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Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Road Bore Field Joint Coating

 Road Bore Field Joint Coating

cold tape on bore

     Pipe coatings are a critically important factor in the life of any pipeline.  This is especially true when considering coatings on pipe that will be involved with HDD bores.  Those lines are going to see significant stresses, so a coating needs to be applied that can survive those stresses.

      I know this is difficult to see, but this is a pipeline being built in The Woodlands, Texas. This line is in a highly populated area close to major roads, residential homes and businesses.  This line is using a cold applied tape as the field joint coating.  This line has multiple road crossings (and possibly some creek / lake crossings).  

     That cold applied tape is most likely going to 'disappear' during the pull through.  I know, because I've seen it before.  A few years ago, I was lucky enough to be on site when an end user was evaluating some coating options for a road bore.  They tried out DIRAX, a cold applied tape --- and a few other products.  The DIRAX was essentially unscathed - passing with flying colors.  The cold applied tape disappeared during the pull through and was never seen again:

Cold applied tape all disappeared during the pull through.

     This is terribly concerning!  This essentially means that sections of this line will be literally UNCOATED.  I'd be concerned if this pipeline was running through my backyard...

Canusa PLA Shrink Sleeves


Canusa PLA Shrink Sleeves and Covalence TPS Shrink Sleeves (IN STOCK)

     For the last 25 years, I've been selling Raychem TPS (now called Covalence) against Canusa's PLA.  In many ways, they are similar products.  Here are the ways they are similar:

1. Both PLA and TPS are radiation crosslinked shrink sleeves that are supplied in the shape of a tube

2. In both cases, the PLA or TPS sleeves are slid onto the pipe before the weld is made

3.  After the weld is made, in both cases, the sleeve is then centered over the girth weld, the release liner is removed and the sleeves are shrunk with a propane torch.

4.  Both utilize a fairly aggressive sealant

5.  Both have been used successfully for decades.

6.  Both are shrunk using a propane torch and both require at least a wire brushed pipe surface 

     There are also a few differences:

1. Canusa's PLA is yellow.  Covalence TPS is black.

2.  Canusa PLA turns from yellow to orange-ish pink as it is properly heated (and it returns to yellow when it cools).

3.  Covalence TPS utilizes a permanent change indicator, the backing is supplied with a dimpled pattern in it; as the sleeve is properly shrunk, that pattern fades to a smooth black surface.  That change is permanent (which is better for inspectors, etc).

If you are looking for heat shrink tubes for your pipeline --- give us a call - we have a huge stock of material that is ready to ship!  936/321-3333

Monday, May 6, 2024

Cold Weather Powercrete Product?

 Powercrete Pipe Coating for Cold Weather?

Powercrete Cold Weather
Powercrete R65/F1 Kits 

     When working with epoxy pipe coatings, especially in cold weather climates; "will this cure in cold weather" is an important question that needs to be asked.  In the Powercrete world - the fast cure epoxy that can be used in the coldest temperatures is Powercrete R65/F1.  We have a few factors here that tie in with "cold weather".

     First of all let's look at the "temperature of the actual epoxy kit" as an important key factor.  The temperature of the epoxy needs to be in the temperature range of 65-85F.  This generally means that the epoxy is kept out of the elements, inside a storage shed; in a truck with a heater running (if the weather is very cold) etc.  Below 65F the epoxy can become challenging to mix as the material will be very thick.  

    As a second point; the epoxy needs to be "above 40F" in order for the chemical reaction to occur.  This temperature can be impacted (and controlled) by preheating the steel, incorporating a tent of some kind, possibly incorporating a wind screen, etc.  Preheating the steel prior to application is always going to be a key factor in controlling your cure times.  If you are working with epoxy that has been stored at the right temperature --- and you have preheated your pipe --- and you are controlling the weather elements as well as you can --- then you can create an environment that is above that 40F temperature fairly easy in most (not all) parts of the country.