Frankfurt, Germany -- With the release of European product standard, "Thermal insulation products for building equipment and industrial installations in the industry," on 1 Aug 2010, the standard and its requirement for CE marking entered a two-year transition period, before such marking becomes obligatory, the German plastics foamers association, the FSK, pointed out recently.
According to the FSK, insulation manufacturers have new tasks andresponsibilities as a result of these European thermal insulationstandards. Specifically, from 1 Aug 2012, the FSK points out, pipe insulation must have the CE mark.
This new European standard applies in particular to thermal insulation of pipes as construction products. The standard describes product features and includes test methods, specifications for conformity assessment, marking and labeling. The requirements are based on those of the Construction Products Directive CPD of December 1988 for mechanical resistance and stability of a building, for fire protection, health, environmental, thermal and sound insulation.
This CE-marking recognises that such insulated pipe is approved for the European market and is allowed free trade in the EU. But it does not replace approval by the respective national accreditation bodies, because construction law remains national law, the association said.
This means that, in Germany, pipe insulation products continue to be regulated by the German Institute for Construction Technology DIBt with a general type approval (ABZ) for use in building construction.
Nevertheless, in future, insulating construction parts that do not have a CE mark cannot be licensed in a European country.
Another requirement in future is that material properties and the corresponding classifications by the manufacturer of thermal insulation material must be specified in a designation code for the product.
These codes give information on upper and lower limits for application temperature, water-vapour diffusion resistance factor, and the sound absorption coefficient, for example.
Some requirements for pipe insulation, such as thermal conductivity and diffusion resistance, are well classified, the FSK says.
But it points out that evaluation of fire behaviour is slightly more complicated, since so far in Germany, there are only five material classes defined for testing.