A US surface engineering firm has won an award for its innovative metal-coating process which could extend the lifetime of pipelines used in the energy industy.
Cladding, in which corrosion or wear resistant materials are bonded to metals, is considered the best protection for pipes used in environments such as oil and gas production and mining.
Developed by Mesocoat, the CermaClad process is expected to reduce wear and costs and eliminate corrosion of materials. It uses a high temperature metal as paint and fuses anti-corrosion materials to metal pipes. The surface is then heated and melted, which bonds it together to make one complete metal.
The company claims its technology produces better coatings with production rates 40 times faster than typical metal-cladding techniques at a 20% reduction of the cost.
Andy Sherman (pictured), President and CEO of the company, which took home the UK ‘Pipeline Innovation Guild award’ told ELN: “We’re really offering an option compared against future maintenance. For example, in a typical infrastructure project, bridge or tanker for example, the cost of maintenance often exceeds twice the acquisition costs so we can reduce that, it’s really a lifecycle cost and right now it favours advance technology. It’s an ideal time because with capital financing costs very low, you can finance an additional 10% on the frontend to eliminate all of that recurring maintenance cost as a very good investment these days.”
Also claimed to be more environmentally-friendly, the metal-coating process has been used in the geothermal and solar power sectors.