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|MineWrap™ Removable Insulation Blankets|
There are two possible problems when considering using removable insulation blankets for outdoor applications:
• The potential for water to get underneath the blanket and stay, which could in turn lead to pipe corrosion under certain circumstances.
• The possibility of poor insulation performance when exposed to the elements.
Because insulation blankets, by nature, are not sealed, they are not impervious to water. Brett Herman, Firwin’s VP of sales and customer services, says the first question you should ask yourself when considering using insulation for an outdoor application is, “Can I afford any water getting under the blanket?” If the answer is no, then insulation blankets are not likely candidates for you application. However, if the problem isn’t a question of water getting under the blanket, but rather a fear of the water lingering, removable insulation remains a viable solution.
In many applications, high temperatures from typical engine exhaust cylinders (provided they are non-cyclical) will burn off excess water that remains under an insulation blanket—thus eliminating the risk of corrosion. In terms of ability to perform in outdoor conditions, insulation blankets’ standard outer layer (silicone impregnated fiberglass) can withstand temperatures as low was -67° F before cracking—and some even feature a UV resistant coating. When it comes to responding to water, some kinds of insulation are more water-resistant than others.
To accommodate outdoor applications, Firwin incorporates design modifications into blankets, such as extra flaps to reduce the amount of water that gets beneath a blanket. If corrosion is an issue, Firwin may also recommend consulting with an outside corrosion engineer.
For more information, continue reading about insulation blankets for outdoor applications here.
An insulation blanket is composed of three main layers: An inner face, the insulation media itself, and the outer fabric. The inner face, known as the hot face, comes in direct contact with the hot component. Typically a stainless steel mesh, it holds the insulation in place. The outer fabric, known as the cold face, covers the insulation.
Outer fabric can be fluid-resistant or non-fluid resistant. Silicone or Teflon™ lamination endows the fabric with fluid-resistant properties, greater abrasion resistance, and the ability to withstand greater amounts of mechanical stress. Additionally, these types of fabrics are well suited to surviving the elements.
However, once temperatures reach above 500° F, the adhesives and coatings begin to break down, causing the material to lose integrity and become brittle. Some fabrics can continue to perform up to 600° F, at which point laminated fabrics maintain integrity while losing lamination. For extremely high-temperature applications, non-fluid resistant, woven, non-coated fabrics fare well. For applications that require fluid-resistance as well as high-temperature resistance, other materials must be considered.
Curious about what kind of outer fabric is right for your particular application? Read more to find out what other options are available.