Insulation

 

Although CSI does not sell insulation, the insulation is critical to the performance of a bolt-on heating system. There is a large variety of insulation types available on the market. The following information summarizes the most common types used for piping and vessels. (The information is also available in table form through the link at the bottom of the page.) This information is designed to assist in choosing an appropriate insulation type for a given application. The minimum insulation thickness will depend on the specific thermal requirements. Note that the geometry of the bolt-on heating product should also be considered when choosing an insulation type and thickness. Please contact CSI for additional information regarding the most appropriate insulation strategy for a specific bolt-on application.

 

 Cellular Glass

Cellular Glass

Insulation Type: Cellular Glass
Other Names: Foam Glass, Cell Glass
Construction: Closed Cell
Thermal Conductivity @ 300°F: 0.048 (BTU/hr/ft/°F)
Temperature Range: -450°F to 800°F
Moisture: Does not absorb moisture (impermeable)
Crush Resistant: Yes
Best Application: Wet environments
Price: mid-range
Notes: Smells when disturbed and is often avoided for indoor use.
 

 

 

 

 

Calcium SilicateCalcium Silicate

 

 

Insulation Type: Calcium Silicate
Other Names: Cal Sil
Construction: Granular (Open Cell)
Thermal Conductivity @ 300°F: 0.041 (BTU/hr/ft/°F)
Temperature Range: 80°F to 1,200°F
Moisture: Disintegrates when wet
Crush Resistant: Yes
Best Application: None
Price: mid-range
Notes: Its only strength is its resistance to crushing.  It is typically used because the insulation specified is outdated. 

 

 

 

 

 Expanded Perlite

 

 

Insulation Type: Expanded Perlite
Other Names: Molded Perlite, Perlite
Construction: Granular (Open Cell)
Thermal Conductivity @ 300°F: 0.050 (BTU/hr/ft/°F)
Temperature Range: 80°F to 1,200°F
Moisture: Absorbs moisture but does not wick
Crush Resistant: Yes
Best Application: High traffic areas
Price: mid-range
Notes: Typically a good choice when crush resistance is a priority.
 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiberglass

Fiberglass

 

 

Insulation Type: Fiberglass
Other Names: Fibrous Glass, Glass Wool
Construction: Fibrous
Thermal Conductivity @ 300°F: 0.031 (BTU/hr/ft/°F)
Temperature Range: 0°F to 1,000°F
Moisture: Absorbs moisture and wicks
Crush Resistant: No
Best Application: None
Price: inexpensive
Notes: Same price as mineral wool, but has inferior performance
 

 

 

 

 

 Mineral Wool

Mineral Wool

 

 

Insulation Type: Mineral Wool
Other Names: Rock Wool, Slag Wool
Construction: Fibrous
Thermal Conductivity @ 300°F: 0.031 (BTU/hr/ft/°F)
Temperature Range: 0°F to 1,400°F
Moisture: Absorbs moisture but does not wick
Crush Resistant: No
Best Application: General Use
Price: inexpensive
Notes: Best performance:cost ratio.  Typically the logical choice for general use.
 

 

 

 

 

 Aerogel

Aerogel

 

Insulation Type: Aerogel
Other Names: Pyrogel™
Construction: Fibrous Reinforced Aerogel
Thermal Conductivity @ 300°F: 0.016 (BTU/hr/ft/°F)
Temperature Range: 0°F to 1,200°F
Moisture: Does not absorb moisture (impermeable)
Crush Resistant: No
Best Application: Congested areas or skids where reduced insulation thickness is a priority
Price: expensive
Notes: New on the market, does not yet have ASTM recognition 

 

Insulation Selection Guide