Outdoor Applications of Insulation Blankets

There are two possible challenging areas when thinking about using removable insulation blankets for outdoor applications:

  • Potential of water going underneath the blanket and not evaporating, which could result in pipe corrosion under some conditions
  • The ability of the insulation material itself to perform correctly when exposed to outdoor elements (i.e. heat, cold, reduction of insulation value when wet, etc.).

Using Insulation Blankets for Outdoor Applications

"Removable insulation blankets, by their nature, are not permanently sealed, and therefore they are not impervious to water," said Brett Herman, Firwin’s V.P. of Sales & Customer Service. "So, the first question you should ask yourself when considering removable insulation blankets for an outdoor application is - 'Can I afford any water at all to get in under the blanket?' " said Brett.

If the answer is an absolute no, then we would not suggest removable insulation blankets, as it is quite likely that some water will get in at some time or another. But if the problem is not the occasional water getting under the blankets, but rather the fear that if the water remains, it may cause pipe corrosion, then depending on the application, removable insulation blankets are a definite option.

Brett Herman, V.P. of Sales & Customer Service, Firwin

High temperatures from usual engine exhaust applications, provided they are non-cyclical, will burn off any extra water that may get under an insulation blanket, thus eliminating the chance of corrosion as a result of water.

Outdoor Applications of Insulation Blankets

Concerning the ability of the insulation materials themselves to endure outdoor conditions, the standard outer layer used in removable insulation blankets, silicone impregnated fiberglass, can endure temperatures as low as -67 °F before cracking, and have a UV resistant coating. As for the effect of water on the insulation material, certain materials are more resistant to wetting compared to others. Both rockwool and ceramic fiber insulation, and to a lesser extent fiberglass, regain their insulation values after the water evaporates.

Firwin will also integrate design alterations into blankets that are to be employed for outdoor applications, such as additional flaps to decrease the amount of water that may get in underneath a blanket. In case the application is such where corrosion is established to be a potential problem, the company may advise consulting with an outside corrosion engineer.

"Again, if a customer needs a 100% waterproof system, then removable insulation blankets are not the solution", said Brett. "But this is usually not the case for hot exhaust piping."

The overall answer is 'yes', our blankets are suitable for outdoor applications, and indeed we have a number of customers who use them just for that. The important thing is that we are notified so that we can ensure proper materials and design, and bring in any additional expertise if necessary.

Brett Herman, V.P. of Sales & Customer Service, Firwin

Image Credit: Firwin

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Firwin Corporation.

For more information on this source, please visit Firwin Corporation.


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