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Armaflex pipe insulation

TechmanTechman Member Posts: 2,144
It rained real hard last nite. So, I wonder, what is the effect to the refrigeration system , when the Armaflex gets soaked from the rain or from slush/snow? Suction line, liquid line(if insulated), and/or discharge line(remote condenser) .
MikeL_2

Comments

  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Armaflex is a closed cell foam which should not absorb water.
    RobG
  • TechmanTechman Member Posts: 2,144
    Hi SWEI.That may be true for new Armaflex, but give it a summer or two in the sun and it cracks and splinters and it does get wet.
  • Bob Bona_4Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    True, it's like a sponge and that thought has crossed my mind, especially on an insulated liquid line.

    Did a Fujitsu mini air handler/heat pump last week shipped with the new white coated insulation on the lineset. Nice stuff, very rip resistant, UV resistant, pulls much easier to locations. A little jarring to the eyes outside though.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Many years ago, I read an article in a trade magazine (Contractor, PM, etc.) stating that if you buried copper tube that was covered with armaflex in the ground, there would be a chemical reaction with the water, the armaflex and the copper, and the copper would be seriously corroded. I never heard another word on this. However, any Copper/Armaflex I have dug up, the insulation was all stuck to the copper and was an event to get it clean. Once clean, the copper was as pitted and corroded as a piece of copper tube exposed to outside sea air.

    What changed?
  • hot_rodhot_rod Member Posts: 13,850
    There are different versions of Aramflex. For solar they have a UT (ultra temperature) with a better UV protection, designed for outdoor solar use. Take a lot of money when you go to buy it :)

    But any rubber or foam based insulation product used outdoors would benefit from additional UV protection if you expect many years of service.

    The only product I have seen that can last a long time outdoors, as an insulation cover, is the aluminum jacketing. Even the PVC jacketing breaks down fro the sun after time.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • Bob Bona_4Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    Thats true Ice, even on old suction ac lines the Arma is cemented to the copper. Wondered if the "powder" inside the sleeve reacts with surface moisture on the copper?
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Heat flows to cold, Dampness flows to dryness.

    Except in Florida. Where I've been told that it is the other way around.
  • TechmanTechman Member Posts: 2,144
    edited October 2014
    I agree guys. That "powder" is supposed to be regular "talcom powder" and its for "lubrication" when pulling/pushing the Armaflex onto the pipe and the talcom power IS NOT one of the two items allowed inside the copper tubing, those two items are freon and refrigerant oil. So, cap the open end of the copper when putting the Armaflex onto the copper. I've seen such corroded copper that I had to use a **** file (or is it S.O.B.) ( LOL). to get down to clean copper. I agree w/ SWEI and others that a UV covering "should be" used , but it's rare to see it used on "non-industrial"applications. The cost is probably the reason. I have been checking into different coatings to protect the Armaflex. Aerocell makes it's insulation out of EPDM rubber just like the roofing material stuff.
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Elastomeric coatings are inexpensive and (while nowhere near as durable as an aluminum skin) will greatly prolong the life of the insulation.
  • NJ, DesignerNJ, Designer Member Posts: 53
    Slightly off the topic here Techman, BUT, I am looking for a better solution than armaflex for the simple reason that I have yet to see any armaflex after one year on the east coast look like it was worth putting on. Any Ideas out there? or is there a better quality or grade that is not sold by the wholesale hvac stores?
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    edited October 2014
    As long as it is cheap, it will be the insulation of choice among the extra price conscious crowd.

    Like if it's cheaper, its got to be better. Everyone else is trying to rip me off.
  • hot_rodhot_rod Member Posts: 13,850
    Some solar installers paint the exposed Armaflex with regular outdoor latex paint. It's supposed to give you extra UV protection.

    And you can match the color of the building :)

    I have used a product called Techlite, but it is a stiff product, needs to be on straight pipe. It's a melamine based insulation, with a choice of jacket options from PVC to embossed aluminum. techlite.net, maybe

    I also have a sample of a product called FlexClad.
    Flexible, self adhering, weatherproof UV stable wrap.

    www.solutions.flexclad.com

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Elastomeric coating is really just a fancy word for "thick latex paint with extra UV inhibitors"

    That Flexclad looks interesting.
  • hot_rodhot_rod Member Posts: 13,850
    SWEI said:

    Elastomeric coating is really just a fancy word for "thick latex paint with extra UV inhibitors"

    That Flexclad looks interesting.

    Yeah, I was thinking FlexClad for that corrugated stainless solar tube.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • TechmanTechman Member Posts: 2,144
    Gentlemen, Thanks a bunch!!!!!!!!!!!
  • SpenceSpence Member Posts: 316
    Ice:

    Anyone who says hot doesn't flow to cold not only has no understanding of our industry (evaporation and condensation), but also has no concept of the natural laws.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Spence said:

    Ice:



    Anyone who says hot doesn't flow to cold not only has no understanding of our industry (evaporation and condensation), but also has no concept of the natural laws.

    I guess I missed this.

    The main person who told me this was a guy who claimed to be certified in every area of heat saving and certified by the State of Florida. Or so he told me.

    He also told me that my theory about why my cooling bills and ceiling registers were condensing water and staining the sheetrock ceiling in front of the airflow was completely wrong.

    I said that heat flows to the cold, dampness flows to dryness. Therefore, the hot moist attic air was migrating through the insulation and coming through the ceiling, where a boundary layer of hot. moist active air was transferring heat and moist air with the cooler and dryer air in the room. And because the metal grill was at the top of the hot/damp boundary layer, the cold metal grill was causing the condensation.

    NO he insisted. Cold always flows to the heat. "I'm certified in every type of energy savings there is by the State of Florida."

    He was smart. I'm not.

  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    One of the first things they teach you in HS physics: There's no such thing as cold, only a lack of heat.
    icesailor
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Thanks.

    I used to say that. I got so many stupid looks that I stopped saying it.

    I used to use the fact of radiational heat. That with no cloud cover, heat from the earth radiated out in to space. Causing frost on the Cranberry Bogs. That they flooded toe bogs with water so that the water had to give up its latent heat before it could freeze.

    With modern pumped irrigation, they irrigate and spray water on the bogs. Unless the reservoir is above the bog. In which case, they just let it go and flow. And pump it back to the reservoir when the daylight and sun appear.

    Does that go along with "Black is the absence of light" And white is the presence of light? That "color" is the presence of the light colors of the spectrum and how strong the light is?
    MikeL_2
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Heat is a form of energy. Cold is just an idea.
    icesailor
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Great point.

    I just hope I can remember it.
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