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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Recoating a 48" Active Water Line

     Question:  I need to recoat an 80 foot section of a 48" water pipeline.  I want to use shrink sleeves.  What have you got?

     Answer:  Recoating an active pipeline is always a challenging application.  The first obstacle is that Preheating the pipe is possibly the single most important step of heat shrink sleeve installation.  When a pipeline is active; meaning there is some kind of product either flowing through it -- or sitting in it; preheating the pipe becomes virtually impossible.  The product inside the pipe acts as a massive, massive heat sink; sucking up any temperature away from the steel and preventing the installer from ever achieving any significant heating effect.

     Since preheat is impossible; and since preheat is incredibly important - we must find another way.  We must use something to 'substitute' for the preheat step.  What we do is incorporate a two part epoxy which will act as the bonding agent between the shrink sleeve and steel pipe.  This epoxy will go on VERY thick (it behaves much like a honey - and on a cold pipe - it is very thick...whereas on a hot pipe it goes on much thinner).  So the epoxy is troweled on and then a shrink sleeve is wrapped and shrunk around that uncured epoxy. 

     In a case like this; with a large pipe (which means high soil stresses) I would generally offer our WPC100M product.  WPC100M is fully compatible with the S1301M epoxy primer. The sleeve utilizes an aggressive butyl mastic and will flow well and bond well with the epoxy. 

     To coat 80 feet of 48" pipeline will require somewhere in the neighborhood of 35 each WPC100M 48000-34/UNI - and (though it is difficult to predict) probably something like 200 S1301M epoxy kits.  All of that is generally kept in stock at our warehouse and could ship on the same day that an order was placed (provided the order was placed by 1pm). 

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