15 May 2024

Preventing corrosion with STOPAQ. A Q&A on everything you wanted to know.

In this STOPAQ podcast series, Dinko Cudic, Business Line Director at Seal For Life Industries tackles the most asked questions about their visco-elastic technology STOPAQ.

The second episode covers the topic of being purpose designed: what does it mean to design for the versatile conditions we apply in?

Listen to the STOPAQ podcast here:



Or you can read the transcript below:

[00:00:03] Preventing corrosion with STOPAQ. A Q&A on everything you wanted to know.  

[00:00:11] Hi everyone, my name is Dinko Cudic, and I’m the business line director of our visco-elastic technologies. Today we’ll be answering questions on STOPAQ. Still, today, there are a lot of questions that arise and we will see if we can cover as many as we can.  

What is meant by a ‘purpose designed’ solution?

[00:00:35] You often hear us use the term purpose-designed. What we really want to explain with that is that we designed the product with the mindset of a contractor. The reason is that contractors have a selection of coatings that they can use to prevent corrosion, etc. But often they’re faced with climatic conditions. Is the pipe hot? Is it cold? Is it summertime? Is it wintertime? And then it becomes very difficult to use certain technologies or certain coatings. So what we really wanted to do is create a coating that would be as easy as possible to apply, as clean as possible to apply for the applications, because psychologically, we believe that people will do a far better job than when it’s complicated and when you really just want to get it over and done with. Because we believe getting it over and done with, that’s where premature failures happen.  

How does STOPAQ prevent premature failures?

[00:01:40] Premature failures is mainly related to the application constraints during construction, whether it’s new build or rehabilitation. In new build, you will often see that pipelines will be laid for 12 months of the year. So you’re going to go through all four seasons. Where, yes in summer it may be a pleasure to work, especially if you’re somewhere by the coast. But at the same time, it could be freezing conditions. Expansion, contraction of the pipes differ. If you need to heat the pipes for many of the products to apply them, we have seen that sometimes the coatings disbond before the pipe ever becomes operational. Or if you are working with pipes that are in rehabilitation, what if there is still flow in the pipe? If there is cold gas going through and your pipe is condensing? What if the pipe is too hot? What if there is liquid inside that can elevate the surface temperature? These are all the things that can affect. So when you have a product that can go on very cold temperatures when necessary, on very hot temperatures or wet substrates, then we really want to provide something that’s there for all. And again, to make it as easy as possible to apply it, because then we prevent these failures. 

Is STOPAQ only suitable for the rehabilitation of buried assets?

[00:03:06] While we designed everything around buried pipes and components in the early days for cold temperature applications like the Netherlands, where we originate from, we had to adapt the products with different viscosities, etc, for other climates around the world. But then eventually, from buried conditions, we went to rises and from rises, we went to atmospheric conditions. Then we realized that we can do a lot more than just buried, especially when it comes to maintenance. We enter the world of rehabilitation inside refineries. Again, minimum surface preparation, waste management, and all these other benefits that contribute to that.  

Do you use the same product for all applications and conditions?

[00:03:55] The changes that we do make are, of course, what goes on top of it? As mechanical protection, as UV protection, or is it purely just cosmetic, just to give it some color? So that purely depends on the environment that we work in. So, if we’re in buried conditions where we need to backfill, we will have outerwraps that can withstand backfilling off a pipe, including the impact resistance, but also something that will withstand soil stresses, etc. As soon as we go atmospheric, even if we continue using outerwraps, the outerwraps have to be UV resistance. Now, it’s not about the stresses of the soil, it’s about UV resistance, etc., or expansion and contraction of the pipes, which often happens as well. So the base of the corrosion preventative material is always the same. What we do change is what we put on top, which is designed to withstand the environment that we find ourselves in. 

What is meant by the STOPAQ system?

[00:04:59] You will hear us often talk about systems, and that is because we always have the base, which is the manufactured product under the name STOPAQ. And that’s your primary layer that prevents corrosion. With all the benefits. What we put on top is a layer that withstands the environmental conditions we find ourselves in. So, one plus two equals a system. And then we can also add additional mechanical protection. For example, let’s say in high impact zones where instead of two layers, we will add another layer on top to withstand even more impact resistance or abrasion resistance or whatever it is that we need to withstand.  

What are the market segments?

[00:05:54] The difference in the environmental conditions that we have to meet, differ in such a way that we have developed what is known as market segments. And that’s how we differentiate the systems within. Some you will find equal, because an outerwrap that can withstand buried conditions or submerged conditions can, in fact, also with UV resistance, withstand atmospheric conditions. But at the same time, there are others that are very specific, and those can be a completely different product. Let’s say if we are in the waterproofing and sealing-market, that is completely different from the requirements of corrosion prevention. Or if you are used in submerged or buried conditions, you have to withstand not only the soil stresses that were mentioned, but also in functionality in conjunction with cathodic protection. While in atmospheric applications, you do not need to worry about cathodic protection, but purely just UV or impact. But even the impact is much lower in most cases than it would be in buried conditions. So, these market segments that we speak of are really systems designed for a certain application or environmental conditions. These can be dry-applied. Dry-applied systems can be, in most cases, used buried, submerged, and atmospheric, and they are quite equal. It can be wet-applied, where we have condensing pipes, splash zone areas, or even repair of submerged pipes or damage to pipes, including submerged cables as well. Or it can be sealing products like AluClad and InsulWrap, which really seal off insulation from the environment. 

Do you have specialty coatings?

 [00:07:56] Well, we do have specialty coatings for conditions where, of course, we are in submerged conditions or even in the splash zone conditions. Which also equal to condensing conditions. Which means we cannot dry the surface for our usual products. For that, we have a product called WSH, which in reality means Wet Substrate applied product, and H just gives it a temperature range within what we have on offering of 70 degrees Celsius. Those are the products that can be applied on a wet substrate. It is a system, so it is applied quite differently than the usual STOPAQ systems. It’s a wrap-around system. But that’s where we also come in to work with the clients and the applicators to show them the best way to apply this and overcome even such conditions.  

Is it truly 1 product, 1001 solutions?

[00:08:55] We do say ‘1001 solutions’, and that’s because we’re always open to new challenges and new applications. I guess when it comes to creativity and what you can do with the product; sky’s the limit. Expanding the applications will come in time. We like to keep focused on to be the best in what we do: corrosion prevention.