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Tuesday, August 24, 2021


 Bumper System for Bundled Road Bores (BBS)

     Another successful bundled road bore using JSI's patent pending BBS bumper system.  This time our product was used on a project up in the Northeast USA.  We completed training on the morning of job kick off (though rain required we train in a warehouse instead of out on the right of way).  As you'll see in the photos below, we are installing on some scrap pipe for training purposes only.

We lightly preheat the surface of the pipe to be certain it is above the dew point and to be certain we are efficiently using the epoxy bonding agent in a very thin layer.  Other than preheating and wiping the pipe coating surface clean so that there is no dust, oil, dirt, grease, etc -- we do NOT damage the factory applied coating in any way. 

The epoxy bonding agent is applied to the preheated pipe surface.  The epoxy bonding agent is applied in a very thin layer.  Microns thick rather than mils.  We want a thickness at which we see the solid color of the epoxy we are applying.  The epoxy should be everywhere that the system will be -- and beyond so that inspectors can verify proper application, even at a later date.

Specially formulated bumper is wrapped around the pipe and secured temporarily using tape.  The bumpers will have been cut at an angle so that they fit together properly; forming a round circular shape.

The main sleeve is then wrapped around that bumper (centered) and the closure is secured.  It is critically important that the sleeve is one that has been proven successful in road bore applications; otherwise you are likely to end up with a pile of material that has torn off the pipeline in your bore hole.  

Main sleeve is then shrunk; starting over the bumper and moving to either end.  The sleeve should always be shrunk circumferentially (around the pipe) in a manner that prevents any air entrapment.  The sleeve will conform very nicely to the bumper profile.

For pipelines 12" and larger we recommend utilizing two installers; one on each side of the pipe - working in tandem.  

Here we see the profile of the bumper showing nicely and properly.  This is looking like a very good installation.  Good job to the crew!

We now see that the leading edge sleeve has been applied to the left side of the system.  This offers extra protection to the front end of the system.  

In this installation, the leading edge strip is on the right side of the system.  Another great install by this crew.  BBS Installation Certification cards are on their way to you!  In addition, we are available 24/7 for teleconference, video conference or any possible trouble shooting that may arise.  

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Can WPCT or K60 Be Used on Directional Drilling Applications?

K60 on a Directional Drill?  WPCT on a Road Bore?

     I don't exactly understand why, but in the last few months I've had more questions about these two products (WPCT and K60) being used on Road Bores or Directional Drills than I have had in my previous 20 years.  No less than 20 times have I walked a contractor, an end user or a reseller through the reasons that WPCT and K60 are not approved for use on applications where the shrink sleeves will be exposed to massive external forces.

     It is important to note:  since Covalence WPCT and Canusa K60 are now both owned under the Seal for Life umbrella; for the first time, both share the same sales force and same technical people.  For the sake of simplicity here, I'm going to say that WPCT and K60 are similar products.  Both utilize a crosslinked polyolefin backing (with no reinforcement within it) and both use a soft mastic sealant.  

     While the backing and sealant that those products use (WPCT and K60) are well suited for many applications, neither is designed for use on road bores or directional drilling applications.   

     Why is that? 

     First let's look at some of the specific forces that are put on a sleeve during a road bore or directional drill. Keep in mind, these forces are even more significant if the directional drill is a bundled bore - where more than one line is pulled through a pipeline at the same time.  In those cases, the forces can be absolutely immense.  What are these forces?

Shear - imagine that you put a piece of duct tape on the sole of your shoe.  As you walk around, that piece of tape slides back toward your heel as it is exposed to shear forces.  In the case of K60 and WPCT, the soft mastic of the sleeve exhibits dramatically less shear resistance than a product like the DIRAX system.  DIRAX utilizes an epoxy bonding agent AND a high shear hot melt adhesive to eclipse the performance of a WPCT or K60.  What might this mean on a directional drill?  It could mean that your WPCT and K60 slide down the pipe during the pull through and those sleeves end up many feet away from where they were originally installed (not good).

