Visit our website:
Call: (936) 321-3333

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

HTLP60 Shrink Sleeves

HTLP60 Shrink Sleeve Coating Handout

raychem shrink sleeve
Cover of a Raychem Handout circa 1985 - HTLP60
     This is the cover of a Raychem HTLP60 shrink sleeve hand out made and in use in 1985.  Personally, I'm not really sure how coating your pipeline with HTLP60 (a great product) is "keeping an eagle eye on your pipeline"; but maybe this supposed to appeal to the US market.  You know how much we Americans love our could we turn down any product that uses an eagle as the focal point??
     The beautiful thing is that this product has been in use for more than 20 years now, and it been exactly as dependable as it was presented to be back in the 1980's.  Wait, that's probably not actually true.  I would argue that this sleeve has exceeded any expectations.  Back in the "old days" 20 years was often a number thrown around as the life of a pipeline.  As a result, many coatings manufacturers sought to meet that same 20 year life expectancy with their coatings.  Here we are way more than 20 years from the inception and installation of many of our products - and those coatings are still going strong, performing exactly as expected. 
     Inside of this hand out you can find the following text:
     The HTLP60 system consists of an active modified epoxy primer and a specially coated heat-shrinkable sleeve.  Resulting in a 3-layer anti-corrosion coating with all the virtues of combined epoxy / cross-linked Polyethylene systems, improved impact, adhesion, high temperature and cathodic disbanding performance.  Fully compatible with Fusion Bond Epoxy or Polyethylene line coatings. 
     In order to achieve adequate adhesion to steel high performance field joints have in the past required high steel preheat temperatures.  A time consuming, critical and expensive on site operation.  HTLP completely eliminates this preheat. 
    To Install HTLP simply:
  1. Sand blast girth weld area.
  2. Flame brush steel to remove moisture
  3. Apply active primer to steel and adjacent FBE
  4. Shrink sleeve using a standard propane torch
     Contractor Advantages:
  1. No induction heaters
  2. No special tools or spray equipment
  3. No refrigerated storage needed
  4. No high preheat hence no potential main coating damage
  5. No critical surface preparation required (anchor pattern)
  6. Field friendly
  7. Low manpower requirements
  8. Does not require highly skilled installers
  9. Allows tie ins and weld skips to be done with ease
  10. Any number of joints crews can install
  11. Lower installed cost
     Pipeline owners and contractors need to keep a sharp eye on corrosion and construction costs.  Not surprisingly therefore Fusion Bonded Epoxy and Polyethylene are increasingly becoming the industry's coating choice.  To complete the on site girth weld area protection of these quality coatings, Raychem has created a unique system, HTLP.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

World's Longest Directional Drill

Field Joint Coating for Long Directional Drill

*I have two sources for this article.  One is Stan Simpson who was involved in this project back in 1999 / 2000.  The second is an article written and published in Pipeline & Gas Journal in April 2000. 
     Though directional drilling applications have seemingly gotten more and more complicated as the recent decade or two have passed (including bundled directional drills with as many as four pipelines travelling through the whole at once) it is almost hard to believe that 14 years ago, BP and Mustang Engineering undertook a directional drilling project that was (to that point) unheard of:  a 5.4 mile long section of pipe directionally drilled underneath Lavaca Bay! 
     As if that wasn't enough of a head ache, they also had to deal with the fact that Lavaca Bay was a federal Environmental Protection Agency environmentally sensitive superfund site involving mercury containing sediments.  The longest directional drill?  Through a section of bay already being watched by the government?  There was going to be no room for error on the field joint coatings for this project...

     So what did they decide to use?  Yes: DIRAX.  The thickness, penetration resistance, peel, abrasion resistance, and shear of the DIRAX shrink sleeve system is simply unmatched in the industry.  Dirax utilizes a high shear, two part epoxy as the primary corrosion coating on the field joint.  A shrink sleeve is then installed on top of that epoxy and as the sleeve is installed, the epoxy and the adhesive of the sleeve become physically and chemically bonded. That Dirax sleeve isn't going anywhere - and with hundreds of thousands of field joints coated with Dirax and pulled through bore holes; we've yet to hear of a single case where the Dirax failed.  Not even one.

