Amulya Das, Director of Business Development at Mid-Mountain Materials, Inc., talks to AZoM about the insulation systems they supply, and how they can provide customized solutions for a wide range of applications.
What kinds of insulation material does Mid-Mountain Materials manufacture?
Mid-Mountain manufactures a wide variety of insulation materials for use across a broad range of industries. A number of insulation product lines at our facility allows us to be vertically integrated, which gives us the opportunity to be very innovative with our solutions for our customers.
- ARMATEX® Coated Fabrics and Textiles: Mid-Mountain manufactures a complete line of coated fabrics that are high temperature resistant, chemical resistant and abrasion resistant. Many of our coated fabrics can be cut and sewn into blankets, curtains, custom seals, and removable/reusable insulation covers and pads. Using different substrates gives us the flexibility to address any type of application challenge. In addition to coated fabrics, we have the capability to coat textiles. We have recently added silicone coated square braided rope to our line of insulation products. This dense rope can be used in sealing applications where thermal insulation is needed in a very extreme environments.
- SILTEX® Woven Silica Fabric: Mid-Mountain’s SILTEX® Woven Silica Fabrics are widely used for applications that require high heat resistance up to 1800°F • 982°C continuous, as well as abrasion and/or chemical resistance. Silica fabric can also be cut and sewn into a variety of products, and with a higher temperature rating than fiberglass, offers increased heat resistance where required.
- HYTEX® High-Temperature Resistant Textiles: Mid-Mountain has engineered a wide variety of textiles used as thermal insulation seals and barriers for a wide variety of insulation applications in numerous industries. Ropes, tapes, sleevings and non-wovens are made with a wide variety of substrates, and HYTEX® High-Temperature Resistant Textiles have a continuous operating temperature from 400°F • 204°C to 5000°F • 2760°C (no oxygen present). These textiles are often utilized with other components to create thermal insulation seals, but can be used on their own as well for sealing applications.
- CERMEX® Insulation Blankets and Mats: Mid-Mountain offers a family of insulating blankets and mats manufactured from varying chemical composition fibers to accommodate not only a wide range of temperature requirements, but vibration and abrasion resistance as well. Consisting of fiberglass, mineral wool, silica, ceramic fiber and biosoluble fiber, these products remain mechanically stable under extreme heat conditions.
- CERMEX® Insulating Papers: Our CERMEX® Insulating Papers are comprised from a variety of base fibers, fillers and binders with temperature capabilities ranging from 1000°F to 2200°F. These papers can be die cut for use as thermal barrier insulation, and can be laminated with aluminum foil to enhance the physical properties of the paper.
- THERMOPAK® Fabricated Thermal Protection Products: We manufacture many types of fabricated parts in-house with combinations of various materials, which gives us the opportunity to provide a wide selection of thermal barrier seals.
- THERMOPAK® Custom Sewn Parts & Shapes: Engineered, designed, and fabricated to exacting customer specifications, these cut and sewn parts are produced from a wide variety of textiles and insulating materials selected to match a specific application requirement.
- THERMOPAK® Die-Cut Gaskets: Specialty shapes die-cut from a variety of insulating materials for custom fit in thermal management applications.
- THERMOPAK® Tadpole Tapes: Thermopak® Tadpole Tapes have a distinctive bulb shape for low-pressure sealing coupled with high temperature capability. By combining various cover materials with a variety of core materials, a “bulb” and “tail” construction is formed. These tapes conform to uneven surfaces or joints where packing or flat tapes are unsuitable. The tapes can be made in various shapes and sizes for optimum sealing performance.
- THERMOPAK® Stress Relieving Blankets: Reusable fiber blankets completely enclosed with tough casings for maximum durability under fired conditions, during pre-heating and stress relieving of field weldments.
- THERMOPAK® Welding & Thermal Protection Blankets: Thermopak® Blankets for heat retention or weld protection are fabricated to requested size specifications and temperature capabilities. Used as curtains or splash shields, they offer protection during welding, cutting, fabrication and repair.
- THERMOPAK® Hose & Cable Insulation: Sleeving insulation comprised of wire mesh and fibrous material fabricated to various lengths for protection against radiant heat, direct flame, hot gases and abrasion.
What applications are the insulation systems you manufacture used in?
Mid-Mountain specializes in insulation blankets and covers which are used for a variety of purposes. These include fire proofing, sound proofing, thermal insulation, and weather proofing.
Our thermal insulation systems are constructed for a wide range of temperature or atmospheric environments. They are very durable, weather resistant, and ideally suited for any area that requires frequent maintenance.
Standard applications include heat exchangers, valves, manways, flanges, pumps, engine manifolds, engine exhausts, exhaust silencers, turbines, instrumentation panels, and other components, as well as process piping.
What properties make them ideal for these applications?
Most of our insulation blankets and covers are removable and soft. Unlike permanent hard insulation, soft insulation covers have the advantage of being removable and reusable, making them the insulation of choice for components that need to be accessed from time to time for maintenance and inspection.
What makes insulation covers such a critical component when it comes to site safety and system stability?
