Category Archives: Insulation Systems

High Temperature Strip Curtains

Continuous conveyor ovens are widely used in a variety of industrial processes including composite curing and heat treating.  The entrance and exit points of these ovens represent significant areas for potential heat loss and energy inefficiencies.  Without a proper heat barrier system these openings can be the culprit for thousands of dollars in wasted energy cost.  In addition, regulating and controlling critical process temperatures can become a daunting task with inadequate heat containment.

Utilizing Worbo’s unique high temperature strip curtain system, energy costs may be significantly reduced and process temperatures may be accurately controlled.   These strip curtains serve as an effective thermal barrier while allowing for the passage of parts through the oven chamber.   Unlike traditional PVC strips that will break down at moderate temperatures the Worbo solution can withstand excessive temperatures and will continue to function effectively up to 1000oF.

Worbo strip curtain
Worbo strip curtain

A typical example of a proven and extremely effective Worbo strip curtain design consists of a double layer heat barrier system.  In this system the inside face of each strip if fabricated from Worbo’s exceptional Eko-ThermTM heat reflective material.  This unique material serves to retain convective heat with in the oven chamber in addition to preventing radiant heat from escaping through the oven door.  The outside face of each strip is fabricated from Worbo’s extreme duty MSA96 (96 oz/yd2) silicone coated fabric offering outstanding durability and abrasion resistance as moving parts are transferred though the oven opening.

 
MSA96 side of strip curtain
Outside face of strip from extreme duty MSA96
 
Eko-Therm side of strip curtain
Inside face of strip from heat reflective Eko-Therm

In addition to generating significant energy cost savings, Worbo’s high temperature strip curtains offer the following key benefits:

  • Reduce the risk of workplace burn hazards near the opening of the oven.
  • Strips are easy to install and individual strips are simple to replace should they become damaged without the need to replace the entire curtain.
  • Excellent abrasion resistance and exhibit outstanding durability as parts move in and out of a conveyor oven.
  • Allows for oven temperatures to be accurately controlled ensuring product consistency and quality is upheld.
  • Manufacturing cycles are increased as the thermal barrier facilitates faster oven pre-heat time. 
  • Strip curtains may be supplied in a variety of widths and lengths to custom fit virtually any oven opening.

Worbo’s heat resistant strip curtains are tailor made for each specific application in consideration of temperature constraints, environmental conditions, cycle frequency, oven geometry, etc.  Contact the design team at Worbo to assist with your continuous conveyor oven application. 

 

Attention HMA Plant Operators

Reduce energy cost by 68% with Cool-SkinTM insulation sleeve on hot oil “jumper” hoses.

A typical Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) plants makes use of hundreds of feet of flexible metal “jumper” hoses to transfer hot oil across connection flanges. These hoses are frequently overlooked by insulation contractors as they usually have a tight bend radius and they are difficult to protect.  In addition the neglected jumper hoses are often considered unimportant because they represent a small portion of the hot oil system.  The reality is that these un-insulated lines result in huge inefficiencies and cost thousands of dollars in wasted energy.  This would is similar to leaving a window open all winter long.  It just doesn’t make good sense.

uninsulated jumper hose

Worbo has developed an effective thermal insulation solution that enables HMA plants to recover significant heat losses on small diameter and tight radius hoses with ease.  Introducing Cool-SkinTM sleeve! 

cool-skin sleeve on jumper hose

Unlike traditional methods such as mineral wool and hard aluminum cladding, Cool-SkinTM is easy to install and does not require expensive insulation contractors.   A hook and loop self gripping fastener is incorporated into its design allowing operations staff efficient access to process lines while performing maintenance procedures or trouble-shooting system components.  Once line interruption is complete, Cool-Skin™ is simply re-installed in a few short seconds. 

An additional important and impressive benefit to the Cool-SkinTM technology is that it incorporates a closed cell insulating structure that will not absorb water or moisture making it an effective insulator even in wet conditions.

