Proper insulation is essential, not only because it improves building safety and operational efficiency, but also because it can prevent potential on-site injuries to employees and contractors. So you need to install the right-fit insulation material for your application. Follow along as we discuss fiberglass pipe insulation and how it works to protect your components and building.
What Is Fiberglass Pipe Insulation?
Fiberglass pipe insulation is pre-molded, cylindrical fiberglass insulation that is typically wrapped in an all-service jacketing. It is made of inorganic glass fibers woven together into tight patterns. Fiberglass pipe insulation is manufactured plain or with kraft paper or foil facing, and it is used mostly in commercial applications because of its high availability and relatively low price point. The material provides mid-range temperature resistance and compression strength, making it less common in industrial settings.
Top Benefits of Fiberglass Pipe Insulation
Distribution International supplies fiberglass pipe coverings from top manufacturers like Johns Manville, Owens Corning and Knauf. One reason it’s a popular choice is because fiberglass is so effective for multiple purposes:
Moisture Resistance and Condensation Control
Your pipes can undergo substantial wear and tear. However, fiberglass pipe insulation protects pipes against both mildew and corrosion. When temperatures fluctuate, pipes develop condensation. Insulation with appropriate facing minimizes condensation buildup and corrosion under insulation (CUI), which is localized, external corrosion that could result in severe safety and equipment risks.
Acoustic Protection and Sound Control
With air, water, gasses and other materials constantly coursing through them, pipes can vibrate or make banging noises during operation. Fiberglass pipe insulation takes care of this by reducing vibration levels and absorbing excess noise. This way, you experience smooth operation, and workers are protected from high-decibel noise levels.
Thermal Performance and Energy Efficiency
Temperature consistency is crucial for pipes to effectively do their jobs. Luckily, fiberglass pipe insulation functions to maintain a consistently safe temperature from pipe entry to exit. This is doubly effective because its thermal performance means fiberglass reduces energy loss, so you cut your operating costs.
Your pipes can get hot, hot, hot. Because they must withstand elevated temperatures up to 1200 F, pipes need to be protected. Fiberglass pipe insulation protects pipe surfaces by minimizing heat transfer. As a result, the insulation also enhances fire protection, reducing the chance of fire spread.
Add-Ons and Accessories for Pipe Insulation
The right insulation products are only part of the equation. Distribution International also offers a wide array of pipe insulation accessories. We make your job safer and easier by providing the insulation, plus add-ons and accessories required to install it in one place.
Mastics and Caulking
Insulation mastics and caulking help you easily complete any pipe insulation project. These products ensure a secure and reliable insulation system, attaching and setting fiberglass insulation in place. We provide different insulation mastics and caulking to match your application.
Insulation tape secures your pipe insulation facing. We carry different tapes for commercial, industrial and mechanical insulation applications. We have the pipe insulation tape you need to provide the right adhesive strength for your project:
- ASJ tape
- Duct tape
- Electrical tape
- Filament tape
- Foil tape
- PSK tape
- Saran tape
- Vinyl tape
You need to guarantee that your insulation stays where it belongs. Insulation screws fasten insulation in place. At Distribution International, we provide hex head screws and pan head screws — the best options for insulation projects. For projects a bit outside the norm, we also offer:
- Drywall screws
- Drill screws
- Tek screws
- PPB screws
Insulation Protection Shields
Our collection of partner jacketing products is designed to last, but it never hurts to protect your pipes in case your jacketing gets compromised. Insulation protection shields — or pipe insulation saddles — are rounded pieces of galvanized steel that protect piping insulation from jacket penetration and compression. Your investment matters, so Distribution International provides a range of saddles and blocks, including:
- Calcium silicate inserts
- Phenolic inserts
- Polyisocyanurate inserts
- Elastomeric supports
- Galvanized supports
- Wood supports
Pipe Insulation Jacketing
Pipe insulation jacketing wraps around pipe insulation to protect the underlying insulation from moisture, wear and mechanical damage. Distribution International partners with key manufacturers to offer various jacketing materials and configurations to meet your needs.
Choices and Benefits of Jacketing
Pipe jacketing has a sheet metal exterior and is lined with paper to reduce corrosion. The most common materials (but certainly not the only ones) include aluminum and stainless steel.
Stainless Steel Jacketing
Why you want it: Stainless steel protects your underlying insulation and pipes from environmental factors such as corrosive fumes and chemicals, plus it has high heat and fire resistance because it melts at a high temperature.
Why some folks don’t: It’s slightly more expensive than materials like aluminum, but the superior protective benefits usually outweigh the cost.
Why you want it: It’s lightweight and has good corrosion resistance. Additionally, corrugated aluminum in particular is stiffer than other jacket materials.
Why some folks don’t: Aluminum has poorer heat resistance compared with other materials like stainless steel.
Both aluminum and stainless steel jackets come in different configurations based on the size and scope of your project. Roll jacketing, sleeve jacketing and split jacketing protect your pipe insulation from external forces.
Distribution International Delivers the Best Fiberglass Pipe Insulation
From moisture resistance to acoustic protection to thermal performance to safety features, there are myriad reasons why fiberglass pipe insulation is one of the top choices for commercial insulation projects. And don’t forget that you can also get much-needed accessories to ensure a safe and speedy installation — all directly from Distribution International.