The North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, Alexandria, Va., offers the 3E Plus program as a free download at www.pipeinsulation.org.
In many instances, determining the appropriate insulation thickness for a
pipe, duct or chiller is subject to “rule-of-thumb” calculations with little
engineering or economic consideration. However, because insulation thickness is
a critical design factor in the effective performance of a mechanical system,
calculations should be precise and accurate.
The North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, Alexandria, Va.,
offers the 3E Plus program - available as a free download at
www.pipeinsulation.org - which can be used as a tool to determine the thickness
needed for a variety of design criteria.
Many specifiers underestimate the role insulation thickness plays in the
performance of the mechanical system and, consequently, give little thought to
the type of insulation needed or the thickness required to do the job. The
thickness needed to insulate for design criteria such as energy savings or
personnel protection will likely be different than the thickness needed to
control condensation, for example.
NAIMA suggests that to obtain accurate calculations using their tool, users
will need to input basic data via pull-down menus. Necessary information
includes the item to be insulated, what the pipe or duct is made of, the
primary reason for insulation, the operating temperature inside the pipe or
duct, the ambient conditions outside the pipe or duct, and where the insulated
system will be located.
Based on the input criteria, the 4.0 version of 3E Plus can provide both metric
and inch-pound thickness calculations as well as reports.
Insulation Thickness Counts
January 7, 2008