Insulation System Design

Free Online Training Class

This 2-hour online self-paced class teaches the basics and science of insulation in 5 modules. Each section of the Mechancial Insulation Basics series is 20-45 minutes and is followed by a quiz. You can incorporate these modules into your own training program or use them as an introduction to the basics of an insulation system.

Training Modules

  • Module 1: Educational Series Introduction and Defining Mechanical Insulation
  • Module 2: Benefits of Mechanical Insulation
  • Module 3: Mechanical Insulation, Science, and Technology
  • Module 4: Mechanical Insulation Design Objectives and Considerations
  • Module 5: Mechanical Insulation Maintenance

Mechanical Insulation Design Guide (Design Guide)

This website explains the different design questions you should consider when designing an insulation system. It is a decision tree that guides you through the process and assists you in insulation material selection. There are also 8 different insulation calculators that go beyond 3E Plus® and help you determine proper thickness, ROI, and how to control temperatures. A quick link to the calculators is in the next section.

Mechanical Insulation Design Guide

  • Introduction
  • Design Objectives
  • Materials & Systems
  • Installation
  • Design Data
  • Specifications
  • Insulation Basics online training
  • Insulation Calculators
  • Glossary

Insulation Calculators

These unique online calculators will help you determine how to build your insulation system. Click here to use them for your next project!

Condensation Control

  •   Condensation Control Calculator for Horizontal Pipe

Energy Conservation—Financial Considerations

  •   Energy Calculator for Equipment (Vertical Flat Surfaces)
  •   Energy Calculator for Horizontal Piping

Economic Considerations—Return on Investment

  •   Mechanical Insulation Financial Calculator

Personnel Protection—Safety

  •   Personnel Protection Calculator for Horizontal Piping

Process Control

  • Estimated Time to Freezing for Water in an Insulated Pipe Calculator
  • Temperature Drop Calculator for Air Ducts
  • Temperature Drop Calculator for Hydronic Piping

NIA's Membership Directory

Our members are one of our best resources. Search by contractor, distributor, fabricator, manufacturer, metal building laminator, company name, or by state. Click here to get started.

Technical Reference Materials—Spec Guides and Glossary

NIA provides mechanical insulation-specific resources updated by the membership for the industry.

  • Insulation Materials Specification Chart
  • The Guide to Insulation Product Specifications
  • The Insulation Science Glossary

Download the latest version of these publications on NIA's Specs and Codes webpage. 

3E Plus

The North American Insulation Manufacturers Association’s (NAIMA's) free 3E Plus® is software program designed for fibrous insulation that makes it easy to calculate the appropriate insulation thickness necessary for any application. Download it for free from A new version is expected to be release in 2021/2022.

North American Commercial and Industrial Insulation Standards (NACIIS) manual (formerly the MICA Manual)

The North American Commercial & Industrial Insulation Standards (NACIIS) manual, also known as the MICA Manual, was developed by the Midwest Insulation Contractors Association (MICA). The newly updated 9th Edition is available both in printed and interactive PDF versions with the famous MICA insulation plates. Purchase it in English and French at