For the first time, a foam insulation from BASF has been used for pipes in a liquefied natural gas tank terminal.

BASF, headquartered in Florham Park, N.J., provided Basotect to the terminal in Gwangyang, Korea, but says LNG facilities in North America also could benefit from the pipe insulation process. LNG is natural gas that is liquefied at very low temperatures - less than -256°F (-160°C) - to transport or store it more easily.

“Basotect shows a high degree of stability at low temperatures," says Peter Wolf, BASF's head of global business management for Basotect. "Even in laboratory tests at temperatures of around -328°F (-200°C), the material retains its properties. The high degree of elasticity and the thermal insulation capacity of the foam remain unaffected."

Because it is up to 20 percent thinner than conventional foam, the product is energy efficient. Material made from the foam is lightweight and flexible, and it

can be removed for regular inspection of pipe integrity and then reused. The flame-retardant, open-cell foam based on melamine resin meets ASTM E84 with an FSI of 5 and a SDI of 10 It can be used at temperatures up to 464°F (240°C),and weighs 0.55 lb/ft3.