Our ongoing legal battle to ensure real competition in the market for calsil continues.
The hardest part of starting up is starting out
Our ongoing legal battle to ensure real competition in the market for calsil continues.
The President of TPS, David Shong, recently published a technical paper for an ASTM International Symposium called STP1629 “Performance, Properties, and Resilience of Thermal Insulations” sponsored by the C16 subcommittee. The symposium featured “nine peer-reviewed papers with state-of-the-art knowledge on topics related to performance resiliency of thermal insulation materials in the built environment.”
The paper discusses the history of calcium silicate (calsil) “as the workhorse industrial insulation for oil refineries, power and chemical plants, and pulp and paper mills.” Due to several historical reasons regarding the formulation of first generation calsil, the insulation became associated with higher rates of corrosion under insulation (CUI). This caused the market for calsil to decline and all producers to exit the market leaving only a single firm by 2002.
In 2018, TPS launched the first new calsil insulation that could levy legitimate competition in the North American market by meeting and exceeding all physical property requirements in accordance with ASTM C533 type I. “This paper discusses advances in manufacturing technology and economic influences that fully address the historically cited reasons that engineers eliminated calsil insulation from their specifications.”
Please contact TPS directly if you would like to discuss the paper or your industrial insulation needs.
TPS is proud to announce a new product line has been added to our offerings! Introducing TPS EP-12™ expanded perlite pipe and block insulation. We have observed a marked increase in material specifications calling for expanded perlite per ASTM C610 around North America due to its historical success in mitigating CUI and ESCC in the hot and humid climate of the U.S. Gulf Coast.
TPS’s mission is to identify distinct, underserved product markets for mechanical insulation and then to seek out the BEST quality versions of those generic products wherever they are manufactured around the world. We then independently vet and test them at third party U.S labs in order to market them as TPS branded products to our nationwide network of distribution partners.
TPS EP-12™ expanded perlite is no exception! We believe it is the BEST perlite we have seen and provides a significant improvement on many of the strength related physical properties that have historically increased the cost of use for domestic perlite insulations due to high breakage rates in transit. This product meets/exceeds all the physical property requirements of ASTM C610 and is produced to the dimensional tolerances of ASTM C585. Additionally, because the pipe and block sections are 24” long this allows for much lighter sections and carton weights to reduce worker fatigue. In fact, TPS perlite pipe cover is available from ½ x 1 up to 60 x 4 with all pipe sizes available in 1” wall! (others stop at 6 x 1) All SKU’s fit into a SINGLE carton size which increases volume per truckload and makes stocking the product in warehouses or jobsites much more efficient.
Learn more about our new expanded perlite product on our new website focused on our mechanical insulations that are commonly used in industrial facilities as well as within commercial buildings.
Learn more https://tps-industrial-insulations.com/products/expanded-perlite/
In order to support our customers with quick turnaround orders, TPS invests heavily in stocking our game changing filter pressed, water resistant TPSX-12® calcium silicate. Here are the sizes of calsil we stock at our location north of Seattle in Stanwood, Washington:
As a reminder, the North American nomenclature for pipe insulation sizes is the following:
Thermal Pipe Shields and Fujian Tenlead Advanced Material CO (Tenlead) have recently reached an exclusivity agreement naming Thermal Pipe Shields to be the sole North American distributor. Tenlead agrees to ensure that all materials are manufactured in accordance with ASTM C1126 type III and ASTM C5858 sizing requirements. This formal and binding agreement includes phenolic pipe covering as well as fabrication bun stock. Tenlead agrees to transfer the sales responsibility of all North American customers to TPS. Any and all inquiries from North American owners, contractors, EPC firms or distributors shall be passed onto TPS for follow up.
Our motto is TPSX-12 is calsil, only better….
One of the many reasons is the unprecedented offering of different sizes of filter pressed calsil insulation pipe cover and block. In addition to our vast assortment of International Pipe Standard (IPS) and heat traced pipe sizes, we also offer legitimate COPPER tubing sizes that will actually fit on copper pipe ranging from 5/8 to 4 1/8 in 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5 and 3″ wall thicknesses!
Please click on the link below to view all of the various pipe sizes and wall thicknesses. If you would like the actual spreadsheet emailed to you, please contact TPS directly.
