Poor design, material selection, or system maintenance can lead some insulation systems to get damaged over time by direct exposure to system cycling or vibration, heat, water, or natural forces such as hail and sunlight. The extent of this damage will depend on the severity of the exposure, but a damaged insulation system can cause a variety of negative effects in terms of personnel, cost, and efficiency.
When insulation is damaged it also no longer serves its function in terms of energy conservation, resulting in less efficient plant operations with much higher energy costs. And damaged insulation will negatively affect processes that require precise temperature control to function properly. Damage can occur from a variety of conditions, ranging from physical damage to corrosion under insulation (CUI), which can lead to catastrophic system failure. Without the insulation to ensure correct operating conditions, process control becomes much harder to achieve.