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Monday, January 13, 2014

DIRAX Shrink Sleeves | ROCS Shrink Sleeves | SZAR Shrink Sleeves

What is the Difference Between DIRAX Shrink Sleeves, ROCS Shrink Sleeves and SZAR Shrink Sleeves?

     Once upon a time, in the far way land of Menlo Park, California a company called Raychem ruled the world (when considering heat shrink and splicing technologies).  Their products spanned multiple technologies including pipeline, electrical, telecom, mining and more.  Innovation and invention were the names of the game and Raychem invested 10-12% of their GROSS SALES into product development every single year.  With some of the brightest engineers and chemists in the world working throughout the different divisions, new product technologies were discovered at an incredible rate.  It was at that time that some genius working on developing a telecom product invented an amazing backing material called ROCS 60e.

SZAR Shrink Sleeve
ROCS 60e - an incredibly tough shrink sleeve

     ROCS 60e was unlike any heat shrinkable backing ever created - and unlike any that has since been created.  It is absolutely one of a kind offering unparalleled penetration resistance, thickness, abrasion resistance and impact resistance.  The product was so incredible that Telecom began sending out samples to the other divisions of Raychem in order to find out what other industries might benefit from this breakthrough technology.

     When the Pipeline division caught sight of it, they went bananas.  This was unlike anything else on the market in the pipeline world, there was nothing that could match it technically in terms of the backing.  The pipeline had a little work to do though - in the pipeline world; the backing is only half of the product; R&D was going to need to develop an adhesive that could do justice to this backing.  So they got to work.  In the mean time, R&D involved sales who could begin exploring different applications for this ROCS material.  That was not a problem, there were many.  Of course, once marketing got involved; things got a little bit complicated (isn't that always the case?).  Marketing decided that every application utilizing this ROCS material needed to have a different name.  At that time, in that world, different applications had different pricing levels - and the plant wanted to be able to sell this product into the pipeline coatings world (typically a lower margin business) AND have it available for traditionally high cost applications like coating pilings.  And so it was that the product called ROCS 60e became a product of three names. 

     For the Pipeline Directional Drilling world; they called the product DIRAX.  The combined the sleeve with an epoxy primer (S1301M) and a leader strip (3" wide shrink sleeve to act as a wear cone) and packaged it as a DIRAX kit.

     For the offshore riser / splash zone market; they called the product SZAR (originally sort of called SeaZar which they may have thought was clever - and which may have been shortened to CZAR but then marketing probably pointed out the flaws in offering that product in places like the old Soviet Union).  SZAR is also used with the S1301M epoxy....but they are purchased separately as two different line items.

     Finally, for the field joints of standard pipelines where the soil conditions will be incredibly challenging and rocky; the decided to call the material ROCS (simply dropping the 60e from ROCS 60e).  Like the SZAR above, ROCS is used with S1301M epoxy primer and ordered as its own line item. 

     So, one amazing product -- three different names.  I know that the name situation can be confusing...but the installation and performance of the product is simple.

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