Insulator Roles and Responsibilities
Insulators skills and training range from simple laborers who set bats and wrap heating pipes to highly professional workers operating expensive spray-on equipment. Many insulation workers specialize in the installation where others conduct temporary insulation work as part of their overall jobs.
Every production facility or building used insulation products where thermal control was necessary. Often, insulation materials serve other purposes such as fire resistance and sound suppression.
Some areas have trade certification for insulators where they spend 4 or 5 years in an apprenticeship before becoming ticketed journeymen. These advanced skills are usually found in industrial and commercial settings rather than in residential homebuilding.
Insulator roles and responsibilities included these areas:
- Residential construction including single and multi-family housing projects
- Commercial buildings such as offices, schools, and hospitals
- Industrial settings like paper mills, oil refineries, and chemical plants
- Shipbuilding of every vessel size from yachts to aircraft carriers
- Aeronautics, aviation and aerospace industries
- Boiler rooms in every type of facility
- Heating, ventilation and air conditioning applications
Asbestos insulation was used across the board. It was found in every location where heat loss or gain needed control. When asbestos insulation was first introduced, every industry adopted it with open arms.
Asbestos was thermally inert. Its porous composition trapped air and reduced heat transfer. Asbestos was non-corrosive, fireproof, and didn’t conduct electricity.
That made it an excellent insulator for pipes and electrical wires. Additionally, asbestos was inexpensive, easy to work with, and widely available.