How Cryogel Z Reversed a 2-Month Delay & Enabled Facility to Meet a First Gas Out Milestone

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Installation of traditional cryogenic insulation is an art form, requiring a pool of craft labor that is not readily available in every region. Due to the level of craftsmanship required, job sites are often forced to fly in specialized labor to support the project. But that approach eats into margins and costs valuable time.

This was the case for a Mid-Atlantic export facility. The project schedule slipped and required site management to scale the insulation presence on-site to limit further delays. However, regional labor limitations posed a significant threat to meeting its first gas out milestone.

After outperforming the incumbent insulation in an installation demo, Cryogel Z was specified throughout the facility and the plant met its milestone. Due to the enormous success of this project, both the facility owner and EPC specified Cryogel on subsequent projects.

An off-site installation demo was ordered and testing found that Cryogel Z was a much faster and robust insulation solution than rigid materials.

Seeing is believing, so the EPC ordered a pre-insulation demonstration of Cryogel Z and PIR on separate identical pipes. Once insulated, both sets of pipes were loaded onto a truck and driven 1,000 miles to the job site. Subsequent inspection revealed multiple failures at the contraction joints of the PIR insulation. The end results? Cryogel installed 31% faster than the rigid insulation and had zero failures.

“At the conclusion of the mockup test we determined that the Cryogel Z was much less susceptible to heat gain due to workmanship issues and the product was much more durable,” a representative from the EPC explained. “Another advantage was the fact that the Cryogel Z took much less space for material handling and storage.”

It takes years to master proper installation techniques of rigid cryogenic insulation. However, Cryogel Z aerogel insulation has a low learning curve, allowing teams to flawlessly install with limited training.

At one point, over two thousand insulators had arrived to work on-site. Of that number, fewer than 20% of insulators were qualified tradesmen when they arrived. The limited and specialized nature of cryogenic insulation meant that the majority of insulators had to be cross-trained from other trades. Some lacked any construction experience whatsoever.

Cryogel Z’s simplified wrap and tape application method enabled the contractor to scale the insulation team and complete the project on time.

Typically, warranty claims are received by insulation manufacturers on large-scale projects. This would be expected particularly due to the inexperienced nature of the insulators on-site, but Cryogel Z’s effective solution meant that no warranty claims were ever received.

Two months later, with a fully functional facility, the project manager was asked about using Cryogel Z on such a large scale. His response?

“If we had used anything else, we would still be there.”

EPC Project Manager, 2 months after completion