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Suncor Energy cuts costs by having SUNcast ReCast[TM] batching pigs. (Tech Notes).

Suncor Energy has ReCast [TM] more than 500 worn cups and discs from its 30-inch hatching pigs since June 2000 and has realized cost savings of 35 percent while reducing waste.

SUNcast Polyurethanes Inc. developed the new process technology--called ReCasting [TM]--that is used to rebuild worn and discarded polyurethane (PUR) discs. cups and solid cast pipeline pigs. The ReCast [TM] parts are described as field-proven to perform as new and to provide cost savings of up to 40 percent vs. new replacement parts.

ReCast [TM] Technology

Most PUR cups, discs or solid cast pigs wear only 10-15 percent by weight before they are undersized, pulled from service and scrapped. In most cases, the 85 percent of "scrap" PUR material that is left is perfectly good. However, until now there has been no viable way to reuse this material. With ReCast [TM] technology, SUNcast can use the worn part as a core and apply new, high-performance PUR to the wear edges to rebuild the part back to its original dimensions.

What makes ReCasting [TM] unique is that it creates a bond interface between new and old PUR material that is as strong as the material itself. In Ultimate Tensile Strength testing. ReCast [TM] samples achieved greater than 6,500 psi at Percentage Elongations exceeding 500 percent.

ReCasting [TM] can be used to rebuild cups and discs of any size or PUR material, including the MDI and TDI polyesters typically used in the manufacture of pig cups and disc's. Whenever a worn part is ReCast [TM], all of the wear edges are rebuilt with PUR that is "matched" to the original material (including hardness) so that only new high performance material is in contact with the pipe wall and the ReCast [TM] part performs comparably to the original part.

Clips and discs can be ReCast [TM] several times so long as the original material has maintained its physical properties and has not degraded.

ReCasting [TM] Suncor Energy's Batching Pigs

Suncor Energy is an integrated energy company with over $C4 billion in assets. On behalf of Enbridge Pipelines, it operates the 30 inch, 337- mile Athabasca oil pipeline which transports high-quality light sweet crude oil, diesel fuel and custom sweet and sour blends from its oil sands plant in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

To enhance batch integrity and minimize intermixing, Suncor inserts pigs between product batches. After the pigs complete their 337-mile trip from Fort McMuray to the terminal in Hardisty. they are removed from the pipeline and the cups and discs are measured for wear. They are either discarded and replaced or, if they measure within wear tolerance, stay on the pig and go back to Fort McMurray to make another run. On average, cups and discs make two trips before being replaced with new parts.

In June 2000 SUNcast began ReCasting [TM] Suncor's worn cups and discs. The first shipment of ReCast [TM] parts included 55 discs and 23 cups. After being put in service, the wear patterns of ReCast [TM] parts were carefully measured, documented and compared with the historic performance of new replacement parts. The results were:

1. ReCast [TM] parts performed equal to or better than new replacement cups and discs:

2. Suncor saved over 35 percent on its cup and disc replacement costs. Suncor has implemented a total pig ReCasting [TM] program. To date SUNcast has ReCast [TM] more than 500 cups and discs for Suncor, some of them now on their fourth ReCast [TM] Circle #200

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Comment:Suncor Energy cuts costs by having SUNcast ReCast[TM] batching pigs. (Tech Notes).
Author:Thomas, Garth
Publication:Pipeline & Gas Journal
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Dec 1, 2002
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