Frequently Asked Questions

Companies that use PowerWrap's products usually have questions in areas such as performance, DOT Compliance, environmental durability testing, cost, and technical data. Over the last few years we have been asked numerous questions from companies concerned about various aspects of the product. Assuring our customers that no question is a bad question, we have compiled an extensive list of Frequently Asked Questions and presented them in the following list.

Common Questions About Composites

What is the difference between "pre-impregnated", "wet-layup", and "pre-cured"?

Pre-impregnated fabrics have the resin applied to them under factory controlled conditions. The resin/glass ratio is able to be watched closely and be kept within tolerances. Pre-impregnated fabrics are generally easier to use in the field, as the installer does not have to mix resins and apply that to the fabric in the field. Wet-layup systems are just that, applying wet resin to the composite reinforcement fabric out on the jobsite. This can be done by hand or by using an impregnating machine. Although time consuming, in some cases this process can be beneficial. Where difficult applications are encountered, the installer can pre-cut and position the dry fabric to make sure it will fit where it needs to go. Using a fabric that is already wetted out can make doing this difficult. Pre-cured systems are impregnated and cured solid at the factory. They are not easily modified in the field and their rigidness can make for a difficult installation.

Why are composites becoming so popular?

Composites have been an excellent repair method for years, but they are just now becoming "mainstream". As more composite repair systems are used on high profile applications, the more accepted they become. New technology coupled with excellent past performance have thrust composites into the limelight. Their relative low cost enables repair instead of replacement, which saves money for other investments.

Can composites be used to repair internal piping defects?

Yes, in certain cases. Epoxies are more likely to seal, on their own, as opposed to a polyurethane system. If there is an existing leak, it is best to shut down the system and plug the hole with an epoxy putty, and then install the composite. If there is an active leak and the line cannot be shut down, more advanced leak repair methods must be used. Composites should not be installed over an active leak. The product inside the pipe can have adverse effects on the resin during the cure, which can have a detrimental effect on its properties. For lines that are not leaking, but are expected to hole through during the lifetime of the repair, special precautions need to be observed. Is the matrix compatible with the product? How many layers do I need for leak retention? How long does it need to last? If you have a special application, please contact our technical support staff.

How long have composites been used?

Our Company has been dealing with composites for over 40 years! Most composites were introduced into the aerospace industry, but have since had a powerful impact on many markets. Sports equipment, race cars, boats, and infrastructure components and countless other products have benefited from the advantages composites have to offer.

How long do composites last?

Composites can last one year, or last fifty years, depending on the application. Just like any other material, they will degrade over time. Steel will rust, concrete will crack, paint will peel, and composites will lose their strength. Our long-term tests show that Aquawrap® will retain better than 50% of its strength over fifty years. Epoxy systems have a high initial strength, but weaken more over the long term. Both types of material have been in use in various applications for decades.

How should I prepare the surface?

For steel substrates, we recommend cleaning to at least a NACE II or SSPC-10 level. The better the cleaning and preparation, the better the bond will be. In some cases, bond has a significant effect on the performance. For concrete surfaces, above and below the water line, all loose debris, coatings, marine growth, etc. must be removed. This can be done with high pressure water blasting or sand blasting. All surfaces need to wiped clean prior to installation of the composite system chosen. Please Review our Training Page of our Website to find out more information on this top.

Common Questions About PowerWrap Products

How is your system different than other systems on the market?

The Aquawrap® system is unique because it is water activated and does not require messy mixing of epoxy coatings and adhesives. It can be applied on different pipe configurations and sizes, underwater, below freezing temperature environments, pipelines operating at temperatures in excess of 288 degrees F, pipelines with constant external condensation and during adverse weather conditions, and irregular pipeline surfaces, and can be used to repair pipes with crevice or surface corrosion. Aquawrap® is the most Tested Composite Wrap on the market today.

What regulatory compliance standards are PowerWrap composites in compliance with or validated to?

  • ASME B31G
  • ASME B31.4
  • ASME PCC-2
  • ASME B31.1
  • ASME B31.8
  • ISO/TS 24817
  • ASME B31.3
  • DOT 49 CFR Parts 192 and 195
  • NSF/ANSI Standard 61

How strong is the composite material in your system?

