Sherwin-Williams Introduced the New Pipeclad Frac-Shun Erosion-Resistant Coating

Date: 22/05/2024
A drilling pipe in a desert

The Pipeclad™ Frac-Shun powder coating system reduces downtime maintenance costs for pipes located near fracking wellheads.

The Protective & Marine division of the international paints and coatings manufacturer Sherwin-Williams has recently launched Pipeclad™ Frac-Shun, its new erosion-resistant powder coating system specifically developed to be applied inside pipes located near fracking wellheads, thereby reducing downtime maintenance costs and enhancing drilling productivity.

The inner walls of pipes – especially the elbows – located near wellheads can be eroded by fracking sand-flows within six to eighteen months. Such erosion also occurs inside storage vessels and tanks where gritty multiphase fluid flows strike interior surfaces. So, the operators are accustomed to frequent unexpected maintenance shutdowns following pipe wall thickness inspections.

The new patent pending erosion-resistant coating (ERC) technology protects pipe interiors from the inherent sandblasting action of grit moving rapidly through them, remaining intact far longer than other options and protecting the steel pipes from the significant metal loss that otherwise leads to potential leaks and early replacements in many operations. Once applied, the Pipeclad Frac-Shun ERC system forms a molecular-level composite that provides an ultra-high erosion-resistant barrier.

“High velocity fluids containing sand, rocks and other debris moving through a coated fracking pipe create a sandblasting action that’s akin to removing coatings when preparing a surface for a new application. Once those coatings are gone, the steel will begin to erode instead. The new erosion-resistant coating system is able to withstand the impact of multiphase flows striking it without eroding or chipping away like most coatings,” has stated Kristin Leonard, the director of the Energy segment for Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine. “The ERC essentially spits the bullet back out after it’s fired at the surface. With the coating intact, abrasive fluids have no chance at eroding the steel.”

Various laboratory testing and long-term field trials have confirmed the adhesion and chemical and erosion resistance characteristics of the new Pipeclad Frac-Shun ERC technology. Autoclave testing – which uses a blend of water and hydrocarbons at elevated temperatures and pressures representative of wellhead conditions – showed excellent resistance to operating stresses and chemical exposures. In addition, ultrasonic testing performed on steel pipes confirmed no loss of wall thickness after six months of operation at an active wellhead.