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Friday, November 15, 2013

Protol Epoxy for Pipelines

Protol 7200 Pipeline Epoxy

Protol 7200
Protol Epoxy being hand applied to a 36" pipeline.

          For the last decade or more, two part epoxies like Protol 7200 have seen an increased market share as more and more end users (oil and gas companies) have selected two part epoxies as their coating of choice on pipeline field joints.  Protol offers excellent adhesion to properly prepared bare steel and the adjacent factory applied line coating (fusion bond epoxy).  It offers excellent Shore D hardness ratings, good flexibility and is highly resistant to soil stresses.  The truth is, there are many different technologies out on the market, and each has its own niche.  Each of these technologies is strong in some areas and sometimes weaker in another.  It really is like a universal game of rock-paper-scissors where we pit different pipe coatings against different pipeline and soil conditions!
     Epoxies like Protol do depend on an installer to properly prepare the surface, properly apply the epoxy (with no voids or air bubbles) and apply the epoxy in the proper coating thickness as required by the pipeline owner company's specification (please make sure your crews have a wet film gauge!!).  As more and more epoxies have been used in recent years, of course it is a natural trend that there are more and more pipeline crews out there who have experience properly applying it.  Protol is no longer considered to be a pioneer in the pipeline coatings world; Protol is now simply a proven product that has been used often and pipeline companies are collecting data on its performance for more than ten years now.  

     One big factor when coating your pipeline with an epoxy is going to be the cure time of the epoxy.  Protol has a very fast cure time which is good for a whole bunch of reasons that I won't list here (other than to say that coating a field joint and then having to wait 36 hours before burial can present some unique problems).  That fast cure time (and high build status) does mean that no matter how effective and efficient your pipeline field joint coating crew is, you will almost always end up with some epoxy cured in the bucket...wasted.  To attempt to keep that to a minimum, Protol is available in several different kit sizes:  1 Liter, 1.5 Liter, 2 Liter and even 75 Liter and 800 Liter (which would only be used in spray equipment). 

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