Cold Weather Safety for Construction

Cold Weather Safety for Construction

The construction industry is a high risk industry, regardless of the time of year.  But when cold temperatures, snow and ice, and wind are added to the mix, precautions must be in place to protect your workforce, your equipment and materials, and the job.

Taking precautions and educating your employees on cold weather winter safety best practices can reduce the rate of illness, injury and dangerous accidents. Always emphasize “safety first.”

Cold Weather Safety Tips for Winter Construction

    1. Know the forecast and pay attention to changing weather conditions.  Today we enjoy the benefit of real time updates on our phones and computers.  When the weather outside is unsuitable for outside work, reschedule.  
    2. Limit exposure to the elements. Wind chill can take an existing temperature from workable to downright miserable.  And when wind and low temperatures are combined, it can be hard to reduce exposure for workers. Your employees were not made to be outdoors in these elements for long periods of time.  Schedule outside work in shorter durations. Break up larger projects into smaller tasks.
    3. Establish a warm break area. Outside work is absolutely unavoidable for the construction industry, but workers need a place away from the elements to take a break. A heated trailer or a tent with portable heaters and appropriate ventilation works great. Educate supervisors and workers on proper safety procedures with heating devices.
    4. Emphasize proper hydration.  We forget that our bodies sweat, even when it is cold outside, and especially when we are wearing extra layers of clothing.  Keep plenty of water on hand.  While many workers think caffeinated drinks will get them through, water is what the body really needs.  
    5. Require clothing that will keep workers warm and dry.  Boots with non-slip soles, heavy coats, gloves, and hats are all essential for protecting the body from severe cold weather.  Proper clothing is the first step in preventing hypothermia and frostbite and for cold weather protection.
    6. Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Even when employers do everything they can to protect workers, issues can still arise. Supervisors and workers need to know the symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite so that if anyone shows these signs, they can receive immediate medical attention.
    7. Remove snow and ice. Check the job site early each day, before the work begins,for snow and ice accumulation and for any additional hazards.  Be prepared with salt or sand and remove large patches of snow and ice.  Snow and ice removal, if left to the crew, will slow down the job and deplete their energy.  
    8. Winterize and prepare vehicles. Before heading into the cold season, inspected all vehicles and equipment to determine if they are prepared for cold weather construction. Top off fluids, check tire tread and air pressure, and change filters.  Equip all vehicles with winter kits that contain an ice scraper, snow brush, shovel, tow chain, flashlight with extra batteries, emergency flares, a blanket, snacks and water.  Also, educate workers on what to do and who to call if they are stranded in a vehicle.
    9. Prepare and protect equipment. In addition to preparing vehicles for winter safety, smaller construction equipment also needs attention.  Air compressors work best in well-ventilated areas with an ambient temperature in the  ompressor system’s optimal range, typically 40-95°F. If the temperature around your compressor becomes too hot or too cold, the compressor may not start or may exhibit performance issues.  Moisture control also becomes a factor.  Moisture that becomes ice can accumulate and affect the way the system runs, blocking drainage and preventing efficient compression.  
    10. Protect Critical Materials.  Adhesives, concrete, shingles, paint, caulk, resins, epoxies, and other construction materials need additional protection during cold weather  construction.  Winter safety also includes keeping these materials at proper temperatures for application.  Failing to protect critical materials could result in shoddy work that affects the overall finished product.  

 

 

Put It in the Box

Hot boxes are ideal for cold weather construction safety, freeze protection, transporting, job site heating, remote location use, and winter roofing. Standard Hot Boxes hold product between 100°F and 120°F (38°C and 49°C) –optional adjustable thermostatic controllers allow precise temperature control.

Powerblanket Hot Box Benefits

bulk material warmers

  • Quick and easy assembly
  • Easily transport from job to job
  • Preserve temperature sensitive material
  • Heat materials and palletized products: adhesives, shingles, paint, caulk, resins epoxies, etc.
  • Access doors on two sides.
  • Certified to UL and CSA standards

Hot Boxes and Cold Weather Construction Safety

  • Preserve temperature sensitive materials
  • Quickly and effortlessly install the compact portable design
  • Localize heat and save money by not heating a warehouse or building
  • Lower energy-related costs with the highly efficient design

Cold weather safety for construction

What Temperature is Too Cold to Pour Concrete?

What Temperature is Too Cold to Pour Concrete?
What Temperature is Too Cold to Pour Concrete?

What Temperature is Too Cold to Pour Concrete?

Experts agree that the best temperature to pour concrete is between 50-60 °F. The necessary chemical reactions that set and strengthen concrete slow significantly below 50 °F and are almost non-existent below 40 °F. Even when daytime temperatures are within the satisfactory range, winter concrete setting creates risks that could result in weak, inadequate concrete. If nighttime temperatures are below freezing, the water in the concrete will freeze and expand, causing cracks. Additionally, if temperatures reach below 40 °F (but not freezing) during set time, concrete will take much longer to reach required strength. However, if the correct measures are taken, concrete can still be successfully placed during even the coldest months of the year.

Before embarking on a cold weather concrete project, it’s important to determine any special strength requirements or considerations. This will help as you schedule your pouring and determine which strategies you will use to keep your surroundings and materials warm. The predominant challenge you will face during a winter concrete project is ensuring that the concrete sets before it is exposed to freezing temperatures. You might take the following suggestions into consideration as you plan your upcoming project:

  • Use heaters to thaw frozen ground, snow or ice.
  • Use hot water to mix cement.
  • Keep dry materials in a dry, warm location.
  • Use products designed to set quickly. During cold weather, these products will not set as quickly as the instructions may indicate, but will set faster than conventional materials.
  • Use additives that accelerate set time. Use caution; if additives contain calcium chloride, any rebar or metal wire mesh in concrete will rust and cause concrete to crack.
  • Use extra cement (typically 100 lb/ cubic yard) to make the reaction hotter and cause concrete to hydrate more rapidly.
  • Remember that you still need to wait for bleed water to evaporate. Incorporating the water into the surface during finishing will weaken the surface. Bleeding starts later and takes longer during cold weather; you can use squeegees or a vacuum to remove water quickly.
  • Wait until concrete has reached desired strength to remove any framework. If the framework is removed too early, the concrete will be damaged and the surface could collapse.

After implementing the above suggestions, It’s important to consider how you will keep concrete at the correct temperature during the curing process. Concrete must maintain a temperature above 50 °F for approximately 48 hours for the correct chemical reactions to take place. Two popular options used during cold weather concrete curing are heated enclosures and insulated blankets. If using an enclosure, ensure that the structure is both wind and waterproof. Additionally, ensure that there is proper ventilation for the space heater. Heaters cause an increase in carbon dioxide that could cause carbonation in the surface of the concrete.

Powerblanket® concrete blankets are an extremely effective option for attaining and maintaining the correct temperatures for concrete pouring and setting. Powerblanket® concrete blankets can be used to thaw ground before pouring concrete and again after finishing to keep concrete from freezing. Utilizing Powerblanket concrete blankets will ensure that concrete is kept at the correct temperature for the necessary reactions to happen quickly and the desired strength to be reached. With Powerblanket, it’s almost never too cold to pour concrete!

Compressed Gas Sizes

Process Heating Engineering: Tank Heaters

Process Heating Engineering: Tank Heaters

Powerblanket® Engineer Favorite #2


The second installment of the Powerblanket Engineer Favorites comes to us from Coastal Drilling.  Coastal Drilling is a drilling company serving the South Texas drilling market, providing both daywork and turnkey contracts along with operating inland barge rigs in the shallow waters of the Gulf Coast.

An Oily Problem

In the winter when the three phase horizontal separator used during drilling operations was not being used, or the contents weren’t constantly flowing, the dirty oil water froze, consequently plugging the pipes. This halted operations until they could melt the blockage with torches.

The Need for Custom

Previous to discovering Powerblanket, Coastal Drilling used torches as the best possible solution because nothing premade could resolve this frozen dilemma.  A blanket for this kind of tank required multiple cut outs in order to fit properly and to apply heat to as much surface area as possible.  Powerblanket engineers had an immediate hurdle to jump, as there were no technical drawings of the tank to help create the design.  Instead, the team scanned the tank with a 3D scanner, which allowed for the correct location of each cutout.

Powerblanket Solution

Powerblanket provided Coastal Drilling with custom made heating blankets that wrapped the tank with the necessary cutouts. The size of the tank required two separate heating blankets. Two heating blankets allowed for an easier installation, and it allowed the designers to put more power into the blanket to ensure enough power to keep up with the cold winter temperatures.  Now, operations did not have to stall for the water to thaw, consequently saving Coastal Drilling time, money and headaches.

Custom Solutions:  Tank Heaters

Powerblanket Tank Heaters maintain temperature, heat, provide freeze protection, and/or optimize flow for viscous and temperature sensitive materials.

Why Choose Powerblanket Tank Heaters?

