Mechanical insulation

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Thermal insulation and acoustic insulation are installed on piping and mechanical systems to achieve one or more of the following; energy savings, personnel protection, process control, condensation control, noise reduction and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Mechanical systems include piping, boilers, HVAC systems, and ducts. Mechanical insulation is commonly installed in industrial and commercial facilities. Industrial facilities are not open to the public and include power plants, oil refineries, manufacturing buildings, storage buildings, paper mills, pharmaceuticals, chemical plants, food processing plants, waste water and water treatment plants, petrochemical, auto manufacturing, and plastics manufacturing. In an industrial facility, insulation is required for systems that carry or store liquid, gas, air, or product in which the temperature of the substance being transferred or stored is impacted by the temperature of the ambient air. These systems must be insulated to maintain process temperatures for both cold and hot systems; to protect liquids from freezing; to provide burn protection for personnel from possible exposure to hot systems; and for sound attenuation.

Commercial buildings include any facility that accepts the public or is used by a company for employees in a non-industrial or manufacturing setting. Mechanical insulation represents 1 to 2 percent of the total cost for a new commercial facility. Commercial facilities include office buildings, schools, restaurants, hospitals, hotels, casinos, sports arenas, libraries, and dormitories. Systems that often require insulation in commercial buildings include all HVAC systems; pipe, duct, and equipment; hot and cold domestic plumbing pipe and equipment; roof drain pipe; emergency generator exhaust systems; and kitchen hood exhaust ductwork.

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