Thermal Pipe Shields just completed a major investment to increase the storage capacity of our Las Vegas warehouse. We now stock 87 different sizes of TPSX-12 calsil pipe and block insulation. This will allow us to better support our stocking distributors throughout North America with less than truckload (LTL) amounts of calsil in full carton quantities. Of course, we continue to stock large amounts of calsil at our Stanwood, WA warehouse as well. Here are the sizes we will be stocking in Las Vegas:
Thermal Pipe Shields, Inc. believes in the Russian maxim quoted by President Ronald Reagan. “Trust, but verify.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=As6y5eI01XE
We have 12 years of experience using BEC factory produced calsil insulation for our insulated pipe supports and always felt it was the best type I calsil we have ever found. When BEC approached us in late 2017 with an offer to become the exclusive import broker for their high quality calsil pipe and block insulation, we were very excited to bring real competition to the industrial insulation market. BEC provided several third party test reports from China and Italy to prove their product meets the specs, but we, like many others in North America, were skeptical of the validity of foreign lab reports in providing reliable information.
As the exclusive import broker for TPSX-12 water resistant calsil insulation, we feel a great responsibility to ensure that we act as the bridge between the manufacturer and our North American customers. Soon after we launched TPSX-12, we made a significant independent investment ($15k) to test ALL of the physical properties of the product with a well respected and independent third party laboratory called Tutco Scientific located in Fruita, Colorado. Tutco was the principal firm for the testing battery, and they sub-contracted some of the testing through two other independent labs well known for their particular test methods. In addition, TPS paid to test the North American wet molded product in order to directly compare the physical properties of each material. We chose not to pay for full thermal testing of the incumbent because the performance of that product is well established in the market. We chose to invest that money in testing TPSX-12 per the ASTM C518 test method at higher mean temperatures above 700F which was not heretofore available in the market. These additional data points will be valuable to engineers when calculating the insulation thickness requirements per the API 521 report.
Please click on this link to view and download a summation of the third party data:
Bottom line: If the project specifications call for calcium silicate insulation per ASTM C533 type I, one can absolutely submit TPSX-12 with fully supported U.S. third party data demonstrating compliance with the material standard specification. In addition, filter pressed TPSX-12 is the strongest 3′ long, water resistant type I calsil insulation available in the market.
We encourage engineers to utilize generic ASTM material standards because they are the best way to ensure REAL COMPETITION for any product and compliance can be independently verified. ASTM material standards are PERFORMANCE based, not ORIGIN based specifications. Any country specific language in engineering specifications should be removed because they will limit competition and deprive the owner of the benefits thereof.
Many people are unaware the historical sole source monopoly calsil supplier in the United States made a formal joint venture (JV) with a Shanghai calsil factory. The name of the Chinese factory at the time of the JV was SEPMW (Shanghai Electric Power Machine Works). This factory produced 3′ long filter pressed calcium silicate insulation and shipped it in cartons with the U.S. brand name artwork to the United States with a “Made in China” label on the bottom edge of the carton (see red circled photo). The JV started in 2004 http://www.bec-industrial.com/history.html and ended at a later unspecified time.
In 2014, this same factory (pictured in slide and TPS Crew Photo) was purchased by Zhong Yongbao and renamed BEC Industrial (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. Unlike the previous factory owners, BEC Industrial never entered into a JV with the U.S. monopoly supplier. BEC tried unsuccessfully for several years to gain entry of their filter pressed calsil back into the large North American market. In 2018, BEC formed an exclusive import brokering agreement with Thermal Pipe Shields, Inc. Through the many benefits of competition, BEC calsil is now available for sale under the trade marked brand name TPSX-12. If the calsil from this Chinese factory was good enough for the North American market back then, it is still good enough! Same factory and same high quality product, but the differences now are the BEC product ships in a TPS logo box and TPSX-12 is the only durably water resistant 3′ long Chinese calsil insulation that meets and exceeds all the physical property requirements in accordance with ASTM C533 type I.