Aquawrap® is very strong with a Fiberglass Wrap (G-03) tensile strength of 65,000 psi and a Carbon C-14 Wrap tensile strength of 123,000 psi. Our tested Interlaminar Shear was measured at 3,372 psi and an Adhesion Test on Steel, Stainless Steel and Aluminum exceeded 1,000 psi pull off strength.

What types of pipelines can your system repair and be applied to?

PowerWrap's Products can be installed easily on straight pipe, elbows, tees, offshore risers, underwater, flange reducers, and used on saddle repairs for crevice corrosion and dent gouges. It can be installed on all specified pipelines including API-SL, ASTM and AWWA.

Compared to other systems is the PowerWrap System faster?

Yes, Aquawrap® can be applied much faster than most any other system on the market. Our product contains all of the application equipment, once on location it is ready for use immediately. It can be applied in adverse conditions and when raining.

What information needs to be provided to PowerWrap to design an appropriate repair?

When we are working with you to design a repair, we will gather information on a project assessment form. Specific details will include pipe diameter, material grade, design pressure, design temperature, wall thickness, maximum and minimum operating pressures and temperatures and size and type of anomalies. Applying this data, we use our Design Calculation software to determine the type of material and number of layers needed to safely restore the integrity of the system. Other factors such as internal erosion/corrosion, type of product contained in the system and design life of the repair will affect the final design parameters.

Does temperature have a significant effect on curing?

Temperature is a very important factor when considering the use of composites for structural reinforcement. Epoxies are very temperature sensitive. Too much heat and they will cure too quickly. If it is too cold, they may not cure at all. With our polyurethane systems, such as Aquawrap®, temperature has less of an effect on its curing, however, they still have an upper and lower limit. Refer to the technical data sheet for the particular product you will be using for more information on upper and lower limits for installation and in-service temperatures.

What do you consider permanent?

We consider permanent to be the design life of the component when it was first installed. If a steel pipe was designed to last fifty years, but has suffered damage at twenty years into its life, we consider a permanent repair to last thirty years. In some cases, our composites are used to extend the design life of the damaged component. In that case, the environmental and load conditions need to be addressed to determine a life span for the repair.

Why don't you use a wider material to cover more area?

Because Aquawrap® can be "spiraled" down the various sizes of pipelines and on bridge columns, a wider material is not required.

Is there a minimum or maximum number of layers of your material installed on a typical structural repair?

Yes, at PowerWrap we recommend at least 4 layers of Aquawrap® or more depending on the calculated repair needs regarding wall loss, pipe yield strength and pre-designed safety factors that comply with B31.4 and B31.8. Our product is the most cost effective product on the market because in many repairs we can install 4,5,6,7, and 8 or more wraps to bring the pipe's strength back to its maximum operating pressure (MAOP). This has saved our customers thousands of dollars in repair costs because other composite systems are manufactured with a minimum of 8 layers of wrap regardless of the size and depth of the anomaly.

Can your product be installed over a weld?

Yes, Aquawrap® is a soft polyurethane enriched resin impregnated (22-70) fiberglass or carbon wrap which will conform to the pipe over the weld and provide a permanent structural and corrosion repair.

Will your system work on reducers?

Yes, Aquawrap® works easily with changes in pipe diameter due to the placement of reducers and tee reducers, the material is spiraled on the pipe to conform to the pipe size changes at the reducer.

How long does it take for your products to cure?

Aquawrap® will cure in about an hour in most conditions. Aquawrap is cured to a point where the material is dry to the touch and can be backfilled. Full Properties Cure will take approximately 24 hours at 77°F. PowerSleeve® is temperature sensitive, and as such, its cure time will vary. Each resin system cures at different rates, but for comparison purposes, our Standard Matrix system will cure in about 40 minutes at 77°F.

How many layers do I have to install?

For piping applications, PowerWrap has an easy to use calculator to determine the number of layers required based on the size of pipe, wall thickness, wall loss, type of damage, etc. For other applications, we use in house engineering to make a determination for the method of repair. Four layers is our recommended minimum for any application.

