MPS Lining – new life for old pipes, due to proven innovations in HDPE

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With a unique system to line worn or existing pipes with durable plastic lining, MPS Liners, a division of Mining Pressure Systems (MPS), is refurbishing existing pipes to optimum industry standards. With engineers now clearly seeing the benefits of this cost-effective and environmentally sound solution, MPS Liners is ready to capture a steadily expanding market.

As one of the foremost BEE suppliers of comprehensive piping solutions, MPS has established its reputation of excellence through diversified products available to its clients. MPS Liners is a division of this industry-recognised company, supplying high density polyethylene (HDPE) lining for the lining of new and older steel pipes.

For more than a decade, it has supplied products to projects across major and diverse industries, including food and agriculture. While the petrochemical industry makes up almost 90% of this market, says Jorge Goncalves, general manager of MPS Liners, mining has also become a growth industry, with a massive project coming up in the Zambia copper belt region in 2011.

“When we first started focusing on HPDE lining, we made sure it was a fool proof process,” he says. “Our drive has always been to continually improve both the product and the service. At the moment, our team is primarily involved in the rehabilitation of old pipe systems.”

HDPE Liners line pipes internally, a plastic pipe liner within an outer steel pipe, thereby protecting the system as the medium flowing through it has no contact with the steel.  MPS Liners has used its many years of research and development to offer an extended life to large bore metal piping products.  The process for creating the lining follows a unique process, patented by MPS Liners. The virgin material – usually granular – is fed through an extrusion machine before a lead screw pushes the material into pipe form. A cooling bath ensures the pipe retains its roundness.  The client can choose the thickness of the liner according to the material that will flow through the inner liner. This liner is cut to correct lengths and, finally, lined into the steel pipe.

“Before lining can begin, the old pipes get cleaned and sand blasted before undergoing pressure and X-ray tests to establish if they can indeed be rehabilitated,” Goncalves explains. To this end, MPS Liners has invested in new hydraulic machines: these effectively remove sludge, concrete and other materials from old pipes.

With these new machines in place, as well as bigger premises, MPS Liners can handle bigger stock holds and respond more swiftly to client needs. With 26,000 pipes on the premises, this means the team can tackle bigger, more challenging projects.

“HDPE liners can be easily and permanently installed and conform to old and new steel piping regulations,” he explains. “More importantly, the service can be completed on-site for a streamlined and less time consuming process. In fact, we work on a 10 day turnaround time.”

At this stage, MPS Liners is looking forward to an even greater growth path, by investigating the extrusion of liners through purchasing the liners, horizontal intrusion into products and supplying its own liner products. Goncalves also believes there is potential to export piping and lining products in the near future.

HDPE lining is an effective and lasting option for clients looking to both increase the longevity of pipes and reduce costs.  As if its 20 year guarantee was not a powerful enough reason to use the HPDE rehabilitation process, Goncalves offers a tangible example of its durability. “Our first project was 11 years ago,” he says. “When we recently tested the pipes, there was hardly any wear showing and none of the spares we’d sent to the client had been used.”

From an environmental aspect, he points out, this qualifies as a green product and can be recycled at the end of its lifespan.

“As the market grows, HDPE is proving itself as an effective acid control solution,” he concludes. “The tangible results have helped project engineers not only recognise, but also trust, this application.”

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