High Temperature Pipe and Equipment Insulation

Period of Performance: 05/11/2001 - 02/11/2002


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Sordal, Inc.
12813 Riley Street
Holland, MI 49424
Principal Investigator


SORDAL Inc. proposes for this Phase I SBIR to design and develop a new high temperature insulation system for use in submarines and surface ships. The insulation material developed by SORDAL is thermally stable to more than 600F and also can be used in chilled water to cryogenic applications (e.g. -400F). This insulation is based on NASA patented polyimide foam technology licensed to SORDAL Inc (DN-938 dated May 1,2000). This space age material was developed for the Second Generation Space Shuttle for NASA deployment by FY-2005. SORDAL's novel approach will allow easy application of this material in both spray form and brush-on to make a durable, repairable insulation barrier which is safe and cost effective. NASA patented polyimide foam is much lower in "off- gassing" of fumes when compared to the current insulation materials, including polyimides, used by the US Navy contractors. The SORDAL approach will also allow non-destructive testing of pipe, valves, fittings and equipment to ensure long term material integrity and improved life safety. Finally, the successful commercialization of this SORDAL polyimide insulation (spray, brush or rigid sheet) would be fully made and owned by USA citizens. Current US Navy manufacturer of polyimide rigid sheet foam is 100% owned by a European firm.Aerospace and other applications are the primary commercialization targets outside of the US Navy and NASA, wherein low flame spread, low toxcity, and low smoke would be of high interest. Additionally, typical organic foam plastics such as polystyrene, polyurethane and polyisocyanurate are highly combustible even when protected with thin coatings of fire retardant paint, metal claddings or other additives. The SORDAL polyimide foam is non-combustible and does not require ozone depleting agents such as trichlorofluromethane (CCl3F), hydrazine (H2NNH2) and other similar chemistries. This SORDAL foam would reduce the labor content in ship building and repairing thereto. Phase II of the SORDAL plan would be to fabricate insulation on pipe and equipment for large scale test and measurement evaluation.