June 11

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FBE Pipeline Coatings: Better with SplashTRON®

With drilling operations digging deeper wells in 2017, high-temperature, high-pressure environments call for materials suitable for the job. This includes pipeline coatings that perform well in these difficult settings.

In the 1960s, steel pipes coated "in the field” with asphalt and coal tar-based wraps gave way to FBE (fusion-bonded epoxy) systems. FBE continues to be used to protect steel pipe from corrosion. FBE pipeline coatings are solid, thermo setting powders that bond to steel surfaces when heated. They typically consist of epoxy resins, pigments, flow control additives, hardeners, and stabilizers.

To apply these coatings, a pipe is first heated with induction or gas burners to remove moisture and surface-blasted to improve adhesion. The epoxy powder is then applied with electrostatic guns. The powder melts on contact with the heated steel then cures to form the hardened coating.

fbe pipeline coatings

The biggest drawback to FBE is that it can be permeable to moisture and susceptible to coming off when exposed to hot, wet conditions for extended periods.

Although FBE pipeline coatings are overcoated with an abrasion-resistant overlay that helps them adhere to prepared steel surfaces and resist cathodic disbondment, dual-layer systems include a second layer (a topcoat) that offer additional protection against specific conditions (such as directional drilling). Our SplashTRON® makes an ideal second layer for FBE-coated pipes, as we will discuss.

What’s on the inside counts, too. In addition to external FBE coatings, some pipelines are lined internally with a liquid epoxy or FBE system to support the flow of oil or gas. These linings can also reduce corrosion and gunky build-up.

Better with SplashTRON®

As mentioned, drillers can overlay FBE with a thick layer of a flexible polymer or another top coat to help the coating resist moisture and impact damage. Mark Tool’s split wraparound sleeves are excellent "outer shell” layers for the FBE-coated pipe.

Made of vulcanized elastomer, we size it to fit your specific pipe‘s outside diameter. Our SplashTRON® sleeves are installed in the field and bonded to the pipe with Splash Cote 2216, a highly flexible epoxy adhesive with high shear and peel strengths.

Before applying the SplashTRON® sleeves, FBE-coated pipe must first be abraded to 1.5 to 3.5 mil anchor profile by using an MBX Bristle Blaster, which removes corrosion and generates an anchor profile with its hardened wire bristle tips.

More than 50 percent of all offshore oil and gas installations around the world are in the Gulf of Mexico, Mark Tool’s backyard. That means we are equipped to coat pipes near where the pipe is milled and where it will be used.

When piping systems aren’t suitable for our standard SplashTRON® vulcanization process in one of our plants, our molded vulcanized elastomer SplashTRON® "half-shells” are appropriate for your needs. Typical applications include:

  • Offshore riser pipe in the splash-zone
  • Pipeline railroad crossings
  • Pipeline touchdown area
  • Pipeline road crossings

Need FBE-coated standard line pipe? Mark Tool Co., Inc. offers standard pipe, 2" through 12", all thicknesses schedule 40 and above. We can supply most grades of carbon steel pipe, and FBE-coated pipe up to 44 feet long. We even have arrangements with other companies to provide you with larger pipe. Just let us know your needs, and we will work with you.

Mark Tool is a leading manufacturer of custom molded rubber products, including rubber rollers, tensioner pads, and other custom molded rubber products. We got our start in oilfield and marine applications but our product line has grown to meet the needs of virtually every industry, from manufacturing to food goods processing. Contact us to learn more about our products or to request a quote.

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