Depending upon the age of its construction, a power plant can have numerous systems that are insulated with asbestos-containing products. We were retained to investigate and document the history of plant construction and subsequent equipment installation projects at an old power station in western Pennsylvania, and to concurrently identify materials that also contained asbestos.
We categorized the equipment in the plant according to its function. We then, used plant records and our library of historical manuals on plant construction to catalogue differences in systems over time. Comparing this information to the arrangement of equipment in the plant, as well as physical evidence of the sequence of installation, allowed us to determine the history of the systems in the plant, and itsr time of construction. This allowed us to classify each system according to the temperature of the system. Our library of historic engineering manuals provided information about insulating materials and practices at the time of construction of each system. This information informed a field survey in which sampling of suspect asbestos-containing insulation was performed in accordance with EPA requirements.
Using plant records and our library of historical design manuals allowed us to determine the history of construction of the plant. Knowing the date of construction, reference to historic engineering manuals in our library allowed us to catalogue the insulation systems used in the plant. Sampling for asbestos allowed us to prepare a system by system description of both asbestos-containing and asbestos-free insulation systems in the plant.