December 28

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What is the Splash Zone and How to Protect It?

The splash zone has long been a major concern to both design and corrosion engineers of offshore installations.

Tides cause the water level to rise and fall, alternately wetting and drying platform legs and risers.

The brackish water and exposure to oxygen is corrosive, and the wave action is constantly eroding the metal members. Debris and boats also come in contact with the metal, causing damage. Most common areas affected are risers, J-Tubes, bends, spools, and pipe field joints.

The metal, which is constantly submerged, can usually be protected by cathodic means. However, this doesn't work in the splash zone because the water level is constantly changing. The areas well above the splash zone, exposed only to atmosphere, can be protected with various paints and zinc coatings but must be reapplied when necessary.

splashtron coated platform

Oil platform rise splash zone coated with Mark Tool's SplashTRON® pipeline coating

Protecting this zone with traditional above and below solutions have proven unsatisfactory. Monel jackets welded to the metal surface; special coatings and sprayed-on paint; and even making the metal components thicker, of course, are not effective in the splash zone.

Protection of the Splash Zone

The criteria for successful splash zone protection consists of the following requirements:

  • Metal surface isolation – metal must be isolated and separated from the environment in materials with properties similar to rubber or polyurethane
  • High electrical resistance – coating should inhibit electrolytic corrosion and resist electrical current flow
  • High impact resistance – protects against and resists buffeting from boats and floating debris
  • Flexible – won't crack under the distortion of pipe bends or twists
  • Bio-fouling resistant– isolate metal from sea life, fungus, and scale attack
  • Good thermal insulation – important in the case of flow lines
  • Guaranteed for life – should last virtually the life of the installation

The tough, long-lasting elastomer is applied to structural members exposed to the splash zone during fabrication. It provides complete protection against the erosive action of abrasive-laden seawater, the harsh attack of ozone and ultraviolet rays, incidental impact from boats and floating debris, and the effect of sea life which builds upon all offshore installations.

About SplashTRON

SplashTRON® is completely and permanently bonded to the metal surface. Because it is flexible, it won't crack or disbond as the members bend, expand, and contract. SplashTRON® can be expected to protect against corrosion for the life of the platform.

It has proven its effectiveness in the Gulf of Mexico and other offshore areas around the world for more than 30 years. This coating is used by the leading producers of oil and gas, and most transmission companies.

SplashTRON® is a high density elastomer splash zone protection coating featuring excellent resistance to weathering, fungus, marine life, and most oils. We also manufacture SplashTRON® sleeves that can be applied in the field and used where more than one joint of pipe is needed for splash zone protection. The sleeves fit over welded areas of the pipe and are bonded to the pipe with a two-part structural adhesive supplied by us. SplashTRON® is also an excellent material for use in J-tube plugs and lining for riser clamps.

More on the splash zone and SplashTRON®: SplashTRON® Review

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