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.