When most people hear the word "SplashTRON®", they're usually unsure of what to expect. So, naturally, we get a lot of questions about what it is and how it's used. We've put together a list of frequently asked questions about SplashTRON®.
Q: What is SplashTRON®?
A: A yellow elastomer coating, like rubber, bonded strongly to steel pipe to be used in the splash zone in offshore operations, primarily to protect against corrosion.
Q: What is SplashTRON® made of?
A: It is a blend of selected rubber-like Neoprene polymers, fortified with special additives to form a tough, resilient barrier to corrosion, erosion, chemical attack, ultraviolet rays and ozone, similar to urethane.
Q: How long has SplashTRON® been used?
A: The first SplashTRON®-coated test specimen was put offshore in 1961. Commercial production began a couple of years later. There are installations in the Gulf of Mexico that have been in continuous service for more than 20 years.
Q: How is SplashTRON® normally used?
A: By far the most popular use is the coating of risers (flow liners) where they pass through the harsh environment of the splash zone.
Another excellent application is the coating of platform jacket legs and other structural members in the splash zone.
Perhaps the fastest growing application for SplashTRON® is coating the pipeline risers to be pulled through J-tubes (pull tubes) attached to platforms.
Other applications for SplashTRON® are coating the inside of riser clamps, pipeline coatings, and making bottom J-tube plugs.
Q: How is SplashTRON® applied?
A: The coating is chemically bonded, as opposed to merely mechanically bonded, to the metal surface to be protected. The bond of SplashTRON® to metal is stronger than the tough yellow elastomer itself.
Application must be made in Mark Tool Co’s plant for two reasons: (1) So that the environment and production processes can be closely controlled, and (2) Because the optimum curing vehicle is the steam autoclave.
Q: What features account for SplashTRON®'s success as the most widely used elastomer for splash zone coating?
A: Because for its long, trouble-free service life, SplashTRON® is very economical to use. It completely shields metal surfaces from corrosive attack and erosion; resists degradation from exposure to seawater, sunlight, ozone, and hydrocarbons. Barnacles and other sea life will not feed on it, and it is an excellent insulator (will not contribute to galvanic corrosion).
Q: In what thicknesses can SplashTRON® be applied?
A: The most popular coating thickness is ½", although ¼" is sometimes used because of clearance limitations. Where good thermal insulation is required, 1" or more is used.
Q: Can SplashTRON® coatings be repaired?
A: Yes, but if the damage does not expose bare metal, there is no need to repair it. If bare metal is exposed, trim away the loose material, wire brush the metal, and apply a resilient epoxy patch material available from Mark Tool Co.
Q: What is the largest pipe that can be coated with SplashTRON®?
A: There is really no upper limit, although for practical purposes (weight, primarily) we normally consider 68" OD and 44 feet in length working limits. We have applied SplashTRON® to 96" OD caissons.
Q: How much coverage is usually applied?
A: The splash zone varies in size around the world, depending on tides, weather, etc. In the Gulf of Mexico, 25 feet of SplashTRON® is normally used; 15' above mean water level, and 10' below.
Q: Can SplashTRON® be applied to bent pipe?
A: Yes, though there is a price premium for doing so if the pipe is already bent when we receive it. The more common practice, wall thickness permitting, is to "cold bend" the pipe after the SplashTRON® is applied.