Chilled water applications (around 45°F/7.77°C) and cryogenic applications (-126°F/-87.8°C & lower) require that ambient air does not reach the component or sweating/icing conditions occur. To keep ambient air from infiltrating the insulation and subsequently reaching the component a vapor barrier is required. The purpose of a vapor barrier is as it sounds, it is a barrier of some type of material that will not allow the ambient air to come in contact with the component. Is that all that is required to stop the sweating? Hardly! Unless the vapor barrier has sufficient insulation between it and the component to prevent the vapor barrier from being at a temperature that is at or lower than the dew point the vapor barrier is worthless.
Removable insulation jackets are a great way to eliminate the mess of condensation forming in puddles on the floor from a poorly or non-insulated component. For cryogenic applications, rather than having puddles form, ice builds up around the component and can be several inches thick. Thermaxx Jackets are designed with an aerogel insulation that has an integral vapor barrier. The insulation thickness to prevent condensation is calculated using 3E Plus, a free software program put out by the North American Insulation Manufactures Association (NAIMA).
Once the proper thickness is found, a vapor barrier is used and there is no chance of sweating or icing. As stated previously, Thermaxx uses aerogel insulation with an integral vapor barrier. The insulation is available in 5mm and 10mm (0.2” and 0.4”) thickness, a typical application requires more than one layer of the aerogel insulation. Therefore we have introduced multiple layers of the vapor barrier. We have greatly decreased the chance of ambient air reaching a point within the removable insulation jacket.