FLORHAM PARK, NJ, May 12, 2011 -- BASF’s specialty foam Basotect® is now being used for the first time to insulate pipes in a liquefied natural gas (LNG) tank terminal in Gwangyang, Korea. Pipe insulation processes in North America can also benefit from this new application. LNG is natural gas that is liquefied at very low temperatures, less than -160°C, in order to transport or store it more easily.
“Basotect shows a high degree of stability at low temperatures. Even in laboratory tests at temperatures of around ‑200°C the material retains its properties. The high degree of elasticity and the thermal insulation capacity of the foam remain unaffected, in contrast to conventional foam insulation that becomes brittle when exposed to such extreme cold," said Dr. Peter Wolf, Head of Global Business Management Basotect® at BASF.
According to the system supplier, SKI Insulation, the pipe cover made from Basotect is more energy-efficient as it is 20 percent thinner and provides up to 50 percent better thermal insulation than conventional foam insulation.
SKI Insulation discovered that the system material made with the lightweight and flexible BASF foam can be easily removed for regular inspection of pipe integrity and later reused, unlike rigid conventional foams that are hard to replace. This translates into reduced maintenance costs. Additionally, Basotect is a highly flame-retardant material, another key consideration for SKI Insulation as natural gas is highly flammable.
Basotect® is an open-cell foam based on melamine resin with a unique property profile. Because of its base material, it is flame-retardant (meets ASTM E84 with an FSI of 5 and a SDI of 10) and can be used at up to 240°C, retaining its properties over a wide range of temperatures. Because of its open-cell foam structure, it is light (0.55 lb/ft3), flexible even at low temperatures, sound-absorbing and thermally insulating.
Additional information is available at www.basotect.com.
Note to editors: A photograph can be found at www.basf.com/pressphoto-database under the keyword "plastics".
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