UMP develops a first-of-its-kind polyurethane lining for pipe bends

17 September 2013

Polyurethane specialist UMP has successfully developed the world’s first polyurethane lining technology for 3D and 5D pipe bends, as part of its US$2-million contract with Turkish-based construction company Tekfen Construction & Installation.

The project, which was officially signed in February 2013, involves the supply of several specialised polyurethane linings for pipe bends, ranging from 350 nominal-bore (NB) to 900 NB, for a throttling plant at a phosphate project in Morocco. UMP director Trevor Carolin notes that this was a challenging task, due to the fact that the company was required to design specialised tooling to line the pipe bends to 12 mm thickness, as per the client’s request.

“Following a number of unsuccessful attempts with other manufacturers from around the world, the client approached UMP to develop a solution that offers good abrasion resistance against the slurry, which is transported at a pressure of over 120 bar. UMP manufactured special casting tools for the project, and also invested around R2,8-million in the manufacture of a complex tooling system to get a mould in and out of the bend. As a result, we successfully developed this new lining technology, which has placed us as an international leader in the supply of polyurethane lining,” he explains.

Carolin reveals that the large pipe fittings also made the installation more challenging. “Each pipe on average weighs about 3,5 tons and some are as high as 6 m. With the new technology for the lining, UMP had to provide a solution that would be easily maintained on site and, with the current polyurethane lining supplied by the company, the pipeline should last at least 20 years.”

The initial quotation for the project was signed in August 2012, and UMP received an order for the trial product in November 2012, before the contract with Tekfen was officially signed earlier this year. In addition to the polyurethane lining, UMP also supplied high-density polyethylene lining for the project’s test loop.

The Tekfen project is still currently being undertaken, with the majority of parts being completed to date. A number of the components have been shipped and received in Morocco, and Carolin adds that he is optimistic that the project will be completed within budget by the end of October 2013.

With focus on UMP’s international breakthrough in polyurethane lining technology for pipe bends, Carolin is confident of the prospect of measurable growth for the company moving forward. “I believe that this groundbreaking technology will open up avenues of growth for UMP particularly across Africa, North America and South America. Bearing this in mind, we are already in the process of establishing a division in Ontario, Canada. This will be the first step  in a long line of proposed expansion opportunities for UMP,” he concludes.

Comments are closed.