Often, especially in Finland, insulation is perceived as insulation that keeps the cold away. Insulation has several different properties which can be separated roughly according to purpose:
• economic thermal insulation
• protective insulation
• frost protection insulation
• cold insulation
• condensation insulation
• process engineering insulation
You might want to watch the Santa’s hotline video at the beginning of the text, where Santa tells real-life examples of insulation.
Insulation has many purposes: you want to maintain certain temperature, want to prevent noise, condensation, or prevent fire ignition, or spread. Insulation has far-reaching benefits based on its primary benefit. For example, insulation prevents significant energy consumption, which has a huge impact on the economy and the environment. Insulation also has a positive impact on social responsibility because insulation brings safety and enhances work comfort.
There can be many reasons behind maintaining a certain temperature. For example, certain industrial processes require a certain temperature to operate. Santa retains a certain body temperature by insulating himself e.g., with long johns and warming up inside with mulled wine so that he does not freeze on the sleigh. And in the evening, the rice porridge cooked in a slow cooker stays hot until the morning, thanks to the good insulation.
When the temperatures of the bodies are different (cold and hot) and the bodies are in contact with each other, their temperature difference is evened out. Thermal energy transfers from warm to cool, causing a warmer body to cool and a cooler body to warm up. Thermal insulation aims to control the transfer of heat. Other purposes are to improve work safety and comfort. Read more about heat transfer from here.
Cold insulation has two purposes: to keep the cold cold and to prevent condensation from condensing on the surface or insulation of the object. Just like Santa’s fishing trip on summer, the cooler bag worked: the fish stayed fresh in the cold and the condensation stayed out of the insulation thanks to the tight surface of the bag.
Condensation occurs when the warm collides with the cold. The heat cools quickly and the moisture it contains condenses into water. If moisture enters the insulation, its thermal insulation properties will be significantly reduced. Therefore, porous insulations such as mineral wool need a vapor barrier to the surface. Condensation can cause corrosion, which can cause significant damage to piping, equipment, and buildings. Moisture damage can be widespread and is expensive to repair. For this reason, cold insulation must be checked regularly.
For example, sheet metal cladding acts as an excellent protection in both thermal and cold insulation. Its features are undeniable:
• protects the insulation from moisture
• the sheet metal cladding is impact resistant
• the sheet metal cladding is fireproof
• the metal claddings are recyclable
The right kind of cold insulation is economically profitable. Making cold is much more expensive than heat. Therefore, for insulation dimensioning and for calculation, it is worth choosing the best experts in the field to help.
Use an expert right from the beginning
In industry, insulation has significant impacts on equipment life cycle and total cost. Therefore, it is always advisable to involve experts at an early stage in the planning of the insulation. With the help of an expert, it is possible to choose the most energy- and cost-effective solutions.
One problem with planning is that the insulation is planned too late. Sometimes the object to be insulated is already completed when the insulation is considered. When an expert is involved at the beginning of the planning, the right type of insulation is chosen at once:
• applicable and compliant insulation
• quick and easy to install insulation and claddings
• maintenance for products is easy which extends the life cycle
Another problem is the choice of the wrong type of insulation. Without an expert, the wrong type or wrong thickness of insulation may be chosen that will not work in a demanding environment. Attention is paid only to the insulation thickness and not to the insulation ability, or one chooses insulation that is difficult to install in the environment. With a help of an expert right kind of complete solutions are planned and carried out. The solutions are easy to maintain and they keep their performances for long.
Insulations do not last forever, as heat and cold stress or sagging and wetting of the insulation can impair the performance of the insulation. Insulation and their claddings require maintenance to keep the properties good for a long time. Broken insulation has a negative impact on energy efficiency, resulting in costs. Therefore, it is not advisable to prolong the repair, especially when the calculated repayment period for the repair is short.
When you need help choosing the right type of insulation, contact Kespet’s experts.
Antti Hyttinen, 050 597 1364
Head of Planning