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Pipe Loads Modeling Information

Our PIPE LOADS OF FUN™ for flatcars, gondolas and flatbed trucks and trailers are modeled after those I’ve seen in print, moving by rail or high-way vehicle, in industrial pipe and railroad yards as car loads, at industries, and at installation sites.

One of my favorite industrial sites that has provided much inspiration and valuable modeling information is located in the southern part of east Harrisburg, PA., just south of I-76, on the west bank of the Susquehana River, incidentally up-river from the infamous 3-Mile Island nuclear power plant. The Bethlehem Steel Mill manufactures coated/wrapped steel pipe along with other steel products. I have photographed this mill and grounds a number of times during my travels to and from the Train Collectors Association, York, Pennsylvania meet and show. Each time I visited the factory I found new details to focus on. At the Mill I have seen and photographed “rusty” pipe, and teal green, white and tan/brown coated/wrapped pipe. I plan to model a similar facility on one of my model train layouts. For now, I use the information to produce and provide you with realistic pipe loads described in this website and in other writings.

Credits and References. One of my main sources of in-print information on pipes and pipelines is the 1995 addition book “Pipe Line Construction”, by Max Hosmanek, edited by Cinda L. Cyrus, Petroleum Extension Service, The University of Texas at Austin (press), Publisher, 1984. This book contains much information on pipe production, uses, coatings/wrappings applications and uses; and lots of photos. I find and use articles in “Trains”, “Model Railroader”, and other magazines for my modeling efforts. I also use my own experiences, observations, photos and notes gained during my visits to and travels along the railroad and highway right-of-ways for my modeling.

Keep in mind the purpose of coatings and wrappings outside, coatings inside the pipe is to protect the pipe during shipment, installation and burial or suspension (e.g. The Trans-Alaska/Aleyeska crude oil pipeline in Alaska) from abrasion and cathodic corrosion.

Different types of pipe coatings/wrappings are used to meet customer requirements. The most common types are bituminous enamels, enamels, fusion-bonded epoxy resins, and tapes.

Bituminous enamels are derived from coal-tar pitches or petroleum asphalts.

Enamel coatings include a wide variety of petroleum-based derivatives such as asphalts, coal tars, greases, and waxes, mastics, and asphalt mastics. Enamel coatings are most effective when the pipeline’s operating temperature range is between 30F and 180F. Below 40F precautions must be taken to guard against cracking and bonding problems. One of the most likely color associated with this type of coating is black.

Fusion-bonded epoxy coatings are powdered resins are applied to form a skin or very tight coating over the pipe. These coatings are usually applied at the pipe mill because specialized equipment and processes are needed. The pipe is heated between 400F and 500F before the resin is applied as a fine spray. The coating melts and bonds with the metal. This very thin coating allows spotting of defects and abrasions, and can endure the pipe bending process because the coating stretches. This thin coating is subject to tearing during installation. You will often see yellow nylon rope surrounding and separating each pipe from its neighbor to help prevent abrasion damage. Extra care must be taken during the pipe-laying process to prevent damage to the pipe and coating. These coatings can be applied to the inside of the pipe to guard against the corrosive effects of the transported product like natural gas. Natural gas contains hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide and water which form corrosive chemicals. Fusion-bonded epoxies can also withstand the high operating temperatures (200F or higher) commonly found in gas transmissions pipelines. In the past, one of the most common colors associated with gas pipeline fusion-bonded epoxy coatings is “high visibility or OSHA” yellow. Recently, “glossy brown” fusion-bonded epoxy coatings are associated with high-pressure pipe lines. Pipe loads bearing these colors can be seen on railroad flatcars and gondolas, usually in long units of cars. Other epoxy coating colors are tan/brown, white and red oxide.

Tape coatings or wrappings such as polyethylene plastic are commonly used for external pipe coating. Other tape coatings include polyvinyl, coal tar base, and butyl-mastic adhesive. Thicker tape and stronger resins are becoming more popular since they hold-up better during pipe transport and laying. Common tape coating colors are black and teal green.

Coatings/wrappings applied at the pipe laying site are called “line travel applied coatings.” The pipe is brought to the site by rail, truck, or barge; then cleaned, welded into longer lengths, cleaned again for coating, coated and then laid.

Generally, Hiller Enterprises Pipe Loads of Fun™ modeling is associating color with the type of pipe (ceramic, plastic, steel, copper, etc.); with the uses for the pipe; and the type of pipe coating/wrapping, or lack thereof; and possible use for the pipe coatings/wrapping as listed and illustrated in this website and any catalogs we may produce for our customers. These colors include, but are not limited to:

flat reddish/red oxide color outside and inside of the pipe representing “rust”;

semi-glossy brown or flat reddish color inside the pipe representing fusion-bonded epoxy anti-corrosion coatings;

high visibility (OSHA) yellow and glossy-brown representing steel pipe used for high pressure gas and liquids;

teal green/blue, white, and tan/brown colors representing general purposes pipe;

red oxide/“rust” representing non-coated rusted “raw” steel or cast iron pipe

raphite, purple (“blued”) gunmetal blue, and steel/silver representing other specialized metal pipe such as galvanized pipe

opper representing copper pipe

luminum representing aluminum pipe

lat or semi-gloss black representing coated ceramic (“fired” clay) pipe, and some flat brown baked clay pipe often used for sewer pipe

lat or semi-gloss black colored pipe representing ABS plastic pipe (sewer and drain water applications) and,

hite and jade green representing PVC (water and sewer branch or building hook-up.

We can change or make the Pipe Load of Fun™ color, pipe diameter, and configuration to meet your operation needs. Specify the pipe type, color. length in inches, and stacking layers.


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