Applying pipe coatings in the uae

Protect your assets and the environment with pipe coatings and linings

There are some 8,000 kilometers of miles of pipeline criss-crossing the UAE, carrying products like oil, gas, water, and refined petroleum from their sources to their delivery points. Pipelines traverse land and sea, experiencing offshore environments, underground environments, undersea environments, and factory environments at the operation base. Each of these environments poses its own problems, and pipe coatings need to work effectively based on a combination of environment, substrate, and the transport material. A pipeline failure can be disastrous, causing the loss of life, environmental damage, and enormous costs in loss, control, and repair.

In this article we outline how pipe coatings works, and how to choose a pipeline coating based on specific needs. We also look at the pipe coating companies in UAE, as well as their pipe painting services and products.

The protective properties of industrial pipe coating

Pipelines are protected through the application of both external and internal coating systems. Pipeline coating and tank coating face similar challenges in that they need to protect their contents/environment and their substrates from one anotherThese industrial pipe coatings serve several purposes, combining various properties to provide the most comprehensive and effective system of protection. These properties include:

  • Corrosion resistance – Corrosion is one of the leading causes of failures in pipelines, costing the world economy billions of dirhams a year in prevention and repair. Corrosion for pipelines is an external and internal risk. Externally coatings need to be waterproof as well as resistant to chemicals, salt, and corrosive soils. Internally the coatings need to be able to withstand the corrosive and damaging action of the substance being transported.

    anti-fouling pipe coatings on a pipe in water

    Pipe coatings protect the exterior and interior of a pipe from environmental hazards.

  • Abrasion/wear resistance – The products that are transported through pipelines are not all refined. Many of the fluids contain particulates which, at high speed and pressure, become highly corrosive projectiles which cause wear and abrasion to the pipe. This resistance is also important externally, where the pipe is exposed to harsh climatic conditions.
  • Thermal insulation – Heat resistance and thermal cycling resistance are important properties when dealing with pipelines. Pipelines run from through desert heat and arctic winter, as well as through soils where permafrost keeps temperatures continuously below zero. Heat transfer rate and thermal stress need to be kept to a minimum, and the temperature and viscosity of the fluids needs to be maintained.
  • Flow enhancement/assurance – Fluid viscosities, friction, and turbulence all affect the flow of products through a pipeline. Flow efficiency is important for keeping pipelines clean and preventing buildup, which in turns reduces the number of shutdowns for clean up. This also means that the pumping facilities are not forced to work at a higher capacity thereby reducing energy use.

The 5 main industrial pipe painting system types

With the range of environments and elements that industrial pipeline painting needs to withstand, it is no surprise that there are a wide variety of coatings to meet these needs. The choice of coating depends upon factors such as environment, substrate, use, transportation, and cost. The main coating systems, or the most commonly applied, can be divided into five groups: asphalt enamel, fusion bonded epoxy, polyurethane, three-layer polyethylene, and three-layer polypropylene.

  • Asphalt enamel (AE) is a coating based on bitumen and it is used for corrosion protection of steel pipes in the oil and gas industry. AE coatings have excellent adhesion to steel, are water resistant, have high electrical resistance, and are resistant to acid and alkali soils as well as bacteria and marine organisms.
  • Three layer polyethylene (3LPE) coating system consists of an epoxy (FBE) primer, an adhesive middle layer, and a high density polyethylene outer layer.  3LPE has excellent chemical resistance, electrical resistance, temperature resistance, resistance to mechanical stress, corrosion resistance, anti-aging properties, flexibility, and good environment protection (no heavy metals). With that list of properties it is clear to see why 3LPE coating dominates the global market.
  • Three layer polypropylene (3LPP) system consist of a layer of fusion bonded epoxy coating, a middle layer of copolymer adhesive, and an outer layer of polypropylene. They are an excellent choice as anti corrosion paint for pipeline, and they adhere well as well as being resistant to corrosion, high temperatures, mechanical stress, and chemicals. Particularly suited to offshore projects due to their mechanical strength and ability to withstand high abrasion environments.
  • Fusion bonded epoxy (FBE coating) is an epoxy-based thermoset powder coating. FBE coating is applied as a dry powder and baked, and can be used for internal or external surfaces of pipelines. It has excellent chemical resistance, abrasion and impact resistance, and high adhesion, making it corrosion resistant. Suitable for underwater and soil conditions from -40 to 80°C. FBE coating in UAE is one of the most popular coatings for new pipes and can be used as a base coat for other coating systems or as a standalone.
  • Polyurethane (PUR) coating works very well as pipeline coating due to its high mechanical resistance, chemical resistance, flexibility, ability to withstand harsh weather, UV radiation, and high temperatures, and corrosion resistance of polyurethane. Underwater environments are particularly suited to PUR coatings. They are also a top choice for repairs.