Peel - picture peel as this:  you place some duct tape on your table top.  You then pry up a corner of that tape with your fingernail; grab that corner with your fingers; and lift up.  You would be able to to do it fairly easily; duct tape doesn't have great peel resistance.  Certainly less than would be expected from a pipeline product.  On a directional drill; picture that a tree root or a rock lifts the edge of a WPCT or K60 sleeve.  Now picture that through the next 1000 feet of that road bore pull through; that lifted edge continues to be battered by rocks, roots, mud, dirt, etc.  The softer mastics of the WPCT or K60 shrink sleeves have less strength than a DIRAX as an example.  Again, we are comparing a soft mastic with the epoxy bonding agent and anti-peel technology of the DIRAX hot melt adhesive.  What might happen to a WPCT or K60 on an incredibly demanding road bore or directional drilling application?  Some of those installed sleeves may very well disappear during transit; violently pulled from the pipe. 

Penetration Resistance - think of this as some kind of force that pokes directly through a sleeve.  This hole or gash could could give the environment another avenue to put a section of the sleeve into shear or peel.  WPCT and K60 utilize simple PE backings.  DIRAX on the other hand, utilizes a multi layer backing including two layers of polyethylene laminating a fiber weave material to give it excellent penetration resistance.  In addition, while the soft mastic of a WPCT or K60 sleeve is not going to have much of an impact in penetration resistance, the tough hot melt adhesive of the DIRAX system actually adds to its penetration resistance.  It really is a fantastic bonding agent.  What could happen to a K60 or WPCT if it runs into multiple really bad roots or rocks during a pull through?  There could be holes in the backing.  What if those sleeves were installed on top of a bumper or something?  Those holes will likely allow those bumpers to 'escape' and your bundle will not have bumpers in place when it reaches its final resting place.  

Tensile Strength - how strong is the backing itself?  Looking up at Shear Strength up above, that is really an evaluation of the sealant or adhesive.  Tensile is a similar test of the backing.  Everything said about Penetration Resistance applies to Tensile Strength (for the most part).  The complex structure of the DIRAX backing gives it dramatically improved values here.  

     What you will find if you look even further is that the manufacturer does not approve either WPCT or K60 for road bore and directional drilling applications.  That is not the sort of thing they were designed for.  Those are not applications where they can be expected to excel.  So anyone out there looking to use a product for an application that the manufacturer explicitly warns against:  let the buyer beware -- you are taking those risks on yourself.  


Tuesday, May 25, 2021

How do I Repair Powercrete J?


 Can Powercrete R65/F1 be used to Repair Powercrete J?

     Powercrete J is a fantastic product.  With incredible abrasion resistance it is really the ideal product for coating field joints on pipelines that will be involved with road bores and directional drills.  Powercrete J is the perfect compliment to Powercrete DD, Dual Layer FBE or other ARO coatings.  You've already spent a great deal of money to make sure that 39.5 feet of your pipeline have the best coating available.  Don't skimp on the field joints!  Powercrete J is the best choice you can make.

     But now, perhaps you've got an issue.  Maybe someone brushed up against the Powercrete J on your field joint while it was still in the gel state?  Maybe some knucklehead ran the holiday detector over the field joint before the Powercrete J was cured.  Maybe an installer didn't test the coating thickness and he left a coating on the weld itself that was only 5 mils thick?  

Powercrete J Repair Options

     In any case, for whatever reason; you need to make a repair to some Powercrete J.  What are your options?  (keep in mind - I'm looking at material options here - not discussing application procedure).

  1. You can simply (after proper steps) mix some more Powercrete J and use that to perform your repair.
  2. You can (after proper steps) use an R65/F1 50 ml cartridge for the repair (this is exactly what they are designed to do!)
  3. You can mix and apply R65/F1 hand applied kits (available in 1 pound kits for just this thing - Powercrete R65/F1 1# Kits)
  4. You can mix and apply Powercrete R95 hand applied kits

     In any case, we certainly have something sitting on the shelf and ready to go (and since you're already working with Powercrete J - you do too if time is an issue!)

Give us a call to discuss further!