3 Considerations for Selecting the Right Insulation Jacketing System


You know you need to install an insulation jacketing system for an upcoming project, but selecting the right option can be overwhelming. Quality is essential, but so is prioritizing factors that will determine the product’s effectiveness. So how do you select the right solution for your system? Let’s dive into the considerations for choosing the best insulation jacketing system, from materials to safety matters:

1. Weather and Environment

The right insulation jacketing factors in wear and tear caused by weather and misuse as well as failed installation and improper maintenance. One rule of thumb to mitigate these issues is to choose the jacketing material according to the application. That means you want to consider elements such as:

  • Relative humidity: How humid is the environment?
  • Operating temperature: How hot or cool is the equipment when in use? 
  • Ambient temperature: What is the temperature in the operating environment? 

But adequate jacketing also takes into account environmental safety hazards posed to workers. This includes temperature, acoustics and air quality.

Touch Temperature

Surface temperatures should never exceed 140 degrees Fahrenheit. People can generally withstand temperatures at or below this limit without getting burned. Insulation regulates temperature so there’s less heat escaping, plus it provides freeze protection.


Noise levels in industrial environments must be maintained to prevent injury. According to OSHA, that means keeping sound pollution at or under 85 decibels. Insulation jacketing provides noise reduction by absorbing sound.

Clean Air 

In busy working environments, pollution should be minimized. Insulation jacketing reduces vapor and moisture in the air, which may carry pollutants.

Consider both physical environmental concerns — such as temperature and humidity —  and the working environment, because it affects the people operating near your equipment. With these considerations in mind, it’s easy to select the appropriate insulation jacketing system.

2. Insulation Jacketing Materials

Effective jacketing resists weathering, mold and environmental conditions. Metal is generally the No. 1 choice for insulation jacketing because of its ability to withstand the elements. 

Metal Jackets 

Metal jackets protect insulation against damage, especially in outdoor applications. They’re made from aluminum or stainless steel sheets and are lined with craft paper, protecting the insulation jacket from moisture or chemical corrosion. 

  • Aluminum: The lightweight material is ideal for applications like insulated piping where vapor and corrosion resistance are key, but it doesn’t stand up well to heat. Aluminum jackets protect outdoor piping systems from water vapor/condensation, rain, wind, snow and UV rays.
  • Stainless steel: Steel provides superior corrosion resistance against fumes and chemicals, plus it’s longer lasting and melts at a higher temperature than aluminum.

The jacketing system you select should provide vapor barriers and adequate thermal conductivity. Vapor barriers prevent corrosion of the insulated component. Take a look at our extensive cladding selection from top brands.

3. Codes and Specifications

No matter the insulation project, do it right! That means following local laws and codes, adhering to project specifications and keeping yourself and others safe.

Local Zoning Codes

Keep in mind what you are and are not permitted to do or have on your property within your municipality. Secure permits if required.


How resistant is the insulation to heat flow? R-value tells you. The higher the R-value, the higher the resistance and, thus, the performance.

Construction Specifications

Follow the project plan to the letter. The construction specs should map out all materials needed and installation steps to get to the finish line.

Safety Considerations

The coating of insulation jackets can sometimes pose hazards because of dangerous fibers. Depending on the material, these hazards range from itchiness and skin irritations to breathing issues like coughing. Beyond this, ensure that your choice of jacket will do its job, providing protection against mold and humidity.

Know the rules and regulations for your area? Align these with your project specifications and safety needs to select effective insulation jacketing. 

Get Quality Insulation Jacketing from Distribution International

Turn to the experts at Distribution International to help you find the right jacketing system for your project. Explore our offerings and get in touch today.

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