The History: My family has been in the mechanical insulation business for 76 years and we have seen a lot of change during that time. My experience as a union heat and frost insulator has taught me a lot about the value of using quality products installed by skilled craftsmen. Back in the day, we installed miles of calcium silicate as our bread and butter industrial insulation. Over the years, the market has consolidated and many people may not know there is only one company left in North America still manufacturing calsil.
You also may not know that Thermal Pipe Shields (TPS) has purchased large amounts of both domestic and imported calsil to manufacture our insulated pipe supports for almost 23 years. We’ve bought from six different factories over those years and a while back we found what we believe is the best calsil at the best price. Just like we saw a need for our pipe supports back then, we believe the time is now for the single source calsil market paradigm in this country to end….
Let’s face it. We all know calsil is a great choice for most hot industrial jobs because it’s a high strength non-combustible insulation that promotes skilled labor, bands up tight, supports the jacketing and stands up to plant abuse when people walk all over the piping. More importantly, it provides consistent return on investment for the owner in terms of energy savings and worker safety. We need to embrace the idea, “What’s best for the owner is best for the industry.” However, the old calcium silicate that guys like me and my dad used to install 30+ years ago was a lot different than the calsil being produced today in the U.S. The old product was made with a process called filter pressing and it was bullet proof. The problem was the old version had a propensity to promote corrosion under insulation (CUI) and a lot of plants wrote it out of their specs. The old monopoly provider here in the U.S. changed the formula in 2002 to actually inhibit CUI, but today’s domestic version is also molded differently. It has much lower compressive strength and breaks a lot easier than the calsil I learned to install coming up on the tools.
What if there was a product that kept all of the good things about old calsil like high strength and low cost, but left the not so good things in the past like hard to cut and a tendency to cause CUI? My friends, we have a solution! Get ready for the biggest disruption to the industrial insulation market in a long time; it’s time for some good ole’ fashioned competition in the world of calcium silicate!
In our quest to find the best and most cost effective calsil to make our pipe supports, we searched the whole world over. And let me tell you, there are absolutely some calsil products out there that you do NOT want to buy. Believe it or not, back in 2004, the domestic calsil producer at the time did a joint venture with a calsil factory in Shanghai, China and that company imported Chinese calsil into the United States for an unspecified number of years. The import product met all of the ASTM specs and was sold under their well known brand name. In 2014, new owners purchased that same Chinese factory and renamed the company BEC Industrial (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. However, unlike the previous factory owners that had a U.S based joint venture, BEC never entered into any such JV agreement. That left BEC with a decision: how could they penetrate their product back into the large North American market to grow their business and break up the monopoly in calsil? Today, we are happy to announce BEC has signed an exclusive national distribution agreement with TPS as the sole direct importer to offer their full line of high quality calcium silicate pipe and block insulations to the U.S. market.
BEC Industrial (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. produces TPSX-12™ filter pressed water resistant calcium silicate pipe and block insulation. It is third party tested to meet or exceed all of the physical properties of ASTM C533 type I. This includes the latest corrosion test methods creating a specifiable equal to the incumbent product. It is suitable for continuous use up to 1200℉ and is easy to identify because it’s the only import calsil to be offered in 3’ lengths. BEC also offers factory fabricated fittings for elbows, tees and caps, fabrication adhesive and finishing cement to ship along with their pre-formed pipe covering and block. The IPS offerings are unprecedented in North America with pre-formed sections in various configurations ranging from ½” to 126” (See list price page). That’s right, BEC offers half sections, tri, quad, hex and curved radius block (CRB) which is not currently available from the domestic supplier. Many major project specifications are now requiring CRB (excluding scored block), so now you have the option of purchasing pre-formed lags instead wasting fabrication time in your shop. This broad assortment of configurations is a key differentiator focused on packing as much calsil into a container as possible, thereby reducing the number of containers to unload and warehouse/laydown yard space to consume. Finally, we also offer plain block for flat work and 3-V scored block for large diameter vessels if the specifications allow it or based on contractor preference.
While the incumbent molded material advertises 100 psi compressive strength, TPSX-12™ filter pressed calsil offers twice as much compressive strength averaging over 200 psi! Again, it meets all the same density (weight per foot) and other physical property requirements, but it provides significantly higher compressive strength to support the jacketing due to the more advanced filter pressing process.
