Personnel Protection Calculator for Horizontal Piping

    In many applications, insulation is provided to protect personnel from burns. In addition, there are safety and comfort concerns related to personnel working in high temperature, high radiant exposure locations.

    This calculator estimates the time above standard industry practice of a maximum temperature of 140°F for surfaces that may be contacted by personnel. This temperature would cause no more than first degree burns for all surfaces for contact times up to about 5 sec.


    Users will need to input the following:

    • Nominal pipe size in inches
    • Operating Temperature, °F
    • Ambient Temperature, °F
    • Wind speed, miles per hour (mph)
    • Type of insulation
    • Type of insulation jacket


    Based on input, calculator will provide the following:

    • Surface temperature, °F
    • Maximum contact time, seconds

    Release Notes

    The calculators are housed at the National Institute of Building Sciences' Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG) website under the Mechanical Insulation Design Guide (MIDG). Calculators can be used online without any specific software requirement, and you can print the results page for each calculation.

    For More Information

    For more information, use the comment page or contact the National Insulation Association help desk at or 703-464-6422.

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