Aegion Coating Services completed a project at the Candelaria open-pit
copper mine near the mining and agriculture town of Copiapo,
Chile. The project consisted of the application of the coating
of nearly 4,600 internal field joints along more than 50 miles
of 24-inch-diameter pipeline. The primary goal of the project
was to coat the joints to prevent leaks of the process water line.
This would help to protect scarce water in the desert climate.
Aegion Coating Services was able to complete the project using its revolutionary
robotic coating system.
CLEANING AND INSPECTION
The Candelaria coating project faced several challenges.
Environmental challenges, such as the desert’s dust, required
the entire length of pipe to be cleaned multiple times prior to the
coating process. The entire length of each pipe was inspected
in addition to a standard internal field joint inspection using
circumferential line-travel holiday detecting equipment. Located
on the inspection machine, the detection equipment was used
to inspect the lining of each pipe after the internal field joints
were completely cleaned, coated, visually inspected and holiday
inspected. Real-time feedback provided the field technician
with immediate verification of each pipe section’s quality status
and detection of any anomalies in the factory-coated pipeline.
When holidays were found, the required repairs were made.