Evolving coatings

Bredero Shaw is committed to providing the industry with the latest coating systems. Fusion Bonded Epoxy powder coatings have been available for over 40 years with the availability of a range of dual layer systems to provide corrosion protection for steel pipelines, including high pressure gas transmission lines.

Historically, dual layer abrasion coatings have been supplied in specialist applications at thicknesses around 1 mm. Over the past four years there has been a steady appreciation and application of Dual Layer FBE coating systems for mainline coating at thinner application thicknesses, in particular for transmission gas pipelines, due to recognition of the superior resistance to damage.

These improved damage resistance properties are able to be utilised at reduced thicknesses and can not only provide up-front savings in materials, safer transportation and pipe handling, but can also result in larger backfill grades being utilised. These improvements all reduce time and costs for the constructor and improve pipeline integrity for the operators.

In 2003 the Kern River expansion for Williams Gas Pipeline, in the USA, used a 500 micron dual layer abrasion system for the 1,150 km long project. Later that year on the Telfer project in Western Australia this coating system was implemented for 430 km of line pipe. Australia has continued to be at the forefront in its application of the latest coating technologies.

Some of the attributes of an abrasive resistant FBE coating are:

  • Increased resistance to handling and backfill damage
  • High resistance to cathodic disbondment
  • High operating temperature performance
  • Simple and quick repairs
  • Use of rope rings reduces damage and enables nested stockpiling
  • Superior field jointing options.

Second generation dual layer systems, with improved performance, are just being released onto the market. Such systems now provide a bigger window of application whilst at the same time provide significant improvement in cathodic disbondment properties, especially at higher temperatures. Additionally, these new systems have improved gouge resistance as well as flexibility characteristics. These new technologies are just another sign of how the pipeline industry continues to evolve and develop improved solutions.

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