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Thursday, May 30, 2013

How Long After Installing Dirax Can I Start the Bore?

Question The DIRAX sleeve has been installed.  How long do I have to wait until I can begin my road bore, lake bore, directional drill or beach pull?

Answer:  As a quick reminder, DIRAX is a three + layer sleeve system with the first layer being a two part liquid epoxy called S1301M.  Anytime a liquid epoxy is involved, there is always going to be the question of CURE TIME.  Of course, there are many factors when determining cure time for any epoxy; including ambient temperatures, humidity levels, etc.  This can be complicated. 
     Anytime before an epoxy cures, it is susceptible to flying grass and dirt, to being bumped into, to bugs and to many other field conditions.  In addition, at some colder temperatures, it is impossible to use a stand alone epoxy without erecting a heating tent of some kind because epoxy just won't cure if it's too cold.

     DIRAX is a bit different.  Since it is a part of a heat shrinkable sleeve system, the pipe is preheated and then the heat shrink sleeve is torch shrunk.  As a general rule, all of our shrink sleeves shrink when their backing temperature reaches 267F.  The combination of the pre-heated pipe and the heat applied during installation inevitably leads to the epoxy of the DIRAX system being cured at the same time installation is completed (as a general rule, we always recommend the epoxy be applied at least one inch wider than the shrink sleeve so this can be double checked in the field). 

     As a result, after installation the DIRAX sleeve is ready to see action as soon as it cools to ambient temperatures.  It is acceptable to cool the sleeve with water if the contractor needs to move the pipe immediately.

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