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Belzona Restores Mammoth Pipeline Through Cold Bonding

Belzona Restores Mammoth Pipeline Through Cold Bonding

Belzona’s polymeric repair and protection materials are suitable for extending the in-service life of assets in a multitude of industries, including equipment in the petrochemical industry which often functions in harsh environments. Belzona’s products are suitable for both small-scale assets and extremely large projects, such as the recent restoration of a mammoth pipeline in a Thai petroleum production facility.

What was the problem?

The facility, based in the north of Thailand, found that a huge pipeline carrying high-pressure water for injection into oil wells was suffering from thin wall defects. The pipeline in question was made out of 12 metre pipe lengths that had been welded together. However, upon inspection it was found that the 2000 psi water contents and the weld filler material used had resulted in internal corrosion defects at every circumferential weld joint. This caused the deterioration of pipe wall thickness, risking high pressure leaks.

Why was Belzona chosen?

The Customer had used Belzona previously and had a good relationship with the local Distributor, Pan Mechanic Engineering Co., Ltd. They were very impressed by Belzona’s cold bonding capabilities when they were demonstrated by the Distributor on a defective joint, leading to their agreement to undertake the repair of the entire pipeline, requiring an estimated 5000-7000kg of Belzona 1111 (Super Metal).

Due to the massive scale of the project, it was decided to complete the repair in three stages. More than 1000 joints were repaired in 2020 and the remaining defects were addressed in November and December 2022. The joints repaired in stage one were demonstrating excellent performance in service and the Distributor also invited two Technical Services Engineers from the Belzona Asia Pacific Office to observe the second stage of the project.

Why was Belzona 1111 (Super Metal) specified?

The use of welding had been problematic in the past, leading to the Customer’s preference for a cold bonding solution. The Distributor initially proposed the use of Belzona SuperWrap II to restore pipe wall strength, but testing found that attaching carbon steel reinforcing plates using Belzona 1111 (Super Metal) as a bonding agent would be more appropriate. The simpler cold bonding repair would be more cost effective and ensure a faster return to service in line with the Customer’s requirements.

How was the solution applied?

The surface was prepared using garnet blasting and Belzona 9111 (Cleaner/Degreaser) to achieve an average minimum ≥75 μm (3mils) profile and SA2.5 surface cleanliness for maximum adhesion. The atmospheric conditions were then tested to ensure that the relative humidity was below the maximum permitted 85% needed for the application to take place.

Welding rods were used to create a shim between the steel plates and the repair area to control the thickness of the application. The welding rods were bonded to the steel reinforcing plates with a small quantity of Belzona 1111 (Super Metal) and the repair area was identified using masking tape. Belzona 1111 (Super Metal) was first applied to two of the four plates and the damaged pipeline joint, and held in place using a fixed hoist while the product cured. Once the first two plates had bonded, the final two plates were applied and allowed to cure, fully encompassing the circumferential joint.

What was the result of the application?

The Customer was delighted that the Belzona repair restored the integrity of the joints and protected the pipeline from future thin wall defects. The success of such a large-scale project led the Customer to indicate an interest in applying Belzona solutions to other pipelines at their facility. This could include similar cold bonding applications or the specification of Belzona SuperWrap II for more complex pipe geometries. Polymeric repair and protection materials are ideal for facilities in the oil & gas and petrochemical industries due to their easy application and quick return to service with no hot work required.

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