Many of you know that Aspen is based outside of Boston and, of course, it is a time for celebration as our beloved Boston Red Sox won the World Series just two nights ago. While we’re enjoying this championship and the fanfare that comes with it, what’s truly inspiring to us is how the team’s preparation and planning led to the ultimate win. The Red Sox won because of their game plan. They were prepared to face the toughest of teams, situations, and challenges. That’s what we do every day at Aspen—we help industrial organizations plan and prepare to keep their assets performing optimally with world-class insulation that prevents Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI).
Let’s think of CUI—the corrosion damage caused by liquid water (from rain, snow, steam leaks, condensation, etc.) being absorbed by unsuitable thermal insulation—as your toughest opponent in the game of personnel safety, process stability, heat loss, and overall TCO of assets. You need a game plan to avoid it. And you have to prepare to combat it—which means selecting the right tools to keep your assets dry in any weather, and for any process.
So, what is your CUI prevention game plan? It should have three components.
First, a properly designed and installed weather barrier jacketing—that’s a given, and your first line of defense against water reaching underlying assets. This is your pitcher. If an opponent cannot hit the ball, no points can be scored against you. If jacketing is pristine, water cannot get through to cause corrosion. However, if jacketing is damaged, water can easily penetrate your jacketing. So, you need another CUI prevention mechanism.
Second, a high-quality, immersion-grade coating. Think of it as your infield and outfield—a final opportunity to prevent the other team from scoring. In this case, water is the other team. Your coating is the last line of defense from water meeting a pipe or asset. However, since coatings are manually applied, pipes and assets may be subject to bare spots or uneven application, you need another CUI prevention mechanism.
Third, and arguably the most critical component, your choice of thermal insulation. Your insulation choice matters. A lot. Think of insulation as your clean-up batter—the powerhouse player that gets a grand slam to win the game. To prevent CUI, you require an insulation that is both durably hydrophobic and breathable. Getting this right means that the time your assets are in contact with water is minimized. And if you get it right the first time, you’ll prevent CUI while saving time and money over the life of your assets.
Our powerhouse silica aerogel blanket insulation—Pyrogel®—is water’s (and corrosion’s) toughest insulation opponent. Pyrogel’s inherent hydrophobicity acts as your facility’s umbrella, keeping liquid water at bay. But, water is tenacious. In the event it finds a way in, through a hole in jacketing or otherwise, Pyrogel’s open-cell construction allows vapor to pass right back out again, acting as a breathable, protective membrane around your piping and equipment—keeping your assets drier for longer and preventing CUI. Simply put: in a World Series of CUI prevention, you’d win the championship by selecting Pyrogel.