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Minimum thickness of insulation required for process equipment.

LarryC Member Posts: 331



I would like to pick your brains.  I am compiling a list of suggestions to improve the efficiency of a proposed industrial processing facility.  One of the questions that came up was adding insulation to process fluid holding tanks and piping.


Indoor ambient temperature is expected to vary between 50 to 80 F depending on season and what has been operating.  Storage tanks and processing vessel temperatures range from 50 to 180 F.  Low pressure steam (15 psi) is used for process heating when necessary.


My thought is that the steam piping should have at least two inches of appropriate insulation.  Is that enough?


What type of insulation is appropriate for the lower temperature equipment?  How much should be applied?




Larry C


  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265

    In few words, As much as you can afford.
  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,398
    Codes, Energy and Otherwise

    I would start at least at your local jurisdictions energy code and in absence of that, ASHRAE 90.1 which is the basis for most model energy codes.

    A fantastic resource I use is a free software program put out by the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA).


    Specifics of thickness, temperatures, application (energy vs. contact safety) and other prompts are right there for you. Also, get to know the specific processes. Some count on "no insulation" such as condensers and others need it to prevent contact burns or in some cases, condensation and changes of state in the process itself. You do not want to defeat the process in other words.
    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"

    -Ernie White, my Dad
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