3 Tips For A Successful Composite Pipe Repair

Repair thinning pipe without hot work and pay only for the duration you expect to need with Composite Pipe Repair.

It's a handy solution that uses wrapping and high-strength adhesives to repair your pipe. While avoiding hot work is a benefit that will speed up your repair process, there are a few points to consider to ensure your repair goes smoothly.

Without proper application techniques, Composite Repair can create more headaches that it relieves.

There are three main causes behind a failed composite repair job:

1. Insufficient surface preparation

2. Incorrect material selection, especially when working with elevated temperatures…

3. And lack of installer experience resulting in an improper fix

Proper surface preparation is a commonly skipped step — which is often the reason that repairs fail. “The pipe surface [needs to be] prepared the right way,” explains Innovator’s General Manager Chris Coombs. “There’s a due diligence to it — it’s more than just cleaning the pipe, there’s also a roughness component required for adhesion.”

Using an epoxy system that doesn’t meet the installation temperature for the pipe is another common pitfall.

Coombs explains,

“There are different types of epoxies available, each designed to activate and cure within a specified temperature range. Choosing a system that does not meet the temperature will produce an insufficient cure and potentially leading to failure.”

Without proper surface prep and the correct epoxy, the repair will eventually fail.

When this happens, the best outcome is having an expensive re-do — or possibly a leak that calls for a more complex fix. And of course, the worst-case scenario is having to undergo an unplanned shutdown.

Make Sure It’s Done Right

To ensure your composite repair is installed correctly, follow these 3 steps:

1. Know your pipe. Start with data about the size and severity of corrosion. A good option is a Corrosion-Under-Insulation Rapid Detection to check for corrosion or pitting without interrupting service or removing insulation or coatings.

2. Ensure Proper Surface Preparation. . Be sure there has been due diligence performed in the way of obtaining the roughness required for proper adhesion and that the epoxy used will perform properly at the temperatures it will have to withstand.

3. Make Sure It’s The Right Fix. Have your technical crew show you they’ve achieved the proper NACE(National Association of Corrosion Engineers) profile before applying the wrap. Make sure the engineered design, length of repair, and the thickness of the repair are all appropriate for the size and severity of your piping defect.

Know how long you want it to last. Don't get a permanent fix performed if you're only looking to make it until your next turnaround. And vice-versa. A contractor that is well-trained in Composite Repair will have no problem being fully transparent in the solution that is best for you.

 

Composite wrap is an effective product for addressing corrosion and preventing unplanned shutdowns, but only if it’s put on right the first time.

Know what you're looking to get out of your Composite Repair. Make sure you understand the severity of your pipe thinning.

Be aware that the surface prep is on point before wrapping is applied, that you’re using the right materials for your situation, and that you're using an experienced installer who has your best interests in mind and can give you the right solution based on how long you want your repair to last.

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