Monday , 17 June 2019

industrial use of stonewool




Piping plays a central role in many industrial processes in chemical or petrochemical installations such as power plants, as it connects core components such as appliances, columns, vessels, boilers, turbines etc. with one another and facilitates the flow of materials and energy.

The importance of insulation

The basic efficiency and productivity factors of piping for the processing industry include energy efficiency, dependability and reliability under different conditions, in addition to the functionality of the process control, an appropriate structure that is suitable for the operating environment, as well as mechanical durability. The thermal insulation of piping plays a significant role in fulfilling these requirements.

Purpose of insulation

The functions of correct thermal insulation for piping include:

  • Reduction of heat losses
  • Cost savings
  • Reduction of CO2 emissions
  • Frost protection
  • Process control: ensuring the stability of the process temperature
  •  Noise reduction
  • Condensation prevention
  • (Personal) Protection against high temperatures

Selection of pipe insulation

Generally, the best insulation is achieved using stonewool pipe sections. The sections are quick and easy to install. Their excellent fit and high compression resistant means pipe sections can be applied in a single layer without any additional spacers. They also have a lower insulation thickness.



Vessels are a major component in installations for various procedures in almost all fields of industry. Many production processes require different substances that are stored in vessels and used in the individual processes later in the procedure. The vessels primarily store liquid, solid or gaseous substances, which are added to the process as and when required. Raw materials, fuels or end products are usually stored in large storage tanks.

Insulation is important for procedural processes

It is often important to store the substances within certain temperature limits. If the temperature is too high or too low, the substance can spoil or set, or lose its flowing properties and become incapable of being pumped or discharged. Insulation is therefore a major factor in the functionality of procedural processes.


  • Reduces heat losses
  • Guarantees protection against contact by minimising the surface temperature
  • Reduces cooling of the stored substance, so it remains fluid and does not set
  • Prevents the vessel from freezing (with additional tracers)
  • Prevents heating of the stored substance (for example, through solar radiation)

Insulation systems for vessels

An insulation system for a vessel generally consists of the following components:

  • Insulation
  • Support construction and a spacer
  • Water vapour retarder with cold insulation systems
  • Cladding

The actual operating temperature (above or below ambient) is essential for the design of the insulation work.


Columns are pillar-shaped vessels, which are mainly used in the (petro) chemical industry for distillation or the extraction of substances. They often form the key elements in chemical or petrochemical plants. The processes in columns often only operate at certain temperatures.

Purpose of insulation

The insulation on vessels and columns plays an important role in their functionality. It also has the following purposes:

  • Reduces heat losses
  • Guarantees protection against contact by minimising the surface temperature
  • Reduces the cooling of the stored substance, so it remains fluid and does not set
  • Ensures the column remains at the necessary process temperatures
  • Prevents heating of the stored substance (for example, through solar radiation)


The availability of raw materials, fuels and the storage of end products is critical in almost all fields of industry. Generally, large tanks are used for raw materials, fuels and end products. Small tanks or vessels are used to temporarily store (semi) products. To conserve the substance and ensure the stability and safety of the production process, it is important to keep the temperature inside the tank between certain temperature limits.

Purpose of insulation

Therefore, insulation of storage tanks is a major factor in the functionality of storage facilities. It also serves the following purposes:

  • Costs savings: Insulation significantly reduces the heat and the so-called breathing losses of the substance. The pay-back time for the hot insulation is, even at lower temperatures (30oC), usually less than 1 year, whereas the life time of the insulation may be many years.
  • Environment: In addition to the cost savings achieved, reduced heat losses will also lead to lower CO2 emission. Reduced breathing losses of hazardous substances is beneficial to our environment.
  • Process control: Insulation will prevent tanks from freezing or being heated by solar radiation. It will also reduce the cooling of the stored substance, preventing it from setting and remaining in a solid form. In both cases case additional heating or cooling may be applicable.
  • Safety: A fire resistant insulation reduces the risk of a fire outside the tank igniting a flammable medium. It is also protection against contact by minimising the surface (contact) temperature of the tank.

ROCKWOOL Multiboard for tank walls

Storage tanks are located outdoors, so it is important to select a material with a low thermal conductivity and excellent water repellent properties. ProRox SL 930 (ROCKWOOL Multiboard), is mainly used to insulate tank walls. Applying a less water repellent, non pressure-resistant insulation like Wired Mats is not generally recommended.

ROCKWOOL CRS for tank roofs

A common assumption is that the still air above the hot fluid acts as insulation of the tank roof. Insulating a tank is not easy. Corrosion of the tank roof, especially, can easily occur if the insulation is not properly installed and maintained. Therefore, many companies tend not to insulate the tank roof. This assumption is, however, not entirely correct. Due to the difference in temperature between the hot fluid and the non-insulated tank roof there is fairly strong convection, which results into considerable heat losses. Tank roof insulation is feasible if the proper insulation material and mounting and fixing methods are applied.

Insulation of industrial boilers

Hot water boilers and boilers for the production of water vapour under high pressures are considered to be steam boilers. As a generic term, boiler is used to denote steam generators and hot water installations. In the industry there are two types of boilers; the steam engine boilers and fire tube boilers.

Steam engine boilers are used to generate steam to operate steam turbines.In current utility steam boilers, up to 3,600 t steam is generated per hour under pressures of 300 bar and steam temperatures of 620 °C.

Fire tube boilers are often used in small and medium-sized industrial plants, for example in the paper or food industry, where small and medium-sized mixtures of hot water or water vapour are required at low pressures. These boilers are used in the technical building appliances of large complexes, such as hotels, hospitals etc.

Purpose of insulation

Insulating boilers has the following purposes:

  • Reduces heat losses and increases the efficiency of the boiler
  • Guarantees protection against contact by minimising the surface temperature
  • Prevents heating of the compartment air in the boiler house, which guarantees an acceptable working.


Applying load bearing mats such as ProRox MA 520 ALU (ROCKWOOL Duraflex) is a proven solution in the insulation of boilers with a surface temperature up to 300ºC. The load bearing mats are easily mounted onto the horizontal, cylindrical boiler surface and are easily fastened to the boilers with metal straps. Metal spacers, which always create thermal bridges, can be omitted.


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