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Monday, February 2, 2015

Heat Shrink Sleeve Release Paper

Release Paper on Heat Shrink

      Once upon a time we received a telephone call from a frantic contractor out on a job site.  He had a major problem:  the shrink sleeves he was installing were not sticking to the pipe!  Wow - that is a serious problem.  How many have you installed?  (About six.)  Are you preheating the pipe to the temperature recommended by the installation sheet? (Yes.)  Have you cleaned the pipe using either a wire brush or a grit blaster? (Yes.)  What are the materials you're trying to bond to?  (Bare steel and FBE.)  Dang, I'm really baffled here.  I'm wracking my brain thinking of any other thing that could possibly be going wrong.  A shrink sleeve has two layers:  a heat shrinkable PE and a sticky mastic adhesive....are you installing the sleeve with the sticky mastic adhesive down on the pipe?  (Our sleeves don't have a sticky side.  We have a black side with 'COVALENCE WPCT' written on it and we have a white side with 'COVALENCE' written on it.  A white side??  Well that is the release paper.  You have to peel that off before you wrap the shrink sleeve around the pipe!  It sounds like your guys forgot to remove the release paper, so I'm not surprised that the release paper isn't sticking to the pipe surface.

     I know that if you're 'shrink sleeve educated' you might have a hard time understanding how someone could forget to remove the release paper prior to installing the shrink sleeve, but you can't possibly know what you don't know.  Without the proper training, without the proper explanations, without the proper installation sheets, without the proper customer service post-order -- these are the sorts of problems that become HUGE problems down the road.  

     I learned a valuable lesson that day.  Always respect your customers - but never, ever assume they know nothing about our product...and never, ever assume they know everything about our product.  We all started somewhere.  At one point, none of us knew anything about pipeline coating.  At one point, I couldn't tell the different between a WPCT and a DIRAX.  At one point, I couldn't tell the difference between a wrap and a tube.  At one time, I couldn't tell where the release paper started and the shrink sleeve ended.  And I still wouldn't know any of those things if I hadn't had someone who was willing to patiently teach me and answer my questions - no matter how obvious or silly they might appear to be.  That's what we're willing to do for you as well if you're curious, if you're interested, if you have questions. 

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