Towards reduced energy costs & greener future with thermal insulation coating
Production plants, HDB flats, pipelines and offshore structures all need to deal with high temperatures either from an internal or an external source. Common issues caused by heat gain or loss of a surface include condensation, corrosion under insulation (CUI) and increased energy consumption. A traditional way of minimising these issues is insulating the surfaces using methods such as cellulose, fibreglass or rock wool. However, the conventional insulation methods have a couple of downsides: they require space – the thicker the layer the better it insulates – or are heavy weight. Thermal insulation coating (TIC) is a potential solution; it can be applied in rather thin films (0,75 mm) and they are remarkably lighter weight than their alternatives.
In this article we will provide you with a look into thermal insulation coatings, their advantages and disadvantages as well as give you a brief overview of thermal insulation coating products in Singapore.
How thermal insulation coating differs from conventional insulation
Thermal insulation coating, or heat barrier coating is a solution that may replace conventional insulation on several sectors. Surfaces in aerospace, defence, automotive, transportation and construction as well as general industrial sectors require thermal insulation to operate on an optimal level.
Thermal insulation coating provides the surface (usually metal) with the initial protection layer against heat gain or loss. The coatings make sure that a surface supposedly cold will remain cold and a hot surface will not cool down. Thermal insulation coating makes lower energy consumption possible while relying on greener, lower volume materials. They reflect, absorb, transfer and dissipate heat before it even leaves the coated surface.
The benefits of thermal insulation coatings include:
- Energy efficiency – with excellent heat flow resistance, the amount of coating required to reduce heat loss by 50% in some cases, can be as low as 150 mils (3.81 mm).
- Safe touch – thermal insulation coating can help prevent contact burns and provide occupational safety and health compliance.
- Condensation control – the switch from high surface temperature to low surface temperature results in condensation which causes further damage to metal surfaces. A thermal insulation coating with corrosion protective properties provides extra value.
- Application & maintenance – thermal insulation coating does not require stripping when applying or looking for cracks as is the case with other systems such as glass wool insulation. Thermal barrier coatings are also thin and makes inspecting the surface for damage easier, and allows for early damage detection.
3 common types of thermal insulating coatings
Thermal insulation coating is used in many applications including industrial equipment and machinery, roofs as well as automotive, marine and aerospace components. These applications require different thermal insulation technologies to guarantee the best possible results. Thermal insulation coatings exist as nano-ceramic coatings, acrylic solutions and ceramic coatings for metal.
1. Innovative thermal insulation with nano technology
Nano ceramic thermal insulation coating is a fast curing solution which is based on ceramic materials, but uses nano technology to improve the properties of the thermal insulation paint. This type of thermal insulation coating is designed to reduce energy consumption and costs per unit by being energy efficient for example on above ground pipelines. The absolute advantage of these nano coatings is that they are greener than the other options. They are water based and have low to zero VOC value. Depending on the product, spray-on nano thermal insulation coating remains functional for 5 to 10 years without degrading.
Applications: pipes, pipelines, tanks, ovens heat exchangers and many more.
2. Acrylic thermal insulation coating for roofs and other exterior surfaces
Acrylic thermal insulation coatings are probably the most well known type of these coatings. It is commonly used in general industrial applications, marine structures and on surfaces that might suffer from condensation and are prone to CUI. It is also the most used thermal insulation material for roofs and also known as heat reflective roof coating. As an insulation coating for roofs acrylic coatings prevent external heat penetrating the roof and heating up the interior.
Applications: rooftops (e.g. HDB flats), buses, trains, enginerooms (marine), walls, overheads, asphalt, paper mills, food processing etc.
3. Ceramic thermal insulation for metal components
Insulating ceramic materials have unique energy savings properties that reflect heat while dissipating it. The hollow ceramic micro spheres thermal reflective quality performs as a radiant heat shield that rejects heat away and outwards from the protected substrate, minimising absorption into the surface. The hotter the external environment, the more effective the performance of a ceramic thermal insulation coating in reducing internal temperatures.
Applications: marine, automotive and aerospace components, machine parts, ovens and more.
Examples of products that solve thermal insulation problems
As the need for thermal insulation coatings has been encouraging the development of new technologies, many manufacturers now have these coatings in their portfolio. In the following you can find some examples of these products and their uses.
|Thermal insulation coating||Type||Applications|
|AkzoNobel International – Intertherm 1875||Acrylic thermal insulating coating||Industrial environments including petrochemical plants, oil refineries, offshore structures, chemical plants and power stations. Suitable for areas subject to intermediate service temperature.|
|AkzoNobel International – Intertherm 3350||Acrylic thermal insulation spray coating||Environemnts where there is a need to control heat loss and protect personnel. Ideal for insulating large tanks, vessels or pipework: easy to apply, superior thin film.|
|Cabot – ENOVA Aerogel||Thermal insulation coating additive||Suitable for thermal insulation coatings used in many applications. Can be modified to emphasize insulation, gloss, colour or other attributes. Contributes to a safe touch, energy efficient surface.|
|Mascoat – Industrial HR insulation coating||Highly reflective acrylic insulation coating||For ferrous and non ferrous substrates such as tank exteriors and roofs.|
|Mascoat – Industrial DTI||Acrylic insulation coating||A multipurpose coating for CUI prevention and thermal insulation on many surfaces. Solves thermal insulation problems for niche markets.|
|Mascoat – MArine DTM Thermal Coating||Acrylic marine thermal insulation coating||Thermal insulation and anti condensation coating for multiple substrates in the marine and offshore environments.|
|Sherwin Williams – Heat Flex3500||Acrylic thermal insulative coating||Piping, valves, tanks, vessels, heaters, boilers, stacks, ductwork, compressors, pumps, containers and many more hot or cold surfaces that need thermal insulation.|
|Superior Coatings – Super Therm||Ceramic insulation coating||Suitable for any substrate. Blocks heat-load, moisture penetration and air-infiltration.|
|Synavax – Heat Shield||Thermal insulation coating based on nanotechnology||Pipe insulation, dye pots, boiler insulation, tanks, textile equipment and other hot and cold process equipment.|
In case you need more information or wish to request a thermal insulation coating quotation, do not hesitate to contact us. We together with our partners will do our utmost best to find the coating system that solves all your thermal insulation issues. Get in touch with us today! Simply send us a message via the “request-a-quote” button.