While removable thermal insulation covers are typically one of the last items to be installed before a facility goes into production, they are a critical component when it comes to site safety and system stability. Valves, flanges, and other components left uncovered can result in:
- Unnecessary process adjustment due to heat loss
- False readings or alarms being sent to the control room
- Equipment failures due to operation outside of normal temperature ranges
- Degradation of product quality due to improper process temperatures
What benefits can a consumer expect to experience using Mid-Mountain Materials’ removable insulation covers?
The benefits of our removable insulation covers include:
- Heat retention and freeze protection
- Personnel protection against burns from hot components
- Energy savings from reduced heat loss to surrounding environment
- Sound attenuation
- Insulation is easily removed and replaced to allow for maintenance and inspection
How are they constructed?
Removable insulation covers are typically constructed in 3 layers. Figures 1, 2 and 3 illustrate the construction and materials used in a standard removable insulation cover.
Note that for more demanding and unique applications, Mid-Mountain offers a wide range of alternative materials and designs. Most of our covers and blankets are custom designed by our engineers to meet the unique requirements of individual applications.
The primary function of thermal insulation is to reduce the transmission of heat. Depending on temperature range and environmental conditions, the choice of insulation material is very important and critical.
- Certain applications may require alternative construction methods – i.e. an extra layer may be added, as in the case of sound or fluid barriers.
- One inch insulation suffices for most applications; however, the thickness can be varied based on particular application requirements. Most blanket insulation materials are available for temperatures ranging from below zero all the way up to 5000°F • 2760°C (no oxygen present). Fastening methods include straps, lacing wire, cords, and buckles, buttons, studs, and hook and loop.
Our blankets and covers feature high temperature sewn construction and incorporate flaps, closures, and cutouts to provide easy access to ports and controls.
Can your insulation covers be customized if a customer wants to purchase one for a more demanding or unique application?
Yes, we do design and manufacture custom products for our customers.
In addition, we also work with our customers to design and implement custom insulation systems for the most unique and complex insulation situations.
We have worked in collaboration with customers to design muffler covers, diesel exhaust covers, and covers designed for us in aircraft.
At Mid-Mountain, what makes us unique is that we work closely with our customers to find the best solution for their application.
If an application is not that complex, we do have standard product line that includes many sizes of pipe and valve insulation blankets for dozens of common components.
As well as specialty insulation components, Mid-Mountain Materials, Inc. manufactures coated fabrics. Can you explain how ARMATEX® coated fabrics are manufactured and what they can be used for?
Mid-Mountain manufactures a complete line of coated fabrics that are high temperature resistant, chemical resistant and abrasion resistant.
A variety of base fabrics can be coated with different types of coatings to create a coated fabric suited for your application.
In addition to fiberglass and silica fabrics, we can also coat woven and non-woven fabrics including Nomex®, Kevlar®, and nylon, carbon, and aramid blends.
Many of our standard coated fabrics are manufactured in accordance with a variety of specifications including ASTM E84, ASTM E162, FAR 25.855, and MIL-PRF-20696F.
We also offer several coated and uncoated fabrics that are ANSI/FM 4950 approved for use in hot works applications. Our standard coated fabrics include:
- Silicone Coated Fabrics ranging in weight from 7 oz/sy to 200 oz/sy
- Silicone/Refractory Coated Fabrics which are very abrasion and chemical resistant
- Refractory Coated Fabrics for use in very abusive, high temperature environments
- Vermiculite Coated Fabrics which are resistant to abrasion, sparks and molten splash
- PTFE Coated Fabrics which are widely used for insulation pads and covers
- Ceramic Coated Fabrics which have increased strength properties
- Neoprene Coated Fabrics which are very resistant to splatter and sparks in welding environments
- Urethane Coated Fabrics which offer a high level of chemical resistance.
- Acrylic Coated Fabrics
- Intumescent Coated Fabrics which provide UV protection and are excellent for use as a smoke or fire barrier
Do you see any significant developments occurring in the near future with regards to insulation materials?
Yes, we are expecting lots of development with regards to insulation material occurring in the near future.
We are constantly working on developing advanced materials on the following factors:
- Thermal conductivity
- Sensitivity to moisture
- Ease of installation
- Ease of replacement at end of life
- Cost effectiveness
- Environmental impact and sustainability
Mid-Mountain is a very vertically integrated company, which gives us the opportunity to use a combination of materials, to achieve an optimum solution, at a very competitive price.
The process of combining different types of insulation into a single form creates a solution that will be more thermally, efficient and cost effective.
About Amulya Das
Amulya Das is Director of Business Development at Mid-Mountain Materials, Inc., and is based at the company’s manufacturing facility in Arlington, Washington, USA.
Amulya is a Materials Scientist with a degree in Chemistry, and also has a Masters Degree in Chemical Technology with a specialization of Textile & Polymers Science from The Institute of Chemical Technology, Bombay, India. As Director of Business Development, Amulya works closely with engineers and project managers to develop unique solutions that will address their applications challenges.
Prior to this role, Amulya served as the Manager of the Coating Division at Mid-Mountain, overseeing the manufacture of all standard and custom coated products. Amulya has 28 years of hands on working experience in manufacturing, engineering, design, and Research & Development with textiles, chemicals, and polymers as well as high performance materials.
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