Best Way to Insulate Pipe Expansion Joints
This article was written by Meghan Reilly, an insulation expert at Thermaxx Jackets.
An expansion joint is a steam system component that is not ordinarily insulated, wasting energy and money!
An expansion joint is designed to retain the expansion and contraction of a pipe due to heat. When installing mechanical pipe insulation, the expansion joints are left alone because the rigid fiberglass could restrict the movement of the joint.
A Bare Pipe Extension Joint
A Pipe Expansion Joint Insulated By Thermaxx Jackets
The theory makes sense mechanically, but it begs the question, ”What about energy savings?” We already understand the importance of insulating pipes and the significant Btu savings that it renders. How can we include assemblies like expansion joints into the mix? With removable insulation jackets of course!
A six inch expansion joint gives way to just under eleven square feet of bare surface area. At an operating temperature of just 250°F, that expansion joint is losing 418.70 Btus per hour per square foot.
A Thermaxx removable insulation jacket is the perfect solution for an atypical application like an expansion joint. Thermaxx uses malleable materials such as Pyrogel XTE and Needled Fiberglass insulation felts. The assertion is that the piping will move freely within the jacket. The function of the expansion joint will not be affected, and the facility can enjoy the thermal savings, and a more comfortable workspace to boot!
I spoke to some Thermaxx customers and asked them what they look for in an expansion joint jacket. The answers were the same across the board. Facility managers want a jacket that is pliable, easily removed for inspections and of course one that is simple to re-install. Another origination that Thermaxx customers had is that they want insulation jackets that are aesthetically pleasing, as many expansion joints reside exposed in pedestrian corridors. A Thermaxx jacket is the answer! Manufactured with easy removal and install in mind, our jackets are designed with a pleasing appearance, perfect for any room in your facility whether it be a mechanical room, conference room or office.
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- heat loss survey
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