Division 22 23 Ebook Page 184 VaporWick Pipe Insulation Old Dominion Revisited Case Study

VaporWick pipe insulation is already known as an innovative problem-solver but the people who work with it may soon use other words to describe the product, such as the brilliant, gifted or intelligent choice for chilled pipe applications. That's because even though the product is only a little more than three years old, VaporWick pipe insulation has already passed a series of very tough university-level exams. The most recent tests started in a student housing mechanical room where VaporWick insulation remains dry and drip-free after nearly three years of service. To continue the examination process, samples of the insulation were removed and taken to a laboratory for further study. A retired university professor with 34 years' experience teaching microbiology was asked to check the samples, along with sections of new insulation fresh from the factory. The professor performed three standard tests for mold on the various samples. The result: VaporWick pipe insulation passed with flying colors. The professor noted in one exam report that VaporWick performed well and appears to have "largely solved the problem of condensation and subsequent mold growth." VaporWick insulation's academic career began at Old Dominion University, a beautiful campus along the Atlantic coast in Norfolk, Virginia. The campus enjoys lots of sunny days and plenty of warm, moist air to keep their gardens looking lush. That beauty can come with a price, however, when high temperatures and high relative humidity meet chilled water piping systems. Without effective insulation, condensation forms and drips on floors, stains ceilings, rusts equipment and promotes the growth of mildew and mold. For maintenance personnel, it can mean unsightly mechanical rooms, time- consuming repairs and premature equipment failure. To avoid such problems, ODU asked local insulation contractor C.E. Thurston & Sons to suggest something they could use instead of their traditional insulation. After investigating condensation problems at ODU, Thurston & Sons recommended a demonstration project for VaporWick pipe insulation, which was then a new product from Owens Corning designed specifically for chilled water piping applications. ODU agreed and VaporWick insulation was installed in a mechanical room at the Powhatan Apartments, a 23-year-old facility housing up to 384 upperclassmen. Apartments in the facility have two bedrooms, a bath-and-a- half, kitchen, living room and dining room. Insulation was deteriorating in the mechanical rooms and also on pipe leading to individual apartments. The apartment project was selected for the demonstration because it offered easy access to pipe that needed new insulation and the pipe was exposed so it could be observed over time. Also, ambient conditions in the mechanical rooms would provide a good test with chilled pipe running through a hot and humid environment. Fifteen months after the product was installed, assistant director of Housing Services Carl Ballard, now retired, said the insulation was working well. "I don't see any indication of leaks," he said at the time. "Everything looks good." Before the test, there were stain lines on the floors where condensation had dripped. The lines were removed and had not reappeared in the 15 months since installation. With its bright white covering and small holes where the wicking material allows condensation to evaporate, the insulation still looked new. Case Study VaporWick Pipe Insulation A VaporWick insulation sample is removed for testing after three years in service. "There's no doubt that it's doing the job it was put in to do." James Cherry, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanic, Old Dominion University

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