'This is Breakthrough Technology'
(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) - Tnemec Company, Inc., a leading manufacturer of high-performance protective coatings, introduced the first thermal insulating coatings featuring Enova® aerogel by Cabot Corporation during the 2012 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston. Series 971 Aerolon Acrylic and Series 975 Aerolon Epoxy are fluid-applied, high-build coatings that resist high operating temperatures when spray-applied to piping, tanks, valves or other steel substrates in industrial facilities such as refineries and processing plants.
"Aerolon thermal insulating coatings are part of a complete coating system that includes specialty primers and topcoats," according to Andy Hoffman, Tnemec market support manager, Industrial Market. "Aerolon's hydrophobic formulations bond with high-performance primers for a durable barrier that resists corrosion under insulation (CUI), which is a major problem in industrial applications, including the oil and gas industry."
Aerolon's advanced formulations achieve higher, single-coat film build, resulting in shorter application times for a quicker return-to-service and lower labor costs compared to other fluid-applied insulation coatings. A single coat of Aerolon Epoxy can achieve 160 mils (4mm) dry film thickness (DFT); Aerolon Acrylic can achieve up to 60 mils (1.5mm) DFT.
"In terms of insulation value, both Aerolon Epoxy and Aerolon Acrylic are dramatically more efficient than other thermal coatings containing ceramic beads and are comparable to most conventional forms of industrial insulation," Hoffman explained. "The thermal insulation properties of Aerolon coatings provide safe-touch performance on hot pipes and other surfaces to prevent serious worksite accidents. And their low K-value ratings offer thermal efficiencies that result in substantial energy cost reductions." (See K-value Thermal Efficiency Comparison Chart at www.tnemec.com/company/resource/Aerolon.)
Feedback from applicators has been very positive. Once mixed, Aerolon resembles a slurry, which can be applied with user-friendly spray equipment. Aerolon coatings are water-based with practically zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs), minimizing environmental impact.
Typically, aerogel has been used for thermal insulation in a particle form or in a blanket that is wrapped around piping and covered with cladding, explained James Pidhurney, Cabot global commercial manager - Aerogel Coatings. "The insulating blankets have to be cut, shaped and wrapped, then clad with aluminum or stainless steel," Pidhurney observed. "This process can be time consuming and labor intensive, especially around valves and on intricately shaped pipes. With Aerolon spray-applied insulation coatings, the complexity of shapes is not a factor."
The thermal efficiency of Aerolon insulating coatings was demonstrated by Cabot Aerogel in laboratory testing, which compared two tanks that were heated to a constant elevated temperature. One tank was coated with an Aerolon coating system except for a small square cutout, while the other tank was left uncoated. The heater on the coated tank operated 45 percent less than the unit on the uncoated tank to maintain the same constant temperature. Infrared photography revealed elevated color variations on the uncoated steel surfaces compared to areas coated with Aerolon.
Pidhurney emphasized that Enova® aerogel is the ultimate thermally insulative coatings additive available. "The Enova aerogel particle size in Aerolon has been optimized for improved thermal efficiency in maximum operating temperatures," Pidhurney added. "This is breakthrough technology."
About Cabot Aerogel Cabot Aerogel is a business of Cabot Corporation. Established in 1882, Cabot Corporation is a global performance materials company headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts USA. The company operates 37 manufacturing plants in 19 countries and employs 4,000 people. With advanced technologies and leading market positions in carbon black, fumed silica, inkjet colorants, capacitor materials, aerogel and cesium formate drilling fluids, the products that Cabot manufactures enable and improve customers' products across a wide range of applications and industries. Visit www.cabotaerogel.com
About Tnemec Established in 1921, Tnemec is one of the largest privately held companies in North America specializing in industrial coatings for steel, concrete and other substrates for new construction and maintenance. More than 120 architectural and industrial coating products are manufactured at facilities in Kansas City and Baltimore. Headquartered in Kansas City, Tnemec operates distribution facilities in Atlanta, Dallas, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Seattle and Compton, Calif. In addition to the company's national network of technical representatives, Tnemec has technical representatives in Canada, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Trinidad. For more information on Tnemec Company, Inc. or any of its products, call 800-863-6321; write to 6800 Corporate Drive, Kansas City, Mo., 64120-1372; or visit www.tnemec.com