Hydrostatic Testing and Pipeline BumpersHeard from a contractor recently about an upcoming directional drill bundle he is running. His customer (the end user) had tasked him with finding a product to use as the spacing bumpers on his bore bundle in order to insure that the pipe didn't damage itself bumping into other lines in the bundle during the pull through process. On a previous project, this end user had used some kind of a mechanical bumper and things had not gone well at all.
The contractor 'installed' all of the mechanical bumpers (screwed / bolted them together an in place) and they looked fantastic. The problem became apparent when they ran their hydrostatic testing though. If you're not familiar with hydrostatic testing; here is a very simple definition copied straight from wikipedia:
"A hydrostatic test is a way in which pressure vessels such as pipelines, plumbing, gas cylinders, boilers and fuel tanks can be tested for strength and leaks."So picture this: you've got your pipelines all strung up. You've got your bore hole drilled. You've got all of your screwed on / bolted on mechanical bumpers in place. You've got all of your pipe welded and you've got all of your field joints coated. One last step before beginning the pull through - hydrostatic testing.
Fire up the test and you hear something crack. You also think you see something fly through the air a ways down the line but you can't be sure. You kill the pressure and go to inspect the line. Right off you see what flew through the air -- a small piece of plastic that came from one of those mechanical bumpers! Upon further inspection you go down the line and see that an alarmingly high number of your spacers were cracked during the hydrostatic testing! What now??
Good news. Our product does not have any issue with hydrostatic testing and our product can be installed quickly and easily at just about any stage of construction....even in a hurry to get a job back on schedule. Our system utilizes a specially designed heat shrink product to hold the bumper in place. Heat shrink has been used on field joint coatings for decades and...these sleeves have withstood hydrostatic testing with no issues over those decades.