T-FIT – Unique Insulation Technology
Technological advancements have improved every facet of our lives over time, and insulation solutions are no different. As we learn more about technology and what it can do for a variety of industries, it is only fitting that the insulation products of today are much more progressive than those utilised previously. At Matrix Process Solution, we’ve partnered with T-FIT who provide state-of-the-art insulation products. By utilising unique insulation technology developed by Zotefoams, T-FIT offers outstanding benefits in the shape of cellular foams. T-FIT’s insulation products are perfect for highly controlled environments, including cleanrooms, semiconductor fabrication, healthcare, and especially, food production and preparation areas. With optimal functionality, an increased life cycle, and unique insulation processes, there’s no reason not to choose T-FIT for your industrial solutions.
T-Fit is a brand and business wholly owned by Zotefoams. As a pioneer in cellular materials, Zotefoams carries a legacy in innovation that stretches back to 1921. Zotefoams high-performance products were highlighted in 2007 when T-Tubes was established in the USA in response to an enquiry from Wyeth Pharmaceutical Industries (now known as Pfizer). As these products were rolled out, a worldwide distribution network was established between 2009-2012, and the company garnered major success within Biotech, Pharmaceutical, and Semi-conduction businesses. In 2016, T-Tubes was rebranded as T-FIT, and in 2018, the T-FIT product range was expanded to include Hygiene and Process products.
In 2020, Zotefoams and T-FIT have formed a distribution agreement with Matrix Process Solutions in Australia. This partnership will emphasise the importance of unique insulation technology in a variety of nation-wide industries.
Introducing The T-FIT Products
T-FIT products are unique, modular insulation systems designed for use in demanding, highly controlled production environments and aseptic areas. This includes industrial sectors with Clean-Room and hygienic operations, and food and personal care operations. The products are created with the specific intention of reducing functioning costs and eliminating contamination risks. The unique properties built into the Zotefoams foams means that the advanced cellular material allows for low odour, durability, moisture and mould resistance, and increased flexibility.
T-Fit Clean targets cleanroom environments found mainly in pharmaceutical, bio-tech and semiconductor industries.
- Sterile, hygienic and inherently hydrophobic
- Chemically inert and does not support bacteria and mould growth
- Reduction in scheduled and unscheduled downtime
- Quick and easy to install while reducing labour costs
- Stable at operating temperatures up to 160°C
- Low flame, smoke and toxicity ratings (FM4910 compliant).
T-Fit Hygiene is installed in aseptic, sterile production environments usually found in food, beverage, personal healthcare and other FMCG type production areas.
- Specifically tailored to FMCG applications, especially food and personal care processes
- Easy to clean
- Immune to most chemicals
- Wide operating temperature range
- Excellent flammability credentials
- UV resistant
T-Fit Process is specified into harsh manufacturing environments where an easy to install and maintain insulation is required. It is supplied with integral cladding and has a service temp of 200ºc at its peak.
- Remains stable at operating temperatures up to 160°c and up to 200°c for steam flushing
- Developed for hot and cold lines
- Quick and easy installation
- Ideal for difficult environments
- Supplied with integral aluminium cladding
T-FIT Review & Performance
To understand how the T-FIT products perform in specialised situations, the T-FIT Clean was tested according to standard outgassing procedures. The review concluded that the product met the acceptance criteria for a semiconductor cleanroom for coverage >50% of the net cleanroom area – this is the highest level of certification possible.
Additionally, the T-Fit Clean had also undergone a fungal growth test where the foam is coated with agar to promote growth. The sample is then placed in an oven at 28°c to 30°c at an RH>85% for 28 days. After this period, the samples were removed from the oven and checked for growth. It was concluded that the Zotefoams foams utilised to produce the T-FIT Clean and Process showed zero fungal growth.
Other performance review indicators included:
- T-Fit Clean reaction to fire performance independently acknowledge by FM & UL
- FM specification test is unique for insulation materials
- Extremely low emission/VOC test values at 8.86 ppm
- Zotefoams unique foaming process creates materials with very low VOC/emissions
- Resistance to fungal growth very high zero detection after 28 days/30°c/>85% RH
- Fungal resistance is a natural property of PVDF polymers.
- Closed-cell structure, will not absorb moisture, cladding/jacket not required
- Low thermal conductivity values – Clean 0.0314 wmk at 0°c – 0.018 BTU/h∙ft∙°F
- Installation is quick and easy to install, no cladding required on Clean or Hygiene products which are supplied with factory applied self-adhesive tapes across the longitudinal slit.
Why Choose T-FIT
There is a range of common problems associated with traditional insulation that Zotefoams and T-FIT are attempting to rectify, including:
- Bulky construction that is crushable
- Moisture and bacterial ingress
- Condensation leads to moisture ingress, mould and bacteria growth
- Particulate shedding
- Inefficient heat management
- Reduced cost-effectiveness
- High energy bills
Our partners at T-FIT recommend pipework insulation to generate the following benefits:
Unique insulation technology from Zotefoams allows for an immediate impact on heat loss. Reduction in heat loss increases dramatically depending on the thickness of the wall. At 6.35mm, heat reduction reaches just over 70%. At 12.7mm, 80%, and at 25mm, 88%. The insulation is closed cell, non-fibrous/non-polluting, quick and easy to install, meets FM4910, low VOC’s, highly resistant to the growth of mould, and possesses a long service life. Choose an energy-conserving insulation technology when you choose the T-FIT range from Zotefoams.
