Fusion Bonded Epoxy For Water Pipeline Infrastructure


Fusion bonded epoxy (FBE for short) and abrasion resistant overcoat (ARO for short) are well known in Houston for their uses in the oil and gas industry. Where they are not well known, however, is in the municipal water industry, such as pipes used to bring drinking water into our homes and sewage pipes and at water treatment plants. The municipal water industry is due for a big upgrade in the next few years. Using fusion bonded epoxy and abrasion resistant overcoats to protect pipes from corrosion will ensure the longevity of the pipes and the health and safety of the region’s residents. Water pipelines can be lined with cement after FBE/ARO applications.

FBE became commercially available in the 1960s, and in the decades since has become a true competitor in the industry for coatings to protect steel pipes and more for the oil and gas industry. It offers great corrosion protection and is environmentally friendly as it involves no solvents. This lack of solvents makes FBE in Houston the perfect option for the municipal water industry. When it comes to drinking water, you have to be careful that the pipes will not leech anything into the water that is hazardous to the health of residents. Typically, pipes are lined with cement mortar and spun at a high rate of speed to compact the mortar to the interior of the pipes. FBE, in combination with ARO coatings, exceeds many standards and requirements for potable water, and the corrosion protection is second to none.

What Is Powder Coating?


Powder coating has many uses in industrial, commercial, and residential settings, but what exactly is the process of powder coating? When looking to hire someone to perform powder coating in Houston services, it can be helpful to understand what exactly the process entails, which empowers customers to make the right decision on who they work with.

Although there are many variables that factor into the procedure, powder coating is simply an electrostatic process of applying fine particles of pigment and resin to a metal surface, most commonly through the use of specialized spray gun. Once the pieces are coated, they are placed into oversized ovens to “cure” with high temperatures, which allows the coating to “flow” and produce an even, smooth, and resilient coating. This coating is designed to resist damage from weather, physical impact, and other environmental factors that could damage important metal surfaces. Qualified and experienced shops that perform powder coating in Houston services will understand the process from start to finish, and are willing and able to explain to customers how powder coating can protect against damage unique to the Houston area.

Customers may be wondering why they should take advantage of powder coating in Houston services rather than a traditional wet coating. Since powder coating doesn’t require the use of a solvent, there is no drying time needed and achieving the right coating thickness is much easier with powder coating; additionally, the solvents used in wet coating can be harmful to the environment, which is not a concern in powder coating. Plus, since the coating actually integrates into the metal surface after abrasive blasting, a powder coated surface resists physical impacts and abrasions better than a wet coating.

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Outdoor Furniture Refinishing: Powder Coating Is The Superior Choice


Outdoor furniture refinishing services are especially important in an area like Houston. Although we love the outdoor life, we also have to be mindful of the threats that the elements pose to outdoor furniture: sun, rain, and near-constant humidity combine to make Houston, and the Gulf Coast in general, a difficult place to keep up a good set of outdoor furniture. No one wants to go to a barbecue or a simple patio get-together to be greeted with rusty or corroded furniture.

That’s where outdoor furniture refinishing comes in, and specifically powder coating in Houston services. Although there are a few options for refinishing your lawn and patio furniture, powder coating offers one of the most consistent and high-quality finishes compared to other processes like painting.

Professional outdoor furniture refinishing services that utilize powder coating begin with robust, thorough, and effective methods of surface preparation, including removal of previous coatings through burn-off, abrasive blasting, or hand-etching techniques. These processes are more effective in removing contaminants than any DIY process like using wire brushes in preparation for a coat of paint. Having a clean surface free from impurities is one of the most important aspects of getting a long-lasting and high-quality finish; therefore, if the longevity of your furniture is important, it’s worth the investment in professional outdoor furniture refinishing services.

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Axalta Nap-Gard® 7-2500 Fusion Bonded Epoxy – NSF Certified & HAP-Free


In the pursuit of bringing hydrocarbons to market, there are many obstacles, both natural and man-made. Some of these difficulties can be circumvented, but others, like corrosion, are unavoidable. As much as oil and gas production companies would love to dodge this process altogether, it’s a natural part of chemistry and physics, and it’s not going anywhere any time soon. Over the decades, many technologies have been created to resist or prevent corrosion-damage to pipelines. These pipelines are essential to the delivery of hydrocarbons, but are susceptible to corrosion damage from the heat, moisture, and abrasives that are often present in these working conditions. One such technology used in the battle against corrosion is fusion bonded epoxy coatings (FBE).

