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Petro.t.ex Africa 2011 preview

 Pipeline corrosion in the spotlight at Petro.t.ex Africa 2011

To highlight the latest developments in corrosion technologies, the Corrosion Institute of Southern Africa (CorrISA) will be hosting a one-day technical workshop at Petro.t.ex Africa on 9th June covering Field Joint Coatings. The Petro.t.ex Africa expo takes place from 7 to 9 June 2011 at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg.

The challenge for pipeline engineers is reducing the corrosive effects of the highly aggressive products transported in pipelines, and the harsh operating conditions in which they operate. Welded pipe joints are particularly sensitive to corrosion and field joint coatings are critical to a pipeline’s integrity.

Market growth

The pipeline-coating market continues to grow, from 120mn sq m in 2004 to over 200mn sq m in 2009. According to research conducted by Noru Tsalic at Applied Market Information, the market is growing by 15 per cent annually, and innovations and technologies in field joint coatings have had to keep up.

Kevin Garrity, an expert in the field of corrosion, will be the keynote speaker at the workshop. Garrity is the incoming Vice-President and 2012 President Elect of the U.S. based National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE), one of the largest and most influential corrosion protection institutes in the world, with over 25,000 members in more than 100 countries.

Pipes and joints

The one-day workshop will focus on the pipeline industry with the theme ‘Field Joint Repair Coatings of Pipelines’. Topics will include an overview of line pipe coatings; challenges facing field joint coatings; offshore pipeline joint coatings; heat shrink sleeves; liquid coatings; cold applied tapes; hot applied tapes and composite systems.

“The field joint coatings market is estimated at about five percent of the overall pipeline coating market,” explains Neil Webb, former President of CorrISA and a Corrosion Specialist accredited by the NACE. “That estimate is based on the fact that for every 20 metres of pipe, there is one field joint.”


Webb highlights a number of challenges facing the field joint coatings industry. “Field joint coatings, applied on site in very adverse conditions, have to be simple to apply and should be compatible with the pipeline factory coating,” he says. “Often the field joint is a weak link in the pipeline corrosion protection system, not due to any products, but due to a lack of awareness, poor application and the human element.”

According to an updated study conducted by the University of the Witwatersrand in 2004, the direct cost of corrosion to the South African economy is estimated at R154-billion per year.

Locally, steel pipelines are used to transport natural gas, crude oil, water, petrochemicals and petroleum products at high pressures over long distances. The Pumps, Valves & Pipes Africa 2011 exhibition and conference, which takes place alongside Petro.t.ex Africa, will also focus on this sector of the industry.

Solutions to corrosion will also be addressed at a two-day Pumps Masterclass running alongside Petro.t.ex Africa.