It’s important to keep the temperature-controlled, even during temporary shutdown as an increase in temperature may damage the product. Therefore, a key insulation attribute is to maintain a temperature of 5°c or the appropriate plant processing temperature for your product. Condensation control was also a key insulation attribute of the T-FIT Hygiene and Clean systems while the system is subjected to Cleaning In Place.
Personal protection applications are focused on the prevention of human injury due to contact with hot or cold pipework. Understanding personal protection involves knowing the difference between surface temperature and contact temperature.
Surface temperature: the temperature of the surface of an object.
Contact temperature: imitates the finger’s thermal response when pressed against a heated surface over a certain time. This reflects the temperature we feel and is dependent on time.
Consideration of contact time is key to understanding the personal protection of a product. Usually, a 5 second contact is considered as standard reaction time in industrial environments, and a 60 second contact in domestic environments. The T-FIT contact temperatures are well below 60°c, which is widely considered to be the maximum temperature humans can touch ahead of a burn or injury. However, the T-FIT Process includes cladding made from composite foil and a PET layer on the outside of the tube. This means that when touched, the heat flow is significantly reduced compared to traditional aluminium cladding – providing a relatively cool touch for our customers.
Installation & Application
The T-FIT Clean can be installed in any cleanroom operation in a non-disruptive, hassle-free way. The T-FIT products enable installation during production without any downtime or special containment requirements needed – making it incredibly easy and efficient. Due to its unique properties, the T-FIT clean is a fast and hygienic solution for insulating cleanrooms.
General requirements for application purposes include:
- Construction Free area
- Clean the area and pipes/tubing prior to installation
- Start the installation procedure from Elbows & Tees
- Prep Elbows minimum 6 hours prior to installation
- Remove backing tape from straight lengths before assembly
- Use only Zotefoams recommended products when installing
- On straight lengths snip/slice backing tape every 150mm to reduce excessive wrinkling
- Apply significant pressure to tape on assembly as ‘pressure sensitive’
Q – What are the base materials from which T-FIT® products are produced?
A – All T-FIT® products are manufactured from Zotefoams unique range of cellular foamed materials.
Q – Why are Zotefoams materials unique?
A – Zotefoams utilise an environmentally friendly manufacturing process that uses nitrogen gas to produce a range of closed-cell, cross-linked foams, resulting in a pure, odour free material with unique characteristics and performance.
Q – What does closed-cell mean?
A – Insulation products fall into two main groups – open cell and closed cell. Open-cell materials absorb water and moisture due to the open cell structure of the material. Closed-cell products will not absorb moisture, water will simply drain off the surface of the material.
Q – Open cell or closed cell – why is the choice important in an insulation material?
A – Water is an excellent conductor of heat, so any insulation that can absorb water into its structure (i.e. open cell) is immediately compromised, as heat is quickly transferred through the water trapped in the insulation. As closed cell products cannot absorb moisture, then insulation performance is not compromised during the service life of the product.
Q – Are all T-FIT® products closed cell?
A – All T-FIT® products are closed-cell.
Q – When a material is described as cross-linked, what does this mean?
A – Cross-linking is a chemical process that joins polymer chains to improve the physical properties of cellular materials.
Q – Cross-linking sounds complicated, why is it important in an insulation product?
A – Cross-linked materials are physically robust and able to withstand multiple compressions without any long-term reduction in thickness. This means that during construction, commissioning and use, T-FIT® is able to withstand most impacts and will not permanently deform.
Q – Why does T-FIT® have three products?
A – T-FIT® is a range is of unique, technical insulation products, purpose-designed for demanding, highly controlled production environments. Each product in the T-FIT®range targets the specific challenges of one particular production area.
Q – Which is the best T-FIT® product for pharmaceutical, biotech and semiconductor/cleanroom environments?
A – T-FIT® Clean is best suited to pharmaceutical, biotech and semiconductor/cleanroom environments, and especially when insulation is required to be specification tested to Factory Mutual 4910.
Q – Which T-FIT® product is best suited to FMCG manufacturing, food & beverage production, and personal care processes?
A – T-FIT® Hygiene is specifically tailored to these types of applications and is highly resistant to most chemical and other cleaning/sanitising products used in aseptic environments.
Q – Is there a specific T-FIT® product capable of operation over a wide temperature range?
A – T-FIT® Process can be installed in areas demanding heat-tolerant insulation and is stable up to 200°C (EN14707). Suitable processes include steam lines, many food processes as well as energy, electronic, photonic, and chemical applications.
Q – Do T-FIT® products need outer cladding?
A – In terms of thermal performance, T-FIT® Products can be installed without cladding. Due to the closed-cell structure of the materials from which T-FIT® is produced, moisture cannot be absorbed into the insulation, and outer foils/cladding are not required. T-FIT® Process is supplied with an outer cladding to increase the physical strength and robustness of the product.
Q – Does T-FIT® need any special PPE during installation?
A – No. As T-FIT® products are not produced or based on any fibre materials, the material cannot emit or lose any fibres or particles, and therefore not capable of contributing any respiratory risk. Face protection, mouth guards, masks, goggles, etc. are not required.
Contact Us Today
At Matrix Process Solutions, we want to help you find the best products that exhibit unique insulation technology. For more information on T-FIT or Zotefoams, contact us today.