Archive: Jul 2012

Absolute Zero in Chile

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Recently, our company president, Paul Herman, took a trip down to one of our newest and most exciting markets, Chile. While there, Paul met with Firwin’s Chilean distributor, in order to continue to develop durable, high quality removable insulation blankets, covers, and jackets, and insulation solutions.

At Firwin, every project we work on is our most important. However, some are more difficult than others. On his trip, Paul faced one of the biggest challenges in the insulation blanket world: cryogenics.

Cryogenics is the study of how matter behaves at very low temperatures, all the way down to almost absolute zero (-459.67°F). In the industrial realm, cryogenics is used to create gases – nitrogen, oxygen, and helium – at these subzero temperatures. As you might imagine, the pipes that carry these gases are, to say the least, on the cold side. In fact, they get so cold that they become serious workplace hazards. Touching them can result in a worker becoming stuck, which can lead to serious medical issues.  Just for clarification, this isn’t the same as when a kid gets his tongue stuck to a cold flag pole— it’s much more severe and puts workers’ health at real risk. Another problem is ice build-up, which occurs because of the temperature difference between the gases in the pipe and the air in the facility. Because of this, the pipes cannot be outfitted with permanent insulation.

Firwin hopes to be able to solve these problems with specially designed removable insulation that would act as an ice barrier, protect personnel from cold pipes, and allow maintenance workers to remove and replace the insulation to access valves.

Stay tuned for blog updates about the progress of this unique project. . .