Thermal insulation protects goods and devices from heat generated by other items nearby or will also protect ancillary items and people from heat generated internally within a device or machine. With various materials available for thermal insulation in high-temperature applications, designers and engineers must select an option that can handle the heat generated within the specific application and intended operating environment.
Applications for Thermal Insulation
Many industries use thermal insulation, such as aerospace, heavy equipment, power generation, public transportation, specialty vehicles, industrial machinery, and many others. Some of the most frequent applications for thermal insulation include:
- Hotspot prevention. Delicate components require protection from focused high-temperature areas in motors and equipment. Without proper insulation, these hotspots can damage electronics, computer equipment, and other parts inside of enclosures and cause burns and safety issues outside of the compartment.
- Fuel tank protection. Sufficient heat protection of fuel tanks is important as hot fuel not only leads to safety issues, but is also less efficient than fuel that is kept cool. Additionally, thermal insulation is increasingly important in the prevention of fuel tank melting as plastic tanks become more common. Besides controlling temperatures, many thermal insulation solutions can be combined with acoustic solutions to mitigate noise from vibration as well as offer heat protection.
- Surface temperature reduction. High-temperature hot process equipment needs insulation to prevent burns. According to ASTM C1055, it only takes five seconds for a burn injury to occur from touching a hot surface. Thermal insulation provides a non-conductive barrier between the heat source and the touchable surfaces of the equipment.
- Exhaust pipe protection. Exhaust pipes also require sufficient protection from heat, both internally and externally. The insulation protects surrounding components from damage while maintaining an appropriate internal temperature within the exhaust system.
Considerations for Selecting Thermal Insulation
The ideal insulation for one application may not be suitable for another. Understanding the capabilities of the various thermal insulation materials will inform the material selection process. When selecting a thermal insulation material, consider the following factors.
Maximum Temperature Range
While all thermal insulation is resistant to heat to some degree, each has it’s suitable ranges and capabilities. Remember to take temperature extremes or surges into consideration when determining the required temperature range of your insulation.
Protection From the Elements
Environmental conditions are an essential qualifying factor when determining an ideal insulation material. If your application is subject to chemicals, humidity, UV radiation, or abrasives like dirt or sand, ensure that your choice of materials will withstand these conditions without degrading. Some of the additives used for weather protection may increase the insulation’s stiffness, so make sure to select a weather protection solution that won’t make installation more difficult.
Safety and Regulatory Requirements
The manufacturer’s safety certifications should always be considered when choosing a thermal insulation material. Compare safety features like fire retardancy, UL, and other quality and safety standards and certifications.
Match your thermal insulation material to your environment and application. Tight spaces dictate a thinner and more flexible material than those in open settings.
Touch temperature ensures safety for workers and other nearby components. Touch temperature is the maximum temperature that a human worker can touch. This shouldn’t be confused with the maximum operating temperature of the insulation.
Thermal Insulation Solutions From Technicon Acoustics
Technicon Acoustics offers the highest-quality thermal insulation solutions available, including:
- Tech Shield™. The flexible and lightweight core of our Tech Shield offers thermal protection and natural flame retardance. The TS-040 keeps operators more comfortable by lowering the temperature inside cabins or operation stations.
- Tech Shield Sleeve™. Our proprietary texturized fiber material forms a braided insulating sleeve that can maintain heat for filtering diesel particulates and protect nearby components from damage in exhaust systems. This material cures in place, resulting in a secure fit that resists unraveling and displacement.
About Technicon Acoustics
At Technicon Acoustics, we design and develop industry-leading solutions for absorbing, blocking, and isolating both sound and thermal energy from our state-of-the-art facility. Our highly experienced team can suggest solutions with thermal and acoustic insulating capabilities using the latest systems, technologies, and processes. For more information on our products and solutions, please contact us today.