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Most common materials to coat pipes

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The most common materials to coat pipes externally are:


Non-metallic pipe coating: Paints, varnishes, lacquers, bituminous coatings, resins, plasticizers, Greases, waxes, oils, Plastics (polyurethane, polyethylene, Rilsan, PTFE, PVC), Elastomers (various types), Vitreous enamel, Cement mortar.


Organometallic pipe coating: Paints pigmented with metals in powder form (aluminum, zinc, lead, stainless steel), Paints containing zinc ethyl-silicate.


Chemical modification: Phosphating, Chromatin, phosphating, Black finishing, and browning.


Cementation (physiochemical modification)


The main types of non metallic pipe coating materials, and their advantages/disadvantages, are summarized in the table below:

Pipe Coating Type



Three-layer Polyethylene (3LPE) and 3 layers Polypropylene (3LPP)

Low material and application cost

  •  Application of flame in pipeline 

    environments has traditionally been the cause of workplace fires and explosions

  • Requires application of flame to create adhesion

  • Limited heat resistance.

  • Maximum 225°F to 250°F.

  • Limited dimensional stability

  • Features just a borderline hardness

  • Shows poor resistance to sulfur, amines, oxygen, and other oxidants.

Polypropylene (PUR)

Recommended for deep sea applications with relatively high temperature and pressures

for deep sea

Polypropylene is liable to chain degradation from exposure to heat and UV radiation such as that present in sunlight.

Fusion Bonded Epoxy (FBE)

Excellent chemical resistance and great dimensional stability with minimized hysteresis

  • Rather expensive application cost per meter

  • FBE materials are expensive

  • The pipe and the coating materials must be heated to approx 250°F

  • Long lead times

Asphalt enameled and polyurethane (PUR)

Cheap and superior to coal enamelReduces the hysteresis
Fast treatment

  • Modest resistance to chemical aggression

  • Strict temperature ranges

  • Limited dimensional stability




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