Advisory on NAIMA's 3E Plus® Program
The Use of ASTM International Thermal Conductivity Values for Insulation :
The thermal conductivity values listed in the ASTM International standards are maximum values of the material that is manufactured. These numbers are not meant to be used as design values for engineering purposes. This is pointed out in the standards. The use of the thermal conductivity values based on the ASTM International standards in the 3E Plus® insulation thickness program can lead to results that in many cases will call for greater than needed insulation thickness. These design values are available from the manufacturer and must be loaded into the program prior to its use in order to obtain accurate results.
Allows for Inappropriate Applications:
If the program is run using insulation in conditions outside the manufacturer's recommended temperature range, a warning will appear:
"The insulation has a minimum temperature that is higher than the process temperature. Please use caution."
"The insulation has a maximum temperature that is lower than the process temperature. Please use caution."
However, the program will still generate values for the given conditions. Other than this warning, there are no restrictions placed on insulation types. The program will generate thickness calculations for organic foams on pipes operating at 260°C (500°F) for instance. It also allows for the application of fibrous insulation on below ambient systems where condensation can occur.
No Thickness Limitations:
The 3E Plus® insulation thickness program generates data for insulation thickness starting at 0.5 inches increasing by 0.5 inch increments regardless of insulation type or pipe diameter. For example, the program output will include a number for 0.5 inch and 1 inch thick cellular glass insulation on a 36 inch diameter line, even though these sizes are not available. This could lead the user to believe these sizes are available.
Initially Defaults to Mineral Fiber Pipe, Type 1, ASTM C547-11:
When the program is accessed, the type of insulation defaults to "Mineral Fiber Pipe, Type 1", while the surface geometry defaults to "pipe - horizontal". The program will reset to these defaults every time the program is closed and re-opened. Thus forcing the user to reset the fields with every use unless the user happens to be using mineral fiber insulating cement on a horizontal pipe.
Use by the Uninformed:
Training classes for the use of the 3E Plus® insulation thickness program are available, and trainers are responsible for informing the students that they need to contact the insulation manufacturer for the best thermal conductivity data available on a particular product. This is not stated anywhere in the program itself and users who download the program directly from NAIMA website may be unaware that this should be done in order to produce accurate results for the insulations listed in the program.
NOTE: 3E Plus® is a registered trademark of the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA).