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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Heat Shrink Sleeves - Oklahoma

Oklahoma Heat Shrink Sleeves 

(call 936/321-3333 for lead time and pricing info)

oklahoma pipe coatings

     Are you looking for heat shrinkable sleeves and epoxy pipeline coatings in the Oklahoma area?  We've got you covered.  We keep a large inventory of material on hand and ready to ship same day.  Whether you are in Enid, Tulsa, Muskogee, Lawton, Oklahoma City or anywhere in between, we can have material to you next day using Fed Ex Freight standard delivery. 

     Our stock is ready and waiting.  All we need is a purchase order number!  So what are you waiting for? 

     Our most commonly sold shrink sleeves are our WPCT wrap around shrink sleeves designed to be used on ambient temperature gas and oil pipelines.  It is available in a variety of widths, but is mostly commonly sold in an 11" width for FBE coated pipe. 

     Next is our DIRAX shrink sleeve which is used particularly often in Oklahoma.  DIRAX is the premier product on the market for coating field joints of pipelines that will be involved with road bores and directional drilling applications.  It uses a two part S1301M epoxy to act as the permanent bonding agent between the DIRAX adhesive and the bare steel or factory applied coating.

     We also stock HTLP60, a three layer pipe coating solution which recreates a three layer PE Coating on the field joints.  It is also available in a higher temperature variety:  HTLP80.

     No matter your pipeline application, we've probably got something sitting on the shelf that you can have in your hands by tomorrow.  Give us a call.  Let's chat about your specific project and let's get you past 'searching' around Oklahoma for your product and into 'installing a product' in Oklahoma. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Heat Shrinkable Materials

Heat Shrinkable Materials Technology

     High energy ionizing radiation provides an economic process to crosslink specific polymeric compounds which can then be converted to heat shrinkable tubing, molded shapes or wrap around products.  The phenomena of heat shrink ability is best explained by understanding that a typical thermoplastic consists of crystalline and non-crystalline phases.  When a thermoplastic is heated above the crystalline melting point, the polymer softens and flows readily.  However, if this same polymer is subjected ti ionizing radiation, crosslinks form between the individual polymeric molecules.

     When the crosslinked polymer is heated above the crystalline melting point, the crystalline areas "melt" but the polymer itself does not flow since it possesses form stability due to the presence of the crosslinks.   At this stage the polymer is similar to an elastomer.   If the shape of this heated material is changed, it will return to its original shape.  That is, it will remember the form it possessed at the time it was crosslinked.  However, if this polymer is held in a new shape while above its melting point, and then is allowed to cool in this condition, crystalline areas will reform.  crystalline forces will then keep the crosslinked polymer from returning (shrinking) to its original crosslinked shape. 

     Once the polymer is reheated above its melting point, thereby eliminating the crystalline forces, the elastomeric forces will cause it to recover back to its original crosslinked shape.  The term "elastic memory" is used to describe this phenomenon. 

     When the object to be covered is placed inside the heat shrinkable tubing and the tubing is heated, it will shrink around and conform to the shape of the object as it attempts to return to its original crosslinked shape.  Therefore, heat shrinkable products are useful in covering objects whose size is between the expanded diameter (the supplied size) and the original crosslinked diameter which is the freely recovered diameter of the tubing. 

     Since heat shrinkable polymers are crosslinked, they do not melt and flow.  They, therefore, have useful properties above their melting point. Because these heat shrinkable polymers often operate at elevated temperatures, only selected nonvolatile antioxidant systems can be utilized.  Also, since ionizing radiation can render most antioxidants ineffective, antioxidant technology had to be advanced in order to establish superior long-term thermal stability properties. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

WPC Shrink Sleeve Installation Procedure

Two Piece WPC Heat Shrink Sleeve Install

     WPC sleeves (available in numerous different variations: WPCT, WPC100M, WPC60, WPC80, WPC120, WPC65M - though this post focuses specifically on the mastic coated sleeves and WPCT in particular) are composed of irradiated, modified polyolefin backing which upon brief exposure to a temperature in excess of 125C, will shrink from its expanded diameter (as supplied) to a predetermined recovered diameter.  The WPC sleeves are precoated internally with a controlled thickness of a thermally activated, self priming, rubber modified thermoplastic adhesive that provides an excellent bond to the metal pipe and yard applied coatings.

     During installation the sleeve is wrapped loosely over the joint and closed with a heat activated 'closure' patch (WPCPIV).  The patch is manufactured so that with proper heating the fiber mesh built into the closure backing becomes visible, giving the appearance of an alligator skin texture to the closure strip.

     Internally, the patch is coated with a heat activated high shear adhesive which assures a reliable closure.
Here you see the shrink sleeve and the closure strip as separate parts.
Now on to the install:

Step 1:  Joint Preparation.
  • Remove all weld spatter by grinding, filing or chipping
  • The exposed steel should be power brushed to a near white metal (as with all coatings, the cleaner the surface, the better the bond)
  • The steel and yard coated areas should be wiped clean of foreign materials such as dirt, rust, oil, grease and moisture just prior to installation.
  • The sleeves shall not be applied during rains or sandstorms unless portable welding tents or equivalent are used.  
  • Please note: WPCT (just like WPC65M and WPC100M) requires no primer or epoxy bonding agent.

power wire brush pipeline
Field joint being cleaned with a power wire brush

Step 2:  Preheating of the Joint Area

  •  Preheat the joint area and the adjacent yard coating using a propane torch, induction heater or ring burner.
  • WPCT to be preheated to a minimum temperature of 140F
  • WPC65M to be preheated to a minimum temperature of 165F
  • WPC100M to be preheated to a minimum temperature of 212F
  • It is always necessary to verify the temperature with tempil sticks, contact pyrometer or equivalent. 

FH2601 Torch Kit
Field joint preheating with a JS-2601 Torch Kit

pipeline preheat temperature
Verifying that proper preheat temperature has been reached
Step 3:
  • After preheating (and verifying preheat temp) remove the protective release paper and wrap the shrink sleeve centrally around the weld joint.  
  • The sleeve will overlap itself by at least 50mm

Wrap the sleeve around the pipe

Sleeve will overlap onto itself. 
Closure Patch
Closure secured at sleeve overlap.
heat shrink patch
Closure is secured using torch to activate the high shear adhesive.

shrink sleevepipe coating
Start shrinking on one end of sleeve and work toward other always shrinking circumferentially.

Continue shrinking sleeve until it fully conforms to pipe surface.

The finished WPCT sleeve will be fully conformed with weld bead visible.

Mastic flow will be evident at sleeve edges (this is where the seal is).