A Peek Inside “The Insulator’s Wall of Fame”
This August marks seven years since Tim Saunders founded his Facebook group: “The Insulator’s Wall Of Fame – A Display Of Our Best Work In The Industry” (aka IWOF). With his full permission, I’m sharing a look inside at what has possibly become the most active social community in the world dedicated to the commercial and industrial insulation trade.
Currently, the IWOF has more than 11,500 members. It’s comprised of union and non-union insulators, and anyone interested in the craft. I’ve never worked in the field as an insulator, but my background selling insulation products is why I joined the group a few years ago.
Some of the most valuable things I’ve learned about the products I sold or sold against, I picked up on job site visits. By joining the IWOF, I’ve been about to continue learning from the finest insulators in the world whenever I had a little free time to browse through the pictures and comments.
Conversations within the community about various products or applications opened my eyes to a whole new perspective from the field. Specifying engineers can benefit in a similar way, and might even be able to contribute positive insights from the design standpoint.
High Quality Craftsmanship
The size and participation of the IWOF group generates some incredible photos that truly depict the artwork of a master insulator. Here is a quick sampling of recent image contributions.
Removable insulation covers can look very different from one fabricator to another. As a member of the IWOF, you won’t only see what good quality looks like. You’re also free to ask the contributor why they installed something a certain way or what fastening mechanism they used and why. The following pictures of removable covers were submitted recently.
You may not get continuing education credits as a member of the group, but the educational content is invaluable. Take this photo for example; it was recently posted with a question for the group related to the discoloring of the aluminum jacket.
Several members chimed in to share that they have seen that before when there was a leak in the ammonia system. Others suggested stainless steel jacketing should have been used instead of aluminum. Some people brought up the oxidation of the aluminum or an acrylic coating being present on the fittings.
There were a lot of opinions, but not exactly a definitive cause to the problem. However, a lot of good points were made that can be further considered on site as they get to the root of the problem. These are things you won’t learn anywhere other than the IWOF.
Have you ever wondered about breakage of various materials in transit to a job site? These photos of cellular glass were recently posted with a question for the group about whether others are receiving fabricated products in this condition.
Cellular glass is a durable product, but it can be damaged in transit like any other insulation if it isn’t properly packaged. It also appears the fabricator may not have measured properly when cutting this piece of pipe insulation.
What about tolerances of delivered products? Manufacturers salespeople always have a chance to analyze samples before they present them you. They don’t always know how products arrive on site. These two samples are both packaged from the same manufacturer as 3/4” material.
Seeing how products arrive on site and developing a deeper understanding of how they are installed gives you more confidence in your material selection process. If you want to get a better grasp on the time it takes to install a certain type of insulation or gain foresight into safety hazards, the insulator members will gladly share their thoughts.
The member below requested some images that they could show to an owner. Was there ever a time when this type of feedback would have benefited you and your client?
The IWOF represents thousands of years of field experience in the commercial and industrial insulation industry. I recommend to anyone that designs and specifies insulation products to join the group and gain a new perspective on mechanical insulation systems.
Both veterans and rookies add comments and opinions. Their input might not be 100% accurate in every instance, but I guarantee you will learn things from them about insulation you won’t learn in any other setting. Thanks for reading. Please like, share and follow us for more articles and news.
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