     Dirax did a fantastic job on this project and hundreds of other before and since.  If you don't have Dirax approved on your next project....why not?  Let's talk. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

WPCT Shrink Sleeve Certification Short Online Course

WPCT Shrink Sleeve Installer Certification

     WPCT is the Covalence (formerly Raychem) wrap around heat shrinkable sleeve designed to be used as a field joint coating on subsea and buried pipelines that will operate at or below ambient temperatures.  WPCT shrink sleeves have been in use with a high frequency for more than 25 years at this point.  While some folks might read that and think "yikes - that is an ancient coating technology!" I tend to look at it from the other side.
     With more than 25 years of use history, WPCT has one of the single largest pools of data ever assembled for a field joint coating.  At my company, we have sold several hundred thousand WPCT shrink sleeves each and every year, dating back to 1995.  All told, I would conservatively estimate that there are currently more than 10,000,000 WPCT coated field joints in the ground or offshore at this exact moment.  Given that incredible quantity of field joints out there, if WPCT were failing or doing a poor job in even 1% of the cases (which would be 100,000 field joints!) we would certainly know about it!  We are the premier source for information on Covalence shrink sleeves in the world.  If there were failures - we would know about them.  If there were consistent issues - we would know about them.  If there were common installation problems - we would know about them.  The simple truth is - we don't ever hear about them.  Not ever.  That tells me that the WPCT failure rate is infinitesimal! 
     Because this product has been around for so long, most pipeline contractors have experience with it.  They've installed it.  They've inspected it.  They've buried it.  They've installed over and over and over.  As a result - it isn't very often that we receive a hard request for training or certification on this product.  It is just an easy product to install properly!  Beyond that - every single box should come with an installation instruction guideline right at the top of the box - ready for you to read, to study - or to cast aside as you see fit. 
     But still, since there are questions - I wanted to put together an online, simple, basic course that anyone in the world can take as a primer or a refresher to WPCT installation.  My goal is that this course will require no more than 30-60 minutes of your time.  Even better?  This course is absolutely free to anyone out there who is interested in learning more about our products.  As always - I am always available for further discussion and clarification.  Simply email me at and I can often be back to you within a few minutes if you're contacting me during common USA working hours. 
     So, without further ado - thank you Sir or Ma'am for attending this class.  Let's get started shall we?
STEP 1:  Reading about something is always simpler when you know what it looks like.  Step 1 of this short course is to watch our sort - 3 minute - WPCT installation video.  Pay close attention (yes - there is a quiz at the end). 
     That wasn't too bad was it?  Yes, it has been pointed out to me before that I wasn't wearing the proper safety equipment.  Please - wear the proper safety equipment.  Do as I say -- not as I did in a very controlled, safe environment back when we filmed this video. 
STEP 2:  Now you are going to read the installation guideline.  It shouldn't take you more than 2-3 minutes and it very much follows the same steps as the video you just watched.  Haven't studies confirmed that repetition is a key to learning?  I'm not really sure -- but I think so.
Please go here to read the WPCT installation Instructions: WPCT INSTALLATION
As a general guideline:
1. Make sure you have the proper installation equipment
2. Clean the pipe surface and adjacent factory applied coating
3. Preheat the steel
4. Wrap the sleeve around the field joint
5. Secure the closure
6. Shrink the sleeve - with your torch always moving in an up and down motion (and make sure you have a torch that puts out a broad, bushy, yellow flame.)
7. Check for all the signs of a proper installation
STEP 3: The next step is to make sure you've purchased the correct sleeves (or make sure you're getting pricing on the correct sleeves).  At first glance, the nomenclature of a shrink sleeve looks like a giant jumble of meaningless letters.  In actuality though, it is quite simple.  Go to this link - and read this half paged article explaining exactly how you get exactly what you want.  Heat shrink sleeve nomenclature explained. 
STEP 4:  In Step 4 we are going to cover two incredibly important....and often overlooked aspects of shrink sleeve installation.  These steps are CRITICAL.  They CANNOT be skipped.  They CANNOT be ignored.  If you pay attention to only one thing during this short course -- pay attention to THIS. 
Surface Preparation is one of the most important steps of the installation process.   <-- click the link and read the article, it is short.
STEP 5:  Get ahead of the game.  Learn what the single most common field issue is with WPCT shrink sleeves.  You'll be pleased to know that the solution could not be simpler (and it only takes 5-10 seconds and a torch to fix). 
What is the most common field issue with WPCT shrink sleeves?  <--- click the link and read the article
STEP 6:  This is the final step!  You're almost done.  Have you actually read the articles?  I sure hope so.  The final step is a short 10 question quiz which covers much of what I've discussed above.  Unfortunately, you won't get instant results -- but if you take the quiz I will grade it myself and email your score to you. 
Take the WPCT Installation short course QUIZ  <--- The final step!  Take the quiz!