Wraparound Shrink Sleeves"I need to get a price on some wrap around shrink sleeves, please." This is by far the most common first line uttered during any request for quote or telephone inquiry. Many folks out there (please don't feel bad if this is you) simply aren't aware that there are multiple different types of heat shrinkable materials that are designed for any number of different pipeline coating and sealing applications. So my response it typically: "Great, we do have wrap around shrink sleeves available, let's chat for a bit in order to determine which specific type is right for your project."
Now, here in the USA, our WPCT (wrap around pipe coating with thermal indicator) is used far more often than anything else. WPCT is our standard and most commonly sold wrap around heat shrinkable sleeve. It is a fantastic product with decades of successful use history protecting millions of field joints from corrosion. It isn't perfect for every application, however.
WPCT wrap around shrink sleeves are specifically designed for pipelines that will operate at or below ambient temperatures. We consider 104F to be ambient temperature. This means that one the line is buried and in service, it needs to have a expected operating temperature of 104F or less. This is typically sufficient for most natural gas lines and most water lines. If your pipeline is going to operate at an elevated temperature, we have other wrap around shrink sleeves that would be better suited for such an application.
Beyond that, we need to sort out a few other details. What is the outside diameter of your pipeline? We can't very well offer a quote without knowing that! Finally, we need to know what width of wrap around shrink sleeve that you need. Standards would be 11", 17", 24" and 34". We can also do custom widths as necessary, but it is a pretty rare situation that really requires a custom width. The general rule of thumb is that a wraparound shrink sleeve must be wide enough to coat all bare steel of the field joint and overlap onto the adjacent factory applied coating by at least two inches per side. It is important to consult with any coating specification associated with the pipeline, as some end users require three or even four inch overlaps onto the parent coating and that might very well knock you up to a wider sleeve. If there is one thing you don't want...it is to install a bunch of wrap around sleeves and THEN learn that the sleeves installed aren't wide enough to meet the coating specification requirements!
Here at Joint Specialists we generally keep wrap around shrink sleeves in stock and on the shelves. Of course, it would be impossible to keep every possible size in stock...but we stock the most commonly sold sizes. At any given time, we've probably got around ten thousands assorted wrap around shrink sleeves in stock ranging from 2" to 12". Beyond that, we have the capability to manufacture sleeves at an incredible clip - often being able to offer a few thousands sleeves within one to two days in order to kick a job off and keep it going until we can get the entire order together (almost always a week or less). So if you're looking for wrap around shrink sleeves - reach out to us and let's talk about it. You'll have your answers within a few minutes, and hopefully your product within a couple of days!