As the world faces an increasing global demand for energy, the need for industrial projects to be built faster, produce more, operate efficiently, and drive profitability is more critical than ever.

Whether your industry is oil, petrochemical, or gas - or your processes run hot or cold - insulation is a critical facility component. And if your project responsibility is facility design, construction, or maintenance, understanding the impact of insulation is critical to project success. Aspen Aerogels® has been proving the return on investment (ROI) value of high-performance industrial insulation for decades.

Unfortunately, insulation is often seen as a necessary cost rather than being considered for the myriad of benefits it can provide. What many fail to recognise is insulation can play a critical role in ensuring the ROI for a project is achieved. So how can insulation drive ROI? When evaluating the ROI of a project insulation system, consider value beyond thermal benefits. Can the insulation system help:

• Simplify design?
• De-risk the construction schedule?
• Increase potential revenue?
• Minimise downtime?
• Reduce unplanned maintenance?
• Improve safety and environmental impact?

Keeping it hot

Throughout refineries and petrochemical facilities, maintaining hot processes is critical to delivering product quality and quantity. Especially challenging are cyclical processes, where temperature control and corrosion under insulation (CUI) mitigation are most difficult. Aspen Aerogel’s family of Pyrogel® insulation materials keep these processes running as designed. Pyrogel has been installed in thousands of applications and is known as an industry leader in protecting systems from CUI, minimising maintenance and unplanned shutdowns.

Across the globe, Pyrogel products have been tested and proven. Installation of Pyrogel has enabled multiple ethylene recovery unit projects to improve product yield, resulting in >US$500 000/yr increased revenue. In a facility in Taiwan, installation of Pyrogel as part of a CUI mitigation strategy, resulted in US$8 million in downtime recovery.

When the cost of insulation is often less the 5% of an overall project budget, yet insulation can have a dramatic impact on the outcome, the ROI for Pyrogel insulation is easy math. Pyrogel insulation can help:

• Mitigate CUI.
• Increase yields.
• Shorten maintenance schedules.
• Reduce shutdowns.

Keeping it cool

The ROI for cold applications might be even easier to calculate, which is why Cyrogel Z is used in LNG facilities and cold process protection around the globe, in the world’s hottest environments.

Cyrogel Z is specified in global projects where construction schedules are tight and long-term performance is critical. The durable yet flexible construction allows for offsite and stick built construction. No contraction joints equate to faster construction and less potential for water vapour leaks. Intuitive installation reduces callbacks and enables fast training of new contractors. Multiple layers of vapour barrier provide excellent long-term vapour intrusion control. Add the inherent acoustic and passive fire protection and the result is an insulation system that provides more than just thermal protection.

In a recent North American project, Cryogel Z outperformed the incumbent material and due to the time-saving features of Cryogel Z, the contractor was able to reverse a 2-month delay in the construction schedule. In another case, the EPC specified Cryogel Z upfront, and the benefits of design and construction of Cryogel enabled months of schedule reduction vs a scenario utilising different insulation. Not to be forgotten, Cryogel Z is also now installed on the longest LNG jetty in the world. In addition to superior thermal performance, Cryogel improves ROI through:

• Fewer failures – no contraction joints, multiple layers of vapor barrier protection.
• Improved yields - reduces boil-off gas (BOG).
• Improved facility safety and working environment through passive fire protection and noise reduction.

Performance. Proven.

If you are an engineer designing a new or expanded facility, a contractor responsible for material selection and installation, or a facility manager relied upon for delivering operational excellence, managing project risk and delivering the project ROI is critical to success. Aspen Aerogels’ solution can withstand the test of time, with materials installed in the harshest environments and most challenging processes, protecting people and assets for decades.

Aspen Aerogels has developed industry proven insulation for both cold and hot applications which provide thermal, acoustical and fire protection benefits.

Figure 1: Cryogel (left side of image) and Pyrogel® (right side) offer multiple protections in a simple, easy to install design requiring less space vs. traditional insulation materials.

By Mark Krajewski – Director, Technical Services

Source: Hydrocarbon Engineering