More on boiler insulation - Page 2

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BradS (original poster)

#11: Post by BradS (original poster) »

2xlp wrote:i bought the remainder of the above silicon..

insulated 2 of my machines ( expobar + isomac ), gave away the rest to a friend who did his brewtus

silicon foam is the only option -- UNLESS -- you have an external rotary pump. if you have an internal pump (vibe or rotary), i think you're crazy using ceramic/fiberglass . the vibrations & air current will loosen up enough strands to get in the air and make me worry.
It's by no means the only option when it's 42 times the cost and has 1/3rd the insulating value of the fiberglass example. In fact it's not even considered a thermal insulation by McMaster or other vendors who handle it. Further, if fiberglass was unsafe or impractical for interior insulation in a motor-driven appliance, virtually every appliance manufacturer wouldn't have put it in virtually every dishwasher, refrigerator, dryer etc. for the past three decades and beyond. Granted, it is more cumbersome to fabricate and should best be faced or sealed, but the numbers clearly show it's superior (for anyone who knows how to install it without wrecking themselves. If not, then foam rubber is likely the choice for you.) :P

Not to mention, its' pretty amazing stuff if a 24" X 24" sheet could insulate 4 espresso machine boilers! That at least gets the cost down in the $35.00/per range for inferior thermal insulation.


Cheers,

Brad

Grandma

#12: Post by Grandma »

What about fiberglass insulation paper (mcmaster 9323K21)? Am I mistaken to think it stays together like paper, so it doesn't have the mess issue of other fiberglass options? It's only 1/8" thick, but with a k-factor of .21, that's still a .595 r-value. At $24 for 10' a double wrap might be a decent cost/efficiency/cleanliness tradeoff.

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BradS (original poster)

#13: Post by BradS (original poster) » replying to Grandma »

That is very good for a 1/8" piece of insulation. Don't know how easy it would be to conform to the shape of the boiler without leaving a lot of air gaps though. That's the problem with semi-rigid insulations for this type of use. Fiberglass tape would seal the joints well enough, but it would be tough to cover any compound curves like the rounded ends (most) boilers. If your boiler were more squared-off, it might work much better. Just imagine trying to wrap your boiler with poster board.

Cheers,

Brad

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#14: Post by cannonfodder »

I used ceramic insulation on my Isomac and fiberglass for my two group Faema and Elektra A3. I have not died yet. The ceramic was high temperature insulation for stainless steel chimney liners. I actually prefer the fiberglass over the ceramic. If I remember correctly the fiberglass was a fiberglass/wool fabric.
Dave Stephens

BradS (original poster)

#15: Post by BradS (original poster) » replying to cannonfodder »

Just curious, did you prefer the fiberglass for efficiency, ease of installation, or both (over the ceramic, that is)? I have some here (the mcmaster example above) but Lord knows when I'll have time and motivation.

Cheers

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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#16: Post by RapidCoffee »

Quick 'n dirty insulation job on my Rancilio L7 boiler:


The kitchen smelled of neoprene for a few days, but the price was right. :)
John

DaveC

#17: Post by DaveC »

Now don't laugh, but the insulation above looks like one of my mouse mats...sort of polyester covered neoprene :wink:

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#18: Post by cannonfodder »

BradS wrote:Just curious, did you prefer the fiberglass for efficiency, ease of installation, or both (over the ceramic, that is)? I have some here (the mcmaster example above) but Lord knows when I'll have time and motivation.

Cheers
The ceramic was messy, and aluminum backed. A month or two after I wrapped the boiler on my Isomac, it stopped working. The thermal fuse plug was ever so slightly exposed and had arced to the aluminum backing on the insulation. Baked the fitting and blew the fuse. After that I pulled the backing off.

The fiberglass was easier to work with and appears to insulate just as good or better. I cut a template from some paper, cut the fiberglass mat to match, wrapped the boiler and put a piece of duct tape down the seam to close it. It was quick, simple, cleaner and I think it insulates better. I can lay my hand on top of the boiler after it has been running for an hour or two. It is toasty warm, but not burning hot.

A little trick, don't wrap the insulation too tightly. Insulation insulates by trapping air in the fabric and not allowing it pass from one side to the other. If you wrap the insulation very tight or use something like wire ties or mesh netting to hold it all nice and tight, you kill you insulation's ability to insulate. That is why R-13 insulation is thinner than R-30 and why you dress in layers when it is cold. It may look nice, neat and form fitted, but it does not work as well. My insulation is loose and baggy, more draped over than wrapped and it works wonderfully.
Dave Stephens

BradS (original poster)

#19: Post by BradS (original poster) »

cannonfodder wrote: A little trick, don't wrap the insulation too tightly. Insulation insulates by trapping air in the fabric and not allowing it pass from one side to the other. If you wrap the insulation very tight or use something like wire ties or mesh netting to hold it all nice and tight, you kill you insulation's ability to insulate. That is why R-13 insulation is thinner than R-30 and why you dress in layers when it is cold. It may look nice, neat and form fitted, but it does not work as well. My insulation is loose and baggy, more draped over than wrapped and it works wonderfully.
Yeah, I definitely agree. That mesh isn't as tight as it looks, though. In fact the stuff is about .006" thick, so it exerts barely enough pressure to keep the insulation from sagging away from the lower part of the boiler. What I really want to do is the fiberglass insulation wrapped with fiberglass tape, but like you say, the tendency would likely be to compress the fiberglass as you wrap it. I'll probably do that eventually.

Cheers,

Brad

k7qz

#20: Post by k7qz »

cannonfodder wrote:I used ceramic insulation on my Isomac and fiberglass for my two group Faema and Elektra A3. I have not died yet.
I think the key word in that sentence is yet... :lol: :wink:

Hmmm, I wonder if something as simple as buying a small water heater blanket at Home Depot or the likes would work? Fiberglass insulation with a built in vinyl type of cover on it with attached tape strips to hold it in place- You'd also have enough left over to do all the other boilers of HB members that live in your town as well...