covers, blankets, and jackets, one size does not fit all. In order to match your specific application with the correct insulation materials, quite a few factors need to be considered. An incorrect insulation blanket can cost you money, time, and even the safety of your workers and customers. Some of the factors that must be taken into consideration when selecting the correct insulation materials for your particular application include:
- Maximum temperature range of the application in question
If your insulation cannot handle the temperatures your application demands, then it is at best, ineffective, and at worst, dangerous.
- Desired outer surface “touch” temperature
What temperature do you need the outside of the insulation cover to be? Does it need to be ‘touch-safe’, or are you just trying to lower the ambient temperature in the surrounding area?
- Exposure to elements (i.e. water, chemicals, debris, etc.)
What will your insulation have to go through? Can it handle the water, chemicals, and debris thrown its way?
- Safety and regulatory requirements
Are there certain standards (i.e. UL, fire safety, etc) that your insulation covers must meet?
How much room do you have to work with? Space constraints can influence both the insulation thickness and type of insulation material recommended.
- Frequency of insulation removal
If you need to remove the insulation often for equipment maintenance or adjustments, it will play a role in what fastening materials are chosen.
Last but certainly not least, do you need your insulation covers to match their surroundings or conform to a certain corporate color?
It is imperative that your insulation blanket provider is aware of these basic factors. Your Firwin rep can walk you through these steps and ensure that you get the right blanket for your application.