Energy efficiency of thermal insulation depends on many factors. One may define two groups of them. The first group comprises measures one should take on design and mounting stages. The second group represents maintenance factors, which occur after the insulation is installed. The first group is more significant as it refers to:
selection of suitable insulation material that takes into account the operational temperature factor in various working conditions and its durability with regard to potential mechanical, thermo-mechanical, atmospheric, chemical or radioactive damage.
optimal adjustment of insulation thickness with respect to installation cost and potential savings,
selection of a suitable substructure and its assembly method,
selection of a suitable type and application method for protective coat,
a method of minimizing the number of linear and punctual thermal bridges.
To the second group we can classify factors that originate in great measure from the working culture of service staff assigned to supervise the object exploitation. The second-group factors are:
periodical examination of insulation efficiency,
the demounting and remounting of insulation fragments fulfilling the requirements stated for the newly applied insulation,
periodical conservation of the protective coat and taking of preventing measures in order to preserve continuity of protective layers.
It is also important to avoid drastic changes in operational conditions of the installation, as unauthorised alterations might not have been taken into account on the design stage. In terms of formal requirements which industrial thermal insulation is expected to fulfil there are only few regulations one can name. The binding record addressing thermal insulation that industrial insulation designers should follow is mentioned in Ordinance of the Minister of Economy dated September 17, 1999 concerning work safety and hygiene standards obliging work with power supply installations. According to § 33: „Machines and installations that emit heat above 60°C are to be provided with thermal insulation designed and preserved in such way that would prevent surface temperature from rising above 60°C in reachable areas”. When it comes to Building Law and general technical requirements all buildings and their locations are supposed to correspond, one should design thermal insulation according to Polish Norm PN-B-02421:2000. The document covers the subject of thermal insulation of residential heating systems, hot water and tap water supply, heat conducting networks running in canals, tunnels, buildings and land lines not hotter than 200°C. Dedicated members of Polish Society of Industrial Insulators have issued the norm PN-B-20105:2014-09, which contains a lot of useful information concerning quality requirements and application assessment methods. It also introduces a requirement of maximum cover surface temperature equal to 50°C. In the norm it is proposed to define insulation thickness with regard to economic criteria. Knowing that building norms are not obligatory in Poland and in light of information cited above one may come to the conclusion about lack of any common specific rules and guidelines concerning design of industrial thermal insulation. As a result, many investors, designers and contractors are led by the goal of fulfilling only the safety standard for surface temperature.Download article