Through a partnership with Rock Armour LLC, Solmax is furthering its presence in the oil and gas market. The company has unveiled an innovative rockshield pipeline protection solution for midstream oil and gas assets: RockArmour™. The conductive geomembrane material is designed to shield pipelines from rock impact damage during backfilling and soil disturbance after pipeline installation.
The system combines geosynthetic engineering and practical oil and gas engineering needs, keeping in mind the pressure on contractors to install miles of pipeline quickly and safely for dependable performance.
OIL & GAS PIPELINE PROTECTION
Common rockshield applications focus on maintaining pipe safety during trenching, pipe installation, and backfilling. Long-term integrity is critical in this sector.
RockArmour utilizes a perforated, conductive linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) geomembrane that exceeds rockshield industry standards for impact resistance and tear strength. The angled perforations guard against sand infiltration while allowing for cathodic protection (CP) current around the entire surface area of the pipe diameter. This protects against damage on the coated pipe surface. The core layer of the rockshield provides the essential impact protection and tear strength characteristics; the inner layer is textured and conductive to enhance the flow of the CP.
Contractors who have implemented the system have found considerable time savings with the system.
“With RockArmour, contractors may save as much as 75% in labor costs and maintain or exceed the run rate required to stay ahead in the field,” says Mathieu Cornellier, Vice President Technical Services & Business Development of Solmax. “[This essentially gives] contractors more miles for less.”
The approach is generating conversation this week at the NACE International CORROSION 2019 Conference in Nashville, Tennessee (24 – 28 March 2019). One of the papers in the program highlights the history of rockshield applications and contractor experience with RockArmour to protect large diameter pipelines. It also shares testing data. (See links at end of article.) A key case cites the use of only one four-person crew, which achieved a mile of rockshield per day. This is in stark contrast to projects on which eight-person crews have struggled to achieve that run rate due to the extra welding required in some other rockshield systems.
What Rock Armour LLC and Solmax have engineered is a system that draws from the rich history of conductive geomembrane technology, then adds to it the very things needed in oil and gas pipeline protection: durability, safety, and installation speed.
A specially designed attachment is used to increase safety and minimize handling time and job site labor.
“This design sets it apart from other rockshields in the market,” says Cornellier.
Rolls are typically manufactured in 400-ft. lengths and cut to project-specific widths to efficiently wrap pipes. The system is scalable to larger-diameter pipes (e.g., 24 – 48”) and smaller pipes.
- Three layers of LLDPE geomembrane 80 mil or 100 mil thickness with smooth outer layer
- Textured inner layer that allows elOptiectrolyteto move more easily between the shield and any holidays in the pipe coating
- Optional conductive inner layer to provide an electronic current path for CP to protect the pipe
- Can be placed on large roles for more efficient and safer application on larger diameter pipelines
- Optional 8oz non-woven geotextile layer inner layer for non-typical applications
- Meets or exceeds impact resistance and tear strength of other rockshields
For more information Solmax’s work in oil and gas pipeline protection and related engineering works, visit, www.solmax.com.