What are the different accessories used in insulation systems?

120319 F BD983 002(Image source: Keesler Air Force Base)In the insulation of buildings, there are essentially eight different materials used in commercial and industrial installations

They are calcium silicate, mineral fiber, cellular glass, expanded silica, elastomeric foam, foamed plastic, refractory fiber, and insulating cement. These materials and their accessories make up the primary insulation devices and systems, having the different mechanical and chemical properties for insulation. They can be in the form of rigid boards, blocks, pre-formed shapes, flexible sheets, flexible blankets, cements, and foams for application.

As insulation products, their functions include facilitating temperature control of process, conserving energy by reducing heat loss or gain, increasing operating efficiency of HVAC systems, and reducing emissions of pollutants to the atmosphere.

But these functions are not performed to their full extent with the absence of one important factor, which is often overlooked in building insulation: the accessories.

When insulation accessories are not given much attention, the dependability and performance of the entire insulation system could be at risk. This is why many insulation contractors and suppliers, especially in HVAC systems, take the “total system” approach to include all accessories necessary.

By using accessories in insulations, there is a great guarantee that the system will be long lasting and of high quality because they serve great importance as building technology products.

There are different roles that insulation accessories portray. One of the most critical is the securement of the primary insulation and jacketing, because most insulations are not structural materials thus the need to support, secure, fasten, or bond them in place. The most common accessories used for this purpose are studs and pins, staples, rivets, screws, clips, straps, tapes, and adhesives.

Another critical role of insulation accessories is in the reinforcement for cements and mastics. This is to provide mechanical strength, which accessories like fiber fabrics, expanded metal lath, metal meshes, and wire netting offer.

Insulation accessories are also useful for flashing and stiffening. The former is to direct the flow of liquids away from the insulation, which can be constructed out of metal, plastic, or mastic. Meanwhile, the latter is to be applied on high temperature surfaces before the heavy density insulation for added strength. Metal lath and wire netting can be used in this aspect.

There are also insulation accessories available like sealers, caulking, and tapes to seal vapor and weather-barrier jackets, joints, and protrusions, designed to have a range of temperature and vapor permeability properties. Also available in the insulation market are accessories like slip joints, bedding compounds, and flexible sealers which serve as compensation for expansion or contraction in primary insulation.

In the global market of HVAC systems, there is one company that is known to provide a comprehensive and versatile range of technically advanced rubber insulation products. Rubber World Industries, with its flagship brand Gulf-O-Flex, is the preferred supplier by consultants, contractors, and clients especially in the Middle East.

Other than offering insulation sheets and flexible insulated ducts, the UAE-based company offers insulation accessories which include sealants, tapes, glue and duct cloth.

With its excellent water and abrasion resistance, the Gulf-O-Seal 30-36 is the preferred flexible adhesive and sealant. It forms durable seal against air leakage which can be used indoors in thermal insulation system on metal duct. There is also the Gulf-O-Seal 32-17, a fire retardant, aqua based, vapor barrier sealant for low, medium and high velocity heating and air conditioning air ducts, which is designed to meet the weather conditions in the Middle East.

Part of Rubber World Industries’ trading products are high quality adhesives including the Gulf-O-Flex Glue Rubber Seal, the Gulf-O-FlexTape, and the Gulf-O-Flex Aluminum Tape. The first one, a polychloroprene adhesive, is ideal for bonding closed cell elastomeric insulation; the second, a flexible and self-adhesive reinforcement insulation foam tape, is best used in wrapping liquid cooling and heating pipe lines. Meanwhile, the third one is a malleable aluminum foil used for vapor sealing fiberglass duct board and sheets metal ducts, specially designed for air-conditioning ducts.

Another product for HVAC systems under the Gulf-O-Flex brand is the canvas cloth, only 6 ounce, commonly used with mastics and coatings to provide a protective barrier over pipe and sheet insulation.

All these insulation accessories meet the standards not only where they are manufactured in the home region in the Middle East but also worldwide.

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
T: +44 20 7834 7676, F: +44 20 7973 0076, W: www.alaincharles.com

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