Belzona composite repair system for pipes


As pipeline infrastructure continues to age and encounter various operational challenges, the demand for innovative and efficient repair technologies like Belzona SuperWrap II is expected to grow significantly. 

Pipelines play a crucial role in transporting large volumes of liquids and gases efficiently over long distances. 

However, these pipelines can be subjected to various factors that cause damage, which can lead to leaks and catastrophic consequences. 

To mitigate these risks, the repair of pipelines has evolved, and the use of polymeric composite materials for pipe repairs has gained widespread acceptance.

Belzona SuperWrap II complies with ISO 24817 and ASME PCC-2 standards, making it the ideal composite repair system for pipes.

Corroded and thin-walled pipeline.

Traditional repair methods involved welding plates and sleeves or partial replacements, which were often time-consuming and costly. However, with the introduction of polymeric composite materials, a new set of advantages emerged.

Composite repairs can be based on engineered structural calculations. This ensures that the repair process is optimised and reliable, tailored to the specific requirements of the pipeline.

Unlike welding, composite repairs are a safe cold process that can be carried out in areas where hot work is prohibited. This enhances safety during repair operations, especially in environments with hazardous media or flammable substances.

Composite repairs offer a cost-effective alternative to traditional repair methods, resulting in significant savings for asset owners and operators.

The sufficient repair life provided by composite repairs allows them to be considered permanent solutions, ensuring the longevity of the repaired pipeline. This eliminates the need for frequent repair interventions, saving both time and resources.

Belzona SuperWrap II composite pad bonded to the pipeline.

Belzona SuperWrap II Composite Repair System

Belzona SuperWrap II is a composite repair technology based on a polymer-based composite of epoxy resin and reinforcing fibres. This wet-wrapping technique involves wrapping resin-impregnated reinforcing fibres directly around the pipe defect and curing them in place, creating a strong, durable, and corrosion-resistant repair layer.

Two crucial material properties for composite pipe repairs are mechanical strength and stiffness, both dependent on the properties of the reinforcing fibre. 

In the case of Belzona SuperWrap II, a two-component epoxy resin with 100 per cent solids content was chosen due to its adhesion and mechanical strength compared to other polymer groups.

Completed application of Belzona SuperWrap II on a corroded pipeline.

Belzona SuperWrap II uses a hybrid reinforcing fibre, a combination of carbon fibre and glass fibre. 

This provides high mechanical strength, while the glass fibre acts as an insulator, preventing corrosion currents from flowing through the conductive carbon fibre. This hybrid reinforcing sheet, is designed for optimal physical properties and workability, ensuring ease of application and maximum performance.

To account for varying temperature conditions during application, three types of resins were developed for Belzona SuperWrap II: Belzona 1981, Belzona 1982, and Belzona 1983. 

These resins allow users to select the most suitable material depending on the temperature conditions during the repair process and operation.

Compliance with ISO and ASME standards

To ensure the reliability and compliance of Belzona SuperWrap II, a series of rigorous tests were conducted in accordance with ISO 24817 and ASME PCC-2 standards. 

Tensile properties: These tests assess tensile strength, tensile modulus, Poisson’s ratio, and strain to failure of the materials, evaluating their mechanical properties under various loading conditions.

Structural integrity: A short pipe spool with pseudo-defects of specified dimensions is repaired with the SuperWrap II system and subjected to pressure resistance tests to evaluate its durability.

Energy release rate: This test measures the toughness parameter for the repair/substrate interface, assessing the bonding strength and the ability of the repair to resist crack propagation.

Long-term strength: The long-term strength of the repair is evaluated to ensure its longevity, particularly in applications where sustained loading is expected.

Impact performance: Low velocity impact tests simulate real-world scenarios and assess the impact on the repair, examining its ability to withstand accidental impacts or external forces.

Thermal properties: The coefficient of thermal expansion and glass transition temperature are measured to understand the material’s response to temperature changes.

Test results confirmed the mechanical properties and performance of Belzona SuperWrap II, making it a suitable solution for compliant pipe repairs. The robustness of the repair system is demonstrated through its ability to withstand internal pressure, resist crack propagation, and maintain structural integrity over the long term.

Belzona SuperWrap II is a reliable and compliant composite repair system for pipes, adhering to international standards and providing innovative solutions for pipeline maintenance and repair. 

Fabrication of composite pads made of Belzona SuperWrap II.

Its use of engineered structural calculations, cost-effectiveness, and ease of application make it a preferred choice for asset owners and operators across various industries.

The stringent tests conducted to assess the mechanical properties and performance of Belzona SuperWrap II ensure that it meets the requirements set by ISO and ASME standards, providing a high level of confidence in its reliability and longevity. 

The ability to select the most suitable material and resin based on temperature conditions offers flexibility and adaptability for a wide range of applications, enhancing the versatility of the repair system.

With its track record of successful applications and ongoing advancements in composite technology, Belzona SuperWrap II continues to establish itself as a leading solution in the composite repair industry, contributing to the maintenance and integrity management of critical pipework worldwide.

This article featured in the September edition of The Australian Pipeliner. 

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