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Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Flexclad Heat Shrink Tape

 Flexclad Heat Shrinkable Tape - Application Guide

     Flexclad heat shrinkable tape is used to prevent corrosion on pipe bends in distribution networks and corrosion protect straight line pipe with outside diameters less than 2.375".  Flexclad tape consists of a radiation crosslinked polyolefin backing, coated with a specially formulated viscoelastic adhesive.  

     The tape is wrapped around the preheated pipe.  A separate closure is used to fix the tape end to the pipe surface.  Because of its flexibility, Flexclad tape conforms to the shape of the pipe surface.  When heated, the backing shrinks and forces the adhesive to flow and fill the weld area and other surface irregularities.  

     The shrinking tape exerts force on the sealant, which results in a perfectly tight seal.  Flexclad tape has the additional advantage of reduced craft sensitivity when installed on site.  When cooled, the product bonds extremely well to the steel pipe, to its own backing at the overlap and to various pipe coatings.  Flexclad tape resists abrasion, impact and penetration and has a high resistance to cathodic disbondment.  The product does not require primer.  

The exposed steel should be cleaned using a wire brush or grit blasting.
Steel and adjacent pipe coating should be free of all foreign materials such as dirt, rust, oil, grease and moisture prior to installation.  No primer is needed.

Preheat the joint area to 60C and the adjacent coating to 60C using a propane torch.  Verify the temperature with a contact pyrometer or similar quality temperature measuring device.

Pull the appropriate length of Flexclad off of the roll.  Position the tape with at least one complete wrap onto the pipe coating.  The tape should overlap onto itself by at least 3/4 of an inch.

Wrap the tape tightly around the bend until the bend is completely covered, assuring a minimum overlap onto each wrap.  The tape should extend onto the other side of the pipe coating with at least one complete wrap.  The tape end should be fixed with a closure. 

Adjust the torch to product a steady, bushy yellow flame.  Slightly heat the tape surface with the yellow portion of the flame, starting at the last wrap.  Move the torch spirally around the bend to assure equal heating of the tape, until the adhesive flow becomes evident at each overlap. 

The tape surface should be smooth without any entrapment of foreign materials.  The adhesive should be visible at the tape sides and at each overlap.  

Example of Flexclad being shrunk at a recent training. 

Installed Flexclad - excellent option for bends.

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