  • Maintain optimal temperatures for temperature sensitive materials
  • Custom designed to fit any tank and/or process heating engineering projectprocess heating engineering
  • Provide ultimate freeze protection
  • Available in 120, 208 or 240VAC
  • Enjoy the peace of mind that your valuable materials are protected

Frozen Ground: Understanding How and Why it Freezes

On December 31, 1967, the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys competed for the NFL Championship in Green Bay, Wisconsin. They played in temperatures as low as -25° Celsius (-13º Fahrenheit). The players noticed that the field became so hard their cleats could not dig into the normally soft soil. They slipped and struggled to stay upright. Why? The ground had frozen solid. This historic game is known as the Ice Bowl.  Frozen ground played havoc with the game.

Frozen Ground

Frozen ground occurs when the ground contains water, and the temperature of the ground goes below 0° Celsius (32° Fahrenheit). More than half of all the land in the Northern Hemisphere freezes and thaws every year, and is called seasonally frozen ground. One-fourth of the land in the Northern Hemisphere has an underground layer that stays frozen all year long. If the ground remains frozen for at least two years in a row it is called permafrost.

What makes the ground freeze?

When ground is frozen solid, the water between the rocks, soil, and pebbles, and even inside the rocks, has frozen and becomes pore ice. So officially, the ground freezes when the water in the ground becomes ice.

How does the density of water affect frozen ground?

When water turns into ice, it can expand with great force and cause the ground to swell. In areas with a cold winter season frozen ground can damage roads. For example, water turning to ice under roads sometime creates frost heave. The expanding ice pushes up the road and creates a hump, which later, after a thaw, will create potholes  and sunken sections in a roadway.

The ground below is not all the same temperature

When the temperature of the ground drops below 0° Celsius (32° Fahrenheit), it freezes; however, the ground temperature can be different from the temperature of the air above it. Layers deep within the ground may be colder or warmer than layers near the surface of the ground.

The top layer of ground may respond to conditions on the surface, but the layers below may not change as quickly. On a warm summer day, the surface of the ground absorbs  heat and becomes hotter than the air. But the temperature a few feet underground may be much lower than the air. It is the opposite in the winter; the surface of the ground cools, but the layer deep underground may stay warmer than the surface. The upper layer of ground stops heat from moving between the cold air and the deeper layers of the ground, insulating itself.

The ground is not the only thing that insulates itself from the air. For example, imagine a lake on a hot summer day. The first few feet of the lake will be warm. But closer to the bottom of the lake, the water will be much cooler. The Sun’s heat has less effect on the water deeper below the surface. This layering of temperatures is called a temperature gradient.

The type of soil in an area also affects how the ground will store heat. Loose soils like sand have more space for water and ice forms more easily. Dense soils with small particles do not have as much space for water. Clay, for example, does not freeze as easily as sand.

How deep does the ground freeze?

The depth of frozen ground depends on the length of time the air is cold. The longer the cold period, the deeper the ground will freeze. But the depth of frozen ground is limited, because Earth is warm deep inside.

Most of Earth’s heat comes from the Sun (Figure 1). The ground stores a lot of the Sun’s heat and reflects the rest into the air. Snow and ice are light colored and reflect more heat away. Ocean water and bare ground reflect less heat, instead absorbing it. This transfer of heat between the ground and the air is called the surface energy flux.

energybalance_small

Figure 1. This diagram shows how the Earth’s atmosphere and the ground reflects and absorbs the Sun’s energy.

Credit: NASA Atmospheric Science Data Center

 

Heat is also coming from the inside of the Earth. The Earth’s core is very hot, and its heat moves towards the surface–geothermal heat flux (Figure 2).

insideearth

Figure 2. Deep inside, the Earth is hot. The mantle and liquid outer core are molten rock. The inner core is solid, but it too is hot. This heat moves through Earth’s layers to the surface.

Credit: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

 

Heat from volcanoes, rivers, lakes, and other sources can also spread through the ground. This heat keeps some areas unfrozen, even though surface temperatures are low.

In general, deeper permafrost is very old. One researcher found that the deepest part of the permafrost underneath Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, is more than 500,000 years old.

How does the local landscape affect frozen ground?

Temperature swings, seasonal changes, and location are not the only things that affect frozen ground. Snow, soil, plants, and other aspects of the local landscape also affect frozen ground.

Snow

A thick layer of snow acts like a blanket so that heat does not leave the ground. Only a thin layer of ground will freeze under a thick layer of snow.

Soil type

Some soils freeze more easily than others. Light-colored soils freeze sooner and stay frozen longer than dark soils. Light-colored soils and rocks reflect sunlight, keeping the ground cooler.

Peat

Peat is soil that forms when dead plants do not decompose all the way. Peat is found in marshy areas that form when the active layer thaws. The ground under peat is usually colder than ground not covered by a peat layer.  In the winter, peat freezes and allows heat to leave the ground. Because the heat escapes, more frozen ground and permafrost form.

Plants

In the summer, plants keep the soil underneath them cooler because they block some sunlight from reaching the ground. Evergreen trees especially keep the ground cooler. Evergreen trees do not lose their leaves in the winter. This means that the trees block sunlight from warming the ground. Plus, their branches block snow from reaching the ground underneath. The bare ground loses heat more easily. Permafrost often forms under evergreen trees.

Slopes

Hillsides and mountain slopes can affect frozen ground and permafrost.

If a slope gets more sunlight because of the way it faces, the ground will be warmer and will be less likely to freeze. In the Northern Hemisphere, slopes that face south, towards the Sun, get more sunlight than shady slopes that face north. The opposite is true in the Southern Hemisphere.

Steep slopes are likely to contain frozen ground. The steepness of the slope affects how much sunlight it gets. Steep slopes do not get as much direct sunlight, so they are colder. Steep slopes do not hold snow cover very well, so the bare ground loses more heat. Wind direction also affects whether frozen ground forms. If a slope faces into the wind, the ground will lose more heat. Plus, the wind will blow snow away making the ground even colder.

Lakes and rivers

Lakes and rivers are sources of heat in cold places. The water is warmer than the surrounding air and can keep the ground beneath it warmer in the winter. Lakes and rivers might not have frozen ground under them. Or, they might have a thicker active layer compared to nearby land.

The Powerblanket® Solution for Frozen Ground

Frozen ground is a reality many industrial companies must face.  The high watt density in Powerblanket Ground Thawing Blankets helps tackle the difficulty of thawing ground in harsh climates.  Use a Powerblanket ground heater to save time, money, and stress.  

 

“Your blankets are absolutely excellent. Thanks to the Powerblankets, we were able to quickly thaw the ground and complete our job. In fact, we estimate a savings of 10 hours per site equaling a savings of $5,000 already. Calculating this to our thousands of sites, the savings is huge! We are excited about the time and money Powerblanket has saved us and look forward to future savings.”

—Kim Herman OSP/COEI Operations Manager Precision Utilities Groupfrozen ground

 

Why Choose Powerblanket Ground Heaters?

  • High power density thaws frozen ground
  • Quickly remove frost prior to concrete pour
  • Melt snow and ice from roofs, walkways, and construction areas
  • Easily installed and removed
  • Provides higher heat control when combined with a thermostatic controller
  • Saves time, money, and labor

learn-more-ground-thawing-01

 

“All About Frozen Ground.” National Snow and Ice Data Center. Accessed 20 December 2016. https://nsidc.org/cryosphere/frozenground.

Winter Roofing

WINTER ROOFING AND POWERBLANKET HOT BOXES

There are many enjoyable things to do in the winter:  skiing, snowboarding, ice fishing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing. Roofing did not make the list of excellent winter recreational activities.  Winter roofing is not at the top of anyone’s list; however, it becomes essential when there is damage to a roof.

Almost all types of roofing material utilize adhesive during the installation process, and almost all adhesive requires warm temperatures (heat source) to properly cure and fasten. Without proper fastening, a roof will often fail quickly, if not immediately. In the summer, the sun’s heat will properly adhere most roofing materials: asphalt shingle, EPDM (rubber) single-ply membrane, roll roofing, peel and stick roofing, and modified bitumen. Added effort and expense are required to apply these materials in cold winter weather.

ASPHALT SHINGLEShot-box-web

The ideal temperature range to install asphalt shingles is between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21 and 27 degrees Celsius). Colder than 70 degrees and the adhesive will not reach the ideal elasticity and will not create a perfect seal. If temperatures are warmer than 80 degrees, asphalt shingles can become overly pliable and are susceptible to damage during installation. Installers are more likely to overdrive roofing nails, and foot traffic can erode the protective granular layer quite easily in extremely warm temperatures.

If winter installation is unavoidable, most asphalt shingle manufacturers require that a specialized adhesive is manually applied to each shingle for temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius). If shingles are applied below 40 degrees without the specialized adhesive, the manufacturer will void any warranty.

EPDM

EPDM (rubber) membrane roofing is even more temperature sensitive than asphalt (composition) shingles. EPDM is joined together using an extensive amount of adhesive, and the adhesive must have high temperatures to be pliable enough to install and cure. EPDM adhesive is very thick and hard to work with even at high temperatures. Manufacturers recommend temperatures be above 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius) for installation. That recommended temperature is not very practical unless a warm storage area is made available to keep the adhesive warm until the moment it is used.

