Take a Look at How We are Solving Your Challenges
Q: A customer in Southern FL asked, “What is the maximum operating temperature of your cement lining with seal coat?”
A: Our cement lining with seal coat can serve in wet environments up to 150 degrees F. For wet applications up to 212 degrees F, we suggest cement lining with no seal coat or Tnemec’s Perma Shield 431.
So what happened?
This distributor committed to a delivery schedule without reconciling this technical issue first. Lead times for no seal coat were >60 days because no seal coat cement is not a standard item. To accommodate their schedule, EUSA agreed to sell 431 lined pipe for the same price as cement lined! 431 lined pipe costs >50% more than cement lined pipe but this customer was a longtime customer of ours who was in a bind. We may have lost some money but our partner kept his promise and the contractor got back to work. We’re sure both will be back!
Q: What are the limits to handling damage on NuBlu’s epoxy finishing coat?
A: NuBlu is designed around ISO 8179 which limits damage on the metalized zinc coating to 6cm2 per meter of pipe. 8179 is silent, however on damage to the topcoat. In the absence of a standard, EUSA recommends touching up any damaged finishing coat which exceeds 5 cm. A quality epoxy such as Tnemec N41 will work fine.
Q: A utility in Missouri asked, “Where is your pipe stored and what are your lead times?”
A: We maintain a yard in Savannah, GA where we can serve most of the USA in under 5 days. Most places along the East Coast can be served in 2-3 days while states like Texas, Missouri and Nebraska require 3-5 days. States like California, Arizona and Washington can take up to 7 days. This means for most diameters and configurations an order placed on Monday would arrive in Missouri as early as Thursday.
Quick, right? Why? First, we stock a lot of pipes so most configurations are readily available. Second, Savannah is a busy shipping terminal due to its port. It is not unusual to get a driver hired in under 2 hours! Third, we just simply hustle harder than our competitors. We know it sounds like bragging but it is true. We are the new guy so we cannot rely on our pedigree to get your business. We must earn it! This is another example of how we keep costs down. Some would argue 3-5 days or even 2-3 days is too long. They would suggest customers need 100% access in under 12 hours! That may occasionally be true but there is a high cost for such a level of service. A 12-hour turn-around is impressive, but so is saving 10, 15 or even 25%! A little planning and a cost-conscience DIP supplier can save utilities a lot of money.
Q: A utility in Kentucky recently asked us a very candid, sincere question. “Would approving Electrosteel USA cause the US DIP industry to collapse like it has with fittings?”
A: We appreciated his candor and honesty as it was obvious he was trying to balance his utility’s needs against his love for the USA. To be blunt, we love the USA too and want to see this country perform at its peak. To this end, each of us has a role to play. For utilities, the best action they can take is to move the cheese! Consider the US auto industry and the EPA. In 1970, the EPA challenged the auto industry to reduce emissions by 90% within 5 years. Detroit said the sky would fall and the rivers would boil but instead the standard was met. So the EPA moved the cheese again and again heard the sky would fall and the rivers would boil. But guess what, they didn’t. Instead, the USA is now the leader in battery technology, fuel economy, safety, etc. Just look at Tesla… every Chinese wants one! And look at the number of auto plants in the USA today versus 1970. Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, Missouri, and even Kentucky have auto plants now. That never would have happened unless the EPA moved the cheese. Can you imagine the quality, selection and performance of products available to utilities if our industry adapted the same attitude the EPA did in 1970? We have personally seen applications of nano-technology which would radically change how utilities think about metallic pipe. Why isn’t this technology being developed in the USA? American industry needs to be challenged to help solve the problems utilities are facing. Competition is an incredible motivator. If utilities allow competition while demanding better products, American manufacturing will lead the world.
Q: A customer in Alabama asked why his most recent delivery had cracks in the cement lining while those in the past had not.
A: In a way, this was a compliment to the quality of the linings he had received from us in the past but was not a reason for concern. Grazing or small cracks in cement linings are a common occurrence, well documented by DIPRA in literature such as below. The reason this utility probably hasn’t seen grazing before in our pipes is due to the exceptionally high-velocity spin rate we deploy during curing. This extracts significantly more water from the lining allowing a much denser, stronger cement to ultimately cure. This enhanced lining is much more resistant to forces that cause grazing. But it is not 100% resistance, especially to a hot Summer day in the Southeast! So just like your kids in August, put some water on it and it’ll be fine!
Cracks and lack of lining adherence in pipe and fittings have occasionally been detected prior to installation. These can occur due to shrinkage of linings, temperature variations, and improper handling. In some instances, there have been concerns that the lining would not provide the protection for which it was intended or that it might be dislodged by the flow of the water. Neither of these concerns is justified. Tests conducted by Wagner and reported in an article published in the June 1974 Journal AWWA show that lining fissures, developed while in storage, will heal themselves when put in contact with either flowing or nonflowing water.2 Cement-mortar linings have been applied to gray iron and Ductile Iron Pipe for more than 82 years. DIPRA is not aware of any performance problems that have occurred due to cracks or loose cement-mortar linings as long as the lining was intact before placing the line in service.