Slurry pipes often are exposed to heavy wear at or around the 6 o’clock position. In oil sands hydrotransport and tailings, wear of steel pipes is much higher under erosion-corrosion conditions. Whilst a number of metallic wear protection solutions, e.g., alloys, hardened steels, or chromium-carbide overlays can significantly extend useful life of such pipes, their protective effect can be severely reduced if erosion-corrosion conditions prevail.
Internal coatings made from high-performance polyurethane elastomers often allow similar or somewhat longer life extension compared to such metallic solutions, at a much lower investment cost. Under erosion-corrosion conditions, however, these elastomer coatings last much longer than metallic solutions. Life extension factors of 2-10 have been observed in oil sands slurry lines.
A former disadvantage of polymeric internal coatings was the fact that non-destructive testing and monitoring methods used on steel pipes could not be applied. For almost three years now, “instrumentation spools” in oil sands tailings service have successfully been in operation. The internal coating contains sensors rendering it “intelligent” in that it measures its own wear, including information on actual wear location on the 360 degree circumference. No hole through the pipe wall is required for data transmission to the operator.
This presentation will describe high-performance polyurethane elastomer internal coatings, the intelligent coating system, and field experience with it.