POWERBLANKET HOT BOXES

Powerblanket has a solution for your winter roofing needs. The Powerblanket® Hot Box will maintain the desired temperature of your shingles and/or adhesive on site, making the winter install much easier.    While winter roofing is not ideal, Powerblanket makes it much easier than it has been in the past.

THINK INSIDE THE BOX

Powerblanket Hot Boxes saves you money by keeping your products from freezing without the risk of overheating. The Hot Box pallet warmer can be easily assembled, taken apart, and reassembled. Hot boxes are ideal for cold weather storage, freeze protection, transporting, job site heating, remote location use, and winter roofing. Standard Hot Boxes hold product between 100°F and 120°F (38°C and 49°C) and optional adjustable thermostatic controllers allow temperatures to be precisely controlled.

Powerblanket Pallet Warmers:

  • Preserve temperature sensitive material.
  • Assemble quickly and easily.
  • Heat materials and palletized products: adhesives, shingles, paint, caulk, resins and epoxies, etc.
  • Access doors on two sides..
  • Certified to UL and CSA standards.

 

Learn More Here Button-02

In depth information about roofing obtained from “Cold Weather Roofing”. ProRoofing.com. 14 November, 2016. www.proroofingwisconsin.com/cold-weather-roofing.html.

FREEZE PROTECTION FOR IBC TOTE TANK

Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and it’s time to consider how you are going to keep your IBC tote tank warm through the winter. Powerblanket tote heaters are an ideal solution for the freeze protection of your IBC tote tank.

 

Rather than panic in a couple months, prepare now to prevent your materials from freezing. IBCs are a valuable resource for decreasing customer costs through reduced handling, storage space and shipping expenses. They are easy to use, transport and recycle.

powerblanket-th275-275-gallon-tote-heaterYour IBCs may ship and store:

  • Bulk chemicals including hazardous materials or dangerous goods
  • Commodities and raw materials used in industrial production
  • Liquid, granulated, and powdered food ingredients
  • Food syrups, such as corn syrup or molasses
  • Petrochemical products, such as solvents, detergents, or adhesives
  • Rainwater when used for rooftop rainwater collection
  • Used IBCs are the basic building blocks for many home aquaponic systems

 

There are a few common sense strategies for keeping IBC tank totes warm: stacking them if you have multiples and/or keeping them indoors, if that’s possible.  However, even these strategies cannot guarantee freeze protection for IBC tote tanks with temperature sensitive materials.

Powerblanket® Tote Heaters maintain optimal heating conditions for temperature sensitive materials.

HERE’S HOW:

  • Distribute heat evenly around the tote
  • Designed to be durable and weather resistant
  • Provide easy access with a removable top
  • Include an adjustable thermostatic controller
  • Safely heat and protect a wide variety of chemicals and materials

Standard sizes  fit the IBC 250 gallon, 275 gallon (1,040 liter), 330 gallon (1,249 liter), 350 gallon (1,325 liter) 450 gallon, and 550 gallon totes. Also in 120 vac and 240 vac.

Let Powerblanket ease the stress of winter by helping you plan your IBC tote tank freeze prevention.

buy-now-04

DEF Freezing and DEF in Cold Weather

DEF Freezing and DEF in Cold Weather

The Polar Vortex is sliding down over the country.  Have you taken precautions to prevent DEF freezing in the increasingly cold temperatures swiftly approaching?  We have tips and guidelines to help you with DEF in cold weather.

Understanding DEF and SCR

Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is a non-hazardous solution, which is 32.5% urea and 67.5% deionized water. DEF is sprayed into the exhaust stream of diesel vehicles to break down dangerous NOx emissions into harmless nitrogen and water. NOx is an element in exhaust that has been blamed for acid rain, smog and raising the overall greenhouse gas levels of the planet.  DEF is not a fuel additive and never comes into contact with diesel. It is stored in a separate tank, typically with a blue filler cap. This system is called Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR).  SCR and DEF have been used for decades in other commercial and agricultural applications.

Storing DEF

DEF should be stored in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area. The ideal storage temperature for DEF is between 15ºF and 77ºF (-9ºC and 25ºC). It should not be exposed to direct sunlight for long periods of time as the urea will decompose. When possible, DEF packages and bulk storage should be kept indoors in temperature-controlled environments.  Use the right container. DEF is mildly corrosive, and should be stored in containers of HDPE plastic or stainless steel. 

DEF Expires

Check the expiration. The storage life of DEF varies. The urea is vulnerable to degradation from sunlight and higher temperatures. In favorable storage conditions (proper container, away from direct sunlight, temperatures between 15 and 77°F), DEF can maintain its qualities for about 12 months.

Be Good to DEF

Handle it like fuel. Per EPA guidelines, vehicles using DEF must include sensors to continually analyze the quality of the DEF being consumed. These sensors will trigger a fault code whenever an imbalance is detected. Most commonly, this results from a higher percentage of water as a result of foreign matter, condensation or rainwater in the DEF storage container or during transfer.  The quality and integrity of DEF must be maintained for proper machine operation. It must be protected against evaporation and temperature extremes, and kept free of contaminants.

When Does DEF Freeze?

DEF, because of the urea, doesn’t have the freezing point of water. The urea mixture has a much lower freezing point of 12°F/-11°C. This solution doesn’t break into just urea and just water, either. The solution freezes at the same rate, and also thaws at the same rate. This means that at no point does the DEF freezing cause the solution to become over concentrated or diluted. DEF will begin to slush and then freeze.  There is no harm to the product which means that the urea solution is still safe to use if it has been frozen.

DEF Freezing and Expansion

Though it is safe to use again once thawed, expansion from freezing could cause problems.  Since DEF is a mixture of deionized water and urea, it reacts somewhat like water in that it does expand when frozen. DEF freezing usually causes about a 7% expansion. It is important to note that DEF freezing is usually taken into account when creating the packaging and tanks that are supposed to hold DEF. DEF packaging and tanks allow for expansion. However, one must be aware of the expansion of DEF when filling.  When storing equipment overnight or longer in temperatures that could result in DEF freezing, it is important to make sure the DEF tank on the equipment is not completely full or that it has an appropriate heat source. This will allow for expansion and help prevent cracking of the storage reservoir.

How to Prevent DEF Freezing?

DEF freezing was taken into account by the OEMs prior to creating the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems. Therefore, the SCR systems are designed to provide heating for the DEF tank and supply lines; however, if the vehicle is shut down and exposed to freezing temperatures, then it is likely that the DEF will freeze. Diesel owners do not need to worry about DEF interfering with their vehicle, however. If DEF freezes when the vehicle is shutdown, startup and normal operation of the vehicle will not be inhibited. In most cases, the SCR heating system will quickly thaw the DEF in order to return it to liquid form and resume normal operation.

Can Anything Be Added to Prevent DEF Freezing?

Many want to know if anti-gelling or freeze-point-improver can be added to the DEF mixture to prevent freezing. DO NOT put additives into the urea solution because DEF must remain pure. The quality of DEF is extremely important for proper performance. Adding any additives would damage its ability to perform correctly and could even result in damages to the SCR system. No additives are approved for DEF at this time.

DEF Tote Heaters from Powerblanket®

Powerblanket has a solution for DEF freeze prevention:  Powerblanket DEF Tote Heaters maintain optimal heating conditions for temperature sensitive materials.  Powerblanket DEF Tote Heaters are temperature specific for the Diesel Exhaust Fluid to protect from freezing and maintain optimal temperatures.

DEF Tote Heater Prevent DEF FreezingHere’s How

  • Distribute heat evenly around the tote
  • Fully enclose and heat the tote and pump housing unit
  • Designed to be durable and weather resistant
  • Easy access to fill with a removable top
  • Simple plug and play operation, temperature is automatically regulated
  • Safely heat and protect a wide variety of chemicals and materials
  • 330 and 275  gallon versions feature an easy to access flap to the pump
  • Heated wraps for customized DEF bulk storage tanks available upon request
  • Include a frame to easily enclose and heat pump and hose

 

Learn More Here Button-02

 

 

 

Sources

“DEF Freezing”. Victory Blue. 7 December 2016. govictoryblue.com/2013/10/23/def-freezing/

Discover DEF. 8 December 2016. www.discoverdef.com/def-overview/faq/#def

Heating Solutions for Roofing Material

Whether you’re roofing in the spring, summer, winter, or fall, you need to keep your roofing material hot and ready to roll. From adhesives to mineral surfaced roll roofing, if you need portable, easy-to-use heating solutions for roofing material,the Powerblanket® Hot Box can help you keep your roofing materials warm and ready year round. 

 

Product Spotlight- Hot BoxHeating Solutions for Roofing Material: The Powerblanket Hot Box

The Powerblanket Hot Box (also known as our Bulk Material Warmer) is a versatile tool that can be used for a myriad of applications, and roofing is one of them. When you need to keep your materials warm and ready to use, the Hot Box is a great and economical way to maintain material warmth.

Sometimes material warming is merely a matter of protecting your supplies from freezing in cold weather. If not freezing, protecting them from inefficiency is equally important. The Hot Box executes these jobs extremely well. Temperature regulation and heat application for tar, adhesives, laminates, mineral surfaced roll roofing, and all other roofing materials are easily accomplished with the Hot Box.