We are also pleased to announce all TPSX-12™ will be water resistant! This decision was made due to the tremendous response from our customers to only have one inventory to stock. It will predictably shed bulk water on the jobsite, but don’t forget all organic compounds like silicone treatments will burn off starting around 450℉ in accordance with the insulations’ temperature gradient. However, the integral corrosion inhibiting chemistry is always there ready to kick in should some water become absorbed during its lifetime. Water resistance is simply contractor friendly feature so they don’t have to stop work and scramble to cover the calsil with plastic sheeting should a rainstorm occur. This post filter pressing dip treatment provides much better water repellency than what you’re used to seeing in the market. It really works well and is now a standard feature for all TPSX-12™ pipe cover, CRB, block and fittings!
We are offering your company TPSX-12™ calsil insulation at a significantly lower cost to break into the market and break up the current calsil monopoly. We believe in creating real competition and choice. Trust us, this willingness on your part to expand your existing relationship with TPS from just pipe supports to now include your calsil pipe insulation needs will provide powerful financial benefits to your company’s bottom line and your ability to service your customers with high quality products.
We are prepared to offer full container loads (FCL) for double digit percentage savings compared to your current calsil supplier. You will want to see our pricing. It’s a game changer. Lead times are competitive with many other insulation products and FCL orders are delivered freight allowed to your warehouse or jobsite anywhere in the North America. LTL orders can be shipped at a lower discount with full freight added from the TPS warehouse near Seattle, Washington. TPS keeps an average of 6 containers of BEC calsil in stock to produce our pipe support products and is now offering it for resale to help our partners with fill in or rush orders as required. We are also planning on stocking calsil in our Las Vegas, NV location and may open a warehouse on the Gulf Coast depending on which distributor(s) win those states.
We are offering first choice for exclusive territories to the five largest insulation distribution companies that have supported us through the years by buying our TPS pipe supports. Be aware there are several areas of the country where some of our established distributor customers do not currently have the ability to buy calsil from the sole supplier. This has the potential be a true game changer for those who are willing to act quickly and take a calculated risk to grow their business. Make no mistake, this a 50 state strategy. We have a tremendous product that we are taking across the continent, but we are offering it to ONLY 1 COMPANY PER TERRITORY! However, in mid April, we plan to offer independent distribution companies access to any remaining territories. The fifty states will constitute the territories. Texas will have two territories separated by the 31st parallel and California will have two territories separated by the 36th parallel. Multi-state territories are available to individual companies that maintain brick and mortar branches in each state requested. We believe regional plays will be in everyone’s best interest so our exclusive partners can maintain a wide berth.
To protect the integrity of the new calsil market, TPS will only ship to the distributor’s warehouse or jobsite that owns that state or territory. BEC has dedicated significant manufacturing capacity to support the explosive growth that will occur as a result of this disruption to the market, Our lead times are competitive which will help you better manage your inventory turns and cash flow, but our expectation is that our distributor partners will keep an adequate stock on hand spread throughout their territories/regions at all times. Remember a 40’ high cube container (390-400 TPSX-12™ cartons) only equals 65% of the volume of a regular 53’ truck so the deliveries can be unloaded much faster and take up less room in your warehouse. Each custom labeled carton also features strong plastic webbed bands with crimped metal seals to allow for much easier handling in the warehouse and on the jobsite.
The Action Required:
Please email your territory requests along with your historical or expected new calsil purchases (# of truckloads and total $ volume) before April 16, 2018. TPS will hold these requests in complete confidence regardless of whether or not we reach a partnership agreement. On April 16th, if any territories are still not claimed, we will open up the offer to other independent companies which could include direct buy contractors. Starting May 7th, we will finalize the territory agreements, send out a pallet of samples and upon your cost/quality approval, will require your first FCL purchase order with a 50% check/wire deposit to secure each territory. Once all territory agreements are established and initial orders are received into stock, TPS will, at your request, post partner contact info by state on our website with an interactive map to help drive sales to your company. We encourage companies with multiple locations within a given state to order multiple containers or split loads with other in territory branches as to mitigate any potential shorts from one branch to the other. There will be no attempt to regulate transferring product across state lines in support of other branches to ensure adequate project supply. TPS will work together with each partner to set conservative 2018 and 2019 sales targets by region which will be regularly evaluated to promote the best interests of each party.
