With the variety of different blanket insulation systems available, getting the highest quality solution can be a challenge. For many, buying a cheaper system often looks appealing, but for several reasons, investing in a higher quality reusable blanket insulation system makes financial sense in the long term.
First, to get the most out of a reusable insulation blanket, constructing it from quality materials that meet industry-leading specifications creates a strong foundation. Without that foundation of resiliency and specifications, facility owners and maintenance professionals will frequently replace the blanket, costing the business more over time.
“We use the most rugged, resilient fabrics and specifications so the blanket stands up to the environment and application,” said Mike Makofsky, Northeast regional manager for Shannon. “Over the life of the blanket, which for our blankets is 15 to 20 years, the customer actually spends more repeatedly replacing, a poorly made blanket that wears out or breaks down.”
How the blanket fits the component also significantly affects longevity, making design as critical as material choice and specifications when choosing blanket insulation systems. A poor fit means heat-energy escapes and reduces a system’s overall efficiency. Particularly poor designs can even leave hot pipes or valves exposed, posing a safety risk to workers.
“Even with relatively good material and construction, if the design isn’t right, if it’s not fitted properly, if the fasteners are improperly placed, you’ll get an ill-fitting blanket and won’t achieve your goals,” said Makofsky.
Beyond quality design, looking at the whole picture—including all the systems involved—helps maximize the benefit of reusable insulation. If a blanket system insulates two parts of, say, a boiler, but leaves a gap between the parts, then heat energy will escape, reducing the blanket system’s effectiveness.
“It’s critical to look at the big picture and what impact each component has on a system, whether that’s a food processing plant or a district steam system,” added Makofsky.
Keeping these factors in mind and asking questions when purchasing insulation blankets will help buyers make the most financially sound decision regarding reusable insulation systems, minimizing replacements and maximizing system efficiency.