Armaflex - Much More than a Black Rubber Tube

Thanks to their unique combination of technical features Armacell’s solutions offer superior performance at lower total installed cost.

When a chemist presented the first Armaflex tube in 1954, he could hardly have imagined that this was the birth of an epoch-making invention. The first flexible material for insulating pipes revolutionised the market for insulation materials and our company has been shaping the industry ever since.

Today, Armacell offers a broad range of flexible foams for multiple industries. The unique combination of market understanding and technical knowledge has allowed us to develop a multitude of product solutions – each carefully engineered to meet specific demands.

Armacell has set quality standards for flexible technical insulation throughout the world.

Armacell has been behind almost every significant innovation in the field of flexible equipment insulation materials. No other company in this line of business has as much expertise in the development of thermoplastic foams. We offer superior product solutions to help the world take advantage of global growth opportunities and find cost-efficient substitutes for other materials. Our experience, commitment and innovative thinking has made Armacell the company it is today.

Armaflex insulation materials offer excellent technical properties, plus the highly flexible, fibre-free products are the easiest to apply in technical insulation.

Closed-cell Materials
CLOSED-CELL STRUCTURE

Only closed-cell materials effectively prevent moisture from penetrating the insulation material, providing plants with long-term corrosion protection. Unlike open-cell materials such as mineral wool, Armaflex has a completely closed-cell material structure. The vapour barrier is not concentrated on a thin foil but built up – cell by cell – throughout the entire insulation thickness. As a result a separate vapour barrier is not required.

RESISTANCE TO WATER VAPOR DIFFUSION

The amount of moisture that can penetrate insulation as a result of vapour diffusion depends on the material’s resistance to water vapour diffusion (μ-value). The lower the μ-value, the greater the rise in moisture content over time. Today, the μ-value of Armaflex is up to 10,000, depending on the type of rubber. In contrast, mineral wool has a resistance to water vapour diffusion μ - value of only 3.

THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY

The thermal conductivity value indicates the insulation capacity of a product. As a result, it also makes a clear statement about its energy-saving performance. The lower the value, the higher the insulation capacity. Armacell has continuously improved the thermal conductivity of its products and today offers premium elastomeric insulation materials with a thermal conductivity of ≤ 0.033 W/ (m•K) at 0°C. 

FIRE BEHAVIOUR

When safety is priority number one, fire behaviour is of prime importance when selecting building materials. Armacell has recently achieved a real breakthrough in this area: Armaflex Ultima is the first flexible insulation material to achieve fire class BL-s1, d0. Compared to a standard elastomeric product, Armaflex Ultima results in ten times less smoke development. The practical implications are clear: in a fire, only a few people are killed by the flames; the majority – 95 % of fire fatalities – die because of smoke inhalation. In the event of a fire, it is vital that those trapped find escape routes quickly – which is only possible with low smoke development.

ACOUSTIC PROPERTIES

Traditional elastomeric insulation materials cannot adequately meet high acoustic requirements.Thanks to intensive research, Armacell - in cooperation with the University of Bradford (UK) -  has been able to develop a material with outstanding noise absorption properties across the entire frequency range relevant for building acoustics. Combined with Armaflex insulation and an Arma-Chek covering ArmaSound provides the desired noise control- What`s more, ArmaSound Industrial Systems also protect installations against condensation and moisture penetration. In comparison to traditional insulation constructions, the Armacell solution meets the target requirements with significantly thinner insulation thicknesses and offers superior performance at lower total installed cost.

Only standard-compliant fire behaviour, low thermal conductivity and high resistance to water vapour transmission protect systems against condensation and energy losses in the long term. Wet insulation can damage buildings and disrupt industrial processes, with maintenance work and downtime incurring huge costs. According to a study by the US chemical company ExxonMobil, 40 to 60% of the maintenance carried out on pipework in the petrochemical industry is due to corrosion under insulation (CUI). This is mainly a result of moisture penetrating insulation without being noticed.

Continuous internal and external monitoring ensures compliance with the standards that determine the quality of the products people use every day. The majority of Armacell’s products are FM and UL certified, and many have IMO certification. In Europe we were the first manufacturer in our industry to offer CE-marked products and have obtained the best possible classification for elastomeric products.

FM Approval, a division of the world’s leading industrial property insurer (Factory Global), is an internationally recognised organisation that tests and certifies products to prevent property loss in industrial or commercial applications Many companies that operate internationally stipulate the use of FM-certified materials in their specifications. The certification mark is frequently required in public invitations to tender.

UL (Underwriters Laboratories) is a safety-consulting and certification company that offers safety-related certification, validation, testing, inspection- and auditing services to a wide range of clients, including manufacturers, retailers, policymakers, regulators, service companies, and consumers. The "Recognized Component Mark" is a  quality mark issued by Underwriters Laboratories.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) – is the United Nation`s specialised agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.

 

 

Facts

Four R&D centres around the globe: Münster, Germany; Mebane/North Carolina, USA; Thimister-Clermont, Belgium; Guangzhou, China.

 

Central Development Centre for process technology and material recipe with testing department and fire laboratory in Münster.

 

Patents: Armacell holds more than 200 active patents (pertaining to 62 patent families and protecting 13 product groups and products), with 176 patents warded between 2010 and 2013.

 

Unique application-oriented product tests: Over 2,800 fire tests, some 950 thermal conductivity tests and almost 1,100 tests to measure water vapour diffusion resistance are performed on our products every year at the Münster plant alone.