The weight of insulation is becoming increasingly critical for today's congested industrial sites. For some sites, turnaround and maintenance schedules can be negatively impacted by space and weight limitations—just think about the use of cranes where space is restricted as an example. In this post, we focus on the weight of thermal insulation, including when it becomes an important consideration for refinery and chemical processing engineers.
No one will argue that insulating process piping and equipment isn't a smart choice for industry—energy is conserved and personnel are protected. But when that insulation breaks down due to heat, water or mechanical abuse, the disadvantages go beyond just increased energy consumption. A recent experience with a US refinery is a good example of how the right choice of insulation can provide immediate, tangible benefits to operations.