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Common problems with pipe penetrations

… and how to solve them.

Historically, pipe penetrations were never an issue. Shipyards welded thick walled metal pipe directly to the structure or connected it via a division flange fitting. However, to overcome issues with traditional steel pipes such as poor anti-corrosion properties and excessive weight, the appetite for alternative pipe systems has grown.

Pipe materials now regularly used on board ships and platforms are stainless steel, copper, CuNi, titanium, multilayer (PE-Alu-PE), thermoplastic and fiberglass composite.

New technology leads to new problems

Although improving quality and life span, these advancements have identified new issues to overcome:

  • The inability to weld directly to the structure due to reduced wall thickness or the risk of galvanic corrosion.
  • Pipes of heat sensitive material disappearing during a fire leaving a void for flames and smoke to pass through.
  • Penetrations in fire rated decks and bulkheads requiring approved and certified sealing solutions.
  • Additional watertight, gas-tight or weather-tight seals now being required.

How can we solve these problems?

With these advancements, the need for a modern pipe penetration seal grew. Solutions have been developed that protect different pipe materials in hazardous fire rated divisions, as well as maintaining blast ratings and protection against water and gas leakage.

Thin walled metal pipe can now be protected by solutions that enable the dissimilar metal pipe to run straight through the steel, aluminum or fiberglass division without having to:

  • pass through a 900mm sleeve, or
  • be transitioned to a steel pipe via flanged or coupling connections more than 450mm away from the structure, or
  • be connected to or transitioned to a form of bulkhead union or transition piece.

These solutions can protect the dissimilar materials from fire, gas and water without the need for cutting the pipe and reconnecting it to a steel piece that is welded to the structure.

Prior to new, certified and approved sealing solutions, traditionally a metal pipe had to either pass through a 900mm long sleeve or be connected to a transition piece more than 450mm away from the structure.

Most solutions require the welding of a sleeve or coaming, but now a non-welding option is available. It provides the same A-class fire rated protection without the need for any welding. Explore this solution now

Illustration_Non weld pipe seal - Roxtec SPM.jpg

Solutions for plastic pipes

Thermoplastic or heat sensitive pipe can be protected in fire rated divisions by solutions that crush and replace the softening pipe and block the void in case of fire. This type of pipe seal protects the plastic pipe inside the A-class fire rated division and also, provides further watertight and gas-tight protection.

It makes it possible to run the thermoplastic pipe straight through the steel, aluminum or fiberglass composite division without having to transition it to a steel pipe via flanged or coupling connections more than 450mm away from the deck or bulkhead.

So the new problems faced when passing modern pipe materials through decks and bulkheads no longer need to be managed via outdated methods. New pipe penetration seals overcome these issues and deliver class approved levels of safety and performance.

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