Ongoing field monitoring has proven that insulating a flexible metal hose (1 ½” OD) with Worbo’s Cool-Skin™ sleeve at a typical HMA plants will reduce heating cost an average of $30 for every foot of jumper hose in just one short seven (7) month operating season.  In most cases Cool-Skin™ pays for itself within the first four (4) months of installation.

Contact the Worbo team to learn more about how Cool-SkinTM can reduce energy costs at your HMA plant.

Cool-Skin Elbows and Tee’s

In response to a growing demand from our customers, Worbo is excited to announce the release of a new product line of easy to install elbow and tee insulation sleeves for high temperature applications.   Introducing Cool-Skin elbows and tee sleeves by Worbo.

These products offer a fantastic complement to our extremely popular line of Cool-SkinTM sleeves.  They are a perfect solution for insulating hoses and process lines that contain a tight bend radius or for lines that have tee intersections.   Traditionally it has been a challenge for plant engineers and insulation contractors to provide a satisfactory and effective thermal barrier in these areas.  Worbo’s wonderfully simple solution enables our customers to quickly and easily install these removable Cool-SkinTM  insulation components around elbows (from 45’s to 90’s) and at tee junctions.   They offer a very precise fit around a wide variety of diameters to maximize insulation coverage to minimize heat loss and to prevent burn injuries at these tricky locations.

 
Cool-Skin 90 elbow
Cool-Skin 90 elbow
 
Cool-Skin 90 elbow
Cool-Skin 90 elbow
 
Cool-Skin Tee
Cool-Skin Tee
 
Cool-Skin 45 elbow
Cool-Skin 45 elbow

Cool-SkinTM elbows and tees are fabricated from the same tried and tested materials that make up our existing Cool-SkinTM sleeve products.  They are equipped with a durable abrasion resistant jacketing system that encapsulates a clean non-fibrous insulation medium exhibiting an extremely low thermal conductivity to provide a very efficient thermal barrier.  As with many of our Cool-SkinTM products our elbows and tees are supplied with a hook and loop closure for easy installation and removal. 

For applications where radiant heat is a concern our Eko-ThermTM jacketing system may be supplied as an alternative to the standard yellow jacket.  The combination of our shiny aluminized Eko-ThermTM material coupled with our non-fibrous insulation medium offers an effective barrier from conductive heat sources as well as from radiant heat sources.   Up to 90% of radiant heat will be reflected away from the low emissivity and shiny surface of the insulation component.  This doubly effective technology will ensure that the process temperatures can be accurately maintained with a minimal insulation wall thickness.

Eko-Therm elbow
Eko-Therm elbow

This new exciting line of products is yet another example of the how the Worbo research and product development team has demonstrated out of the box thinking to create cost effective and innovative thermal protection solutions.   

 

 

Holding It Together

Here at Worbo Inc. we pride ourselves on providing top quality custom fabricated high temperature insulation components for process lines and equipment. In our view, an essential characteristic of a successful insulation cover is that it must be user friendly. It should be easy to install and easy to remove and reinstall for maintenance. This eliminates the need for expensive insulation contractors and minimizes the loss of valuable production time. Ease of installation is often achieved through the implementation of simple and effective mechanical closures. At Worbo we offer a wide range of fastening systems to create easy to install insulation components that are suitable for thousands of high temperatures applications.  Here’s how we “hold it together”.

 

Grommets and Wire Ties

This method for securing a Worbo insulation component in place employs the use of high temperature grommets in combinations with wire ties. It often consists of a series of grommets (ranging in diameter from ¼” ID up to 1” ID or larger) placed around the perimeter of an insulation component. Grommet holes on one side of an insulation cover will line up with adjacent grommet holes on the opposite side of the cover and will be joined together with a wire tie or metal banding. In many cases this is can be the most cost effective solution.

grommets on Worbo high temp curtain
grommets on Worbo high temp curtain
grommet and wire tie closure on high temperature festoon cable protection system
grommet and wire tie closure on high temperature festoon cable protection system

 

