Thermaxx Jackets has worked with many clients who are trying to make their food processing plant more energy efficient, safer, and cleaner (such as Calabro Cheese). The USDA recommends insulating pipes in food processing facilities, providing a layer of protection between the piping and your product. The insulation blankets used should be food grade or food safe. “Food grade” or “food safe” means that the insulation jacket designers consider the particular needs of the food processing plant.
Most food grade plants have a strict washdown schedule. The purpose is to ensure the area is clean, free of mold, mildew, dirt and anything else that could cause a problem with the food making process or the final product. This leads to an important part of removable insulation jacket design, how do we ensure that the jacket (covers and insulation core) is not affected by the washdown or the chemicals used in the washdown cycle. Thermaxx has several different types of hot side (inner side or inner cover against the hot component) and cold side (outer side or outer cover of the jacket). While the hot side cover is somewhat affected by the washdown process the cold side cover is directly affected by the washdown process.
Depending on the temperature of the washdown and the chemicals used we can choose from among: Silicone/Fiberglass cloth, Teflon/Fiberglass cloth, Pure laminated Teflon or a Hybrid Teflon/fiberglass laminate. The insulation can be Type E needled fiberglass, however a better choice would probably be aerogel insulation. Aerogel insulation is the most thermally efficient solid insulation available and it is Hydrophobic. Aerogel insulation will not absorb liquid water, yet it breathes to help prevent CUI (corrosion under insulation).
The main benefits of using food grade insulation blankets are:
- Prevent Condensation: Also called “sweating pipes,” moisture that forms on your piping due to differing air and pipe temperatures can lead to many problems. Aside from dripping potentially harmful materials onto your product, this moisture can also damage your facility and piping. The moisture can also attract insects into your food processing plant. Insulating piping with removable insulation blankets is an excellent solution to prevent condensation and damage.
- Prevent Accumulation of Dirt, Bacteria, and Fungus: Cleanliness is important to all food processing facilities, particularly dairy plants. Thermaxx has experience insulating piping and components in clean rooms and airtight rooms, so we understand how to keep insulation “clean.” Insulation blankets that are easy to remove and wipe clean prevent filth from accumulating in your food processing plant. By preventing condensation from forming on the pipes, you also prevent moisture from lingering and allowing mold and other harmful organisms to thrive.
- Improve Workplace Safety and Efficiency: Bare exposed piping or components can pose a danger to your product and your employees. Uninsulated piping and components can lead to workplace burns and injuries, cause more noise, and waste countless energy dollars. Removable insulation eliminates these threats by covering the component, making it safer to touch and operate more quietly. The appearance of your workspace will also improve when unseenly piping or components are covered with our attractive insulation jackets.