The piping infrastructures of industrial plants and marine vessels are necessary to transport important chemicals needed to ensure that machinery operates effectively, but these chemicals can also pose serious danger if pipes rupture or leak. Oils, acids, and steam can cause damage to surrounding equipment, resulting in loss of revenue and productivity due to downtime. More importantly, crew members have suffered from injuries, which in some cases have proven to be fatal.
Industry officials recognized the need for facilities to implement measures in order to reduce and eliminate safety concerns before they even arise. The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), which is responsible for ensuring the health and well-being of those individuals that work on marine vessels, has decreed an ordinance known as Chapter Amendment 2-2 , requiring that ships install some measure of protection to keep oils and other dangerously flammable materials from leaking out of pipes.
Manufacturers have answered the call and created numerous different tools all in the name of providing a safe working environment. Shields and flange guards are but just two commonly used devices, although they can prove to be rather expensive and difficult to appropriately install. Not to mention the time factor involved of having to gather accurate measurements of all pipes and equipment involved, then having to order and wait for the guards to actually arrive.
In recent years, more facilities have begun to experiment by implementing a line of specialized tape products commonly referred to as Anti-Splash, Spray Control, and T-ISS tapes. These tapes are constructed of multiple layers of laminated aluminum or vinyl, and were designed by safety experts to prevent any accidental spillage of harmful chemicals, and in instances where substances may leak through, the tapes are intended to be installed in such a way that they can direct the fluids to an area where they safely be diverted without causing damage. The tape is applied around pipe flanges, connection joints, and areas where the strength and integrity of a pipe is susceptible to damage due to excess tension and vibration.
Companies that have been using Anti-Splash and Spray-Control tapes are discovering that they are just as effective as other guards at preventing harmful leaks spills, but with a few important advantages. Many industrial settings have miles and miles of pipes, which would require a huge cost investment in order to secure all of the applicable locations with guards or shields. But T-ISS tapes are provided in rolls of varying lengths and sizes, and one roll can safeguard several locations at a fraction of the cost of other tools. Tape also provides an instant solution that is quick and easy to apply. As previously mentioned, select devices may require having to take measurements at multiple sites, and then waiting for the items to be constructed or delivered, at which point they then have to be installed. Anti-splash tape works like a regular roll of duct tape. See a joint that needs to be covered? Simply wrap a few pieces of tape around, and it’s securely sealed.
It’s important to note that Anti-Splash tapes are generally used on ships and marine vessels, while Spray-Control tape is better suited for industrial facilities located on-shore, due to the fact that each environment uses different types of chemicals in their operation and the individual tapes are designed to accommodate this. Also be aware that while some tapes are crafted with a layer of flame-retardant material, not all tapes provide this type of protection. Should tape that isn’t resistant to fire become exposed to a source of extreme heat or flames, it can possibly melt, thereby increasing the chance of an explosion, especially if the chemicals inside the pipe are highly flammable. A popular choice can be found at T-ISS Anti-Splashing Tape, as it is both fire-retardant and resistive to water and weather conditions.
Recent mandates and the need to ensure the well-being of both life and property has given rise to the needs of improving safety situations around ships and other industrial plants. While many options may exist, advancements in technology have paved the way for solutions that provide a cost-effective edge over products that have been commonly used in the past. And the answer to safeguarding both employees and machines may be just as simple as using a roll of tape.