Category Archive: mining insulation blankets

Engine Component Insulation

engine component insulation

Essential to a wide range of industrial applications, engines  also introduce an element of risk into a work environment due to the intense levels of heat they can generate. Engine component insulation is designed to contain the heat produced by engines, protecting employees and sensitive equipment while optimizing engine performance.

The Problem

Industrial engines generate heat which can:

  • Raise ambient temperatures within the working environment to uncomfortable levels
  • Cause injury or illness to employees, such as burns or heat exhaustion
  • Damage nearby sensitive equipment and components, such as cables

These risks are especially potent for newer engines and smaller working environments. Newer engines are designed to reduce carbon emissions by running at higher temperatures (typically meeting or exceeding 800°F or 425°C). In smaller, more confined environments (such as those found in the underground mining industry), employees are at a greater risk of receiving severe burns due to contact with exposed metal engine parts.

Engine Component Insulation Solutions

At Firwin, we manufacture a variety of insulation products suitable for protecting employees and equipment from excessive engine heat, including:

Removable Insulation Blankets

Our removable insulation blankets are engineered from three layers of material for highly effective heat insulation. The three layers typically consist of:

  • An inner layer of steel mesh
  • A middle layer of insulation medium
  • An outer layer of silicone-coated fiberglass

The design of the blanket—its thickness and insulation medium—can be altered for greater heat reduction. For particularly demanding applications, other customization options include the integration of sound or fluid barrier material.

MineWrap Removable Blankets

Our MineWrap line of insulation blankets was specifically designed by our research and development team to meet the specific needs of the underground mining industry.

The flagship MineWrap™ Mark II features a flame-resistant foil inner liner lined with a stainless steel mesh. This design seals the insulation from oil or hydraulic fluid, thus eliminating a potential fire hazard. For more demanding applications, the MineWrap™ Mark III blanket features a reinforced stainless steel foil exterior covered by a layer of stainless steel mesh with options for additional joint safety seals.

Being durable and virtually impenetrable to contaminants, MineWrap™ is the insulation blanket of choice for many mining operations and mining equipment manufacturers.

Permanent Hard Coat Composite Insulation

Permanent Composite Hard Coat Insulation
In addition to removable blankets, we also offer a high-performance permanent insulation coating. This option is ideal for components that do not require regular repair or maintenance.

We apply the composite coating in a thin layer that both insulates the target material and protects it from combustion in the event of an engine leak or malfunction. Our Hard Coat product offers other advantages, such as:

  • Suitability for use in confined environments
  • Non-flammability and non-combustibility
  • Suitability for high-temperature environments
  • Burn protection for personnel
  • Reduction of ambient temperatures
  • Greater durability than removable blankets

For this type of insulation solution, we apply the coating to your disassembled components in our facility, then ship them back to you on a mutually agreed-upon timeline.

Stainless Steel Foil Insulation

metal foil insulationAnother permanent insulation option is metal foil insulation (MFI), which we pre-install over exhaust components, such as tubing, piping, and elbows. This insulation solution consists of insulation material encapsulated by an outer foil layer that is permanently welded to the engine component.

Our MFI is:

  • Durable (it is capable of withstanding steam washing and chemical exposure)
  • Leak-free (it serves as a barrier to any fluids that may seep into the insulation)
  • Customizable (it can be designed to fit different component shapes and application requirements)

With these considerations in mind, our MFI solutions also offer a tighter fit and more aesthetically-pleasing finish than insulation blankets. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) interested in this insulation solution can ship components directly to our factory where we custom fit and install the MFI before returning the parts.

Contact Firwin for Engine Component Insulation

With Firwin’s highly customizable range of engine component insulation solutions, you can prevent even the most powerful engines from harming your employees and equipment. Our industry-leading removable and permanent insulation solutions are designed to retain extreme heat and maximize engine performance.

For more information about our engine component insulation solutions and which would best suit your application, visit our comprehensive resource library or contact us to discuss your insulation needs.

Hard Coat Insulation vs. Removable Insulation

They may sound like the same thing, but insulation coating and insulation blankets are actually quite different. When you face choosing between these two, equally high-quality products, you need to know some key facts to make the right decision.

Essentially, it comes down to some key factors including the need for removability, your space constraints, the importance of fireproofing, and finally, cost.

Type of Insulation:

An important factor is the type of insulation needed, including the desired strength. Considering that Firwin HC™ is in fact hard and more durable, it is more suited for extremely rugged conditions. Our blankets, although also tough, are not as impenetrable as our hard coatings. The hard coat is more applicable where there is a possibility of sharp objects coming into contact with the insulation and the possibility where insulation can be torn.

