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Commercial & Industrial Safety FAQs

  • Installing removable insulation on uninsulated values & fittings

    During maintenance, insulation over pipes, valves, and fittings is often damaged or removed and not replaced. Uninsulated pipes, valves, and fittings can be safety hazards and sources of heat loss. Removable and reusable insulating pads are available to cover almost any surface. The pads are made of a non-combustible inside cover, insulation material, and a non-combustible outside cover that is tear- and abrasion-resistant. Materials used in the pads are oil- and water-resistant and can be designed for temperatures up to 1600 degrees Fahrenheit. The pads are held in place by wire laced through grommets or by using straps and buckles.


    Reusable insulating pads are commonly used in industrial facilities for flanges, valves, expansion joints, heat exchangers, pumps, turbines, tanks, and other irregular surfaces. The pads are flexible and vibration resistant and can be used with equipment that is horizontally or vertically mounted or difficult to access. Any high-temperature piping or equipment should be insulated to reduce heat loss, reduce emissions, and improve safety. As a rule of thumb, any surface over 120 degrees Fahrenheit should be insulated for protection of personnel. Insulating pads can be easily removed for periodic inspection or maintenance and replaced as needed. Insulating pads can also contain built-in acoustical barriers for noise control.


    Insulation supply companies are located regionally to expedite delivery and to meet site-specific job requirements. Most supply companies can take measurements on-site to ensure the best fit on irregular surfaces.

    Source: Office of Industrial Technologies, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy

  • Improve your boilers efficiency

    Operating your boiler with an optimum amount of excess air will minimize heat loss up the stack and improve combustion efficiency. Combustion efficiency is a measure of how effectively the heat content of a fuel is transferred into a usable heat. The stack temperature and flue gas oxygen (or carbon dioxide) concentrations are primary indicators of combustion efficiency. Given complete mixing, a precise or stoichiometric amount of air is required to completely react with a given quantity of fuel. In practice, combustion conditions are never ideal and additional or “excess” air must be supplied to completely burn the fuel.

    Flue Gas Analyzers

    The percentage of oxygen in the flue gas can be measured by inexpensive gas absorbing test kits. More expensive ($500 – $1,000) hand-held, computer-based analyzers display percent oxygen, stack gas temperature, and boiler efficiency. They are a recommended investment for any boiler system with annual fuel costs exceeding $50,000.

    Oxygen Trim Systems

    When fuel composition is highly variable (such as refinery gas, hog fuel, or multi-fuel boilers) or where steam flows are highly variable, an on-line oxygen analyzer should be considered. The oxygen “trim” system provides feedback to the burner controls to automatically minimize excess combustion air and optimize the air-to-fuel ratio.

    Source: Office of Industrial Technologies, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy

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