The wick-concept for thermal insulation of cold piping is based on capillary suction of a fiber fabric to remove excess water from the pipe surface by transporting it to the outer surface of the insulation. From the surface of the insulation jacket, the water will evaporate to the ambient air. This will prevent long-term accumulation of moisture in the insulation material. The wick keeps the hydrophobic insulation dry, allowing it to maintain its thermal performance. The liquid moisture is kept only in the wick fabric. This article presents the principle of operation of cold pipe insulation using the wick-concept in either of two variations: the self-drying or the self-sealing system. Experiments have been carried out using different variations of the two systems to investigate the conditions for exploiting the drying capabilities of the systems, and the results are presented. The results show that the variations of these types of insulation systems work for pipes with temperature above 0C and for ambient conditions within common ranges for industrial applications.
Journal of Building Physics, 2006, Vol 29, Issue 4, p. 313-327
Insulation; Wick-concept; Cold piping; Moisture accumulation; Refrigeration; Air conditioning