This blog aims to highlight the various different kinds of thermal pipe insulation, and highlight their particular strengths and weaknesses.
Choosing the right product for your application helps to avoid wasting money, and understanding more about what you are doing helps you to avoid making mistakes.
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Fire Stopping through Service Penetrations
Protecta FR Putty Cord is an easy to apply fire rated putty supplied as a non-setting cord. Fitting the putty cords will reinstate the fire rating of the partition and prevent the passage of smoke and flames in a fire and sound and air movement during service life.
The putty cord is designed to be easily fitted around service penetrations where the gap around the services is very small, or there is no gaps at all so a conventional fire rated sealant is impossible or difficult to fit due to the required depth and backing material. The putty cords are fitted covering the gap around the services and does not need to fill the gap to the required depth.
Protecta FR Collar consists of a split white coated, circular steel casing designed to fit around plastic pipes. The collars have a secure and simple locking device.
The steel frame contains a graphite based swelling material that reacts to heat and fills the opening from the melting plastic through-penetration in case of a fire. It may be fitted both on the outside of a wall or a floor.
Protecta FR Acrylic is the top selling fire rated mastic in our selection of products. The reason is that it has been developed and tested so that it can be used in nearly all fire-stopping situations with very few exceptions. This avoids the need to carry many different mastics with you on the construction site. In addition, this mastic is used in combination with Protecta FR Board. This, combined with the best fire rating in the market makes the product unique.
Protecta FR Acrylic is tested with many different types of penetrations through many different constructions. It is intumescent and closes the gap even after plastic pipes burn away.
Protecta FR IPT is a high performance fire rated sealant, professional quality, one part ready to use sealant and adhesive.
Based on an innovative new Inert Polymer Technology it is suitable for a wide variety of building trade applications, Fire Protection, Decorating, Flooring, Glazing, Joinery, Plumbing, Roofing and Tiling and out-performs conventional silicone, MSP, butyl and acrylic based products as a sealant and adhesive.
Proecta FR IPT is designed for sealing joints, voids/irregular holes in walls, partitions and other structures, resulting in an airtight and watertight seal. It also provides primerless sealing and bonding on a wide range of substrates including:
Protecta FR Graphite is a water based fire classified sealing compound that contains a high concentration of heat expanding graphite material.
This compound may be used in more extreme transits than FR Acrylic, for example cable trays to EI 180 and plastic pipes Ø110mm. Protecta FR Graphite expands when it is subjected to fire and closes openings around penetrations when any combustible or low temperature melting materials have burnt away. Protecta FR Graphite is designed to fire seal difficult services which traditional fire rated mastics do not achieve such as large plastic pipes.
Next up in the series we are doing on pipe insulation is "flexible foams"; a category that includes polyethylene and expanded nitrile rubber.
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 thicknesse…
Our Beginners Guide series of blogs will look at the common areas of pipe insulation lagging that you will want to look at when choosing your product. This guide will be of most interest to the DIY installers, but some of our later guides will cover more complex products and areas of application.
One of the things we get asked about a lot is what the dimensions quoted for pipe insulation actually mean. You will always see three measurements quoted when describing pipe insulation; Wall Thickness, Bore Size and Length.
In the below diagram, A is the "Bore" and B is the "Wall".
Wall thickness is very simply how much insulation you have; so for example if you have 13mm Wall pipe insulation, then that means you have 13mm of insulation on either side of your pipe. This thickness is very often one of the most important part of your decision; too thin and you might not get the results you are looking for but too thick and it might not fit between your pipe and the wall.
With the cold weather approaching we thought it would be a good idea to touch on how best to protect your pipes from frost this winter.
When dealing with frost protection on pipes inside a building your aim with insulating them is to delay the onset of freezing for as long as possible; it is not possible to guarantee a pipe will not freeze by insulation alone. The better the insulation, and the thicker the insulation, the longer you will give yourself. Under normal circumstances you aim to give yourself about 8-10 hours protection against sub zero temperatures. With pipes inside a home this is usually long enough to be sure the pipes will not freeze.
Ice formation inside the pipes will lead to an increase in pressure. As the water tries to flow this pressure will increase, and eventually will lead to the pipes bursting. A burst pipe can cause a lot of problems, not least of which is a lot of damage to your property and a lot of expense incurred.