How spacers can help with corrosion management

Corrosion accelerates degradation and reduces the life of pipeline infrastructure. It costs the industry millions of dollars in rehabilitation, rebuilding and downtime. kwik-ZIP’s spacer and centraliser system mitigate against corrosion issues for pipeline infrastructure, improving corrosion management systems.

Corrosion accelerates degradation and reduces the life of pipeline infrastructure. It costs the industry millions of dollars in rehabilitation, rebuilding and downtime. kwik-ZIP’s spacer and centraliser system mitigate against corrosion issues for pipeline infrastructure, improving corrosion management systems.

All pipelines are exposed to different physical, climatic, and chemical elements that can cause corrosion. It is often exacerbated in harsh coastal, tropical, or desert environments. Pipelines can also decay faster when exposed to high salt levels or extreme temperatures.

Research from NACE International indicates that the effects of corrosion can contribute between 3.5 per cent to 5.2 per cent at an average of 4.35 per cent of global gross domestic product. If these results are extrapolated for Australia’s GDP, this equates to a high estimate of $78 billion per annum spent on remediating corrosion-related assets. While New Zealand has a smaller economy, using the same estimated impact, the cost of corrosion is approximately $NZ16 billion.

Ignoring the effects of corrosion can be costly for asset owners. Planning for corrosion control and mitigation has advantages, including extending an asset’s life and reducing maintenance time and costs.

Stopping and managing corrosion

An appropriate spacer system is a straightforward tool asset owners can employ as part of their corrosion management system.

“Choosing an appropriate spacer system can help mitigate the effects of corrosion on new and rehabilitated pipelines. Spacers made from inert materials such as high-grade thermoplastic are the best choice for pipeline installations. They are resistant to the effects of corrosion,” said kwik-ZIP managing director Jason Linaker.

This is important in harsh environments where metal spacers do not hold up.

“For instance, some areas may have acid sulphate soils. A metallic spacer would be subject to severe corrosion if it encountered acid sulphate soils. Even stainless steel is subject to accelerated corrosion from such conditions. While corrosion can transfer from the metallic spacer to the steel pipeline itself, inert non-metallic pipe spacers are resistant to such conditions,” said Linaker.

Corrosion can also occur when a new pipe is inserted into an old pipe for rehabilitation. This happens if the new pipe is made from steel or if metallic spacers are used.

 Even if the new pipe is not steel, corrosion can still breach the grout seal around the new pipe.

“Inert non-metallic spacers are resistant to the transfer of pre-existing corrosion. As a result, the spacers remain intact throughout the life of the pipe,” said Linaker.

A focus on minimising corrosion can reduce these costs, and spacers are one of the ready tools available to help.

kwik-ZIP spacers and corrosion management

kwik-ZIP spacers are the only Australian-owned spacer and centraliser system on the market. The kwik-ZIP range is manufactured from its engineered thermoplastic blend. It is characterised by its high resistance to corrosion, even when in contact with organic substrates for long periods.

The company has been designing centralisers and spacers systems for many industries since its inception in 2000. With warehouse facilities in the UK, Sydney and Texas, the company has established stockists in Australia, the US, the UK, and New Zealand markets. Although a small component of the entire pipeline infrastructure, kwik-ZIP spacers make a difference in the overall success of pipeline installations.

Used and recommended by pipeline and civil contractors worldwide, kwik-ZIP centraliser and spacer systems solve production casing centralisation challenges throughout the pipeline industry.

The systems are used extensively in production well completion, horizontal directional drilling (HDD), rock bolt and anchor centralisation and trenchless pipeline installation.

kwik-ZIP focuses on price effectiveness, simplicity, and rapid on-site assembly. It ensures that the systems deliver cost, time, and operational advantages to customers.

How kwik-ZIP stands apart from other companies

kwik-ZIP produces the only casing spacers approved as compliant by the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA). kwik-ZIP spacers have been added to the Accepted Infrastructure Products and Materials (IPAM) list for the South-East Queensland Water Supply and Sewerage Design and Construction Code (SEQ Code). kwik-ZIP Spacers have been added to the Melbourne Retail Water Agencies (MRWA) Approved Products list.

In mid-2016, kwik-ZIP’s HDX Series casing spacer was the first spacer system to be approved as compliant with WSA PS-324. The recent successful appraisal of the HDXT Series marks the second instance in which kwik-ZIP’s casing spacers have been recognised as complying with WSA PS-324 for casing spacers.

kwik-ZIP’s spacers and centralisers have a segmented design, meaning they fit a variety of pipe diameters by adding multiple segments. Available in various product series (including HDXT, HDX, HD, GT, 380, and 155), each series is also available with varying bow/runner heights, making them flexible and able to cater for a wide range of carriers and casing pipe size combinations.

For more information about kwik-ZIP’s spacer and centraliser systems, go to kwik-ZIP.com

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