Condensation can cause considerable damage to building and technical operating systems. In air conditioning and refrigeration applications, in particular, condensation is one of the greatest sources of danger. Suppressing this process is one of the key tasks of thermal insulation - particularly in refrigeration applications. However, protection from condensation can also be necessary in systems with changing operating temperatures, specifically if the dew point temperature is temporarily undercut.
One of the most important tasks of technical insulation materials: to avoid condensation in order to prevent damage to the object.
How does condensation arise?
@ Andreas Hermsdorf / pixelio.de
Air holds a certain percentage of moisture. Warm air can hold more moisture than cold air. The environmental air around equipment having a lower operating temperature than the environmental air will cool down. As the air temperature lowers, so too does the air's capacity to hold moisture. At the same time, the degree of saturation increases, because the amount of water vapour which is held remains constant. If the air is 100 per cent saturated, it has reached its dew point. If the temperature then continues to drop, the excess water vapour is released as condensation. The technical insulation must also prevent the environmental air from dropping below this temperature value.
Preventing moisture damage
FEF and PEF insulation prevent the formation of condensation by preventing the dew point temperature from being undercut. Whether this is successful depends on the correct insulation thickness and the quality and workmanship of the material. Seams must be carefully sealed in order to prevent environmental air from reaching the surface of the pipeline. FEF and PEF foams can be easily sealed air-tight. Thanks to their closed-cell structure, they are generally highly resistant to water vapour diffusion. Since no moisture can penetrate to the material, they do not require any additional covering - unlike other types of insulation. Therefore they are ideally suited for refrigeration applications.