What’s more, if you have materials that need more than just protection from the cold, the Hot Box helps there too. Certain roofing materials need to operate at high temperatures whether in moderate or cold weather. By using the transportable and easy-to-assemble Hot Box, you can keep your materials at the ideal temperature regardless of what’s happening with the weather.

The Powerblanket Hot Box is designed with great structural integrity. Every unit comes with an internal, freestanding frame and can be easily assembled, disassembled, and reassembled. This makes the Hot Box ideal both for long-term storage of palletized product as well as on-site heating. Additionally, the option for an adjustable thermostatic controller gives you the ability to control the temperature range in order to prevent over or under-heating your product.

 

hot-box-one-cordPowerblanket® Hot Boxes:

  • Preserves temperature sensitive material
  • Installs quickly and effortlessly, and is compact and portable for storage
  • Heats palletized products: tar, resins, laminate, adhesives, mineral surfaced roll roofing, etc.
  • Features top and side access doors.
  • Is certified to UL and CSA safety standards

 

 

Learn More

Powerblanket® 400 Insulated Band Heater: The Better Way

 

Traditional band heaters are a mess, and by a mess we mean a safety hazard, an inefficient tool, and an unnecessary means of heating material. While old band heaters have their many limitations and setbacks, the Powerblanket 400 Insulated Band Heater does not.

 

powerblanket400-revised (1)A New Kind of Band Heater

Our primary motivation for writing this blog isn’t to disparage traditional band heaters, but we do feel it’s important to tell people about their shortcomings.  Frankly, no one should be using traditional band heaters anymore.

Perhaps many years ago, these devices were the best means for heating metal barrels and drums (and even then, you had to balance their limited benefits with their risks and inefficiencies). But nowadays, there is far better technology available to answer the same need, and it does so in a much better and safer way.

The problem with old band heaters is this: strapping an exposed, heated, band around your storage container leaves room for fire hazard and burn potential. If anything touches that band on accident, well, it’s going to wreak havoc. Depending on what it is, it could start a fire, and if it happens to be a hand, leg, or arm…you can cringe a little when imagining the result.

 

The Better Answer – The Only Answer

After talking about the woes of traditional band heaters, let us introduce you to the Powerblanket 400 Insulated Band Heater. Our insulated band heater answers the same need for heating and warming as traditional band heaters do, only ours doesn’t come with the negative side effects. To start with, our band heaters are insulated, which means you don’t have the hazard of a really hot, exposed strap. If something were to touch our insulated band heater on accident, big deal. It won’t cause a fire, and it won’t burn…and that goes for human flesh too.

Additionally, our insulated band heaters can provide integrated temperature control for the heating process, when coupled with our auxiliary controller. You can heat from low to rather high temperatures. And get this, these insulated band heaters can be used on metal and poly containers. So imagine a band heater that is safe, efficient, and versatile, and you just imagined the Powerblanket insulated band heater. No imagining is necessary though. It’s real. See for yourself.

 

Powerblanket 400 Band Heater Features:

  • Increases your heating capacity, up to 350 ° F
  • Made with a durable and safe silicone-coated, fiberglass shell
  • Provides an insulated layer to keep heat in and offer safety
  • Provides more even heat and more precise control over the heating process (when you purchase our control system)
  • High efficiency aluminum heat-spreading technology spreads heat efficiently
  • Comes in 120 V and 240 V options

 

 

Learn More

Freeze Protection for Chemical Injection Tanks

Chemical injection tanks can be found all over the oil piping and drilling industry, as well as in water treatment facilities. In fact, they can be found in many different sectors for many different reasons. But as versatile as they are, a chemical injection tank is no match for cold weather, not on its own at least.

 

Picture1
A Poly-Mart Chemical Injection Tank https://poly-mart.com/chemical-injection-systems/

Chemical Injection Tanks and Freeze Protection

The big poly containers you see strewn all over the oil fields and other similar locations are truly helpful when it comes to storing and accessing the valuable liquids they hold. But you may have noticed something else about them, the same thing we noticed ourselves. That “something” is the obvious fact that they are basic, high-grade plastic containers. And as basic, high grade plastic containers, they have no insulating qualities.

Perhaps you’re thinking: so what if they aren’t insulated? Well, for a portion of the year this fact isn’t a game changing one, but for other parts of the year, it is. Think of the problems that could arise come winter. Chemical injection tanks are commonly used to maintain flow, to reduce corrosion, and to improve operations associated with the treatment of fluid sources. This is why these tanks are so often found in the oil field and at water-treatment facilities. The chemicals stored inside of them are often temperature-sensitive liquids, and if these liquids freeze under adverse conditions, so does the process they enable.

To counteract this problem, Powerblanket offers custom heating solutions for chemical injection tanks. Whatever the size or shape of you injection tanks, Powerblanket’s custom solutions team can design a durable heating blanket for it, a blanket that will be easy to install when you need it, and easy to remove when you don’t.

Our proprietary blend of material and technology produces a heating solution that wraps your injection tank in a durable insulating blanket that spreads electrical heat evenly and safely throughout the entire application area. So when it comes to chemical injection tanks, don’t leave them out in the cold. Give us a call today and get started on a custom solution that meets your needs.

 

Get a custom quote

Concrete Blankets From Powerblanket®

Cement Curing Blankets

Cement curing has always been a challenge in cold weather. Historically, experts have employed many different methods in order to aid in and speed up the curing process. Some methods are better than others. The best, in our opinion, is using concrete curing blankets from Powerblanket. Here’s why:

Concrete Curing Blankets

 

Why Electric Curing Blankets?

When placing concrete in cold weather, protecting the asset (the concrete) is not optional. For years now, experts have used insulated blankets to both protect the concrete and speed the curing process at the same time. Concrete cures due to a chemical reaction that generates heat as a byproduct. So insulating the concrete allows that heat to be trapped and used to aid in the curing process. Concrete cures fastest in very warm conditions, so this makes the use of an insulated blanket a practical and theoretically sound practice.

Of course, the use of traditional concrete curing blankets isn’t the only method employed among professionals. Other common curing interventions include:

  • Chemical additives
  • Hydronic heating systems
  • Electrically-powered concrete curing blankets
  • Poly/tarp cover with forced air heat applied

Sometimes the circumstance will allow for the luxury of a postponed pour, in order to take advantage of an expected temperature change.  But more often than not, schedules and deadlines make it imperative to institute curing assistance to get through less-than-favorable weather.

This is where Powerblanket Concrete Curing Blankets come in. As much as traditional curing blankets aid in protecting and accelerating the curing process, Powerblanket curing blankets provide both insulation and heat, protecting and accelerating all the more. Our patented blend of technology delivers an even distribution of electrical heat to the surface area of the blanket, trapping the heat of the chemical reaction in the concrete and adding the additional heat needed to accelerate the process even further.

Since Powerblanket Cement Curing Blankets insulate and heat, they effectively accommodate the hydration of the concrete as well. How well do they really work? Take a look at our case study to see an example of curing nearly three times as fast with our blankets.

The technology behind Powerblanket curing blankets serves to achieve several primary objectives, including:

  1. Preventing damage as a result of freezing in the early stage of curing
  2. Producing sufficient, specified strengths in a timely manner
  3. Insuring durability and long-term structural integrity
  4. Keeping projects on schedule, regardless of weather

So before you’re faced with a project that must go on despite inclement temperatures, make sure you have a plan on how to protect your concrete and keep your deadlines met. When considering the options you have before you, we’re confident you’ll find our solution to be the best answer out there.

 

Read the Case Study for Evidence that Powerblanket Cement Curing Blankets:

  • Cured concrete 2.8 times faster than conventional insulated blankets
  • Cured concrete 1.7 times faster without adding additional heat (un-powered)
  • Produced cold weather concreting strength of 3,925 psi in 72 hours

 

Additional Features:

  • Maintain moisture throughout hydrating process
  • Maintain ACI compliance for cold-weather concreting

 

Get the Case Study

The Powerblanket® RR-80 Barrel Heater: Product Spotlight

Whether you need to maintain temperature for chemicals, food product, paint and other coatings, water, or any other temperature sensitive material, Powerblanket Barrel Heaters are the ideal solution. What’s more, if you need to keep a liquid or other solution just above room temperature, our RR-80 Barrel Heater is just the thing you need.

 

The Powerblanket® RR-80 Barrel HeaterThe Powerblanket RR-80

The Powerblanket RR-80 is the perfect heating solution for keeping your barrel storage just above room temperature. With 120 Volts and 400/800 watts, the RR-80 rapidly ramps up to a max temperature of 80° F—give or take a few degrees of normal variance. (In case you’re wondering, the fact that this blanket Rapidly Ramps up to a fixed 80° F is the reason we call it the RR-80.)

Powerblanket® Rapid Ramp technology provides an accelerated heating time that quickly raises the temperature of fluids to 80° F. This rapid ramp happens in the initial phase, while the blanket is pumping out all 800 watts of heat. Once the blanket reaches 80° F, however, it brings the power consumption down to 400 Watts (or 3.33 Amps) in order to merely maintain 80° F. You see that’s one major benefit our technology has over traditional band heaters. Most band heaters will just keep heating your product until it’s far hotter than it needs to be. And even band heaters with thermostats are less than reliable, applying heat to only a small area of a  barrel.

