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What Is the Most Common Pipeline Coating?

Pipeline coating provides essential protection for steel pipes transporting oil, gas, and other commodities worldwide. This critical measure can prevent costly repairs or maintenance costs later. Check out the Best info about pipeline coatings.

Fusion Bond Epoxy (FBE) powder systems have become the industry standard in buried systems. These mill-applied coatings are durable enough to withstand transportation, offer cathodic protection, and endure in-ground exposure.

Liquid Epoxy

When selecting a pipeline coating system, various factors must be considered, including operating conditions, environmental considerations, laboratory certification of performance, and practical issues such as cost, application time, scheduling, and field touch-up. Fusion-bonded epoxy has long been considered the go-to choice for coating buried steel pipelines; however, more recently, owners are turning towards liquid epoxy technologies due to their increased impact and abrasion resistance, along with their resistance against microbiologically induced corrosion (MIC).

Liquid epoxy is an easy and economical way to coat pipes or other metal components, offering resistance from corrosion, rust, chemicals, heat, uneven or rough surfaces, seam coverage, and seam bridging capabilities. Before applying liquid epoxy, it should always be cleanly prepared with muriatic acid first for best results; additionally, it’s wise to wear a respirator when working with muriatic acid as its fumes can cause breathing issues and should always be used under appropriate safety protocols.

Liquid epoxy offers another advantage by being applied over existing FBE coatings or polymers, enabling repairs and upgrades to occur more rapidly, thus shortening project timeline delays and cost more efficiently than alternative options. Plus, liquid epoxy pipeline coating is relatively affordable compared to its competitors.

Considerations in selecting a pipeline coating system include climate, temperature, and the fuel’s physical state. Master Bond offers products suitable for various pipeline installations in cold climates and those carrying liquids or gases like oil, natural gas, LNG, or ethanol.

Liquid Polyurethane

Pipeline coatings are used to safeguard oil and gas pipelines against harsh environmental conditions that they might encounter, such as soil stress, bacteria growth, and saltwater intrusion. Furthermore, they must withstand various temperature ranges.

Polyurethane offers 100% solids polyurethane coatings designed to withstand damage during transportation, handling, laying, testing, backfilling, and pipe retesting. They can be spray or roll applied and achieve film builds between 15-50 mils for adequate pipeline protection and rehabilitation using girth weld sealants.

Ingredients that produce liquid polyurethane consist of di- and tri-isocyanates mixed with polyols and other materials for processing and properties, such as materials that enhance processing or other features. Once mixed, this polymer is then blown into the air under high pressure using a machine called a foam blowing system; one nozzle jets it onto waxed paper conveyor belts where blasts of carbon dioxide from another nozzle mix it with hot liquid polyurethane creating a foam strip which must then be cut trimmed compressed before trimming and compressing for its final shape to remain viable shape.

This type of pipeline coating can often be found as the outer layer in three-layer coating systems, serving as the final stage in corrosion protection and electrical resistance. An inner high-density polyethylene layer provides corrosion protection and electrical resistance while an adhesive substance and Fusion Bonded Epoxy (FBE) coat hold everything together, producing an extraordinarily abrasion-resistant and flexible resultant coating.


Polyolefins are thermoplastic materials comprised of thermoplastic monomers derived from natural gas or petroleum sources. Polyolefins can be shaped into multiple forms with heat molding; their properties range from liquid-like to rigid solid structures. They make lightweight yet strong materials that offer various applications, including heat shrink tubing for new electronic components, food packaging, and water pipes.

Plastic coatings are more eco-friendly and can be recycled into practical secondary uses. Furthermore, these plastics are nontoxic to humans and animals and tasteless and odorless – qualities which make them suitable for food packaging applications and help ensure food safety when frozen foods are stored below zero degrees F. Polyethylene is the largest volume polyolefin available with various grades that differ according to molecular weight, crystallinity (density), and branching structures – some can even be crosslinked and are compatible with other polyolefins when crosslinked with other polyolefins when crosslinked together.

Polyolefins can be used as an additional FBE coating to offer corrosion and mechanical damage protection. Three-layer FBE/polyolefin systems typically involve preheating the pipe before applying an FBE layer and copolymer/topcoat; polyethylene is usually the material of choice here, though other polyolefins could also be considered depending on your pipeline service temperatures.


Pipeline networks are essential to keep global economies running smoothly, transporting petroleum, natural gas, and water long distances. Any disruption in these flows could have severe repercussions for economies. Coating systems are needed to protect pipelines against environmental conditions and ensure maximum steel surface protection from corrosion damage.

Different coating systems are utilized to protect pipelines. These include polyethylene, fusion bond epoxy (FBE), high-density polyethylene, and others that help prevent corrosion while providing resistance against abrasion, impact, and mechanical damage that could occur to them.

FBE coatings have become an industry-standard in pipeline coating. Applied as a powder to steel surfaces of pipelines and then heated, FBE is easy to use, cost-effective, works well with cathodic protection systems, and is durable enough for transportation from shop to field.

FBE can also be applied using a crosshead extrusion machine called dual-layer FBE coatings. These consist of 20-30 mils of polyethylene extrusion over ten mils of rubberized asphalt adhesive, commonly called Yellow Jacket coatings, and are widely used on oil and gas pipelines with outside diameters up to 48″. They offer excellent construction, handling, and temperature tolerance.

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