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  Experienced Manufacturer of Pipe Supports since 1978
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  Webinar Archives > Pre-Insulated Pipe Supports

Pre-Insulated Pipe Supports Webinar (October, 2008)

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Text Version of the Pre-Insulated Pipe Supports Webinar

For those unfamiliar with us, we would like to share some background information on our company. Our parent company, Piping Technology & Products, Inc., also known as PT&P, has been in business since 1975. PT&P and its wholly owned subsidiaries, US Bellows, Sweco Fab, Pipe Shields, and Anchor Darling, offer a wide range of engineered products and services for various industries and applications. Our product line is extensive, from spring supports, expansion joints, pre-insulated pipe supports, and miscellaneous fabrication to various engineering and technical services, PT&P has decades of experience providing products and services for all your engineering and construction needs.

We have achieved various certifications here at Piping Technology & Products. We have the ASME U-Stamp and R-Stamp for the SWECO division of our company. We are ASME NS certified in our Fronek Anchor/Darling, Enterprises division. We are also part of the Expansion Joint Manufacturers’ Association through our U.S. Bellows, Inc. division. Most recently we received the ISO 9001:2000 certification for the manufacture of hot and cold supports. We are a Minority Business Enterprise granted by the City of Houston, and additionally, we are a member of the Houston Minority Business Council.

For over 10 years, our company has been a major supplier of pre-insulated pipe supports for both cryogenic and hot temperatures in a variety of applications including: both cryogenic and hot temperatures in a variety of applications including: Pre-insulated pipe support for high temperature applications.

  • Liquefied Natural Gas Plants (LNG)
  • Power Plants
  • Steam Water Pipe Lines
  • Chemical Plants
  • Liquefied Petroleum Gas Plants
  • Polypropylene Plants
  • Polyethylene Plants
  • Chilled Water Pipelines
  • Cogeneration Plants
  • Chilled Water Pipelines
Our foam department manufactures various types of insulation for our pre-insulated pipe supports. Additionally, we have over 100,000 lb. of insulation materials in stock so that we can quickly manufacture pre-insulated supports and ship them to our customers. Piping Technology & Products, Inc. has a quick and efficient cold shoe assembly line with a complete inventory stocked with pre-insulated pipe support materials. We provide special crating for insulated support materials. The crating material and packaging material is specially designed to eliminate damages that could occur due to the environment.

As we mentioned previously, we have several hundred thousand pounds of stock inventory on hand of pre-insulated support components. However, we also keep a stock inventory of our standard pre-insulated support items which are completely fabricated and ready to be welded to a piping system in the field. Here at Piping Technology & Products, Inc., we strive for efficiency in supply chain management while maintaining high quality standards throughout. The first step of the process is to pour the polyurethane into the molds in order to create the insulation for the supports. Meanwhile, the steel is being cut and welded together for the remainder of the support. After the polyurethane is set, we remove the molds and machine it and fit it to the required pipe size using a template. To complete this process, we combine the steel and the insulation in our assembly area to create the pre-insulated support.

Polyurethane FoamNext, our polyurethane foam process will be explained in more detail.  First, we use a mixing machine to produce the polyurethane foam.  It works by mixing two chemical components with an “a” and a “b” component that come together in the mixing head and the foam then comes through a hose and into the mold.  Here at PT&P, we try to separate the orders at each particular machine so that we can produce different densities of foam and keep a continuous flow of equally dense pipe supports being manufactured at each machine. This eliminates the need to frequently shut down the machine in order to change the foam density. We have a variety of molds available for different pipe sizes.  Once the polyurethane flows into the mold from the mixing machine, we place the lid over the foam in order for it to set. The foam will then rise to fill the entire mold. It is kind of like baking a cake, as the foam will rise to fill all of the voids within the shape of the form.  Additionally, we fabricate all of our own molds that are necessary for the polyurethane process. We actually have an overhead crane the picks up the mold and places it in the exact location where the hose of the machine comes down so that the mold can be filled with the foam.

As mentioned before, the polyurethane rises due to a chemical reaction going on inside of the mold, and it heats up. Cure time refers to the amount of time that it takes the polyurethane to rise and to fill the voids within the mold and set and is actually a function of insulation thickness and density. Prior to the foam being poured, we apply a thin layer of wax within the mold to allow for easy de-molding of the polyurethane foam during this process. After the foam has completely set, it is de-molded or removed from the steel mold.


Next, we visually inspect the foam to make sure that there are no voids or inconsistencies in the foam. We also check the outside diameter of the foam to make sure that the desired insulation thickness has been achieved. The pipe template is used to ensure a snug fit between the insulation and the pipe in the field. The next step involves machining the foam to fit a specific pipe size or insulation thickness. We have a particular machine that actually cuts the foam to the desired length as well. When we are expecting to fabricate a particularly large number of supports, we will fabricate the foam and have it readily available for assembly when the steel components are completed. Piping Technology & Products also offers an additional feature called monular mastic. This process involves applying an additional material to the foam to ward off moisture.

We make pipe shoes of different densities, shapes, and sizes according to each particular customers needs and requirements. The following are some of the features of cryogenic pipe shoe design:

Dual density insulation A lot of times in a piping system, the upper layer of insulation is not generally supporting the load, so the upper layer can be comprised of lower density insulation. The top layer of polyurethane foam is manufactured in a 10 lb. density and the lower layer is manufactured in a 14 lb. density. The lower layer is supporting the load, thus it has a bit higher density.
Pre-insulated pipe shoe for cold applications with staggered layers.
We also manufacture shoes with staggered layers. This design prevents both an axial and lateral direct air path on the pipe in the field. This system of layered insulation prevents condensation, frost, and ice buildup on the cryogenic pipeline. Here at Piping Technology & Products, we have received photographs from our customers that show large chunks of ice build-up that has formed on the pipe, so this design would actually prevent that from happening.

