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Fiberglass Pipe Insulation

Detailed Information on the Basics of Fiberglass Pipe Insulation

Fiberglass pipe insulation has been widely used for insulating water pipes in homes and drainage systems to provide safety and durability. The following article provides information about this type of insulation.
Kundan Pandey
Last Updated: Dec 09, 2017
Fiberglass insulation is popular all across the United States, and more than half of the North American homes use it as an insulating material. Fire safety is considered to be a necessary element while designing houses. Installing the right insulating material can prevent catastrophic losses to buildings. Heat losses through the walls also lower the temperature of the house during cold seasons. To prevent this, fiberglass insulation is used. When compared to other insulating materials like cellulose, slag wool, and spray foams, fiberglass has better moisture absorbing ability.
Commercial glass is mainly composed of Quartz sand or silica. Silica in its molten state is combined with several other recycled artificial polymers to produce fiberglass. Basically, fiberglass is drawn in the form of continuous fibers or sheets. Depending on its usage, it is supplied to the traders. There are two main types of these fibers: the E-type and S-type. The former is known for its excellent insulating properties, whereas the latter has better tensile strength. Fiberglass is cost-effective, corrosion-resistant, and durable. It is mainly used in tanks, vessels, poles, home insulation, automobiles, and electrical insulation.
Pipe Insulation
Are you fed up of plumbing problems? Is your water pipe leak often causing problems, especially in the rainy season? If this is the case, you can rely on fiberglass insulation, and get rid of such problems. This type of insulation is very important to be used in industries. In the chemical industries and waste water management systems, the need of long-lasting pipes is crucial. When choosing pipes for such large-scale purposes, it is important to consider certain parameters that are required for their proper functioning. Fiberglass insulation is a better alternative than costly and expensive alloys of metals that are normally used in the industries.
  • Fiberglass pipe insulation is covered with a special ASJ (all service jacket), which is a vapor retarder used to diminish mechanical losses such as heat and cold. ASJs are mainly composed of aluminum, elastomeric polymer, and tri-directional fiberglass. They are tested for fire and are flame resistant.
  • It keeps the water pipes safe, and prevents them from rusting, and cold and hot temperatures.
  • Moisture is a major factor that degrades the durability of pipes, especially in industrial plants where they have to face a lot of water, both internally and externally. Fiberglass insulation provides them from moisture. This helps in keeping the R-value of the pipes at 3-4.5 per inch, which is in a very good range.
  • Cold water pipes need insulation so that the water inside them is maintained at a cool temperature. However, when the external temperatures rise, normal insulation is of no use. Fiberglass insulated pipes have the ability to withstand very low temperatures, and they can operate even below 0° C. In industries, where very low temperatures are required (cold storage factories), this type of insulation is necessary.
  • High temperatures (often above 300° C) are also normal in some industries. The pipes used must have the ability to withstand such conditions. Small and large temperature ranges offer flexibility in the functioning of fiberglass insulation.
  • Thermal performance of fiberglass is excellent and much better than other insulating materials.
  • Corrosion problems can also be eliminated, and generally, outdoor pipes are more vulnerable to corrosion than the indoor ones.
  • Mites, bacteria, and fungi are very common in areas where water pipes are installed. Rodents often infest the areas near water pipes, and thus damage them. Fiberglass proves to be a useful deterrent to their growth.
Fiberglass pipe insulation is cost-effective, has good compressive strength, and is also resistant to fire. Still, there are few health concerns regarding its usage. For instance, contact with glass fibers may cause skin irritation and rashes. Also, during installation and fiber cutting, fiber dust may cause breathing problems. However, if proper precautions are taken, it is not difficult to avoid the threats associated with this material. Experts must be consulted before opting for its insulation. They can guide you by installing it in pipes, and also give maintenance tips regarding the same.