FBE coatings are supplied by multiple manufacturers. Axalta is a leading provider of protective coatings throughout North America, offering an array of high-tech FBE options. Axalta Nap-Gard® 7-2500 Fusion Bonded Epoxy is one such coating, designed to provide corrosion protection in the demanding oil and gas production environment. In addition, Nap-Gard® 7-2500 is used in transporting wastewater and saltwater, each of which present their own challenges that must be addressed.

Nap-Gard® 7-2500 is designed to provide protection for both internal and external surfaces of pipeline. The protection of both surfaces is important: internal surfaces are exposed to chemically-active hydrocarbons, while outside surfaces can be exposed to high heat, high pressures, and abrasives such as salt. The 7-2500 specification is formulated to withstand high temperatures of 107°C (225°F)—vital heat protection in the unforgiving oil and gas production environment. In addition to providing this protection for oil and gas applications, the product complies with NSF-61 specification, meaning that it’s approved for transporting potable water.

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Internal Pipe Coating – FBE Applications


FBE internal pipe coating is the preferred coating for many oil & gas companies as well as utility firms for sewage and water transport.  Its superior resistance to corrosion prevents the assault of chemicals onto the conduit thereby reducing the impact of rust from the inside out.  Because FBE coated pipes are abrasion, chemical, and thermal resistant, its suitability for a myriad of applications translates to a popularity that far exceeds other coatings.

The application of fusion bonded epoxy for internal pipe coatings provides long lasting resistance to corrosive materials and distillates.  Furthermore, internally coated pipes provide better flow efficiency due to the reduction in friction between the pipe’s surface and the gas, oil, or water that makes its way through the pipeline.  Moreover, several fusion bonded epoxies offer paraffin wax mitigation to slow down the build-up of the precipitate deposits that hamper these flow rates.

To prep pipes for the internal coating of fusion bonded epoxy, an aggressive media blasting is required so that proper anchor profiles are met to achieve maximum adherence.  A thin layer of phenolic primer is applied and dried before the conduit is placed in the oven to preheat.  Afterwards, the pipe is internally sprayed with the designated FBE to the required millage thickness before going back into the oven to fully cure.

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3M™ Scotchkote™ 134 – NSF/ANSI 61 & AWWA C213 Certified


The oil and gas industry of Houston quite literally powers the world. Houston’s geographical location on the Gulf of Mexico makes the city an ideal operational base for oil and gas exploration and production.  From the regional mineral-rich shale in the Permian Basin to the deep-sea reserves off Africa’s coasts, Houston’s domestic and international reach is expansive. A vast array of technologies and equipment contribute to the successful extraction, processing, and transportation of those hydrocarbons that power our lives. In particular, the metal piping and equipment that carry and process these fuels must be protected to ensure operational efficiency and environmental safety, and fusion bonded epoxy coatings are a key contributor to this process.

“3M™ Scotchkote™ Fusion Bonded Epoxy Coating 134” might not mean much to the average individual, but to those who work with protective coatings for the oil and gas industry of Houston, it means much more. Manufactured by 3M, Scotchkote 134 is a thermosetting epoxy coating applied to pipe and equipment through an electrostatic powder coating process. The coating is hardened or “cured” using large ovens to fusion bond the protective coating to the metal substrate.

Such protection is of utmost importance in the oil and gas industry, with the inside of a pipe being regularly exposed to corrosive hydrocarbons or heavily brine conditions. In fact, applied after Scotchkote 345 Liquid Phenolic Primer, Scotchkote 134 FBE offers excellent resistance to C02, H2S, CH4, and other petroleum distillates at elevated temperatures and pressures. Without proper protection, pipes require more frequent maintenance or replacement, and could even leak or burst—which is clearly a serious environmental and safety hazard.

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Fusion Bonded Epoxy Coatings And Applications


Fusion bonded epoxy coatings have been in use since the 1960s. Continuous improvements on the technology have made fusion bonded epoxy (FBE) a popular choice in coating technology across a wide variety of applications. Most commonly, FBE coatings are used to protect pipelines that carry petroleum and natural gas. Fusion bonded epoxy coatings, like all pipeline coatings, have a common purpose: protecting the pipeline material from corrosion, which is accelerated in these types of warm, wet, and abrasive environments.

The process behind the actual application of a fusion bonded epoxy coating may not be universally understood, but it does provide an interesting insight into the coating technology that benefits us every day – protecting the pipelines that deliver our energy resources and clean water.

The application process of a fusion bonded epoxy coating is multi-faceted. Before any coating is applied, the pipeline surface must be “prepared” by abrasive blasting techniques to remove all rust, grease, and other surface contaminants.  Not only will this create a clean surface for which the powder is applied, but also it will also create varying anchor patterns which will interlock the cured powder to the metal.

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