A variety of corrosion protection systems have been used over the decades, which have included coal tar enamel systems, liquid epoxy systems, asphalt enamel systems. However systems based on polyolefins (polyethylene and polypropylene) have replaced coal tar enamel, bitumen and single layer epoxy (FBE) in many onshore as well as off shore installations. The main reason for this is that modern pipelines need protection over its designed lifetime, which often exceeds 30 years. And because things like soil conditions, time and the occasional brush with heavy equipment is unavoidable, three layer systems have become the standard choice of corrosion protection for types of steel line pipes, whether they are used in oil, water or gas service.
The reason why polyolefins systems have replaced other types of coatings is quite simple. They offer better mechanical protection, less oxygen and water penetration, and better long term ageing performance. The also offer enhanced health, safety and environment performance compared to coal tar enamel and bitumen systems. Moreover, the latest requirements of international specifications are making polyolefins coating the best solution in more and more applications. So, although polyolefins systems are somewhat more expensive per square meter as compared to coal tar enamel and bitumen, they are much more cost effective over the long run as their service life is many times greater than those systems. Moreover, polyolefins systems need fewer sacrificial anodes and less Cathodic protection current. These factors make all the more reason for choosing 3 Layer polyolefins systems over other types of coatings when the pipeline is required to be operational for 30 years and more, since the design life of polyolefins systems exceeds 50 years.
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