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topic 5892a

Plating to plug a hole in a pipeline

Q. Would it be possible to plug a hole in an underground pipeline using any form of plating? If you assume that the hole is relatively small, the pipeline is about 4 thousand feet long. Abandoning the pipeline makes more sense from an economic point because a "traditional" repair would cost more than it's worth. If it is possible how would it be done?

kelly [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- abilene texas

A. What is the pipe material, and what do you call small?

tom pullizzi monitor
Tom Pullizzi
Falls Township,

A. Hi Kelly. Even under easily controllable circumstances, like a small uninstalled component, I've never heard of plating being used to plug a hole (with the possible exception of meticulous multi-layer brush plating rather than immersion plating). I think the chance of repairing holes in a pipeline with plating is zero.

However, epoxy coating has been used to repair pinholes in copper piping, and is actually commercialized with miniature equipment which travels down the pipe, abrasively blasting and then epoxy coating it. Whether it would be applicable to your needs is something which you and a company specializing in that technology might discuss. Good luck!


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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

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