The use of Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems has grown over the last ten years and is now quite common, taking the place of conventional ducted HVAC mechanicals in many commercial buildings. Such systems provide many advantages, such as zoning, individual temperature control, minimized ductwork, eliminating the need for distributing secondary fluids such as hot or chilled water, and related costs. Operating as an all-electric technology, the system is comprised of a single outdoor condensing unit, multiple indoor units serving various zones, refrigerant piping with branch selectors, and associated controls.

Many VRF system manufacturers recommend the use of insulation that can sustain temperatures of 250°F on all VRF lines. And with miles of VRF piping required for large jobs, installers appreciate using flexible insulation that fits on curved refrigerant lines or bends easily into hard-to-reach areas in ceilings, walls, or tight chases.

Armacell’s new ArmaFlex® UT product has been developed with VRF systems in mind. It’s an EPDM-based flexible elastomeric foam material that performs well up to 300°F, making it the highest max use temperature in the elastomeric marketplace today. Ideal to satisfy VRF system manufacturers’ guidelines and make specifiers confident in their insulation choice. ArmaFlex UT replaces UT SolaFlex, and in addition to this branding refresh, the product line has been expanded to include lapseal tubes which makes installation quick and easy.

This latest innovation comes from listening to our customers. While our NBR/PVC-based AP/ArmaFlex products have proven to work well in VRF applications for years, the manufacturers’ guidelines made it difficult for specifiers to use those products in some building code jurisdictions. Now ArmaFlex UT meets all the requirements of the specifier, manufacturer, and local building codes. Plus, it’s a good choice for solar hot water, HVAC hot gas and low-pressure steam, dual temperature lines, stainless steel between 125°F and 300 °F, and any other application where the pipe temperatures are between -297°F and 300°F. Additionally, it meets a flame and smoke developed index of 25/50 as tested to ASTM E 84.

There are some misperceptions in the marketplace that only our competitors have EPDM insulation solutions. In fact, Armacell’s product line has included EPDM tubes, sheet and rolls for decades. Our NBR/PVC-based products suit many standard insulation applications with a max-use temperature of 220°F, but for applications that require 250-300°F, ArmaFlex UT is an excellent choice. All sizes of ArmaFlex UT and the 1-1/2 and 2” thicknesses of AP/ArmaFlex tubes and AP/ArmaFlex FS sheets and rolls are Armacell’s answer to those upper-temperature uses. ArmaFlex UT effectively retards degradation due to ultraviolet radiation, however, all outdoor use of elastomeric insulation should be jacketed as per local building codes. We recommend the use of ArmaFlex HT 625 high-temperature adhesive for use with any application up to 300°F.

For more information visit the ArmaFlex UT product page here.