How would you rate your ability to respond to customer emergencies and give an example?

On a recent Customer Training and Certification trip to the George West, Texas area, we were called to repair a corrosion anomaly on a 12" line partially covered by water in the McFadden, Texas area. The line was excavated by hand and found to be rounded and curved at a 15-30% angle. It carries 1.6 MM gallons of gasoline per day and had been derated because of a 68% wall loss corrosion anomaly. A 37' repair was required and the line needed to be placed back in service and brought back to a design MAOP of 1050 lbs. The repair was started that evening, additional product was air freighted the next morning and the line was repaired and placed back in service the next business day. We take pride in our customer service and respond quickly to our customers needs.

Where is your manufacturing facility?

Our manufacturing facility is located in Azusa, CA USA. Our climate controlled impregnation room is a critical part of production process. We custom blend our own formulation of polyurethane resin and have complete control over its manufacture. Our Southern California location is perfect for year-round production, with no stoppages due to extreme weather. And being on the West Coast, we are able to take care of those "late shipments".

Common Questions About Aquawrap®

What cures Aquawrap®?

Water (H20) is the primary curing agent of Aquawrap®. No special additives are required. Any type of water may be used, even sea water. We prefer relatively clean water to eliminate debris from entering the composite structure, but it is not mandatory.

What materials can Aquawrap® be installed on?

Aquawrap® can be installed on almost any material with very few exceptions.. The following are some of the materials on which Aquawrap® can be used:

  • Aluminum
  • Cast iron
  • Copper
  • GRE
  • Polyethylene
  • Stainless steel
  • Carbon steel
  • Concrete
  • Fiberglass
  • PVC
  • Polypropylene
  • Titanium

How long does it take to apply your Aquawrap® system on a large repair area?

On a large installation repairing a 36 inch Diameter pipe, a 12" wide repair can be performed in approximately 30 minutes or a 6ft. wide section requiring 6 layers of wrap can be completed in 45 minutes. We have installed and repaired to MAOP of 1050 lbs a 45 ft. section of 8" product line in less than 6 hours. The entire job was completed in a daily temperature was over 95 degrees. On small anomalies, most repairs can be completed in less than 10-15 minutes. Aquawrap can be backfilled with 2 hours.

What adverse climates can Aquawrap® be installed in?

Aquawrap® can be installed in areas where the temperature is 25F with piping ambient at 32 F. Aquawrap® can be used in applications with a sustained temperature up to 200F but Aquawrap®'s Tg is 288F(maximum temperature before slight properties change)

In situations of higher temperatures, PowerSleeve can be used with a sustained Temperature of 525F (273C).

With regard to pressures, PowerWrap's composite system can be designed for applications in excess of 150 Bar (2200 psi) and has been tested in excess of 300 Bar (4400 psi).

How wide is the Aquawrap® used in a repair?

The width of our material ranges in widths of 2", 3", 4", 6", 8", 10" and 12 inches wide per roll and in lengths from 5' to 150' and custom lengths if required at no additional charge.

Why does the final installation need to be coated?

Composites are also known as fiber-reinforced plastics. Plastics are subject very slight degradation from ultraviolet light, water intrusion, and other environmental factors. Applying an external coating ensures the composite will perform at its highest level throughout its repair life.

Do you train and certify your customers or does PowerWrap have field technicians to install the Aquawrap® System?

Both, we provide training and certification for our customers so they can install Aquawrap® themselves which saves in labor costs. We also install our system for our customers whenever they request our field services or need supervision on a repair. We are Veriforce, OQ Certified and NCCER Certified for Abnormal Pipeline Conditions and Pipeline Maintenance Technician V3. We meet all DOT requirements to assist your Construction Pipeline Engineers on location.

Do you have a certain waiting period when the Aquawrap® system is ordered and shipped ?

No, we keep a certain amount of inventory in stock that can be shipped worldwide next day air if needed. Our product is also non hazmat and contains no VOC's so it can be shipped by a number of air freight carriers or it can be shipped by ground.

What is the shelf life of Aquawrap®?

The shelf life is 1 1/2 years from the date shipped. We maintain strict inventory guidelines so that our kits are made and placed in stock within a few days of most orders.