How to Prevent Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI)

What Is Corrosion Under Insulation?

Pipes and equipment are coated in insulation to protect employees from heat, improve energy savings, and increase efficiency. Insulated equipment can hold moisture, and when that equipment is used, it can increase in temperature. The combination of moisture and high temperatures makes the metal surface of equipment start to corrode.

If your equipment is made of any kind of carbon steel substrate and it’s insulated, it needs to be protected.

You can’t see this corrosion because it occurs beneath insulation, and it often progresses undetected until something breaks down. CUI can cause a unit to fail and production to come to a halt.

Conditions Leading to CUI

Any time there’s moisture around insulation, there’s a risk. Marine environments and climates with high rainfall or humidity are especially vulnerable. If your insulation doesn’t allow for proper drainage or your systems sweat when they run, you are more likely to have corrosion.

How Can You Prevent It?

Corrosion is a major, widespread problem, but you can prevent it. You can’t change the climate where your business is located and your machines have to be insulated, but you can have them treated with insulative coatings. Remove the old insulation that allows moisture to be trapped and instead coat pipes with thermal insulation paint.

How to Choose a High-Temperature Coating

Insulative coatings are applied once to the entire surface and then should be touched up regularly to maintain their effectiveness. Choose high-temperature coatings that are easy to apply. If you have multiple pieces of equipment, choose a coating that can be applied to hot surfaces, so you don’t have to shut down everything and allow it to cool before you can do touch-ups.

  • Look for a product with a temperature range that will meet your needs. Some coatings are rated to as much as 400 degrees Fahrenheit, while others are effective beyond 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. Choose the protection that’s right for you.
  • If you have appearance concerns, find out if your insulative coating will discolor over time and exposure to heat. Some insulative coatings are not food safe, so use care if you’re applying it to equipment that runs around food.
  • Insulative coatings are available from a variety of manufacturers. Performance Industrial has experience with the application and durability of the most commonly used brands. We can help you compare them to find the right product for your equipment.
  • Applying insulative coating reduces the risk of corrosion, protects your employees, and keeps your equipment running. It’s a big job, and you should hire the best in the business.

Performance Industrial is a leader in insulative coatings to protect and preserve your equipment, serving Albany, Watervliet Schenectady, Saratoga Springs, Glens Falls, Lake George, Ticonderoga NY with specialty services and systems, preparation and installation.  Call (518) 793-9274 for more information.

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