The new Heat-Flex 7000 thermal insulative coating system from Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine offers personnel protection, insulating capabilities and solar heat reflectivity for an array of industrial applications. The single-component, spray-applied coating system meets Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards for protecting personnel from skin-contact burns on assets operating at temperatures up to 350°F (177°C) in one coat.
A single coat of Heat-Flex 7000 can eliminate the costs of installing, inspecting and repairing conventional insulation and cladding systems for personnel skin-contact protection, thereby also eliminating the common threat of corrosion under insulation (CUI). In addition, the coating reduces thermal losses on assets that need to stay warmer or diminishes solar heat gain on assets that need to stay cooler.
Able to be directly applied to hot substrates, Heat-Flex 7000 is spray-applied in a single coat — typically 50-75 mils dry film thickness (DFT) — over a required corrosion-resistant primer. The coating system features new technology that yields a thick, fully cured coating film with a high volume that effectively resists the transfer of heat from the underlying substrate to the surface, as well as from the surface to the substrate.
‘Heat-Flex 7000 represents a step-change in our insulative coatings technology,’ says Neil Wilds, global product director, CUI/testing for Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine. ‘Because of its new chemistry and formulation, a single topcoat of Heat-Flex 7000 can protect personnel from skin-contact burns on process assets operating at up to 350°F. A single topcoat of this new product also provides a significant level of insulating value that can help to prevent process heat losses or, conversely, to protect against solar radiant heat gain, which can otherwise cause vaporisation losses in storage tanks. Other coating products often require multiple coats to provide similar personnel protection and insulating value.’
Compared to conventional insulation and cladding systems, which require time-consuming fabrication and installation, the spray-applied Heat-Flex 7000 insulative coating is far easier and less costly to apply and maintain. Although Heat-Flex 7000 does not provide as much R-value as conventional insulation in dry conditions, it forms a closed-cell film that resists moisture penetration — from rain, water sprays or humidity — far more effectively than conventional insulation. Therefore, its thermal efficiency remains consistent in even the wettest conditions. By contrast, any cracks or seams in insulation/cladding systems can admit and hold water, which displaces insulating air and greatly reduces the insulation system’s R-value. This moisture may become trapped at the insulation/substrate interface, significantly raising the risk of the formation and proliferation of CUI.
Because there’s no way for water to penetrate down to the asset substrate and remain trapped there — and because no physical cladding system is applied on top of the coating — Heat-Flex 7000 eliminates the risk of CUI altogether. Coated assets are also easier to inspect and repair, as insulation/cladding systems require periodic removal for inspections or specialised ultrasonic/radiography testing for CUI. The Heat-Flex 7000 coating system requires only a brief visual inspection for damage to the coating surface. Repairs are far simpler too, involving the application of the coating over any damaged areas.
Heat-Flex 7000 can protect heat-sensitive assets (tanks, fuel pipelines, water cooling lines and other assets) from solar heat gain. In these situations, a reflective white formulation is recommended to insulate the asset, enabling it to maintain a lower internal operating temperature. Lower operating temperatures can help reduce the loss of fuels or cooling water in tanks and pipes due to vaporisation, as well as reduce the need for expensive vapor-recovery or cooling equipment.
The Heat-Flex 7000 coating system can be specified for use in indoor or outdoor environments to protect personnel and insulate assets and processes involved in oil and gas production and refining, mining, power generation, chemical processing, offshore and marine operations.