Balmoral
subsea
insulation

Balmoral has manufactured subsea insulation ancillaries for over 30 years, specialising in factory moulded half-shell, housing, clamp and retro-fit options using a variety of material technologies. Balmoral has extensive experience of producing half-shell insulation shrouds in excess of 4m long and up to 650 litres in volume.

Subsea insulation

Insulation cover

Unlike linepipe or cast-in-place insulation, which is designed for hot-dry service, half-shell shrouds, housing, clamp and retro-fit insulation products endure hot-wet service as the cavity between the structure and insulation is flooded with seawater. Balmoral’s Elastotherm® systems have been selected to provide suitable hot-wet performance over design lives of up to 30 years.

Balmoral’s insulation shrouds can be designed to accommodate minimal fluid transfer rates over their service life which is particularly important where a long cool-down rate or target U-value is required.

For products requiring extremely tight geometric tolerances, Balmoral’s in-house machine shop, with an extensive range of 5 axis CNC, vertical borers and milling machines can be used. Keeping the design, project management, moulding, finishing and testing processes in-house, gives greater control over the workscope.

Design and testing

Balmoral Subsea Insulation draws on the company’s extensive engineering experience and comprehensive R&D programme to offer FEA or CFD analysis of project design parameters to ultimately provide the most cost effective coating solutions. Early dialogue with clients means that optimum fit for purpose, through life solutions can be identified and implemented.

New, state of the art, technical and subsea test centre facilities offer extensive laboratory and test capabilities to ensure all materials meet stringent industry requirements.

Subsea insulation design and testing

Applications

The Balmoral Elastotherm® product range is ideally suited to factory-moulding processing, producing components such as half-shell shrouds, housing, clamp and retro-fit insulation products. The company offers systems suitable for a wide range of applications, including:

Excessive depth/hydrostatic pressure
None of Balmoral’s insulation systems contain polymeric or hollow glass microspheres, they are therefore suited to maximum depths of up to 7000 msw
Hot/wet conditions
Balmoral has a vast range of Elastotherm® thermal insulation materials, having hot-wet temperature resistance of up to 140 ºC.
Where constant insulation properties are required through service
Service lives of up to 30 years are typical
Where high strains are anticipated during installation or service
Balmoral has a vast range of Elastotherm® thermal insulation materials, each having their own specific set of mechanical properties. Flexible or rigid materials can be selected based on the required application and temperature resistance.

Advantages

Specific advantages of Elastotherm® thermal insulation systems include:

Immunity to hydrostatic compression due to the absence of hollow glass or polymer microspheres
Extremely good hot-wet performance
Machinable grades available allowing intricate geometries and tolerances to be achieved
Standardised seal design
Integrated lifting points for ease of handling
Simplistic handling and installation procedure

Balmoral Elastotherm® insulation materials

Elastotherm® 70 Elastotherm® 70/90 Elastotherm® 80 Elastotherm® 120 Elastotherm® 135 Elastotherm® 140
Maximum hot/wet service temp (°C) 70 70
(90ºC for up to 18 months during 30 year life)
80 120 135 140
Maximum service depth (msw) 7000 7000 7000 7000 7000 7000
Density (kg/m3) 1159 1159 1157 1142 1075 1080
Hardness 94º Shore A 93º Shore A 55-60º Shore D 74º Shore D 42º Shore A 50-55º Shore D
Thermal conductivity at 23ºC (W.mK) 0.167 0.185 0.188 0.189 0.177 0.182
Specific heat capacity at 23ºC (J/kg.K) 1642 1700 1530 1380 1550 1880
Tensile Stress at break at 23ºC (MPa) 20.4 15.2 21.8 32.7 4.3 16

The values provided in the table above are ‘typical’ and should not be considered for specification purposes.

Insulation covers/doghouses

Subsea pipelines, flowlines, risers and associated equipment carrying high temperature hydrocarbons must be insulated to prevent cooling and solidifying during the flow process. However, the connections between the lines and subsea equipment can form cold regions unless properly protected.

Balmoral has developed a range of insulation products to help maintain the overall flow assurance.

Using static or transient finite element analysis, Balmoral designs insulation covers tailored to match either a project’s required overall heat transfer coefficient or design ‘cool down’ time and incorporate radial and longitudinal seals to ensure thermal integrity. Balmoral’s field-proven sealant system helps prevent excessive water movement either from within the insulation covers or into the assembly.

The covers can be designed to be mounted onboard the offshore construction vessel or installed subsea by either a diver or remotely operated vehicle. The cover mounting procedure and closure system must be safe, fast and easy, requiring the minimum number of standard tools.

Subsea insulation covers

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