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06057 Hidden Problems with Three Layer Polypropylene Pipeline Coatings

Two large scale problems with three layer polyolefin (3LPO) coatings are discussed here and possible reasons for the failures. Lessons learned and recommendations for future usage of such coatings are provided. 

Product Number: 51300-06057-SG
ISBN: 06057 2006 CP
Author: Ali N Moosavi, Salim Al-Mutawa, Salah Balboul and Mostafa Saady
Publication Date: 2006
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In recent years three layer polyolefin (3LPO) coatings, including three layer polypropylene (3LPP) and three layer polyethylene (3LPE) have become the system of choice for pipeline coatings in many companies worldwide. The main reasons for the growth in popularity of these coatings are their resistance to high temperatures (up to 140ºC for 3LPP), good mechanical properties, and increased availability of these coatings and compatible field joint coatings. A series of recent failures, however, have put a question mark over the long term performance and suitability of these coatings, especially for high temperature (>100ºC) gas pipelines. Two large scale problems are discussed here and possible reasons for the failures, together with lessons learnt and recommendations for future usage of such coatings are provided.

Keywords: polyolefin, polyethylene, polypropylene, fusion bonded epoxy, heat shrink sleeve, flame spray, liquid epoxy.

In recent years three layer polyolefin (3LPO) coatings, including three layer polypropylene (3LPP) and three layer polyethylene (3LPE) have become the system of choice for pipeline coatings in many companies worldwide. The main reasons for the growth in popularity of these coatings are their resistance to high temperatures (up to 140ºC for 3LPP), good mechanical properties, and increased availability of these coatings and compatible field joint coatings. A series of recent failures, however, have put a question mark over the long term performance and suitability of these coatings, especially for high temperature (>100ºC) gas pipelines. Two large scale problems are discussed here and possible reasons for the failures, together with lessons learnt and recommendations for future usage of such coatings are provided.

Keywords: polyolefin, polyethylene, polypropylene, fusion bonded epoxy, heat shrink sleeve, flame spray, liquid epoxy.

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