On the other hand, the Powerblanket® BH55RR-80 Barrel/Drum Heater allows you to safely and efficiently control the temperature of whatever you’re storing in drums or barrels. Additionally, our barrel and drum heaters work with both steel and poly containers, you can use the same unit on both types, whereas, you usually need different silicone band heaters for  different barrel types

 

Powerblanket® BH55-RR-80 Barrel Heater Benefits

  • Cinch straps ensure a tight fit
  • An ideal solution for storing polyurethane spray foam
  • Energy-efficient
  • Safe for indoor and outdoor use
  • Water-resistant
  • Works on both poly and steel containers
  • Prevents product waste by safely maintaining consistent temperatures
  • Patented heat spreading plane eliminates hot and cold spots from forming

 

Learn More

Custom Tank Heaters: The Perfect Approach to Heating Solutions


custom tank heatersIt would be absolutely ridiculous to assume that all tanks come in the same shapes and sizes, whether they hold water, gas, chemicals, or some other matter. We all know that this simply isn’t the case. While there are certainly standard measurements for specialty gas tanks, water tanks, and others, the range of variance between size, construction, and purpose is vast enough that there simply isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for tank protection. That’s why Powerblanket® Custom Tank Heaters are the perfect approach to the need for a heating solution.

 

Customized for Your Tanks and Needs

Regardless of the size of your tank, the purpose it serves, or its shape, Powerblanket can help you protect it against cold weather and keep it running at the ideal temperature year round. Our custom approach to providing tailored heating solutions to a myriad of industries and applications has allowed hundreds of customers to protect their precious assets from the ravages of cold weather.

In addition to freeze protection, our custom tank heaters enable increased efficiency in gas and other kinds of tanks. Anywhere flow rates and extraction rates are affected by temperature, Powerblanket custom tank heaters can ensure the flow of liquids and extraction of gas is always at its best. Take, for example, the nature of a gas such as propane.

When gases are stored in tanks, they are stored under considerable pressure. Due to this fact, they reside in the tank in both a liquid and gaseous state. Extracting a gas means you must evaporate some of the liquid and that evaporation process requires an input of heat energy. If the gas extraction rate is fast enough, it could cause the tank to frost up and the extraction to be impeded. However, with a custom Powerblanket propane tank heater you can keep the extraction flowing fast and full, without the side effect of frosting or icing.

What’s more, whether a tank holds gas or liquid, freezing temperatures pose big problems. Using a custom tank heater allows you to fully insulate and heat your tank to whatever temperature is best, regardless of the surrounding climate.

 

custom tank heaterGetting a custom tank heater from Powerblanket is as easy as 1, 2, 3:

  1. Contact us with the details of your application.
  2. We’ll design a custom tank heater for your application, based on your information and feedback.
  3. We’ll build your custom solution and ship it to you within two weeks. (Sometimes, we can even turn a project around in as little as one week.)

 

In the end, there’s no reason to leave your tank out in the cold. Powerblanket can cover it and keep it safe and functioning well through the most inclement weather.

 

Get a custom quote

The Vulnerability of Drums and Barrels

Let’s face it; drums, barrels, and other similar canisters or storage units are as versatile as Tupperware®. You can store all kinds of products in them. But there’s another fact about them that’s also worth mentioning; drums and barrels are pretty vulnerable when it comes to temperature maintenance.

 

Keeping Your Food Hot 2Barrels, Drums, and Cold Weather

Most of the time, when we store liquids or other material in drums or barrels, we do so because we intend to store a lot of it. With this reality in mind, it’s not often that you see drums and barrels sitting in the same climate-controlled spaces we live and work in. No, they’re usually left in drafty warehouses or outside. Whatever the case, drums and barrels, plus the products inside of them, are often left to the mercies of their surroundings, and that can be a real problem if their surroundings are cold.

This is especially true for metal drums or barrels. So if you’re storing temperature-sensitive materials in your drums or barrels, then you could have a real problem on your hands when cold weather rolls around…that is unless you have the proper solution in place.

 

Powerblanket® Drum and Barrel Heaters

  • Our barrel heaters work with both steel and poly containers
  • Full wrap-around design provides complete insulation and ensures good heat distribution
  • Drum warmers deliver safe heat to expensive materials without overheating or burning
  • Drum heaters design decreases and prevents product waste among temp-sensitive materials by maintaining consistent storage temperatures without significant fluctuations
  • Highly energy-efficient GreenHeat Technology™ and design lowers energy-related expenses and overall project and equipment costs

 

Get the White Paper

Caring for Your Diesel Exhaust Fluid

Diesel Exhaust Fluid, known for short as DEF, is a precious commodity to anyone running diesel-powered vehicles these days. Ever since 1970, when the Clean Air Act went into effect in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken multiple measures to regulate exhaust from a myriad of vehicles. However, it wasn’t until 1990 that the EPA started mandating diesel exhaust specifically.

 

2016-01-07 15_58_52-The Definitive Guide to DEFDEF: 1990 and Beyond

Since the inception of the EPA’s restrictions on diesel exhaust, DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) has become all the more important. Emission standards have become more and more restrictive over the last two decades, and today, diesel exhaust restrictions are applicable to all on-road and off-road vehicles.

With these new restrictions in place, Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems are required to run diesel engines on any vehicle, whether a truck, a backhoe, or a combine. Eventually, these restrictions will also be enforced on water vessels. Essentially, with the EPA’s mandate in place, every diesel engine will eventually have to run a SCR, except for those built before the new regulations were in place.

Since SCR are a requirement of the present and future, DEF becomes nearly as essential as the fuel itself. And with DEF being as important as it is, it becomes imperative that you know how to properly store and care for it. DEF maintenance includes, but isn’t limited to:

  • How to use it
  • How to care for it
  • How to protect it
  • The challenges associate with DEF
  • Knowing the government regulations associated with it

You can learn more about all these matters and then some by downloading our free e-book through the link below.

DEF Guide

Propane Tanks and How to Care for Them

Whether you’re a homeowner who relies on propane for heating, or a business leader who uses if for industrial purposes, propane is a versatile and important commodity. However, as helpful as propane is to us, we often overlook the need of caring for our propane tanks year round.

 

2016-01-05 09_16_31-Powerblanket___Propane_Tanks_Guide___v3__1_ (1).pdf - Adobe ReaderCaring for Your Propane: Tank and All

When it comes to caring for your propane storage, it’s imperative that you have a working knowledge of your tank and all the potential threats that could impede its proper functionality. Understanding the warning signs of a damaged or inefficient tank is important, not only for reasons of economical operation, but for the safety of all involved.

Several factors play into the safe and efficient operation of any size propane tank. These factors include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Shutting off valves when the tank is not in use
  • Keeping reserve tanks at a minimum
  • Not leaving portable propane tanks inside a vehicle
  • Securing portable tanks properly
  • Replacing weathered and/or worn canisters

Knowing how to properly manage all these aspects of propane storage and usage is very important. But there are many other factors to consider, too. Matters such as storage, setup, protection, government regulations, and the warning signs of hazardous circumstances are equally important. For more information on how to care for your propane and the tank in which you keep it. Access our free e-book below.

 

button (11)

 

Insulated Band Heaters vs. Traditional Band Heaters

If you’ve dealt with traditional band heaters, then perhaps you have some reservations regarding the usefulness, efficiency, and safety of such a solution. If you’ve never heard of insulated band heaters, then you’re in for a treat. Here we compare the two to see who comes out on top.

 

Insulated band heatersInsulated Band Heaters vs Traditional Band Heaters

In one corner we have the long-standing, often-used traditional band heater, and in the other corner, we have the heavy-hitting, highly efficient insulated band heater. Let’s start with comparing maximum temperatures. Traditional band heaters can heat as high as 400° F, insulated band heaters, well, they can too. Here’s what that looks like:

 

Traditional Band Heater Insulated Band Heater
Heats as high as 400° F Heats as high as 400° F

 

Traditional Band Heaters: 1 pt.

Insulated Band Heaters: 1 pt.

 

Next, we look at heating efficiency. Traditional band heaters use anywhere from 600-1200 watts of electricity to heat the material inside a barrel or drum. What’s more, a good portion of this is wasted as heat is lost to the air around the heater. Insulated band heaters, on the other hand, don’t lose as much energy to their surroundings. With insulated band heaters, much more heat is channeled into the product, and much less into the thin air.

 

Traditional Band Heater Insulated Band Heater
Wastes a lot of energy Delivers energy to the load

 

Traditional Band Heaters: -1 pt.

Insulated Band Heaters: 2 pt.

 

And finally, when it comes to that most important topic of safety, insulated band heaters win out here too. Traditional band heaters can be extremely hazardous. Since they’re heating as high as 400° F, this means their non-insulated, external temperature is about the same. Essentially, you have a belted band of silicone wrapped around your drum or barrel that is as hot as 400° on the surface. If something touches this on accident, it could mean fire or third-degree burns. Insulated band heaters are a lot safer. Since they’re insulated, the surface that is exposed to the user  is safe to touch.

