HOW TO PREVENT CUI: INSULATION SYSTEM DESIGN
When designing an insulation system, there are several key criteria and measurements which need to be known or calculated to specify a system that is fit for purpose and in turn mitigates the effects of CUI. Including:
• What is being insulated: Piping / ducting, tankage, vessel, boiler, turbine etc
• Whether the system is for acoustic, thermal, cryogenic or personnel protection requirements – or a combination.
• If the asset and therefore insulation system is situated indoors or outdoors.
• Is the system required to protect against fire / frost.
• Does the system need to conserve energy for process requirements, and to protect the environment.
• What are the operating, ambient, & maximum / minimum touch temperatures; to specify insulation materials and optimum thicknesses. And if the process cycles, or goes off load; to make design considerations for thermal expansion / contraction, and condensation prevention.
• The acoustic values of the process and if there is a requirement for the system to reduce noise / vibrations produced by the asset.
• If the substance within the asset needs to maintain a certain temperature.
• Static conditions / wind speed calculations
• Load calculations; weight load of the cladding and insulation, to ensure an adequate sub-structure is installed.
• Space between other assets / structures to allow a sufficient insulation thickness to achieve the required performance. If the space allocated does not allow the required thickness of commonly used mineral wool, other insulation materials must be specified i.e Pyrogel.
• If the asset is refractory lined or not; affecting the insulation material specification.
• If foiling is required; to prevent stress corrosion cracking, particularly on stainless steel assets.
• Cladding & support methods: considering weather protection, corrosion resistance, and maintaining best practise during design.
• Walkable areas for larger assets – including maximum weight loads.
Therefore when designing a fit for purpose insulation system that lasts its expected life cycle, the contractor needs to understand as much as possible about what is being insulated, the conditions it is subject to, and the performance requirements at the design stage of the system. Having this understanding will in turn prevent major issues, like CUI, once the asset and insulation system is installed and put into service.