Many of today's pipeline coating systems are comprised of multiple polymeric layers each with their own functional property, such as anti-corrosion, thermal insulation, adhesive layers, impact and abrasion.

To support these systems Element provides a comprehensive range of coatings testing services and environmental simulations for pipeline thermal insulation coatings. Our experts possess many years experience in servicing a wide range of applications and client needs, utilizing state of the art materials engineering instrumentation and techniques for testing, consulting, and investigation. They consistently provide accurate and reliable data regarding material properties allowing clients to develop new types of coatings, validate the integrity of coatings and in the process help solve, mitigate and prevent coatings related problems from occurring during service. 

We operate in accordance with all applicable local, national, regional and international standards including ISO, ASTM, and EN standards and test wet thermal insulation coating systems for pipelines, flow lines, sub-sea equipment and structures according to ISO 12736. 

Our services include:

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Simulated Service Test 

Qualification under the simulated service test (SST) conditions according to ISO 12736 of full scale pipes with factory applied insulation coatings, including field joints and sub-sea equipment, is performed using Element’s SST facility. 

Element’s SST facility can house two 5 meter long pipe test specimens simultaneously. Long term tests can be performed at pressures of up to 250 bar with external temperatures of 4-10 °C and internal water temperature of 200 °C. 

 
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HP/HT (High Pressure/High Temperature) Testing

Autoclaves are used to simulate the high pressure, high temperature conditions encountered downhole and in refinery operations. We have a range of these vessels with capacities in the range of 0.25 to 40 liters. These facilities permit bent beam tests and C-ring tests up to 500ºC and pressures up to 34.5 MPa in sour environments. 

This equipment can also be used be used for HP/HT corrosion rate studies and for evaluation of corrosion inhibitor performance under harsh conditions. NACE TM0284 is a method for evaluating the resistance of pipeline and pressure vessel plate steels to hydrogen induced cracking (HIC) caused by hydrogen absorption from phenomena such as sulfide corrosion. HIC tests are carried out in our dedicated laboratories. Failed test pieces are examined for crack sensitivity ratio, crack length ratio and crack thickness ratio using our optical microscopes.

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Mechanical Testing 

Mechanical testing is often performed to characterize the elastic and inelastic behavior of coatings both pre- and post-simulated service. Environmental tests can also be performed to assess the material degradation when exposed to service conditions and to estimate the life of the coatings. Some of the mechanical tests offered by Element include: 

  • Tensile test
  • Compression test
  • Hardness test
  • Adhesion test 
  • Peel test
  • Pull off test
  • Ring shear test
  • Fracture toughness test
  • Impact resistance test 
  • Fatigue test
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Thermal Analysis 

Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA), Thermo Mechanical Analysis (TMA), Thermo-gravimetric Analysis (TGA) and thermal conductivity measurements are the most commonly used thermal analysis techniques. Thermal analysis services offered by Element include all of these techniques to characterize the thermal performance of coating materials. 

  • DSC 
  • A well known technique for measuring the glass transition temperature of polymeric materials. For thermoplastic materials, DSC is also used to measure melting point, crystallization temperature and degree of crystallinity. For epoxy based anti-corrosion coatings, the degree of cure may also be determined. DSC is also used to measure specific heat capacity, which is of particular interest in the coatings area.  Element can perform tests using DSC over a temperature range of -170 to 600 °C and according to ASTM D7426-08, F1514-10, D4591-07, E2160-04, D3895-14, D3418-15 and ISO 11357.
  • DMA 
  • DMA is a technique for investigating temperature and frequency dependent material behavior. DMA can be used to determine glass transition temperature, cure behavior, storage and loss modulii, as well as damping and film/tension behavior. Element can perform tests over a temperature range of -120 to 500C  and up to frequencies of 0.01-200 Hz according to the following standards: ASTM D4065, ASTM D 5023, ASTM D5026, ASTM D5418, ASTM D7028 and ASTM E1640.
  • TMA 
  • Determines dimensional changes of solids as a function of temperature and/or time under a defined mechanical force. Element offers testing according to DIN 51 005, ASTM E831, ASTM D696, ASTM D3386, ISO 11359 – Parts 1 to 3.  Element’s TMA can operate over a temperature range of -150 °C to 1550 °C.
  • TGA 
  • Measures the mass change of a sample as a function of temperature or time, under a defined and controlled environment with respect to heating rate, gas atmosphere, flow rate, crucible type, etc. TGA can also be used to determine thermal stability as well as composition. Element offers testing using TGA from room temperature to 1100°C according to ASTM D6370 and D6375. 

 

Element can also measure the thermal conductivity of coating materials according to ASTM C 518 and ISO 8301 over the temperature range of 0 to 190 °C.

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Cathodic Disbondment

Cathodic disbondment is the loss of adhesion between the coating and a metal substrate as a result of corrosion of the substrate beneath the coating. The purpose of this test is to investigate the behavior of the adhesion of the coating to the substrate when exposed to a controlled corrosive environment.

 
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