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Monday, November 10, 2014

What Size Shrink Sleeve Do I Have?

Heat Shrink Sleeve Sizing

     It is a fairly common phone call we get: "I have a box of sleeves here and I don't know what pipe size they go with."  There can be a few reasons for this confusion:
  1. All shrink sleeve suppliers are not created equally.  Some folks out there don't label the boxes or even explain how to decipher their nomenclatures.  If you don't know who is supplying your sleeves, it is difficult for you to really know what they are supplying.
  2. It is possible (but unlikely) that a sticker from a box was somehow lost in transit.
  3. Or it is possible that the information is right there but it looks like greek to you:
     All of our boxes will be labelled with something that looks like:

15 each WPCT 3500-11/UNI

     While that might look like a foreign language, it is really quite simple.   That box contains 15 sleeves made from our WPCT shrink sleeve material (rated for ambient temperature use; buried or subsea).  Those WPCT sleeves are cut to fit with a 3.5" OD pipe (3500 mils).  Those sleeves are 11" wide, which is sufficient for standard cut backs on FBE coated pipe.  And finally, those sleeves are /UNI sleeves which means that the closure strip is preattached in our facility to make the life of the installer simpler and easier.  Over the years, we've found that utilizing a /UNI sleeve dramatically reduces the questions and concerns that we hear from the field level installers. 

     Now, if you do find yourself with a box of shrink sleeves without labels, fear not.  We will get you sorted out.  First, open the box.  Do you have wrap around sleeves (when you unroll them they look like a sheet of material) or do you have tubular sleeves (supplied as a tube and cannot be unrolled). 

     If you have tubular sleeves, the product type and size should be printed right on them.  This could look something like TPS 6625 (a TPS shrink sleeve for a 6.625" pipe) or it might say WCSM 24/6 (a WCSM tube supplied with a 24mm ID that will recover down to a 6mm size).   Other options could be CRSM, MWTM, CPSM, etc - those are all material types and if you call me (936/321-3333) I can help you figure out what you've got. 

     If you do have the wrap around / sheet material though - your quest continues.  First of all, though the sizing won't be mentioned, the material type should be printed on the sleeve backing.  This might be WPCT, WPC100M, WPC120, PPS120, HTLP60, CS or assorted other options.  So boom, you've now got one of the most important bits of info:  sleeve material type...which means you're just a phone call away from having me explain to you what specific pipeline applications that material is designed for.

    To determine what size your shrink sleeve, first stretch the sleeve out flat.  Now, you should distinctly see where the closure strip is (one side of it is checkered).  You're going to measure the length of the sleeve material - not including the closure strip.  Compare what you come up with to this rough chart:

Shrink sleeve for 2" pipe is roughly 12" long
Shrink sleeve for 3.5" pipe is roughly 15" long
Shrink sleeve for 4.5" pipe is roughly 18" long
Shrink sleeve for 6.625" pipe is roughly 25" long
Shrink sleeve for 8.625" pipe is roughly 31" long
Shrink sleeve for 10.75" pipe is roughly 38" long
Shrink sleeve for 12.75" pipe is roughly 46" long
Shrink sleeve for 14" pipe is roughly 50" long
Shrink sleeve for 16" pipe is roughly 56" long
Shrink sleeve for 18" pipe is roughly 62" long
Shrink sleeve for 20" pipe is roughly 71" long
Shrink sleeve for 22" pipe is roughly 77" long
Shrink sleeve for 24" pipe is roughly 83" long
Shrink sleeve for 26" pipe is roughly 89" long
Shrink sleeve for 28" pipe is roughly 96" long
Shrink sleeve for 30" pipe is roughly 102" long
Shrink sleeve for 32" pipe is roughly 108" long
Shrink sleeve for 34" pipe is roughly 114" long
Shrink sleeve for 36" pipe is roughly 121" long
Shrink sleeve for 38" pipe is roughly 128" long
Shrink sleeve for 40" pipe is roughly 134" long
Shrink sleeve for 42" pipe is roughly 140" long
Shrink sleeve for 44" pipe is roughly 146" long
Shrink sleeve for 46" pipe is roughly 153" long
Shrink sleeve for 48" pipe is roughly 159" long

     Now measure the "other" direction (width).  The sleeve should be ~11.25", 17.75", 23.5" or 34.25".  There are absolutely custom widths out there, but what you will probably fit within one of those.

     So, say you have a sleeve marked WPCT with dimensions~121" x 23.5" - then what you have is a WPCT 36000-24/UNI for 36" Pipe.  See, wasn't that simple?

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