BALMORAL SUBSEA INSULATION

Pipeline thermal insulation

Balmoral Elastotherm™

Balmoral’s elastomer-based insulation range comprises both syntactic foam and solid elastomer systems.

 

PU syntactic foam systems are based on the use of pre-formed hollow microspheres suspended in a thermoset PU elastomer matrix.

The hollow microsphere material may be either thermoplastic polymer or glass. Polymer microspheres are extremely thin wall, so offer massively better insulation properties than glass microsphere-based systems, however, with their thin wall and modest polymer mechanical properties, they are unable to make a significant contribution to the compression resistance of the foam. Polymer sphere syntactic polyurethane foam (SPU) is therefore restricted to service in relatively shallow water (0-250msw).

Glass microspheres are extremely creep resistant and demonstrate high hydrostatic collapse values. However, glass microspheres also have an alkaline surface which accelerates thermal and hydrolytic degradation of polyurethane. GSPU is therefore limited to 100°C hot/dry and 60°C hot/wet.

Solid elastomer systems are used in situations where service conditions preclude the use of the Elastotherm syntactic system, for example:

  • Excessive depth/hydrostatic pressure, eg, >250msw for Elastotherm SPU
  • High service temperature, eg >105°C for SPU
  • Hot/wet conditions, eg >65°C for SPU
  • Where constant insulation properties are required through service life
  • Where in-service fatigue or high coating strains during installation are anticipated

Particular advantages of Elastotherm solid elastomer systems include:

  • Immunity to hydrostatic compression
  • Combined insulation and anticorrosion performance
  • Outstanding flexural, tensile and impact performance

 

 

Balmoral Elastotherm manifold close-up

Balmoral Elastotherm manifold

 

 

Balmoral Elastotherm syntactic polyurethane service values

 
Elastotherm L
Elastotherm SPU
Elastotherm T
Elastotherm HT-F
Elastotherm HT-R
Elastotherm S
Hot/Dry
Hot/Wet
Hot/Dry
Hot/Wet
Hot/Dry
Hot/Wet
Hot/Dry
Hot/Wet
Hot/Dry
Hot/Wet
Hot/Dry
Hot/Wet
Max depth ft/msw
Unlimited
Unlimited
250
250
Unlimited
Unlimited
Unlimited
Unlimited
Unlimited
Unlimited
Unlimited
Unlimited
Max temp ºC
105
65
115
65
125
95
>120
>120
>120
>120
>150
130

Note: The depth and temperature values for SPU are quoted in isolation: compressive creep may set lower limit values in combination.

 

The high K-value of GSPU, coupled with the further increase in K-value with water ingress into the syntactic structure largely negates the insulation advantages traditionally associated with syntactic systems.

As a result of the lack of insulation advantage, plus the massively reduced maximum service temperature resulting from hydrolytic sensitivity, Balmoral has not included GSPU in its insulation portfolio.

 

Applications

Balmoral Elastotherm insulation systems are suitable for use both as cast-in-place ‘wet’ insulation on ‘Christmas trees’, manifolds, jumpers and spool pieces, and also in modular systems on connectors and flange covers.

 

Balmoral Elastotherm systems

 

Elastotherm L
Parameter Value
Density kg/m3 1150
Max temp °C (Dry) 105
Max temp °C (Wet) 65
Max depth msw Unlimited
Shore A hardness ° 97
Tensile strength MPa 25
Elongation at break % 300
Tear resistance kN/m 65
Thermal conductivity W/m.K 0.19
Specific heat J/kg.K >1600

Balmoral Elastotherm L is a non-mercury catalysed solid polyurethane insulation system intended for service in less demanding temperature environments. The system can be used both for direct-applied coatings and for insulation shells in thicknesses to 150mm. The flexibility and toughness of the material ensures outstanding protection of the piping system.

 

Elastotherm SPU
Parameter Value
Density kg/m3 680
Max temp °C (Dry) 100
Max temp °C (Wet) 65
Max depth msw 250
Shore A hardness ° 95
Tensile strength MPa 14
Elongation at break % 36
Tear resistance kN/m 42
Thermal conductivity W/m.K 0.10
Specific heat J/kg.K >1600

Balmoral Elastotherm SPU is a non-mercury catalysed polymer sphere syntactic polyurethane suitable for use in water depths to 250msw. The system offers outstanding insulation properties and can be used for both direct-applied coatings and for insulation shells in any thickness.
The combination of the flexibility and toughness of the polyurethane matrix and the energy absorbing characteristics of the syntactic structure ensure outstanding mechanical protection of the piping system.

 

 

Elastotherm T
Parameter Value
Density kg/m3 1140
Max temp °C (Dry) 125
Max temp °C (Wet) 95
Max depth msw Unlimited
Shore A hardness ° 91-95
Tensile strength MPa 18
Elongation at break % 130
Tear resistance kN/m 53
Thermal conductivity W/m.K 0.182
Specific heat J/kg.K >1600

Balmoral Elastotherm T is a non-mercury catalysed solid epoxy-modified polyurethane. It is suitable for use in any water depth and at hot/wet temperatures to 90°C. The system can be used for direct application for linepipe and field joint infill coatings and also for insulation shells. The flexibility and toughness of the material ensures outstanding mechanical protection of any piping system and fitting.

 

Elastotherm HT-F
Parameter Value
Density kg/m3 1156
Max temp °C (Dry) >120
Max temp °C (Wet) >120
Max depth msw Unlimited
Shore D hardness ° 73
Tensile strength MPa >25
Elongation at break % >20
Tear resistance kN/m >54
Thermal conductivity W/m.K 0.19
Specific heat J/kg.K >1400

Balmoral Elastotherm HT-F is a non-mercury catalysed epoxy coating system. It is suitable for use in any water depth and at hot/wet temperatures to at least 120°C. Due to its relative flexibility the system is suitable for use both on direct application to linepipe and field joints and for insulation shell systems. The flexibility and toughness of the material ensures outstanding mechanical protection to piping system and fittings.

 

 

Elastotherm HT-R
Parameter Value
Density kg/m3 1220
Max temp °C (Dry) >120
Max temp °C (Wet) >120
Max depth msw Unlimited
Shore D hardness ° 84
Tensile strength MPa >50
Elongation at break % >3
Flexural strength MPa >70
Thermal conductivity W/m.K 0.19
Specific heat J/kg.K >1400

Balmoral Elastotherm HT-R is a non-mercury catalysed epoxy alloy system. It is suitable for use in any water depth and has hot/wet temperature tolerance to at least 120°C. It is a rigid, tough material which can be cast or machined to tight tolerances and is intended for use in half shell insulation and high temperature mechanical protection roles.

 

Elastotherm S
Parameter Value
Density kg/m3 1080
Max temp °C (Dry) >135
Max temp °C (Wet) 135
Max depth msw Unlimited
Shore A hardness ° 40
Tensile strength MPa 5.5
Elongation at break % 325
Tear resistance kN/m 20
Thermal conductivity W/m.K 0.17
Specific heat J/kg.K 1600

Balmoral Elastotherm S is a platinum catalysed addition-curing silicone elastomer. Being a solid elastomer, rather than a syntactic system, it is suitable for use even in extreme depths. It has outstanding hot/wet and wet/dry degradation resistance and so can provide outstanding insulation performance even in the most extreme conditions. The slow, low exotherm cure allows easy application even onto the most complex piping geometries and in unlimited thicknesses. The outstanding flexibility and elongation performance eliminates cracking of castings.