 

Traditional Band Heater Insulated Band Heater
Hazardous (fire hazard and burn hazard) Safe to touch when installed and running

 

 

Traditional Band Heaters: -1 pt.

Insulated Band Heaters: 2 pt.

 

So this puts the final score of the comparison at…

 

Traditional Band Heater Insulated Band Heater
Heats as high as 400° F (1 pt.) Heats as high as 400° F (1 pt.)
Wastes a lot of energy (-1 pt.) Delivers energy to the load (2 pts.)
Hazardous (fire hazard and burn hazard) (-1 pt.) Safe to touch when installed and running. (2 pts.)

 

Traditional Band Heaters: -1 pt.

Insulated Band Heaters: 5 pts.

We’ll let you do the math from here.

 

 

Picture1

Powerblanket Receives Manufacturer of the Year Award from UMA

If you haven’t seen this headline somewhere else on the web by now, we’re happy to tell you all about it here. Utah Manufacturers Association recently awarded Powerblanket something we’re pretty happy about. Read on to learn more about the UMA Manufacturer of the Year Award.

 

UMA AwardUMA and Manufacturer of the Year

Utah Manufacturers Association (UMA), recently awarded Powerblanket the prestigious award  of Manufacturer of the Year. This award is given annually to the Utah-based manufacturer that proves to be the most innovative contributor to their space. There’s even more to it than this, but we’ll get to that.

UMA has been around since 1905. The organization prides itself on offering the “voice of industry” in the state of Utah, and they’ve been doing so for over 107 years now. UMA has clearly been talking Utah economy for a long time, but talking isn’t all they do. UMA is a trade association, and their goal is to enhance and improve the business climate in the state. UMA doesn’t only offer insight and expertise in the business of manufacturing, but the organization also has considerable experience in the legislative processes of state government. This is how they can do so much to vie for the interests of Utah businesses and the overall economic prosperity of the state.

UMA’s Manufacturer of the Year Award embodies the mission of UMA in multiple ways. By awarding the company that not only proves innovative in their respective markets, but also offers leadership in their industry, UMA’s award encourages and rewards the same idealism by which their organization operates. Powerblanket was chosen to receive this award for 2015, based on the embodiment of these characteristics and more. In fact, why don’t we just give it to you in their own words. According to UMA, Powerblanket received the award “for their outstanding performance in operational excellence, economic achievement, workplace safety, community outreach, and fidelity to the principles of free enterprise.”

Powerblanket is honored to receive such accolades from a high quality establishment like UMA. The credibility of UMA and the Manufacturer of the Year Award lends a great addition to our own image and ethos as a company devoted to “operational excellence, economic achievement, workplace safety, community outreach, and fidelity to the principles of free enterprise.”

So, from all of us here at Powerblanket, thank you, UMA for this great privilege.

 


Learn More

The Hot Box Now Comes in 3 Options

If you know about our Bulk Material Warmer (also known as the Powerblanket Hot Box), then know how handy it can be when it comes to keeping your materials warm and protected from freezing temperatures. However, what you may not have known is that this savvy product now comes in three different performance levels.

 

Product Spotlight- Hot BoxGood Better Best

We recently expanded on our tried and true Hot Box heating solution in order to provide variable offerings for varying use cases. We realize not every job needs the most robust, durable, and powerful product in order to offer efficiency and economic heating capabilities. So with this in mind, we set out to create a good-better-best approach to the Powerblanket Hot Box product line.

The Powerblanket Hot Box (also referred to as a Bulk Material Warmer) is now available in three different performance levels to accommodate a wider range of heating needs. When we first introduced their Bulk Material Warmer, it was immediately implemented among our customer base as a viable and helpful solution for bulk material prep and protection.

Take Vern Fiehler, of Quick Road Repair in Alaska, for example. Vern was one such individual who benefited substantially from the Powerblanket Hot Box. Prior to the inception of the Hot Box, Vern was using a forced-air, ceramic heater to bring his Instant Road Repair (IRR) product up to working temperatures. But the use of this heating solution burned his product during a presentation in front of a group of decision makers for the Juneau Alaska International Airport. Shortly after this setback, Vern discovered our Hot Box and has used it ever since.

Whatever bulk material warming you may be in need of, you can benefit from the security, efficiency, and safety of our Hot Box heating solution, just like Vern did. Whether you need a little or a lot of heat, whether you need durability or extreme durability and regulatory heat, we have the right box for you. With our Powerblanket Lite, Powerblanket, and Powerblanket Premium options, you can get portable, storable, and reliable heating to protect your assets, whatever they are.

[call_to_action_2 style=”1″ header=”The New Hot Box” content=”Now in 3 Performance Levels” buttontext=”See the New Features” background=”#b12227″ background_hover=”#b12227″ url=”https://www.powerblanket.com/bulk-material-warmers-hot-box/” target=”_self”]

How to Keep Water Tanks from Freezing

If you’ve ever had a water storage tank freeze, then you know just how much of a disaster it can be. As the colder months are fast approaching, now is the time to consider what you can do to keep your tanks protected from failure.

 

How to keep water tanks from freezingFreeze Protection for Water Storage

When it comes to freeze protection for water storage, the water itself is only half the equation. Surely it’s obvious that your priority would be to protect your storage from freezing, but have you stopped to consider that your storage tank needs just as much protecting? If you’ve stored water before in cold temperatures, then you probably have, because you’ll be well aware of water’s unique characteristics.

Of all the pure elements on earth that we know of, H₂O is the only molecule that expands when it freezes. Everything else contracts. With this being the case, one can imagine, and most of us have experienced firsthand, the dilemma posed by water’s frozen state. As it has to do with tank storage, well, potential damage to the tank is a very real concern. Consequently, having your water storage tank freeze can create a very big problem.

Most water storage tanks are equipped with two different types of systems for churning the water within the tank. These systems only work well within the proper environments, however. One such system is known as a passive system. These are hydrodynamic mixing systems. Another type is a jet aeration system. Jet aeration systems create movement in the water only during the filling process, which means that are completely incapable of preventing ice buildup in the tank once the temperature drops.

Then there are your active systems, and there are two kinds: pulse hydraulics and solar. These types of systems are known as active because they can be programmed to respond to various needs in the tank environment. However, only the most powerful active mixers can prevent ice buildup all winter long.

So here’s the moral of the story: unless your environment is just right, simply moving the water around in your tank isn’t going to prevent freezing. Even if you have a large and powerful active mixer, you’re still gambling with Mother Nature. When ice develops in your water storage, it can damage your controls, the interior of the tank, or it can even puncture the walls of your tank. What’s more, all this can happen before you even realize you have ice buildup.

 

The Answer

So how to keep water tanks from freezing, it’s a good question. But as you can already tell, the answer section to this topic is much shorter than the problem, and that’s because the solution is simple. In order to eliminate the damage associated with freezing water, you simply have to keep your tank at the ideal temperature. To be quite frank, the traditional methods for reducing ice formation inside water tanks are expensive, difficult, and only partially effective, hence the word “reducing” instead of “eliminating”.

So when seeking a solution for preventing ice buildup inside a storage tank, the most important thing to remember is uniformed heat. In order to properly prevent ice buildup, you need to maintain the same temperature at the bottom of your water tank, as you do at the top. In order to do this, you need to have a solution in place that can keep your tank at an ideal, regulated temperature year round. And thankfully, it just so happens that we provide that very solution here at Powerblanket®.

 

[call_to_action_2 style=”1″ header=”Powerblanket Tank Heaters” content=”Learn More about Powerblanket Tank Heaters” buttontext=”Learn More” background=”#b12227″ background_hover=”#b12227″ url=”https://www.powerblanket.com/tank-heaters/” target=”_self”]

Methane Hydrates: A Dilemma for the Pipeline Industry

Sometimes the word methane carries with it a negative connotation, but if there’s a word or combination of words to trump it, it’s “methane hydrate,” at least if you’re in the piping industry that is. While methane hydrates can be found naturally occurring in the deep abys of the ocean bottom (and could serve as a good energy source) when it comes to gas lines, there’s nothing good to say about them.

 

Methane Hydrates

What are Methane Hydrates?

In terms of simplicity, a methane hydrate is a combination of methane gas and water. When these two combine at freezing temperatures, they form a solid methane hydrate. Interestingly enough, these crystal-like rocks form naturally at the depths of the sea. And in cases of potential energy sources, well, methane hydrates could be a thing of the future. However, when it comes to the piping industry, these rocks just plain get in the way.

 

Methane Solids in Your Pipes

In the case of the piping industry, methane hydrates can put a stop on gas flow like plaque can put a halt on blood flow in our arteries. When natural gas passes through piping equipment at temperatures near or below freezing, the buildup of condensation and the contraction of gas molecules create these gnarly solids we’ve been talking about. When these hydrates buildup in pipelines, especially at transition points like valves, manifolds, and instrumentation, they can pose a substantial risk to continued operation. In fact, they can outright stop it in its tracks.

