From Insulation Outlook, January 2012: Saving Energy by Insulating Pipe Components on Steam and Hot Water Distribution Systems
Pipe components are often uninsulated for two reasons:
- They have convoluted shapes, which are more expensive to insulate, and
- They require periodic maintenance that involves removing existing insulation for access.
To insulate difficult shapes, one option is for the insulation contractor to craft insulation pieces using preformed pipe insulation and then install these over, for example, a gate valve..
A second option is to use R/R insulation blankets. These usually are custom made and require the fabricator to send someone to the site to measure the surfaces, then design the R/R blankets, fabricate the blankets in a shop, bring the blankets to the job site, and install the blankets. These blankets require a certain amount of skill and training to design, fabricate, and install correctly. When done well, and in such a way that all the bare surfaces are insulated, this option results in insulation that can be removed for maintenance or inspection and then reinstalled fairly quickly. The fabrication of these blankets can be done following either a project-specific specification, prepared by the architect or engineer, or following the indoor requirements section of industry standard ASTM C1695-10, Standard Specification for Fabrication of Flexible Removable and Reusable Blanket Insulation for Hot Service.