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World Pipelines Coatings Q&A 2021

Technical Director, Steve Crawley, and Sales & Marketing Director, Andrew Stuart recently featured in a Coatings Q&A with World Pipelines Magazine. In this article, they discuss new product developments, the importance of surface preparation, and the effects of COVID-19 on the business.

1. Which product or service do you provide in the coatings arena? How and when is it specified in pipeline projects?

Winn & Coales (Denso) Ltd provide a range of coatings for all pipeline elements, barrels, field joints, valves, and fittings. We serve the oil, gas, water, and utilities sectors. And supply both field-applied and factory-applied coating systems. Our aim is proven, long-lasting systems, with the optimal Total System Lifetime Cost. We focus on supplying coatings but work closely with coating applicators to support their training and knowledge transfer requirements. We operate both via independent expert coating specifiers and by offering coating recommendations direct to clients. It varies depending on the arrangements in place on the particular pipeline project. Clients often approach us for coating system recommendations either directly or via our worldwide network of distributors. In either case, we have a “technology-neutral” way of thinking. That means we do not believe there is a “best technology” that suits all circumstances. On the contrary, different coating systems have different advantages and disadvantages, and helping clients make the right choices for their particular circumstances is a journey we make together. The first step of that journey is ascertaining the facts relating to the project. A well-thought-out specification will take account of conditions of application, mechanical stress on the coating, operating temperature, and surface preparation constraints to name just a few factors.

2. Discuss a recent technological development that has benefitted your pipeline coatings products and/or coating services capabilities.

The pipeline industry exists in a state of perpetual unease. Because the pipeline industry is always striving to maintain integrity and ensure safe and undisrupted use of pipeline systems. So, performance of pipeline coatings is a shared concern. But practical performance in the real world is what matters when the realities of challenging environments and application conditions take effect.  And we recognise that in some situations the precautions normally used to ensure the preservation of the coating during pipeline installation are not always or cannot always be employed. And as a result, additional mechanical protection of the coating is required.

Denso Bore-Wrap™ protects field joint coatings and factory applied pipeline coatings from the abrasion stresses and scarring of directional drilling, HDD, and boring. It is an abrasion-resistant, sacrificial outer laminate which protects pre-approved field joint coatings and mainline coatings such as epoxies, shrink sleeves, and FBE. Denso Bore-Wrap ™ combines our experience of protective material with a deep understanding of severe pipelining conditions. This approach has led to a remarkably effective and reliable system, which complements the other coating systems within our current range.  And helps ensure protection of the primary coating when you need it the most.

3. How important is surface preparation and/or application, and how are these processes reviewed and regulated?

Very important.  Across the industry, a wide variety of pipeline coatings are used. Why is that? Well sometimes that is driven by performance, sometimes by cost, or personal preference but it is always informed by the surface preparation and application requirements. Refurbishment of a water pipe valve is a very different situation to a gas pipe field joint. The highest levels of surface preparation are not always an option because of the constraint of abrasive blasting.  It is important to firstly consider the features and constraints of your specific application as that informs the generic type of coating that is most suitable. See the surface preparation infographic on the right.

4. Discuss current limitations of pipeline coatings, and how they might be overcome. What is driving innovation in the field?

Increasing concern and awareness of environmental sensitivity and installation of pipelines in high consequence areas has highlighted the benefits of trenchless pipe installation. But, whilst trenchless installation is on the rise in the O&G and water sectors many of the pipe coating systems in use today have limitations in meeting the soil stress, gouge, impact, and flexibility requirements that are unique to trenchless pipe installation.

Unfortunately, not all protective systems employed in pipe coating protection have been developed specifically for trenchless application. Harder systems (FBE, epoxy) can become too brittle and inflexible and will chip and break when hitting rocks and disbond due to bends in HDD installations.  Softer systems (3LPE, Tapes, HSS) are more prone to damage from gouge or shearing forces.  Denso Bore-Wrap™ addresses these limitations by using omnidirectional glass to resist gouging, woven material to provide circumferential and compressive strength to resist shearing, compressed resin, and glass combination to combat abrasion, and a fast-curing porous resin to increase flexibility and resistance to impacts.

5. Outline the scope of a recent pipeline coating project (or upcoming one) for oil/gas pipelines.

DUSUP (Dubai Supply Authority) supplies the energy needs of a number of key utility and industrial companies in Dubai, supplying natural gas to DEWA, Dubal, Dugas, ENOC and Dubai Petroleum for their power generation, desalination and other industrial needs. DUSUP specified Denso Protal 7200™ liquid epoxy coating for a buried gas pipeline project in Dubai, UAE for 24” diameter block valves and straight pipe lengths. Both were coated on site with the Protal™ Air Cartridge Gun which offers quick and effective application with minimal equipment maintenance and material wastage.

Denso were also asked to provide additional systems for the 2” diameter connecting valves and pipe tie-ins. The smaller connecting valves were protected with the tried and tested Denso™ Petrolatum Tape system that is ideal for the long-term corrosion prevention of irregular shapes with minimum surface preparation. The pipe tie-ins were done with the reinforced Densopol 60HT™ PVC Bitumen backed pipeline tape, this transitioned from the Protal 7200™ Epoxy coated pipe onto the existing 3 LPE coating of the pipeline. The tape was applied by a Densoman™ hand wrapping machine, ensuring the correct overlap and tension required.

Three different applications, requiring three different solutions from Denso, that will offer long-term corrosion protection in some of the most demanding conditions.

View the full case study here.

6. What changes have happened to your business as a result of COVID-19? How are you adapting to current norms?

For Denso the business impact of this pandemic has been mitigated by having widespread manufacturing and operating facilities around the world. We have seen COVID-19 sweep around the globe but thankfully the adverse effects on the business, and more importantly, the welfare of our people has been very slight.

Like most organisations we are now adjusting to working via online platforms which have transformed our methods of internal communications and allowed colleagues to collaborate in new and exciting ways.  But external communication is more challenging. The industries that we serve have traditionally favoured a practical, hands-on approach. After all, both corrosion and corrosion prevention are physical issues which demand a physical presence in person. And it is that personal interaction with users, specifiers, and contractors that generates a clear understanding of requirements and capabilities. Often, there is no substitute for face-to-face contact.  And that close dialogue between suppliers and users is something we can fully expect to resume when the time is right. We have enjoyed delivering online training and Webinars and those platforms will continue to be useful. But to all our clients and partners worldwide, we look forward to being able to meet and shake your hand once again when the time is right.  Let us hope it’s soon.