At Joint Specialists, we are realists. We understand that very often (in the buying channels) the field joint coatings are one of the final details to be sorted out. In fact, they are so 'last minute' that a very high percentage of our orders are already in the 'emergency' / 'hot tail gate rush' category!
Even on those emergency orders, we must have some basic information before we can properly recommend a shrink sleeve product or offer pricing. Of course, if we can get access to the Field Joint Coating Specification; that makes our job very easy (in spite of the fact that it means reading through dozens of pages of technical data!). But the basic sleeve information that we need is:
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- What is the Outside Diameter of the Pipeline? - this tells us how large or small of a shrink sleeve you need.
- When the line is in service, what will the Operating Temperature be? - Covalence manufactures many different types of shrink sleeves with many different types of adhesives. It is important that we know the operating temperature of the line because operating temperature has a tremendous effect on adhesive performance.
- What is the Factory Applied Coating? - Not all adhesives are compatible with all factory applied line coatings. One example would be that hot melt adhesives are not generally compatible with Polypropylene. We want to avoid things like that being discovered in the field, while on a pipe lay barge, that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars per day to operate...
- What are the cutbacks? - A cutback is the amount of bare steel between the factory applied coating and the end of the pipe. So to determine how much bare steel will be present on a field joint, we multiply the cutback by two. That helps us determine how wide of a shrink sleeve as needed (see here and here).
- Lastly we need to know the application - Is this a standard "drop in the ditch" pipeline application? Is this a road bore? Is this a directional drill? Is this a high temp line? Is this onshore? Above ground? Offshore? Deep water? S-Lay? J-Lay? The answers to any of those could have an impact on what we offer.