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The Beginners Guide to Pipe Insulation: Flexible Foams

Next up in the series we are doing on pipe insulation is "flexible foams"; a category that includes polyethylene and expanded nitrile rubber.

climaflex, lagging, grey foam

Polyethylene Pipe Insulation

Climaflex pipe insulation is the UK's leading brand for polyethylene pipe insulation. This is the grey foam that most people are familiar with, the kind you would traditionally find in garden centres for example. Polyethylene is the cheapest, widely available product in the market. People very often wrongly assume cheap means poor quality, this is not the case with a brand such as Climaflex. It has a thermal conductivity of 0.034 W/m.K at 0°C which is broadly equal to that of any other flexible foam, and it also has a much higher "μ factor" than other foams, making it more resistant to moisture ingress. These facotrs make it ideal for use around the home, being easy to work with and providing good insulation. 

The material can be purchased in 1m and 2m lengths, and is available in wall thicknesses of 9mm, 13mm, 19mm and 25mm. It is ideally suited to applications such as frost protection (especially in areas above the insulation in your loft) and energy conservation.

Expanded Nitrile Rubber

We sell three brands of expanded nitrile rubber: Eurobatex, Armaflex and K Flex. Nitrile rubber is a more flexible foam - so flexible you could tie it in a knot if you so wished (though that probably doesn't serve any practical purpose). It also tend to be favoured more for commercial applications as the good quality brands have what is now referred to a "Euroclass B" fire rating, which is roughly equivalent to the more established Class 0 fire rating as tested to British Standard 476. The other key quality possessed by nitrile rubber is that the products have a "High Emissivity Surface" which makes them ideal for use in applications such as condensation control on air conditioning or refrigeration pipework.

Eurobatex Class 0:

Euroclass B, S2 d0, class 0, pipe lagging


Manufactured in Italy by Union Foam SpA, Eurobatex may not be a name you are familiar with but it should be. Eurobatex is a Premium Quality "Flexible Elastomeric Foam" (FEF) or nitrile rubber pipe insulation as it is more commonly known.

The product is available in 2m lengths, sheets and coils. The 2m lengths offer a choice of unslit tubes, pre slit tubes, self sealing tubes and pre coated tubes for external or underground use.

Eurobatex Class 0 is the first product of its type in the UK market to be able to declare a test result of BL - S2, d0 to the new Euroclass fire ratings in tubular form, and B - S3, d0 to the new Euroclass fire ratings in sheet form.

Eurobatex was also one of the first companies in Europe to receive approval to use the CE Mark, in accordance with the specifications laid out in EN 14304.

Eurobatex is particularly suitable for the thermal insulation of pipework on refrigeration, air conditioning and heating systems. It is dust and fibre free, HCFC free, and has an Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) of 0 as well as a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of Zero. Furthermore Eurobatex Class 0 contains active Microbial resistance throughout its cell structure as part of its formulation, making it ideal for use in hospital applications or applications where a sterile environment is required.

Armaflex Class 0 Self Seal:

armacell, armaflex, class 0, lagging, microban


AF/Armaflex Class O Selfseal is a thermal insulation product fully slit along each length with two strips of double sided self adhesive tape pre-applied to each open slit surface. Specially developed to provide insulation where fast, secure installation is required and ideal for applications where working space is severely restricted, AF/Armaflex Class O Selfseal is easily applied by fitting the insulation and peeling back the self adhesive tape.

AF/Armaflex Class O Selfseal has a closed cell structure with an "in-built" vapour barrier, offering it a high resistance to water vapour transmission, reducing the condensation risk and helping to increase the product life cycle.

AF/Armaflex Class O with In-Built Anti-Microbial Protection: In-built Microban® technology gives AF/Armaflex Class O an added level of protection against harmful microbes such as bacteria, mould and mildew.

L'Isoante K Flex ST/SK Class 0

 K Flex Class 0 ST/SK

The new ST/SK is a pre-cut elastomeric insulation with a special pressure-sensitive adhesive. The innovative adhesive Insul-Lock® technology is easy and quick to use. This new system has been developed to save on installation time and reduce the use of other adhesives, improving work conditions. The new ST/SK is flexible and easy to install even at low temperatures.

Using flexible foams for meeting the requirements of the building regulations or frost protection regulations is generally very straight forward. We have put together a couple of useful reference tables below.

Building Regulation Part L

April 2010 Domestic Heating Compliance Guide (Assuming Water Temp 60°C with ambient still air at 15°C)

Pipe Diameter
Maximum Heat Loss
W / M
Wall thickness for both Heating & Hot Water
8
7.06
13
10
7.23
13
12
7.35
19
15
7.89
19
22
9.12
25
28
10.07
25
35
11.08
25

Water Bylaw 49 Frost Protection

Assuming "Extreme" Conditions of up to 12 hours down to -6°C without use

Pipe Diameter
Extreme Conditions
15
25
22
19
28
19
35
13
42
9
54
9
76
9

If you are looking for more information you can get in touch with us in the following ways:

Online: www.insulationandlagging.co.uk
Telephone: 01942 295 926
E-mail: info@insulationandlagging.co.uk


We will be doing a range of entries on the various kinds of products available as well as jacketing in the coming weeks so watch out for these for more detailed information. If you want to know more about any of the products we offer, we have a handy reference table below as a quick guide.

Product
Internal Use
External Use
Key Benefits
a
r
Cheap, Easy to Use, Flexible
a
r
Class 0 / Euro Class B, Very Flexible
a
r
Foil Faced, High Temp, Good for steam pipes
a
r
Foil Faced, High Temp, Good for heating pipes
a
r
Foil Faced, Very Low thermal conductivity
a
a
Can be used up to 150°C, Can be used outside
a
a
Protective plastic skin, waterproof, UV resistant

Comments

  1. Great information about pipe insulation.
    thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  3. We are needing a 140mm pipe insulation to use in a domestic and office situation, so not wanting to go down the rockwool route. Can you recommend?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I read your post and I really like it, Thanks for sharing useful information....

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's really a nice information i never heard about pip insulation in flexible foam. Really, amazing thanks for the information.

    ReplyDelete

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