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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

DIRAX 16000-17 Directional Drilling Sleeves

Dirax 16000-17 or DIRAX 16000-12

     One of the most common conversations I have with customers is about the nomenclature.  People want to know the exact correct way to inquire for shrink sleeves and to order sleeves.  This way they can be certain they know what they are ordering...exactly.  Makes a lot of sense to me.  So, I'll break it down here for our DIRAX material which is most often used for road bores and directionally drilling applications.
An installed DIRAX sleeve on 24" pipe.
     So, you've got an RFQ or a requisition form calling out for DIRAX 16000-17.  Let me walk you through exactly what that is.  To do this, we will be breaking that part number down into three different sections:
  1.  "DIRAX"
  2. "16000"
  3. "-17"
     Part 1:  DIRAX.  DIRAX is a product developed by Raychem and now manufactured and sold through distribution by Covalence Specialty Materials (which is owned and operated by Seal for Life Industries).  There is nothing else on the market quite like DIRAX material.  Featuring a backing comprised of two layers of polyethylene sandwiching a layer of fiber mesh, the DIRAX has unparalleled penetration resistance and abrasion resistance.  The DIRAX adhesive is a high shear, high peel resistant thermoplastic polyamid adhesive.  Installed on top of our S1301M Epoxy Primer, your field joint will be protected.

     Part 2: DIRAX 16000-17 - what does the 16000 mean?  That first number is simply the outside diameter of the substrate that this specific part is designed to be used on.  In this case, DIRAX 16000 means DIRAX for 16" pipe.  It is really that simple.  If you were looking to use DIRAX on a 12" pipe it the nomenclature would be DIRAX 12750.  If you were using DIRAX on a 6" pipe the nomenclature would be DIRAX 6625.

     Part 3:  DIRAX 16000-17 - what does the 17 mean?  Again, very simple.  The final number is the width of the shrink sleeve that is being requested.  Standard widths for the DIRAX product are 12", 17", 24" or 34".  We are able to supply DIRAX in custom widths so don't be afraid to ask. 

     Lastly, I would share that DIRAX is sold as a kit.  This means that one line item includes the main shrink sleeve and includes the three inch wide leader strip and includes all necessary closure strips (preattached to sleeves) and includes a suitable amount of the S1301M epoxy for properly installing the shrink sleeves.  Extra epoxy is always certainly available if some aspect of your project isn't going to allow you to use the epoxy as efficiently as possible. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

CSEM Shrinkable Sleeve for Repair of FBE Coating

Raychem CSEM Shrinkable Sleeve 

I've seen a specification floating around the last few days calling out for our CSEM product.  Covalence (formerly Raychem) has twenty or more products that are regularly specified and used here in the USA.  Worldwide, that number grows (as very often different countries will have different opinions about the most important properties of a pipeline coating. 

This is a specification is written only for repairing damaged sections of FBE (not for field joint).  In addition - this spec calls out for a 'high expansion sleeve capable of coating straight line pipe and/or couplings'. 

The two products mentioned are CSEM and our competitors competitor product X:
CSEM is called CS here in the USA (Caseal) and it is a high expansion material, that shrinks 66% allowing it to cover a wide range of coupling/pipe dimensions.  CS more than exceeds the 100 mil requirement. 
X is a ~33% shrink material (so not nearly as versatile and unlikely to be able to handle most coupling configurations).  In addition - X does not meet the 100 mil requirement noted in detail by the specification.
X also does not meet the requirement of 2.5 A which calls for the sleeve to be coated on the inside with a visco-elastic mastic sealant.
So, this specification is a little confused because X is listed by name but does not meet 3 of the requirements.  In addition, since this is an FBE repair specification - the X will be very difficult to use when damage is found during holiday testing after welds have been made (or when pipe has been damaged after the pipe has already been welded). 
Beyond all of that of course - is the statement that the Engineer can approve an "equal".  But here are my thoughts:
- CS (CSEM) is a great product.  If they are expecting to need to coat or repair damage to mechanical couplings, this would likely be the best choice (we would need to know the OD of the coupling and the OD of the pipe of course).  But, if you are expecting to only do repairs on straight line pipe -- this product would still work VERY well -- but in my opinion it would be a little bit of overkill and more expensive than you really 'need' to spend. 
- X is a product that was loosely based on our own TPS product.  TPS is our "or equal" that is sold regularly against and in place of X.  TPS is a tubular product, coated with a mastic sealant and is fully compatible with FBE coated pipe for both field joints and repairs.
- Our 'wrap around one piece' version of TPS is called WPCT.  It would also be an excellent choice, particularly in cases where the pipe has already been welded and sliding a tube hundreds of feet down the line simply isn't practical.  Neither TPS or WPCT would meet the 100 mil requirement, but neither does the X, so I am offering them here.
In addition - TPS and/or WPCT would be excellent products for the field joints and offer much stronger technical properties than a cold applied tape does (and quite frankly; are less reliant on installer skill and less apt to provide a spiral leak path). 
All of these thoughts are based on the belief that we are talking about an ambient temperature pipeline.  If this is an elevated temperature line than everything I have said here would need to be re-evaluated based on whatever that temperature is. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Corrosion Prevention Technologies - Covalence Raychem

Corrosion Prevention Technologies - CPT - Pipe Coatings

(CPT was dissolved around 2003 - for current pricing on Covalence / Raychem shrink sleeves - contact Joint Specialists @ 936/321-3333 or email

     Sometime around 1997, in an effort to establish a stocking distributor for Raychem shrink sleeves in the Rocky Mountain region, Corrosion Prevention Technologies (CPT) located in Colorado Springs, CO was established as a Master Distributor for Raychem heat shrinkable pipeline coatings.  At that time they were granted a contractually protected geography that included Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota and Iowa.  

     Though there was some moderate success, unfortunately Corrosion Prevention Technologies was unable to survive long term and they ended up closing down in the early 2000's.  During those years of operation, however, they were instrumental in writing some pipeline coating field joint specifications.  Here we are 13 years or so after CPT has gone out of business, and I still occasionally (yesterday in fact) see a specification calling out Corrosion Prevention Technologies as the primary vendor!  

     Imagine the confusion that must occur when a customer with a dire need for shrink sleeves calls a telephone number that has been in who knows how many different hands over the last decade??  What a mess.  Anyway, at that time (early 2000's) when Corrosion Prevention Technologies decided to shut their doors, we at Joint Specialists bought out their remaining inventory, shipped it down to our warehouse in Conroe, TX and immediately began filling the void left by a defunct distributorship.  Call us today for product help, specification help, pricing or delivery information!