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Insulation technology (thermal/electrical)

In the field of engineering, thermal insulation is used to enable and maintain technical processes, or to minimise their cumulative energy consumption in the overall process. Insulating materials are used in electrical engineering to restrict the flow of electric current to conductive parts. The insulating materials in use nowadays are plastics (thermosetting plastics, thermoplastics, elastomers), engineering ceramics and glass; they have a high specific electric resistance (min. 1010 Ω·cm) and are non-conductive. They are also characterised by high dielectric strength and low water absorption. Unlike electric currents, electromagnetic fields (depending on the frequency and wavelength) can penetrate insulating materials to varying degrees.

Overview of all processes

Applications - insulation technology

What is the special feature of the process?

A combination of both requirements, that is, thermal and electrical insulation, frequently arises in today's mechanical and plant engineering activities – often accompanied by not insubstantial mechanical loads. Insulation serves as an operating material for protecting plant parts such as the electronic or hydraulic systems not directly involved in the product creation process against excessive heat or to guarantee the occupational safety of employees working in the handling area of the machine. In many cases, fibre-composite and high-temperature materials meet these requirements. The most important fibre composites in economic terms are the glass-fibre-reinforced plastics (GFRP). High-temperature materials are based primarily on calcium silicates, mica or cement. Components are predominantly machined from semi-finished products.

The challenges involved in insulation technology are:

  • Long-term stability at the application temperature
  • Low setting behaviour (compressive strain) under operating conditions
  • Resistance to static and dynamic compressive load (load change)
  • Resistance to chemicals, media and oil
  • Ability to manufacture complex 3D components