Miami, FL - Abakan Inc. has signed an exclusive agreement with LIMO Lissotschenko Mikrooptik (LIMO), Dortmund, Germany, for the development of a laser-based system for the production of wear- and corrosion-resistant cladding to supply the multibillion-dollar coating market for 3 to 8-inch diameter pipe used extensively in the oil and gas industries.
LIMO will design and build the laser coating systems, while Abakan will design the auxiliary components to install and operate these systems. The cooperation will focus initially on the cladding of the smaller-diameter thick-walled pipes, which are in constant demand due to the mounting development of large-scale offshore oil and gas fields. Abakan also focuses on cladding large-diameter (10 inches and up) pipe.
LIMO has demonstrated laser melting technology that can produce smooth and thin coatings that exhibits a verifiable metallurgical bond almost without any metallurgical substrate effects, the company says. The LIMO technology is based on optical systems that facilitate industrial level productivity for the seamless treatment of the inner diameters of pipes. The utilization of this technology in small diameter offshore pipe and in other industrial applications would have an effective life more than sufficient for most products where cladding is used.
The current process of relying on mechanically lined and clad plate-to-pipe solutions for clad pipes is not ideal for thick-walled pipes due to inspectability and quality concerns. Abakan believes that LIMO's laser-based system will result in a product that offers a useful solution for producing small diameter clad pipes. Abakan expects that its collaboration with LIMO could also develop a product that enables very thin corrosion- and wear-resistant cladding for pipes, plates, and components that would compete directly with paints and epoxies.
"We expect to substantially complete the development of the smaller-diameter pipe cladding system within the next 12 months for planned commercial sales by mid-2015. Abakan will fund the development of the prototype system, and then pursue strategic collaborations with oil majors and pipe manufacturers to accelerate its timeline for development and market entry,” said Abakan CEO, Robert Miller.
Photo: Courtesy LIMO