Depending on the design of the shoe, the steel may actually be bonded to the polyurethane.

Another optional feature of cryogenic shoes is called a vapor barrier. There are different types of these barriers available such as aluminum, stainless steel, and carbon steel.

We recently manufactured a custom designed 36 diameter cryogenic pipe shoe that has base stops incorporated into the design to prevent lateral and axial movement of the anchor on the pipe. The steel anchors will eventually be welded to the pipe in the field in order to prevent movement. This particular design is able to support 63,000 lb. of axial load, and temperatures as low as -300F. Another example is a cryogenic shoe designed for a 30 pipe and has 7 1/2 of insulation with staggered layers, which we mentioned earlier, that prevent the direct air path to the pipe. A shield is an added feature that surrounds the two halves of insulation to help prevent moisture from getting inside the shoe. Also, there is a little flap on top of the bolts which prevents moisture from getting in where the two pieces of steel meet.

In most flare line applications, it is not necessary to insulate the actual pipe line, so the shoe is designed to be bolted directly to the pipe to serve as an anchor and the bottom portion includes a base plate that is welded directly to the existing steel. The insulation is permali. This material is derived from a very early form of the insulated support which was simply a wood piece that people used to stick under the pipe to serve as an insulator between the process pipe and the existing steel. Our engineers, using this same concept, have designed a laminated wood block to serve as insulation and it has a great deal of resistance from the environment such as water and high temperatures.

Polyurethane insulated supports can be fabricated for just about any pipe size according to each customers needs from a very small diameter to a larger diameter. For example, we recently manufactured a 48" diameter cryogenic support for a LNG plant. This support has 8" of insulation, and has the staggered layers that we mentioned earlier. Another example is a hot shoe we designed and fabricated for an 84" diameter pipe. The insulation material is called calcium silicate, which is the same material that is used underneath the space shuttles. Calcium silicate insulation is good for temperatures up to about 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Piping Technology & Products, Inc. fabricates many custom jobs that require specific materials such as a high density calcium silicate inserted inside the shoe. Some other high temperature materials are Marinite or Firetemp. Also, we are able to add structural inserts for high loads. The steel that is surrounding the insulation is generally painted since galvanizing is not a particularly good choice for high temperature lines, because galvanized materials can sometimes melt in high-temperature situations. Piping Technology & Products, Inc. has a great deal of experience providing many different companies and facilities with pre-insulated pipe supports. Most customers also have their own particular insulated support design. Another job was completed for a customer on the upper East coast wherein the client actually sent us part of the process line. We built a mold around the pipe and then injected the mold with polyurethane foam. Therefore, the final product is a shoe that perfectly fits the pipe in the process line.


PT&P performing a pull test on a pre-insulated support for a customer.Here at Piping Technology & Products, Inc, we also perform product testing. We designed a test for the various insulation materials such as Micarta, polyurethane, permali block, etc. We apply various loads and run nitrogen through the pipe to test how it performs with the cold temperatures. We take readings of the temperature on the outside of the insulation to give us an idea of the delta, and the quality of the insulation performance of a particular support. One of our clients designed their own support and wanted us to test the performance of the support. As pictured at left, we did a pull test on a 30 diameter base insulated support and applied liquid nitrogen and a vertical load to the support and tested its force. This was to help the client evaluate the design to see if it would be feasible for them. Using an additional testing machine that we built, we are able to apply a load to the 14 lb. density material below the steel to see how it performs.We designed another test for applying an axial load to figure out the maximum force that can be sustained using Belleville washers on the support. Many clients use Belleville washers, which we also refer to as spring washers. The Belleville washers tend to keep a constant force on the piping where the insulated support is clamped to the piping. As the piping shrinks because of the temperature, the Belleville washer keeps a clamping force of the cold shoe on the pipe.

Here at Piping Technology & Products, we offer a variety of value added services. We have a field service team that can dispatch within a days time to assist our customers in the field. They are able to provide installation guidance and can inspect your piping systems for problems or perform general maintenance. We offer a 24 hour quick-turn service in the case of an emergency situation. All you need to do is log on to our website at www.pipingtech.com, click on emergency, fill out the short form, and we guarantee a response within 30 minutes. This will actually contact various members of our staff on their cell phones so that they can immediately provide feedback for our customers needs. In conclusion, we would like to remind you that our pre-insulated supports serve in a variety of applications including power plants, LNG plants, and nitrogen production plants. We keep over 100,000 lb. of raw material in stock to quickly manufacture pre-insulated supports for our customers. And finally, keep in mind that we have a field service team that is ready within a days notice to inspect the supports in your piping systems to perform repairs or provide replacements and can also help to install new supports in the field. Thank you very much for attending our presentation on pre-insulated pipe supports. If you still have any questions, you can call us at (800) 787-5914 or email us at info@pipingtech.com.

 

 

 

 

 

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Mailing: P.O. Box 34506, Houston, TX 77234-4506 Location: 3701 Holmes Road, Houston, TX 77051
Our Subsidiaries: U.S. Bellows: Metallic & Fabric Expansion Joints, Bellows
Sweco Fab: ASME Vessels, Pig Launchers, Spectacle Blinds
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Phone: (713) 731-0030 Toll-Free: (800) 787-5914 FAX: (713) 731-8640 info@pipingtech.com

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