Pipe coatings with special properties for specific environments

Here below you will find more information on the 5 types of pipe coatings, and their properties beneficial for specific environments.

Pipe Coating TypeCHEMICAL RESISTANCECORROSION RESISTANCEFAIL SAFEHIGH IMPERMEA-BILITYMECHANICAL RESISTANCEHIGH TEMPERATURE RESISTANCE
AE COATING
FBE COATING
PUR COATING
3LPE COATING
3LPP COATING

For more information about pipelining and coating in Dubai or elsewhere in the Emirates, contact us! We, in cooperation with our partners will find you the most suitable pipelining or coating system.


Fail safe industrial pipe coatings for the most security

There are many reasons a coating may fail, including incorrect surface preparation or application techniques, poor coating choice for the intended use and environment, and soil stress. When this happens the coating can lose adhesion, allowing the ingress of water between coating and pipe which in turn causes corrosion. Pipeline corrosion is an electrochemical reaction between the metal of the pipe and its environment which leads to the deterioration of the metal.

The best way to protect a pipeline from corrosion due to a coating failure is to use a supplementary cathodic protection system as well as a coating. Cathodic protection (CP) systems work by converting the metal surface of the pipe into the cathode of an electrochemical cell. This is done in one of two ways: either by imparting a current to the pipe as in impressed current CP, or through providing a sacrificial anode.

The pipe coatings that allow cathodic protection

The combination of a coating and cathodic protection system needs to be chosen carefully because some coatings do not allow cathodic protection to function effectively.  Coatings that do not disrupt cathodic protection are known as “fail safe” coatings; these include fusion bonded epoxy coating (FBE coating) and polyurethane coatings. They allow the electric current to pass through to the substrate, rather than shielding and blocking it. This means that if the coating does disbond, or water seeps between the coating and the substrate, the cathodic protection will work to prevent corrosion at the failure site.


Pipe coating companies in UAE and application methods

Industrial pipe coating can be plant- or field-applied and each environment presents its own difficulties and benefits. A plant-applied coating is the most economical and has the highest level of quality control and quality due to the controlled environment. A field-applied coating needs to deal with exposure to wind, cold, dust, and bugs, but has the benefit of reducing handling damage. Pipeline repair and rehabilitation is a key driver for field-applied coating. In the field, two-component liquid epoxies are common, as FBE coating requires preparation of the substrate that needs a factory. Usually 3LPE coating in UAE is also factory applied.

With the thousands of kilometers of pipeline across the Emirates, it is no surprise that there are many companies operating across the Emirates who cater for industrial pipe coatings needs. Below you will find few examples of such pipe coating companies in UAE. The importance of choosing the right coating for environment, use, and substrate, and having the application overseen by professionals cannot be overstated. If you would like more information about pipe coatings, or have a project that requires coating, get in touch! Our experts are here to help. The process is simple: Use our “Request a Quote” or contact forms to tell us the relevant details of your project, and we will collaborate with our coating partners to find the best coating solution for your needs whether it is a polyurethane 3lpe coating or fusion bonded epoxy coating in UAE.

Pipe Coating companies in UAEAddress
C&J Gulf Pipe Coating Est.P.O.Box 7702, 6th Street, Abu Dhabi
Hilong Petroleum Pipe Co LLCP.O.Box 108704 Musaffah (ICAD – 1) Abu Dhabi
Bredero Shaw Middle EastP . O. Box 6997, Saqr Port Authority, Ras Al-Khaimah
Fabtech International Limited P O Box 61015 Jebel Ali, Dubai, UAE