Category Archive: mining safety

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.

Insulation & Underground Mining: How to Increase Mining Equipment Safety with the Right Insulation

Underground mining operations may differ around the world, but they pose similar risks to worker health and safety. Different techniques are used to extract metals, gems, coal, and other materials, but the hazards are similar for most of these applications. According to the United States Department of Labor, Mining Health, and Safety Administration (MHSA), 70% of mining accidents in the U.S. involve using heavy machinery and other equipment at worksites.

Mining Safety Challenges and Worker Risks

According to the MHSA, the following are among the top causes contributing to accidents in 2012:

  • A lack of safety training
  • Poor hazard communication
  • Insufficient lockout/tagout precautions
  • Faulty electrical wiring
  • Improper machine guards
  • Hydraulic oil spills igniting on hot engine surfaces
  • Oil seeping into insulation covers, which poses a potential fire hazard
  • Operators burned in confined mine tunnels
  • Insulation failing to meet machine-guarding requirements

How Insulation Meets These Challenges

At Firwin, we offer insulation solutions that help to address the safety challenges posed by mining applications. These include:

  • Our MineWrap™ removable insulation blanket, which features an inner lining fabricated from stainless steel, prevents oil from being absorbed into the insulation. MineWrap’s™ exterior can be reinforced with a stainless steel mesh cover to make the blanket more resistant to punctures and the rugged underground mining environment.
  • Firwin’s Hard Coat™ composite insulation, a permanent insulation solution applied directly to the component that is being insulated. This is in contrast to MineWrap™, which is wrapped and fastened around the engine or exhaust components and can be removed and reinstalled.

Whether mining operations choose permanent or removable insulation solutions, insulation from Firwin ensures that the insulation material will be completely enclosed and shielded from exterior elements. This mitigates the dangers posed by equipment oil and fluid leaks that could otherwise seep into the insulation and pose fire hazards.

In addition, proper insulation reduces the ambient heat of diesel-powered equipment, and shields workers from burns. Using proper insulation also helps catalysts burn exhaust pollutants more effectively by maintaining the optimal high exhaust temperature as the exhaust travels along the piping.

Mining Vehicle - Minewrap Mark III and Firwin HC Insulation

Mining Vehicle – Minewrap Mark III and Firwin HC Insulation

Improved Mining Safety with Firwin

Underground mining operations inherently pose health and safety risks to the workers in the mine. Among the biggest causes of mining accidents are electrical wiring, machine-guarding, and oil seeping into insulation covers. Proper insulation is critical to safe operation, especially when used for machine-guarding.

Insulating exposed hot exhaust components is important in underground mines, but will only be effective if users select the correct insulation system. Failing to do so may add new safety concerns in the mine. Firwin’s MineWrap Removable Blankets and Hard Coat Composite Insulation are specifically designed to effectively insulate exhaust components used in mining operations in a way that addresses many of the safety hazards common among underground mining operations.

Firwin is a leading manufacturer of custom insulation products for exhaust systems, combustion engines, and an expansive range of other industrial purposes. Our main product lines include removable insulation blankets and permanent Hard Coat™ composite insulation. We are an experienced company that has been providing safe and effective insulation solutions to a wide range of industries since 1982.

In addition to providing high-quality insulation products, we are committed to offering superior customer service through product selection, sales, installation, and beyond. If you’d like more information on Firwin’s products for the mining industry, download our whitepaper. If you still have questions or would like to get more information about our services, feel free to contact us today.

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.