Thermal Pipe Shields, Inc.
David Shong, CIEA
Vice President of Industrial Business Development & Technical Services
Main: +1.833.4CALSIL (422.5745)
Company Website: Thermal Pipe Shields
STANWOOD–(PR Newswire)–Effective immediately, Thermal Pipe Shields (TPS), a privately held mechanical insulation supply company with three generations of industry engagement dating back to 1942, is announcing an exclusive agreement reached to provide nationwide distribution of the first new water resistant calcium silicate (calsil) mechanical insulation to enter the North American market: TPSX-12™. This exclusive supply agreement was recently finalized with BEC Industrial (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. in a bold move to break up the current monopoly paradigm due to market consolidation which has left a single source manufacturer in North America.
Jeffrey Heckman, who founded TPS in 1995, shares the history surrounding this disruptive innovation to the industrial insulation market. “My experience as an insulator in the field gave me the motivation to start TPS. I would make the calsil insulated pipe supports in my parent’s garage. My wife, Jennifer, would deliver them to the contractors in Seattle and then pick up more calsil insulation on the way home. It doesn’t get anymore mom & pop than that!” Up until today, TPS was solely focused as an OEM fabricator of pre-insulated pipe supports widely used for both hot and cold process piping within the commercial mechanical construction market. Jeff and his team grew the company to become the largest supplier of insulated pipe supports in Western North America.
This new agreement with BEC is the next logical step in the growth trajectory for this true American success story. Heckman continues, “Over the years, I’ve bought calsil from 6 different factories, but consolidation over time limited the supply down to only one North American manufacturer. It doesn’t take a degree in economics to know what happens to the price of anything in a monopoly. As a small business owner, I had no choice but to search the world over for a competitive calsil at a lower price.”
Calsil insulation has a 45+ year history as the workhorse of the industrial insulation market which involves high temperature piping, tanks and equipment operating up to 1200℉ within large industrial facilities such as oil refineries, chemical and power generation plants and pulp and paper mills. In 2004, the North American monopoly supplier at the time formed a joint venture with the owners of a Shanghai calsil insulation factory which had been operating since 1987, and imported product which was sold under their well known North American brand name. In 2014, that same factory was purchased by a new owner and renamed BEC Industrial, but unlike the former factory owners, BEC made no such U.S. based JV agreement and therefore had no established distribution channels into the large North American market. BEC Industrial is uniquely positioned among worldwide calsil insulation manufacturers because of their experienced staff and well-established history of producing a higher quality 3’ long material by using an advanced corrosion inhibiting formula and unique filter pressing process specifically designed to satisfy the more stringent North American market requirements which must meet or exceed all physical properties in accordance with ASTM C533 type I.
Zhong Yongbao, Chairman of BEC, explained his decision to partner with TPS. “Unlike the previous factory owners that had a historical joint venture agreement, we were left with no other alternative except to pursue our own path to bring BEC factory product back into the large North American industrial insulation market. We are very happy to announce this strong partnership with TPS and have committed a significant amount of factory capacity to ensure the mutual success of both parties.”
As part of this expansion, TPS also announces a strategic leadership acquisition to grow the newly formed industrial insulation division. David Shong, formerly Western Regional Technical Manager for the sole source North American calsil manufacturer, has joined TPS as Vice President of Industrial Business Development & Technical Services. Mr. Heckman explains, “David brings a wealth of technical product knowledge, broad industry relationships, respected reputation and a tenacious work ethic. We feel David will bring a high level of credibility to our new industrial insulation business.” Mr. Shong feels tremendous passion towards the industrial insulation market and is well-known as a “straight shooter” among his clients, which include mechanical engineers, plant operators, insulation contractors and material distribution companies.
TPS will be distributing an official calsil insulation market launch announcement to their existing customer base which includes the five largest mechanical insulation distribution companies in America. This separate announcement will provide full details and invite them to expand their existing relationship with TPS to now include calsil industrial insulation.
Thermal Pipe Shields
David Shong, CIEA
Vice President of Industrial Business Development & Technical Services
Main: +1.833.4CALSIL (422.5745)
Company Website: Thermal Pipe Shields