Choosing the correct spacer can impact on the long-term success of a pipeline, so to help contractors choose the most suitable spacer the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) has a product specification for correct protection of carrier pipes when installed inside casings. While the product specification is directed at water pipelines, contractors working on oil and gas pipelines will also reap the benefits. Here, we look at the advantages of using a WSAA approved spacer.

Jason Linaker, Managing Director at kwik-ZIP, said the standard outlines various requirements for the spacer, including use of materials, abrasion resistance, wear pads, runner height flexibility and minimum runner spacing around the pipe.

“These elements are relevant to all pipeline installations where there is a carrier pipe, as they help to prevent problems experienced during these installations across the board such as abrasion, and achieving correct grade and alignment,” Mr Linaker said.

“Currently, the kwik-ZIP HDX spacer range is the only spacer system to be approved against the specification.”

There are a number of benefits that can be realised for the long-term success of a pipeline by using a WSAA approved spacer.

Protection from abrasion

The WSAA specification states that spacers shall be manufactured from inert engineering thermoplastics or stainless steel (Grade 304 or 316).

kwik-ZIP’s HDX range is made from Kwik-ZIP’s engineered thermoplastic blend – a high-grade thermoplastic that is flexible, extremely tough and has a low coefficient of friction, which is well known among engineering plastics as being one of the best performers when it comes to applications requiring excellent abrasion/wear resistance.

As kwik-ZIP’s HDX spacer range is also constructed with wear pads on the runners, they create a clearance between the pipe and the casing to reduce abrasion damage.

“By creating this clearance during the installation process, the new pipe is protected against any abrasion which may occur during installation, and over the lifetime of the pipeline.

“The runners on kwik-ZIP spacers also have a very low co-efficient of friction, allowing for the quick and easy insertion of the new pipe into the existing pipe.”

Flexible design

The WSAA specification also suggests using spacers that allow for different height runners to achieve correct grade and alignment.

Mr Linaker said spacers are typically manufactured to fit a particular pipe diameter.

“Unlike other spacer systems, kwik-ZIP spacers are designed to be adjustable, meaning that the same spacers can be used for varying pipe diameters – adding an extra layer of flexibility and reducing costs for projects which require a variety of annular clearances.”

Delivery time and costs

Mr Linaker said in addition to being WSAA approved, kwik-ZIP spacers are dispatched from strategically located warehouses in Australia and are also available from an extensive network of Australian distributors,  reducing delivery time and costs.

“Many suppliers to the Australian market are providing a product that is dispatched from overseas – which means longer lead times and higher shipping costs. When you choose kwik-ZIP, you are choosing an Australian designed product which can be shipped to your job site quickly and cost-efficiently, no matter how quickly you need them.”