16 August 2023

Thermal insulation of steam and condensation pipelines

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July 2018

Location project:

MSC Clementina F, on board during loading/unloading in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


Shipping company MSC, Malta


Steam pipes, condensation pipes


nC Protherm - CUI-HTF


Degrease surface, spot-repair with nC Corrosion Passivator - High Temperature Primer.

Application method:

Roller, putty knife, sprayer

The steam pipes and condensation pipes of the MSC Clementina F are protected against heat losses reducing the surface temperature of these pipes from 155C up to 43⁰C with a layer thickness of 9mm nC ProTherm CUI-HTF thermal insulating coating. This leads to cost savings and safe working practices.

The steam pipes and condensate pipes aboard the Clementina F have been relocated and not yet insulated. The surface temperature is 155C. This causes heat losses can possibly result in burns for the crew. The pipes are quite difficult to reach.

Insulation with cladding or mattresses would become complicated and also takes up a lot of space. This is considered undesirable, concerning sight and freedom of movement to open nearby manhole covers, for example. To meet the requirements, MSC chooses sprayable nC ProTherm thermal insulating coating for insulation and safe-touch purposes.

The requirements from the shipping company:

  • Reducing surface temperature to below 50C;
  • Stopping or preventing corrosion;
  • Fix-and-Forget Solution;
  • No solvents;
  • Fast application and project time to minimize downtime;
  • Possibility of visual inspection without having to remove insulation material;
  • Ability to make quick adjustments to the piping system (for example, fitting a tee or moving a drain valve) without the need to remove and reinstall sections of insulation.

First, the affected (still cold) pipes are degreased and cleaned. Then the areas where spraying is done, will be masked with cardboard or blanket. The corroded areas are passivated with nC Corrosion Passivator – High Temperature Primer, which dries in 45 minutes.

After this, the nC ProTherm CUI-HTF coating is prepared and applied using rollers and putty knives. The coating is applied in one layer up to a layer thickness of 9mm. Because nC Protherm – CUI-HTF contains no solvents, this coating can be applied at a surface temperature up to 75C.

After application, the system can be used immediately, which greatly helps both the adhesion process and the drying process of the coating. The coating remains slightly flexible so that point loads or continuous vibration do not affect adhesion. nC ProTherm- CUI-HTF is fire and chemical resistant.

Benefits of thermal insulation with nC ProTherm – CUI-HTF for MSC Clementina F:

  • Drop in surface temperature from 155C to 43C at 9mm layer thickness saving energy consumption and CO2 emissions;
  • Surfaces are safe to touch;
  • Green solution with reduced consumption and material losses (there are no material losses since there is no need to cut, as with traditional solutions);
  • Long-term thermal insulation, nC guarantees 15 years on function in this setting;
  • Long-term corrosion protection, nC guarantees 7 years in this setting;
  • Long-term adhesion;
  • Fast application without a lot of prerequisites, “hassle” or cleanup work;
  • Good visual inspection on pipe possible, pipe is not hidden behind mattresses, wool or cladding;
  • No high costs and waste in any future changes to piping system;

Thorough mixing improves the insulation value because air is trapped in the mix. Still air is a good insulator. 10 Minutes mixing well is therefore the first step.

Application of the nC® ProTherm series coatings is possible with roller, brush, knife or spray gun. Spraying provides the best performance. Because the coating contains no solvents, application to hot surfaces up to 75⁰C is possible. One layer of nC ProTherm CUI-HTF up to a maximum of 12 mm can be applied at once.

The coating dries quickly due to a chemical bonding process. The warmer/ hotter the surface, the better the adhesion. Because the direct view of the pipes and ducts remains intact, you can see corrosion from within or fractures immediately, without having to remove the covering.

A temperature reduction (or delta-T) of 107⁰C reduces energy loss and prevents burns. This results in more room to tinker and a better view through.

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