So what’s the solution? It’s a simple one. It’s heat. Adding heat to a pipeline can keep temperatures at the ideal level and will entirely prevent the formation of methane hydrates. When adding regulated and even heat distribution to your equipment in the form valve heaters, manifold heaters, and instrumentation heaters, hydrate formation is no longer a problem. Thankfully, this is one of the major areas Powerblanket assists the piping industry with. Our valve, manifold, and instrumentation heaters offer the easiest and most efficient solutions to heat maintenance on a natural gas or liquid pipeline. So if hydrate formation is a dilemma that keeps you up at night, reach out to Powerblanket today, so you can start sleeping better.

 

Valve Heaters

Protect Your Agricultural Assets With Custom Heating Solutions

Forbes ran an article yesterday from Thomas Landstreet about the potential collapse in agricultural pricing. These estimations come at the cost of corn, pork, and beef especially. But whichever way the pendulum swings in the near future, one thing’s for certain: those in agriculture will need to safeguard their precious assets, and this could mean applying the proper custom heating solutions to help keep operating costs low.

 

The Agricultural Outlook

Protect Your Agricultural Assets With Custom Heating Solutions

According to Thomas Landstreet’s article on the matter, we should expect to experience a considerable drop in prices for the agricultural sector (that’s bad news) something Mr. Landstreet refers to as a retrenchment. So why the retrenchment, you ask? Well, according to Landstreet, there are two major factors that will contribute to the impending slide of the agricultural industry. One of them is something its faced time and time again, and that’s drought. Apparently the drought we passed through back in 2012 has created what Landstreet calls a bubble, one that he thinks will pop soon.

The second factor that is set to cause problems in the agricultural space is the ethanol mandate that allocated 40% of corn to creating an alternative fuel to petroleum. The effect of less corn going toward food supply has also contributed to the nearly bursting bubble. Whether the bubble bursts anytime soon or not, one thing is pertinent for the industry, and that is asset protection.

 

The Powerblanket® Contribution

If prices are to drop in the agricultural sector, then those involved in the industry are going to need to save on operating expenses where ever they can. Additionally, it’s going to be imperative to safeguard capital and resources. In the spirit of such, Powerblanket offers a myriad of possibilites in custom heating solutions for the agricultural space. So whether you need to keep large water tanks from freezing, propane storage at the ideal temperature, or DEF storage working in cold weather, Powerblanket has you covered.

Powerblanket custom heating solutions offer the most cost-effective and efficient heating solution on the market. With our patented approach to heating, we can ensure even heat distribution over the entire service area of application. What’s more, in case of temperature-sensitive storage maintenance, Powerblanket heating solutions actually add efficiency to the equation, such as in the case of ourpropane tank heaters. Add to this our revolutionary smart controllers and our new 3D scanningcapabilities, and Powerblanket becomes the clear choice.

 

Download Propane Spec Sheet

The Mansfield D1 Expo and Powerblanket® DEF Heaters

Powerblanket recently attended the 2015 Mansfield D1 Expo in Denver Colorado. There, Powerblanket was able to showcase the company’s patented DEF storage heater technology to many interested attendees. What’s more, Powerblanket was able to discuss technologies that reached beyond just DEF heaters.

 

The Mansfield D1 Expo and Powerblanket® DEF Heaters

Mansfield’s Expo

This year’s Mansfield D1 Expo was one of the biggest yet. Mansfield Oil is a national leader in the industries of energy supply, logistics, and services enterprise. As part of their focus on partnering with clients in order to provide innovative, technology-based solutions, Mansfield has put on this expo every year for six years now.

At this year’s sixth annual retreat for their partners, Mansfield offered plenty to capture participants’ interests, especially in regards to petroleum, ethanol, biodiesel, and DEF trends. The 2015 show had industry experts speaking about trends in the DEF and petroleum industry, it hosted showcased vendors of related products and services, and it focused on transportation & fuel additives. The show was packed with entertainment and information all.

Of all the matters addressed at is year’s show, DEF was a major focus. With Powerblanket DEF heating solutions present, participants and attendees were able to see firsthand the protective qualities of the Powerblanket solution. With DEF storage trending towards mini-bulk quantities as large as 600-4500 gallons for the trucking industry alone, the need to protect this valuable asset became all the more apparent at the Powerblanket booth.

“It was a privilege rubbing shoulders with so many experts in the DEF and Petro-Chemical industries,” said Justin Montoya, Powerblanket DEF Heating Solutions specialist. “We were thrilled with the interest in our products, including both DEF and our extensive product line for other applications.”

 

 

Further Contributions from Powerblanket

With the transportation and agricultural industries primed to start needing more DEF solutions, and with additional fuel additives complicating the process of viscosity maintenance, Powerblanket is ready to offer more than just DEF heaters.

Equally beneficial to the presence of Powerblanket DEF heaters at the Mansfield expo was the inclusion and discussion around the many Powerblanket heating solutions offered, DEF storage heaters being only one among many. Powerblanket provides a myriad of ready-to-ship heating solutions, but we also offer a completely customized approach to our heating technology. So regardless of what it is you need to warm or heat, Powerblanket has you covered.

 

Download our Product Catalog

Showcasing Our DEF Storage Heater at the Mansfield D1 Expo

The Mansfield D1 Expo offers a great opportunity for companies in the transportation and fuel industries to network and synergize their offerings and contributions. Powerblanket is present at this year’s expo to showcase the wonders of our DEF storage heater and other related technologies.

 

Mansfield Oil

This year marks the sixth annual running of the Mansfield D1 Expo. Mansfield Oil is a leader in petroleum marketing and fuel supply and puts this expo on to accommodate networking and support among those companies that drive success in the transportation and fuel industries. This year’s expo is a highly anticipated event with plenty to offer attendees and exhibitors. Industry and technological education, hands on exhibitions, and networking are all geared to help make the expo an unforgettable event.

Additionally, this year’s keynote speakers are said to be as anticipated as the event itself. Industry leaders will offer their insight on topics surrounding professional development and experience in the fuel industry.

The 2015 edition will support thirty-one exhibitors from around the country, all  of whom have come to present, share, and network their contributions to their respective sector. Powerblanket will be present to exhibit the company’s  DEF heating products as well as our wide variety of standard and custom heating solutions, each serving to help companies save time and money during cold-weather conditions. Of course, equally important to this is the increased efficiency that comes from using Powerblanket heating solutions.

Justin Montoya, Director of Business Development at Powerblanket, said that “having a presence at this event is great for us. The Mansfield D1 Expo is the perfect place to showcase and discuss the value of our innovative DEF storage heaters.”

Our patented approach to heat regulation and freeze protection enables companies to store DEF, and many other materials, at the ideal temperature, regardless of cold, frigid weather. We’ll be displaying and demoing our DEF storage heaters at our designated booth at the Westin Denver Downtown Hotel, located at 1672 Lawrence St. from August 24th through the 26th. Along with the DEF heating technology we’ll have on display, we’ll also be showcasing complementary smart controls. All this, plus our new Class I Division 1 certification and a raffle for prizes, makes the Powerblanket booth the place to be at this year’s Mansfield D1 Expo.

 

Download Product Spec Sheet two lines

Heat Tape—And the Better Solution

Heat tape (or heating tape, as it’s sometimes referred to) is a way you can implement low-key freeze protection for your exposed pipes during the winter. In fact, this handy technology can even be used to safeguard instrumentation and other devices that are left out in the cold. However, as savvy as this approach sounds, did you know that there is a much better solution?

 

Heat Tape—And the Better Solution 1

Heating Blankets Bolster Safety and Efficiency

Heat tape has its uses in very small applications, but in most scenarios, it can be like putting a Band-Aid on a broken bone. Such a technology offers direct heat only where the tape contacts the pipe or apparatus on which it’s placed. When used on metal pipes, the heat exchange is bound to spread, merely because metal is an obvious conductor of heat. With this in mind, then, we can see another limitation in the freeze protection offered by heating tape; it can only be used on heat conductive surfaces.

Aside from this, another problem with heating tape is the simple fact that it offers only heat. Such an approach provides no insulation against the cold. Insulation on its own isn’t enough; that’s for sure. But neither is heat. Instead, the proper combination for free protection and temperature regulation is the combination of both. And this is where heating blankets come in.

 

Heat Tape—And the Better Solution 2

The Better Heating Solution

Now that we’ve sufficiently covered all the shortcomings of heating tape, we can address the characteristics of a far better solution. That far better solution is heating blankets, or heat blankets. Heat blankets are a combination of heat-distribution capabilities married with durable insulation for a myriad of industrial and commercial applications.

In the case of Poweblanket®, we offer a revolutionary and patented approach to heating blankets. Our durable vinyl shells are capable of insulating assets in temperatures as low as -50° F. What’s more,Powerblanket heating blankets offer the best and most efficient heat distribution on the market. So if you have valuable material or equipment to protect from the effects of cold weather, give us a call today.