Removability:

Firwin HC™ Hard Coat is permanently applied and cannot be removed, while our insulation blankets can in fact be removed and even reused. This is important if you need to do periodic maintenance on whatever you are insulating. In that case, the blankets will better serve your needs. Additionally, since the hard coating is applied directly onto parts, you need to disassemble you components and send them to Firwin for coating. If the components are difficult to access and disassemble, then we recommend using our insulation blankets.

Space Constraints and Fireproofing:

Because Firwin HC™ is applied directly to the component, it conforms tightly to the part and is ideal for applications that offer limited space. The thinness and flexibility of the hard coating makes it more of a viable option when the blankets are too bulky to fit.

Firwin HC™ is non-flammable and proves to be a valuable safety and fireproof option. As for the insulation blankets, they are fire retardant. For those applications requiring a further measure of safety, Firwin offers our MineWrap™ blankets which completely enclose and prevent any oils or fluids from lodging in the insulation and igniting fire.

Cost:

While both insulations take about 2-3 weeks in lead time from order to delivery, hard coating will last longer but are also more than removable insulation.

Therefore, whether you need hard coat or removable insulation, there is one thing you can count on, and that’s the experts at Firwin. If you have any doubts about which is right for you, just contact a rep at Firwin today and we can help you make the perfect insulation decision.

Firwin insulation blankets
Firwin HC™ Hard Coat

Underground Mining Safety and Firwin

There is no question that underground mining is a challenging and risky occupation. Over the past 12 years, the month of October has been the deadliest month for metal and nonmetal mining operations in the United States. It is with this unfortunate stat in mind that we wanted to talk about the role of insulation in underground mine safety of diesel-powered equipment.

Diesel accounts for 72% of the energy used by the mining sector. This dominate fuel source comes with some unique challenges. The exhaust given off by diesel engines can get extremely hot, and with workspace at a premium underground, this can get dangerous for miners. Additionally, the high ambient heat given off by these non-insulated engines can worsen an already uncomfortable environment.

By blanketing exposed engine and exhaust components, you immediately reduce ambient heat; plus, these same insulation blankets shield workers from burns. It’s a win-win and it doesn’t take a great deal of effort.

Of course, for all of this to work effectively, you need to choose the right insulation blanket partner. This is where Firwin can help. Thanks to their unique stainless steel inner liner and reinforced outer cover, our MineWrap™ insulation blankets are perfect for the rigors of underground mining.

If you want to raise the level of safety in your underground mining operation, the best place to start is insulating your diesel components, and the best place for insulation blankets is Firwin.

Firwin and Mine Safety

COPIAPO, Chile where 33 miners were trapped in a collapsed mine
From August to October of 2010, it was next to impossible to watch TV for more than 10 minutes without hearing about the 33 miners trapped in a collapsed gold mine 2,300 ft below Chile’s harsh and isolated Atacama Desert. The Copiapó mining accident captivated the world even after the miners safely returned to the surface.  It not only highlighted the strength of the human spirit, but it also shined yet another light on how dangerous mining can be. This near tragedy reminded us that even in the modern world, we cannot afford to ignore basic mine safety.  
In our last blog, we discussed the basics of open pit and underground mining. Today, we are going to highlight the challenges of both styles of mining and the substantial role that Firwin plays in keeping the mining industry safe. 
Open Pit Mining
Open pits, while being overall less demanding than underground mining, carry with them their own set of challenges. As with any activity involving large equipment like multi-ton trucks, loaders, and drills you need to use insulation blankets to shield personnel, cabling, and all heat sensitive controls from extreme temperatures.  However, open pit mining also introduces the problem of excessive sound and vibration.
Many open pit mines across the world are located near population centers, especially in countries like Australia. Therefore, companies have to find a way to effectively mine, without disturbing nearby residents and businesses.  Firwin has insulation blankets that combine both temperature and noise/vibration protection, thus allowing open pit mines to run 24-7 safely and without causing local resentment and structural damage. 
Underground Mining
As the world has turned more and more to underground mining, Firwin has started to focus on developing a special line of insulation products aimed at the unique challenges of underground mining. Digging any tunnel, shaft, or adit is difficult, time consuming, expensive, and inherently dangerous. After a good deal of research and testing, Firwin created our proprietary MineWrap™ Removable Insulation Blankets expressly for underground mining.
MineWrap™ Removable Insulation Blankets
Our MineWrap™ addresses some of the less obvious areas of concern of underground mining. It protects again the dangers of hydraulic oils spills on hot engine surfaces, reduces operator burns, limits oil seepage, and can withstand extreme wear and tear. Though not as well documented as cave-ins like Copiapó, these problems can lead to equally as devastating occurrences. 
Whichever mining technique our customers utilize, they know that Firwin has the products, experience, and expertise to make the mining process safer, cleaner, and more productive. Furthermore, all of our mining insulation is custom made to fit your specific equipment and our blankets conform to UL2000 standards. If you want to learn more about our mining insulation, visit our website or contact an expert at Firwin today.