“Familiarizing the Unfamiliar” by Luc Perrad

Familiarizing the UnfamiliarWorld Pipelines article February 2017 discusses how non-shielding coating is being introduced into the European and African pipeline markets.

While the differentiation can shock those who are familiar with standardization, it is the key to innovation. If manufacturers are not innovating, they are merely competing in a commoditised market on pricing. Eventually, in may cases, quality decreases as price takes over as a dominant factor. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate that a differentiated coating system can be more advanced in its design.

Polyguard specializes in products that protect surfaces and structures from moisture, water and other undesired substances., In 1998, Polyguard's pipeline division introduced the Polyguard RD-6® pipeline coating to the US market. It is the first pipeline coating to address the problem of cathodic protection (CP) shielding and is a wrapping material that comprises a continuous layer of cold-flowable rubberized bitumen, bonded to a non-elastic polypropylene mesh backing.

While RD-6 coating has been, and still is, successfully used in the North American market, it is now also available worldwide. Since 2014, RD-6 has been being introduced into the Western European market along with key countries in Africa.

Introducing RD-6 to these markets has been particularly challenging because they are driven by European and ISO standards. These standards refer primarily to polyethylene (PE) materials, which the RD-6 coating does not contain.

The German Deutsches Institute for Normung (DIN) was one of the first organizations to publish standards in Europe. In 1975, DIN was made the national normalization institute to represent German interests at European and international levels. Its standards, such as DIN 30670 for main line coatings and DIN 30672 for field applied coatings, are specifically fit for extruded PE and cold or hot applied PE tapes and shrinkable materials.

The European Committee for Standardization publishes European norms (EN). For field applied coatings, EN12068 (published in August 1998) is largely based on the requirements of DIN 30672. Similar to DIN 30672, EN12068 standard fits perfectly for PE materials.

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