At first glance, making up a removable insulation blanket seems somewhat simple – take some insulation, put some mesh on one side, a cover on the other, sew them together, add some rivets so that you can fasten it, and presto!
Of course, we know that in fact it is not quite so simple. Aside from the design aspect –that is ensuring that the insulation blanket fits the part properly, wrapping snugly around the part, and taking into account whatever brackets, screws, and other protrusions might be present – there is the aspect of choosing the appropriate materials with which to manufacture the blanket.
Removable Insulation Blanket Construction
Removable insulation blankets can be divided into 3 main components:
- An outer protective cover—also known as the cold face—designed to shield and protect the insulation from the environment in which it finds itself.
- The insulation mat itself, typically 1″ thick fiberglass, which provides the actual heat containment. Thicknesses vary from ½” up to 4,” depending on the amount of heat reduction the application requires.
- The inner liner—also known as the hot face—which helps to keep the insulation mat in place and may also act as a barrier to protect the insulation mat from fluid seepage.
Aside from these 3 components, there is the fastening system used to secure the insulation blankets in place. The type of fastening used is largely dependent on the type of equipment being covered, the applications for which it will be used, and the environment in which the covered equipment operates. A wide variety of fastening equipment is available for use with removable insulation blankets. Common fastening methods include:
- Stainless steel lacing wire
Material Considerations for Removable Insulation Blankets
The materials used for the aforementioned components can vary according to the application in question and the end user requirements. Some of the factors that the Firwin design team takes into account when deciding on the makeup of an insulation blanket include:
- Maximum temperature range. Certain materials handle higher or lower temperature ranges better, while other materials can handle a wide range from very low to very high. Knowing what ranges your insulation will be exposed to will be crucial in determining which material is right for your application.
- Location. Will your insulation be located indoors or outdoors? If it’s going to be outside, then UV resistance of your material will be an important consideration.
- Exposure to elements. Will your insulation be exposed to water, oil, chemicals, or any abrasive substances that might erode your insulation? Not all materials can stand up to these elements, so it’s important to consider any exposure risks when selecting a material.
- Space Limitations. If your equipment is unusually shaped or located in a confined space, it is important to source thinner and more pliable insulation blanket material to ensure maximum coverage.
- Flame retardance. For applications in which open flames are present, appropriate flame-retardant insulation materials should be used.
- Mold resistance. If your insulation will be regularly subjected to damp or humid surroundings, it is important to select materials that are resistant to mold and microbe growth to ensure the health and safety of your employees and the longevity of your blanket.
- Color selection. Many of our materials are available with a variety of different color options. This is something to consider for aesthetic reasons as well as for organizational, identifying reasons. Different insulation colors could be used to help differentiate different surfaces to make maintenance easier.
- UV Resistance. Regular exposure to UV radiation, including sunlight, can degrade certain materials. Take into account whether your insulation will be exposed to sunlight or other sources of UV radiation when deciding on the proper material.
- Durability. Some applications will expose the insulation blanket to a greater risk of damage through impact, punctures, or tears. Highly durable and sturdy insulation materials are available for these rough environments.
- Sound absorption. In addition to temperature control, insulation can be used to reduce the sound emitted by loud industrial equipment. Consider your need for noise mitigation when choosing the best material for your removable insulation blanket.
Other factors to consider during material selection may include:
- Safety and regulatory requirements (i.e. underground mining, marine, UL, OSHA)
- Desired outer surface “touch temperature“
- Desired heat retention within the system (i.e. desired exhaust temperature)
- Frequency of insulation removal
Removable insulation blankets are highly versatile and can be customized to fit a variety of equipment in a wide range of applications. They are frequently used to insulate engine components, exhaust systems, and industrial machinery. Sectors such as power generation, on-highway vehicles, mining and marine benefit from the use of insulation blankets in order to manage engine heat.
Contact Firwin for Removable Insulation Blankets
At Firwin, we are proud to provide top-quality removable insulation blankets in a wide range of versatile designs and materials. We understand that each application has different needs, and we take into account all variables to ensure that you have the perfect insulation for your applications.
Whether you are in need of a standard insulation material or a customized blanket to particular specifications, the experts at Firwin are ready to help you choose the correct insulation material or combination for your application. Read our free eBook to learn about everything you should look for in your insulation blanket supplier. For more information on our superior removable insulation blankets, contact us today or request a quote.