Traditionally, insulation covers have always been silver due to the aluminium layer of the foil. Somewhere along the way, the market has accepted this as the norm; however, silver foil might be a thing of the past.
Foil, in one way or another, is required on most insulation products. It provides an essential vapour seal, a neat finish and a clean surface to tape on to (which is especially important for the fibrous materials).
So, we can see that foil is needed, but does it need to be in the format we have all come to expect?
There are always interesting trends in modern construction, whether these are driven by the NCC or by the wishes of architects and clients. One of them is to have open ceilings to allow for exposed pipework throughout the building for an industrial look. Although this looks pretty cool, it does put pressure on installers to ensure a neat finish when insulating the pipework, slowing down productivity on site, which doesn’t benefit anyone.
The solution: coloured foils.
- Coloured foil offers architects and their clients an aesthetic option for their sites. They provide a neat finish and a clean surface to tape on to. An example of this can be seen in Barangaroo (Sydney) where black XLPE was used extensively. The contrast of the exposed black pipework against the wooden building structure looks incredible.
- It allows companies to better comply with the Australian standards for colour coding of pipework. Contractors can use pre-coloured insulation in a range of familiar colours; silver/grey (steam), jade green (water), black and surf mist for easy identification and compliance on site.
- It can bring potential cost savings to the worksite by reducing the installation cost of systems, particularly where metal sheathing is not required. This reduces on-site labour and increases the productivity of workers.
Black XLPE is already available and scarcely specified on sites; however, too often the colour requirement is considered after installation, and the material is simply being painted.
InsulShop have been working with Ametalin to colour their existing XHD SilverSark foil to provide coloured solutions for polystyrene pipe insulation. At the moment, alongside Black, InsulShop can also provide two of the most common ColorBond colours: Cottage Green and Surf Mist. Our Flexicell XLPE will soon follow this trend, with the first batch of black faced products arriving from Dubai towards the end of 2019.
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