Some Frequently asked questions regarding Tru-Balance Pre-Insulated Saddles
Q: We normally make our own insulated saddles in the field. Why should I purchase an Insulated support saddle?
A: When a Mechanical or Insulation Contractor assembles insulated supports in the field, they must bring together support shields, insulation, inserts, mastics, tapes, etc at the hanger or support location. Each additional step involved in field-fitting materials costs valuable time and money. The results are often inconsistent, or less than desired due to craft labor shortages and schedule conflicts. Whether the Pre-Insulated pipe support falls under the jurisdiction of the Mechanical or Insulation contractor, Tru-Balance Insulated Saddles enhance productivity and allow labor resources to be spent in other areas.
Q: Can I use Calcium Silicate Saddles on chilled water and other cold applications?
A: You should not, because you will have poor insulation performance and a shorter product life than if you use a properly selected foam insulation. Calcium Silicate can absorb up to three times its own weight in water. Wet insulation has very poor insulation value, and it is insulation performance that you desire when selecting an Insulated Saddle. Surface treatment of Cal-Sil with water-proofing compounds and application of exterior vapor barriers do not solve the problem, they merely delay discovery of it.
Q: Why are foam insulations superior to other types of insulation for cold applications?
A: Foam Insulations are designed for cold service. They have very low thermal conductivity and high moisture resistance. Depending upon the size of the pipe, type of hanger and saddle selected, Tru-Balance Saddles offer high efficiency foams ranging from a 20 P.S.I., 1.6# P.C.F. density up through a 140 P.S.I., 6# P.C.F. density. We recommend the 3# P.C.F. Polyisocyanurate Model 3300E for most cold applications. The higher density foams are over-engineered for load-bearing integrity. They can all be ordered with 3050 P.S.I. structural insulation inserts for extreme load-bearing applications.
Q: What conditions would require me to place a structural insulation insert in a Tru-Balance saddle?
A: The most common condition is the last support location before, and the first support location after a riser or down-comer. In this case, the subject hanger could have excessive loads on it, if only during construction, or continuously if vertical supports are omitted on a short run of pipe.
Q: Can a Tru-Balance Series Saddle be ordered in custom configurations such as Double Layer with staggered joints for extreme cold or hot temperatures?
A: Yes, custom configurations are available upon request. These are special-order items, and have longer lead-times.
Q: Can a Tru-Balance Series Saddle be sized to accommodate heat tracing?
A: Yes. This is a design issue: Do not over-size the saddle as you might do the adjoining insulation. If you have an electrical cable traced system, the cables should be run through the insulation above the lower 120 degrees (4 and 8 o'clock) to avoid support problems. Simply field-groove the insulation to accommodate the cables in this area. Steam traces should be routed outside of the saddle (similar to a flange treatment) if they can not be routed above the structural area of the saddle.
Q: Which insulation is better for hot applications, Calcium Silicate or Perlite?
A: Tru-Balance Insulated saddles are available with both of these excellent insulations. With high compressive strengths above 100 P.S.I, the thermal performance of the two materials is quite similar. The main difference is that Perlite is non-wicking and quite moisture resistant. Calcium Silicate will absorb water whenever it is exposed to moisture, reducing thermal efficiency and compressive strength. Perlite is recommended where there is a chance for moisture penetration at the saddle location.