Tank and pipe leaks can be extremely damaging for facilities, resulting in lengthy downtime to allow for maintenance work, as well as the leakage of potentially hazardous substances into the surrounding environment.
Through-wall defects can be caused by internal and external corrosion, erosion, chemical attack, abrasion and other deterioration mechanisms. If these processes are not controlled using Belzona materials, pipe and tank media can leak out, necessitating an immediate repair.
This blog post demonstrates an emergency leak repair using Belzona’s repair composites, restoring pipe and tank wall strength for the long term.
- PART 1: How to Stem a Live Leak with Belzona 9611 (ES-Metal)
- PART 2: How to Reinforce the Leak Repair for the Long Term with Belzona 1212 and Belzona 9341 (Reinforcement Tape)
PART 1: How to Stem a Live Leak with Belzona 9611 (ES-Metal)
Part One provides a step-by-step guide to stemming an emergency live leak using the rapid-curing system, Belzona 9611 (ES-Metal). This will stop the leak in the short-term, mitigating losses, limiting damages and providing a window for a long-term repair to be implemented.
Firstly, the area around the leak must be roughened using a handheld surface preparation tool. The degree of possible surface preparation will depend on the particular circumstances of the leak, but a roughened surface will allow the Belzona 9611 (ES-Metal) to adhere better to the defect.
Once the best possible surface preparation has been achieved, the required quantity of Belzona 9611 (ES-Metal) must be kneaded by hand until a uniform grey colour is achieved.
Once Belzona 9611 (ES-Metal) is mixed, force it into the defect and apply pressure until the pipe stops leaking. A Belzona tourniquet is ideal to hold the product in place while it cures, applying continuous pressure for approximately an hour to ensure that the leak is plugged.
PART 2: How to Reinforce the Leak Repair for the Long Term with Belzona 1212 and Belzona 9341 (Reinforcement Tape)
While Part One of this article demonstrates how to stem a live leak, Belzona recommends that the emergency repair is overcoated with a composite material such as Belzona 1212 to provide better pressure retention and a more durable repair, as outlined in Part Two.
The surface should again be roughened using handheld surface preparation tools to allow the Belzona paste-grade product to adhere strongly to the emergency repair.
The surface should then be cleaned using Belzona 9111 (Cleaner/Degreaser) to remove contaminants from the surface profile.
Dry measure the Belzona 9341 (Reinforcement Tape) around the repair area, ensuring that the length of the tape is at least twice that of the pipe circumference, and cut the appropriate measure.
Mix the surface tolerant epoxy metal repair material, Belzona 1212 at a ratio of one part base to one part solidifier by volume, or five parts base to six parts solidifier by weight, until a uniform, streak-free colour is achieved.
Apply a layer of the mixed product directly to the substrate, pressing hard with the brush to fill any crevices and ensure the maximum possible contact with the repair area.
Wet out the Belzona 9341 (Reinforcement Tape) using Belzona 1212 so that one side is entirely coated.
Wrap two lengths of the reinforced composite around the pipe circumference, ensuring at least 50% overlap, pulling tight to force excess product to the surface.
Once the repair area has been wrapped, ensure to smooth out any wrinkles, crevices or mounds of product, before overcoating with a final layer of Belzona 1212 to reinforce the repair.
By following the steps detailed above, live leaks can be instantly stemmed and quickly reinforced, providing equipment with a durable repair and fast return-to-service. Watch this video to see the application in action:
Want to Learn More About Belzona’s Leak Repair Solutions?
Rhiannon McIver: Marketing Executive at Belzona since November 2010.