Mechanical Field Services: Pipeline Composite Wrap Repairs

pipeline needs mechanical field services to strengthen weak areas
Mechanical field services help repair, modify, or replace critical infrastructure like pipelines.

Mechanical field services address repair, maintenance, and modification needs on-site for your critical infrastructure. Pipelines are a common type of infrastructure for many industries, including oil and gas facilities, chemical plants, and petrochemical plants. Over time, pipelines may deteriorate and experience defects that weaken the pipe walls. This creates many hazards, including safety concerns, environmental consequences, and production issues, as weakened pipelines may be more vulnerable to leaks. In these cases, it’s essential to repair damaged areas to prevent leaks and further damage. There are several approaches to repairing weakened pipelines, including composite wrap repairs, which are often the most cost-effective. 

Mechanical Field Services for Weakened Pipelines

When you have damaged or weakened pipelines, it’s crucial to assess the damage to determine a proper approach for repairs. In many cases, you need mechanical field services to fix the weak areas of the pipeline. There are typically three methods for repairing defects that threaten pipeline structural integrity: replacing the damaged area, using a full-enclosure steel sleeve, or using composite wraps. 

Replacing the damaged section of pipe is often time-consuming, labor intensive, and costly. Generally, this involves shutting down the pipeline to perform repairs. In some cases this may mean stopping flow at the source, but in most cases line stops are used for a temporary stop. Once the stop is in place, our experts drain the product from that section of pipe. Our mechanical field services team then cuts out the damaged area before replacing it with new pipeline material. This is best for severely damaged pipelines or pipelines that are actively leaking. 

In other cases, you may need a full-enclosure pipe clamp. These are typically made of steel or other metals. Typically, these are reserved for damages like pin-hole leaks in the pipeline. While less expensive and time consuming than pipeline section replacement, the sleeves and labor involved can be somewhat costly. These repairs typically involve welding the metal sleeve to the exterior of the pipeline.

Composite wrap repairs are often the first choice for repairing weakened areas of pipelines, as they are an effective, yet simple and inexpensive option for repairs. Composite wrap repairs can be completed within days and offer a temporary or permanent fix to reinforce pipeline defects.

What are Composite Wrap Repairs?

Composite wrap repairs are a type of pipeline reinforcement method that has been around for decades. These repairs are common for repairing non-leak defects that weaken the pipeline. Composite wraps consist of layers of strong fabric, such as fiberglass or carbon fiber, and strong resins, which wrap around the exterior of the pipeline. These repairs restore structural integrity by providing strong support along the perimeter of the damaged pipe area. Composite wrap repairs can restore the pipe’s pressure containing capabilities and allow for maximum operating pressure in the pipeline. 

Why Opt for Composite Wrap Mechanical Field Services?

Composite wrap mechanical field services offer many economic and often environmental benefits. In most cases, composite wrap repairs cost significantly less than other types of pipe repair. From the materials to the labor hours, upfront costs are much more affordable than replacing pipe sections or even using pipe clamps. 

Also, our team can perform composite wrap repairs while the pipeline is in service. That means there’s no downtime associated with repairs, which is a major advantage. Because there’s no need to shut down or isolate the area, this also means there’s no product loss associated with composite wraps. Depending on the piped medium, this avoidance of product loss makes composite wrap repairs significantly more cost-effective than other options. This also prevents emissions for many pipelines, which offers environmental benefits. Therefore, there are several reasons to consider composite wrap repairs whenever possible for your pipeline infrastructure. 

How Do Mechanical Field Services for Composite Wraps Work?

When you need composite wrap repairs, our team dispatches certified technicians to perform a field inspection. This allows us to determine the type of damage and the proper repair techniques to use. Our technicians may need to perform surface prep before beginning composite wrap repairs. Composite wraps involve layering fabrics and resins around the outer diameter of the pipe.

When are Composite Wrap Mechanical Field Services Appropriate?

We mentioned earlier in this article that composite wrap repairs aren’t appropriate for pipelines with an active leak. In these cases, other repairs are typically better suited for your pipeline infrastructure. Of course, it’s important to discuss the specifics of your pipeline repairs with a mechanical specialist, but they generally work well for defects that weaken small areas of the pipeline. For instance, composite wrap repairs frequently work well for external corrosion, indentations, pits, and gouges in pipe sections. Composite wraps can repair defects or damages that affect up to 80% of the pipe’s wall thickness, making them an effective option for many types of damage.

Information Needed for Composite Wrap Pipe Repairs

There are some things our team needs to know for composite wrap mechanical field services. This information can help us formulate a repair plan and pick the right type of wrap for your needs. Our team typically performs a field inspection to determine a course of action for repairs. However, having information about the pipeline can come in handy for our team. Here are some things to tell our technicians if you need composite wrap repairs:

  • Pipe data
    • Size
    • Material
  • Operating conditions
    • Pipe medium
    • Temperature
    • Pressure 
  • Defect data
    • Size
    • Location
    • Type
  • Needed lifetime of the repair (permanent vs. temporary)

How Long Do Composite Wrap Repairs Last?

Composite wrap repairs can be permanent, meaning they last for the rest of the expected useful life of the pipeline. These repairs have been known to last decades and provide structural support to a wide range of pipelines. Exactly how long repairs last depend on many different factors. For instance, proper composite wrap application from an experienced mechanical field services team is necessary for long-lasting repairs. In addition, the type of composite wrap can affect how long the repairs last. It’s best to talk to your composite wrap technician about the specifics of your application. 

Types of Composite Wraps for Pipelines

There are many different composite wraps to choose from for pipeline repairs, but they all fall into three basic categories. Some types of wraps feature fabrics pre-impregnated with resin. Our team then applies these to the pipe section and allows them to cure. Other types of wraps utilize resins that technicians mix and apply on site before curing. In other cases, composite wraps may be pre-cured with the resin. Our experts can help determine the right type of composite wrap for your pipeline repair needs.

Specialty Mechanical Services from Leverage Mechanical Services

When you need specialty services for your critical infrastructure and equipment, our team of certified technicians offer quality service at each step of your infrastructure’s lifecycle. We are a leading provider of mechanical, millwright, machining, and valve services. Our goal is to add value by providing reliable, cost-effective solutions for all your needs. Whether you need field technicians or a CNC machine shop in Texas or Louisiana, our organization is here for you. Contact us now for a quote or call us 24/7 at 1-888-551-2077 for emergency service.