Thursday, 29 September 2016

Ageing Infrastructure Protection

Rather than open this can of worms, how much
better to just encapsulate everything in Enviropeel!

Now, that looks better ... how long do you
think this protection will last?
Visitors to our website, reading about Enviropeel, may have read one of our case histories from a few years back, describing an application on some very rusty well heads in the North Sea. The case history 'Aging Infrastructure' is an illustration of the dramatic effects that corrosion has had over the years on this platform and highlights the difficulties for operators of facilities that may spend many more years in production than originally planned. 

The first photo shows the condition of the substrates on the platform at the time of the application in - it is easy to see how difficult it would be to address these corrosion problems using conventional methods. Blasting and painting would not be enough and, at best, provide a temporary cosmetic solution. To do the job properly, a minimum requirement would be replacing all the nuts and bolts most of which would require cutting to remove them ... and who knows what else.

Inspiration versus degradation

So, some of the wellheads were selected for protection using Enviropeel, as shown in the second photograph. It seemed like a good idea at the time and now, six years later, it seems to have been inspired. A senior corrosion engineer from the operator (a household name in petroleum products) visited the unmanned platform to see how Enviropeel had performed. His internal report highlighted the degradation of unprotected areas compared with those protected with Enviropeel and concluded: 

... the 2010 application of Enviropeel has, in the writers opinion arrested the corrosion of the flanges examined during the visit. The encapsulation properties of the Enviropeel product has performed as expected in preventing moisture ingress and further corrosion.

At the time, we guaranteed that protection for the substrates would last a minimum of 10 years, a claim which met with some scepticism, given the challenges of the substrate and its environment. Now, it looks like we underestimated our own abilities. The Enviropeel applications, although weathered and dirty, were unaffected by the years of exposure and will certainly outlast the requirements of the platform.