Grommets and Carabiners

In the case of a high temperature insulation curtain application, grommets may be used in combination with spring snap carabiners.   This mechanism will enable a curtain to be suspended from a supporting rod or structure and it will allow for the curtain to slide back and forth creating an access opening when the curtain is not in use. A simple “S” hook also works well for this application as a substitute for the carabiners.

carabiners on high temperature insulated curtain
carabiners on high temperature insulated curtain
high temperature curtain
high temperature curtain

 

Hook and Loop

This is one of our favorites and it comes standard on our Cool-SkinTM sleeve line of products. High temperature hook and loop (Velcro®) is a fantastic closure option that may be exploited on a huge assortment of insulation components.   It’s simple and dynamic. We offer hook and loop in a broad array of widths from as narrow as a ½ inch wide up to six inches wide and beyond. It is available in various profiles that can maximize gripping strength or maximize opening and closing cycles depending on the application. A hook and loop closure provides a very good seal to allow for maximum heat retention and it can be incorporated into virtually any configuration of insulation cover. Thanks for the invention George de Mestral, great idea!

Cool-Skin cover with hook and loop closure
Cool-Skin cover with hook and loop closure
High temperature sleeve with hook and loop
High temperature sleeve with hook and loop
Worbo MSA curtain
Worbo MSA curtain

 

¼ Turn Fasteners

Another great option is the ¼ Turn or Common Sense fasteners. These are great for creating a strong mechanical union between two mating surfaces. They are particularly effective in situations where ease of installation and maximum connections strength are critical. Here’s how it works….a small turnbutton post is secured to the perimeter edge along one side of an insulation cover. This post is then inserted through an oval eyelet mounted on the opposite side of the cover and then it is simply rotated 90 degrees to lock it in place creating a mechanically positive attachment.   The photo below illustrates how this closure works on a trolley skirt installed on an overhead crane festoon protection system.

quarter turn fasteners on high temp trolley skirt
quarter turn fasteners on high temp trolley skirt

 

D-rings and Straps

D-rings and straps are a fantastic option for providing a very snug fit between an insulation sleeve and a hot process line to ensure that heat retention is maximized. This mechanism works in a similar fashion to a chin strap on a standard motorcycle helmet. A high temperature tension strap is inserted through two d-rings that are secured to an insulation component. The strap is then fed back between the two d-rings and pulled tightly. By drawing the strap firmly, this mechanism ensures that the insulation component will fit tightly around the process line. This system also allows for some flexibility with respect to the size of the components being insulated and often a single insulation part may be used for multiple process lines. In this scenario an insulation sleeve is overbuilt to accommodate a largest possible shape and then it may be drawn in with the straps and d-ring arrangement to fit snugly around a smaller line. In many cases this is a one size fits all solution.

d-rings and strap on high temp cover
d-rings and strap on high temp cover
high temp cover for plastic extrusion line
high temp cover for plastic extrusion line

 

Lacing

This is another great low tech option that offers an effective and inexpensive solution for securing an insulation component in place. As with the d-rings and strap method the lacing option will provide a forgiving range of adjustment to allow for a tight fit around various sizes and shapes of equipment.

lacing on a Worbo insulation cover
lacing on a Worbo insulation cover
lacing on an MSA cover
lacing on an MSA cover

 

Zippers

A high temperature zipper is yet another option for securing an insulation component in place. Below is a photo of a zipper that has been effectively utilized in a bellows style insulation boot. The boot has been designed to protect a hydraulic cylinder from molten splash and it is easily installed without disassembling any of the heavy equipment. Notice that the zipper has been secured to the boot in a spiral fashion along its length. This allows for the zipper to be offset between each the corrugations of the bellows to ensure that when the bellows is collapsed it occupies the minimum amount of space.

Worbo high temp bellows with zipper
Worbo high temp bellows with zipper

 

Combination of Different Closure Mechanisms

When one type of closure just won’t do to the trick we can easily incorporate multiple closure mechanisms into a custom fabricated high temperature insulation component for maximum thermal protection and minimum heat loss.

grommets, quarter turn fasteners and hook and loop
grommets, quarter turn fasteners and hook and loop
draw string and d-rings with strap
draw string and d-rings with strap
zipper and hook and loop
zipper and hook and loop

At Worbo one of our primary business objectives is customer satisfaction. We believe we can achieve this through providing high quality and cost effective insulation components that are easy to install. Our expertise and experience with a large assortment of closure mechanisms and fastening systems allows us to provide easy to install components that satisfy our customers.

