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In October 2019, TDC International published a white paper in line with the No-Dig conference in Florence. The white paper discusses how corrosion is the first cause of pipeline incidents, and how one of the most important responsibilities of a pipeline engineer is to choose the right strategy to protect the pipes from it. In trenchless installations, this aspect is even more important since the pipelines are often located in environmentally sensitive areas making it impossible to fix once installed.

Currently, pipeline engineers and operators prefer to use very robust versions of three-layer polyolefin (PE/PP) coatings, hoping the additional thickness will compensate material losses due to abrasion during installation, and relatively thin coatings with very high adhesion properties. In such situation, they expect the coating to perform better in combination with a cathodic protection system in the areas where the steel was exposed due to damages to the coating.

In both cases, practical experience has shown that damages cannot be avoided. Currently, specifically on pipes that are installed by trenchless processes, the available methods for identifying where the coating damaged cannot provide absolute or accurate information on the location, size and geometry of the damages. Moreover, even though cathodic protection verification at HDD locations can be validated close to the starting and final points of the crossings; the region between can only be assumed and thus a questionable strategy.

This paper provides evidence on why these strategies are questionable and elaborates a technical comparison of properties between pipeline coatings used in trenchless installations. It also introduces an engineered mechanical protection system, the pau wrap®.

One of TDC International employees, Cristian Grecco, International Business Development Manager, had the opportunity to present the white paper at the NO-DIG conference in Florence, Italy. The outcome of the presentation was a success and the audience showed a great interest in the subject.

If you are interested in reading the complete white paper, please feel free to contact us at