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Steel repair sleeves: a closer look

Published by
World Pipelines,

Allan ‘Chip’ Edwards IV, President, Allan Edwards Inc., USA, explores the absence of a universal sleeve manufacturing specification, and its industry implications.

Steel repair sleeves: a closer look

Full encirclement steel sleeves have been a popular repair solution for over a century and are widely used by pipeline operators. Yet, despite their common acceptance and steady popularity, there is no manufacturing specification governing the fabrication of steel repair sleeves either recognised or enforced by any regulatory body in the pipeline industry.

A lack of unified standards

While plenty of regulations detail usages and applications for full encirclement sleeves, as well as minimum standards for their installation, there is no formal baseline that sleeve manufacturers must abide by when fabricating repair sleeves. In short, this means that there is no standardised method for operators to verify the quality of manufactured sleeve material they receive from a sleeve vendor, aside from a visual inspection and any required documentation, like material test reports (MTRs). Regulations such as API 1176 dictate the types of defects that repair sleeves can be used to reinforce. Other documents, such as ASME B31.8 and ASME PPC-2 recommend welding procedures when installing repair sleeves as well as minimum wall thicknesses, design pressures, lengths and grade requirements that vary per pipeline anomaly. However …

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