Division 22 23 Ebook Page 185 VaporWick Pipe Insulation Old Dominion Revisited Case Study

As the installation approached its third year in service, another follow-up exam was ordered. That's when the product was found to still be dry and drip-free and samples were removed for further testing. James Cherry, ODU air conditioning and refrigeration mechanic, accompanied the Owens Corning representative during his visit to inspect the installation. "The VaporWick insulation appears to have done very well," says Cherry. "I can see that some wicking has been done, so there's no doubt that it's doing the job it was put in to do. The insulation is dry; I can tell you that. I just wish more of it was put in." Would Cherry recommend it to others? "I sure would," he says, without any hesitation. Agustin Hernandez, the Owens Corning engineer who checked the test site at ODU, says the installation is a good test for the product. "Conditions in the mechanical room at Powhatan Apartments are very representative of the worst conditions in the field," explains Hernandez. "In the summer months, chilled water in the pipe is about 40 F, and the ambient air is very warm and humid. "After three years in service, VaporWick insulation is performing well, I observed no additional corrosion on the pipe and there were no signs of mold growth. I especially checked carefully in spots where mold would be likely to grow but there wasn't any I could see." To supplement his visual observation with laboratory tests, Hernandez removed sections of the insulation and submitted them for testing by the university professor. Using a 400 power microscope, the professor came to the same conclusion - there was no mold growth in the samples after three years of service. (See more about tests on next page in section titled, Precocious Pipe Insulation Passes Four Exams.) Bill Sullivan, Owens Corning sales representative for the Mid- Atlantic area, agrees that the ODU application is a good showcase for the product. "The capability of VaporWick insulation has been verified in an extremely difficult application," explains Sullivan. "The mechanical rooms tested the product under very harsh conditions with little to no airflow. "Also, we did most of the installation while the chilled water was running - the pipes were wet when we installed the VaporWick insulation," adds Sullivan. "The ability to insulate without shutting down the chillers is another big benefit of the product." Eliminating wet spots and stains is a key objective for Cherry and other facilities staff members but not simply because they like things clean and neat. "Anywhere you have condensation you will have rust associated with it," says Cherry. "You'll also have mold and mildew." Problems with condensation are also a time drain for ODU maintenance staff as they are required to send people out to fix the problems. "We want our facilities, including our mechanical rooms, to be clean and neat," continues Cherry. With news that VaporWick insulation has passed four exams after three years in service, the product should soon have more opportunities to enhance the appearance of what is already a beautiful campus. After three years in service. During installation.

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