 

Download product catalog

 

Winter Preparation: Now’s the Time

As the temperatures around the nation rise into the hundreds, cold-weather preparation may be the furthest thing from your mind. What’s more, there are plenty of warm-weather applications that Powerblanket technology is used for. But we would be completely remiss if we didn’t say enough of proper winter preparation. After all, when it comes to preparing for winter, you don’t want to be a grasshopper…

 

Winter Preparation- Now’s the Time

Aesop’s Fable: The Ant and the Grasshopper

Perhaps you’re already familiar with the old fable of The Ant and the Grasshopper from Aesop. If you’re not (and even if you are) we’ve recited it here. Below follows the most popular English renditions of the story:

“In a field one summer’s day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart’s content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.

‘Why not come and chat with me,’ said the Grasshopper, ‘instead of toiling and moiling in that way?’

‘I am helping to lay up food for the winter,’ said the Ant, ‘and recommend you to do the same.’

‘Why bother about winter?’ said the Grasshopper; we have got plenty of food at present.’ But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil.

When the winter came, the Grasshopper found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants distributing, every day, corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer. Then the Grasshopper knew it is best to prepare for the days of necessity.”

Of course, the implications of this story can go far deeper than the need for good winter preparation. But for the sake of comparison, the story’s plot is rather poignant for the industries we serve. When cold weather does hit, it’s best to already have the systems and products you need in place to brave the effects of winter. So if you have assets to cover come late October, now’s the best time to start getting together the protection you’ll need.

 

Download product catalog

Maintaining Viscosity in Your Oil Stores

TITLE
0
access_time

Temperature plays a vital role in maintaining viscosity in the storage of many types of liquids and chemicals. But when it comes to storing your liquid in lower ambient temperatures, you could be playing a catch up game when it comes to maintaining ideal viscosity, especially with oil and oil-based lubricants.

 

Maintaining Viscosity in Your Oil Stores

Viscous Oils Run Slow

Why does the viscosity of oil or other liquids matter? Asking such a question to a mechanical engineer may start an impassioned conversation on the matter. As for the rest of us, it may be helpful to revisit some simple principles of physics. When your lubricant is too viscous, it affects the ability the liquid has to flow easily. When you’re dealing with small engine parts, using a lubricant that is too high in viscosity could restrict its access to smaller parts within your engineer or mechanism. And, of course, restricted flow to vital elements of your machinery could cause drastic problems.

Another problem posed by overly viscous lubricants comes from the incurrence of excessive torque in your machinery. If the oil in your machine is too thick, it’s going to tax your engine all the more to push the lubricant into all the necessary places. Not only does this cause undue torque on the system, but it also cause more friction than is necessary. The moral of the story: this all means more wear and tear.

Oil lubricated machines will usually have a low-temperature limit for startup. This restriction is sometimes referred to as the pour point. It’s true that once an engine has time to run and warm up, it returns the oil to the proper viscosity, but adding a lubricant at a temperature far below ideal could cause startup problems. With this in mind, maintaining viscosity in your lubricant storage becomes vitally important.

Powerblanket and Our Contribution

When it comes to storing liquids at ideal temperature, Powerblanket has a myriad of products perfectly suited for your needs. Whether you need a customer application or one of our ready to ship heating blankets, we can help you maintain viscosity in your lubricant storage.

Though the weather is warm right now, colder temperatures will sneak up on us faster than we wish. Getting prepared for that time now is important. That’s why we’re running a 15% off incentive for our forward-thinking customers.

 

Call Now to Get 15% Off Your Order

Heat Trace: What You Should Know

When you think of the phrase “heat trace” or “heat tape,” what images come to your mind? Perhaps you haven’t ever heard of these terms before, and now you’re curious. When it comes to heated pipes for protection against the ruthless cold of winter, trace heating is the system by which the warmth you need for your pipes flows. Read here to learn more about the uses and value of trace heating.

 

Heat Trace- What You Should Know

Understanding How it Works

Trace heating does just as its name implies: an electrical surface or wiring is linked to some other surface (whether it be a pipe, flooring, etc) and traces its way along that surface’s path. This, in turn, provides and maintains heat where it’s most needed. Thermal insulation is wrapped around both the supplier of heat and the recipient of heat to ensure stable, permanent warmth. The apparatuses involved with heat trace (also known as heat tape) can vary in size and surface area, depending on the physical dimensions of the application.

 

What Are the Benefits of Heat Trace?

Think of the value of trace heating as twofold—accommodating functionality and increasing throughput. While its prime purpose is to protect and insulate against undesired invasions from the elements (i.e. keeping substances flowing that can solidify or slow in cold temperatures), thus accommodating functionality, it can also be utilized to increase the efficiency of operations. For example, heat trace can drastically improve the throughput of gas transportation and extraction by increasing tank and pipe pressure—being that gas slows as it cools.

Drawing upon the fundamentals of heat trace, Powerblanket uses a patented blend of technologies as a highly efficient and less expensive means of distributing heat evenly over the surface of any application. Whether you need to protect a piping system, valves, manifolds, instrumentation, gas tanks, liquid storage, or anything else from cold weather or depreciation in efficiency, Powerblanket technology can enable you to do so with greater ease and dependability.

 

Download Product Spec Sheet

The Potential Dangers of MEG (Mono-ethylene Glycol)

MEG and the environment don’t really get along that well. But of course, we’re not talking about anyone named Meg, either. No, this post has to do with Mono-ethylene Glycol (aka: MEG), its potential effects on the environment, and why it might not be the best option for freeze protecting your pipeline.

 

The Potential Dangers of MEG (Mono-ethylene Glycol)

Oil, Gas, and the Environment

The petroleum and natural-gas industries have plenty to worry about when it comes to environmental concerns. With this in mind, adding another toxic and dangerous element to the mix doesn’t make for an ideal situation. Nonetheless, many companies use a certain, potentially-dangerous, and toxic chemical to keep their pipelines from freezing or creating hydrates. And that chemical is MEG (or mono-ethylene glycol).

Mono-ethylene glycol is used as an additive in pipelines that transport natural gas or oil. The presence of the chemical lowers the freezing point and prevents the formation of hydrates. This is the same chemical used as anti-freeze in automobiles.

MEG, though useful for its anti-freeze qualities, is also potentially dangerous for two primary reasons. The number one reason is its toxicity. It can be deadly if ingested or inhaled in high enough quantities. Second is the flammability and combustibility of the chemical. Simply put, it can catch fire and even explode under the right circumstances.

While those who use MEG most often do so with care and knowledge of the chemical, why add the risk in the first place? If a pipeline were to leak this chemical, the effects could be significantly detrimental—both to those working the pipeline and the environment around it.  

 

A Better Solution

Now what if there was a better solution? Well, there is. When it comes to protecting your pipeline against freezing conditions or hydrate formation, trace-heating solutions are a good answer for long stretches of pipe. And as far as valves, manifolds, and instrumentation are concerned, heating solutions that offer both insulation and heat distribution in one product are very important.

Finding a solution that can be easily applied, removed, and reapplied to your pipeline’s transition points is of considerable importance when ensuring ideal temperature is maintained. Thankfully, such solutions exist. And they offer an economic, safe, and non-toxic way to keep your pipeline functional in cold and inclement weather.

 

Learn More

How to Compete With Rising Construction Costs

With construction costs up by as much as 15% over the last half year or so, it’s becoming difficult for the construction industry to bounce back into the prosperity it once enjoyed. With this in mind, managing your construction costs in a way that limits waste and excessive expenditures is of grave importance for the profitability of your business.

 

How to Compete with Rising Construction Costs

Dollars and Cents Construction

When the cost of doing business increases, it tacks additional costs onto the price of a business’s services. This is a very simple summary of the economic dilemma facing the construction industry right now, but it brings to focus the needed point: if the cost of construction increases, and thus increases the cost of services offered by a construction company, then it’s going to effect business in a negative way.

While this all sounds rather gloomy, there are steps that you can take to limit the effect rising costs will have on your construction business. Consider the following steps to ensure that you not only weather the storm, but also profit during it:

  • Manage Your Inventory Wisely

This is something that should be done regularly, during the prosperous times and the recessive times. Whatever the case, making sure you aren’t maintaining a surplus in your supplies is one very effective and simple way to nip over-spending in the bud.

  • Focus on What Makes the Most Profit

When business gets tight, it makes sense to focus your efforts at what you do best and where you are likely to make the highest profit margin.

  • Continue to Market Your Business

Sometimes we’re inclined to think that marketing is something we do when we can afford it. But a recession is no time to bring your marketing efforts to a halt. In fact, it’s a time to double your efforts.

  • Protect Your Assets and Capital

One surefire way to go out of business is to be clumsy and careless with the material and devices that enable you to make your living. If you’re in the business of concrete, for example, then you need to do everything you can to make certain your precious concrete isn’t wasted or ruin.

 

Powerblanket® Can Help

Thankfully, Powerblanket® has ways to help you manage your assets during the good times and the bad. Simply put, we help to protect your assets against the costly ravages of cold weather. So whether you’re laying concrete, running equipment off propane, using DEF for your diesel fleet, storing large amounts of paint or chemicals, managing spray-foam application, or storing materials onsite in frac tanks, Powerblanket® can ensure that your precious profit-enabling materials are safe from the effects of winter months.

 

Download product catalog