In Ditch Pipe Coating Efficiency Improves Dramatically

March 2009 Vol. 236 No. 3

Luke Hotze and Traci Brentano, CECO Pipeline Services, Houston, TX

CECO Pipeline Services (CPSC) began providing a variety of quality services to pipeline operators in 2003.

These services include pipeline integrity work, fabrication, coating application, corrosion services, erosion control, compliance work and general mechanical services. As a privately owned, full service company, CPSC takes great pride in a job completed safely and to the customer’s satisfaction. We work hard to earn and maintain the trust of those we work with enabling us to build something special throughout each project.

Over time, many pipeline systems collect water, bacteria and other elements that accelerate overall coating system breakdown. Although cathodic protection is a useful preservation technique, industry experts will agree that after years of carrying high-pressure gas, many pipelines are in need of a full coating repair. CPSC strives to be on the forefront of cost-effective field-coating repair. We are a full-service recoat company. We are equipped to handle excavation, magnetic particle inspection, sandblast, recoat, repair if necessary, backfill, and right-of-way restoration.

A variety of coating systems are in existence but some of CPSC’s prime customers switched to Specialty Polymers’ two-part epoxy coating SP-2888 in 2006. CPSC changed its spray application system to one capable of applying spray-grade SP-2888. In our current capacity we are capable of spray applying most manufacturers’ two-part epoxy coating systems.

The SP-2888®RG is a range of surface coatings based on state of the art epoxy/urethane chemistry. The urethane polymer is pre-bonded to the epoxy resin, rendering the coating “isocyanate free”. The synergistic effect of the co-polymerizing epoxy and urethane produces a coating with the superior adhesion and permeability of epoxy along with the added toughness and abrasion resistance of urethane.

In early 2007 CPSC constructed a compact spray rig to maximize safety and production rates. The rig is a self-contained spraying machine capable of highway and ROW travel. This mobility enables quick and efficient response. We built a second spray rig in 2008 and are building a third. In addition to maximizing spray capacity, we have increased our sandblast capacity to enable crews to stay ahead of the spray rigs.

In 2008 CPSC coated over 300,000 square feet of pipe ranging in size from 8- to 42-inches. The incorporation of fast-drying two-part epoxy coatings has drastically increased our production rates over the past three years. Previous coating systems were capable of recoating an average of 100 feet or less of 26-inch pipeline in one day.

Today, when geared up appropriately, we are capable of coating over 2,000 feet in a day. As an example, the SP-2888 production capability allowed CPSC to complete a 3.67 mile project involving 26-inch pipe in 31 days. These production rates allow customers to minimize inspection times on jobs, minimizing the total cost of the job. This productivity gain was made possible by customers switching to fast-drying spray application coating systems.