“Safe Touch” Insulation

It is well known that providing insulation for hot process lines and equipment makes good economical sense by reducing operating costs at a time when energy prices are skyrocketing.  A Worbo insulation system could easily pays for itself within a few months of installation.  However, often what motivates our customers to implement an insulation system is not simply economics but rather safety concerns.   In today’s market place an increasing number of responsible industrial companies are committed to ensuring the safety of their valuable human resources. 

Hot process lines and equipment represent a significant safety hazard and when it comes to high-temperature operations “safe touch” conditions are key to establishing a safe work environment. 

ASTM C1055 (Standard Guide for Heated System Surface Conditions that Produce Contact Burn Injuries) has determined that the most probable time for a worker to come into contact with a hot surface in an industrial setting is approximately five seconds.  ASTM C1055 further states that the average person can touch a hot surface of 140oF for up to five seconds without sustaining irreversible damage.  For this reason 140oF is widely recognized to be the “safe touch” condition.  However, often in an environment with high ambient temperatures or where there is an increased risk of employee contact, many plant managers and process engineers prefer to implement a “safe touch” temperature of 120oF to further minimize the risk of injury.

Worbo offers several options and thousands of variations of our high temperature “safe touch” insulation covers for virtually any configuration of equipment.  Often equipped with straps, velcro® or fasteners for ease of installation and supplied in the proper thickness a Worbo insulation cover is a very effective solution for reducing surface temperatures down to ASTM C1055 recommendations and below.

cool-skin safe touch insulation safe touch insulationsafe touch insulation sleeve

Typical Worbo “safe touch” Insulation Covers


Determining the best “safe touch” insulation system

Once a Worbo customer has identified the need for “safe touch” insulation it’s up to the Worbo engineering team to design the best possible system.  Choosing an insulation solution will be established in consideration of the following parameters:

Insulation Material – The effectiveness of an insulation solution is greatly dependent on the type of insulation material.  All materials have temperature limitations and it is important to select a material that is capable of withstanding the environmental exposure temperatures.  In addition it is important to select an insulation material that has a low thermal conductivity to maximize its effectiveness as an insulator.   

Ambient Temperature – This is the temperature of the air in the space surrounding the insulation.  A higher ambient temperature will lead to a higher temperature on the outer surface of the insulation.

Air Flow – In an area where there is significant air flow this will result in a substantial decrease in the surface temperature of the insulation.  Often in the interest of safety the Worbo engineering team will ignore this parameter to ensure that the insulation is effective in providing a “safe touch” conditions in still air environments.

Outer Jacket Material – The outer jacket material of an insulation cover will release absorbed heat through a property called thermal emissivity.  Materials that exhibit high emissivity will release more heat away from its surface than materials with lower emissivity and therefore produce a lower surface temperature.  Materials such as Worbo’s MSA17 have a high emissivity and are a good choice for the outer jacket of an insulation system to produce “safe touch” conditions.

Insulation Thickness – The most significant design parameter in establishing a “safe touch” insulation solution is in most cases is the thickness of the insulation.  Intuitively, it makes sense that the thicker the insulation, the more effective it will be a reducing the surface temperature down to “safe touch” conditions.  However, it is important to note that the relationship between the thickness of the insulation and the surface temperature is not linear.   In other words, doubling the insulation thickness will not double its effectiveness as an insulator. 

Below is a simplified calculation to demonstrate how the thickness of a Worbo “safe touch” insulation system may be determined in consideration of the above noted parameters.  

 Calculating Insulation Thickness

If your employees are exposed to a high temperature hazard and you are not sure what the best option is, call the engineering team at Worbo and they will be happy to help you.  It’s what they do best!