TerraThane Pipeline Trench Breakers

Success Story: Ditch Break Foam in Challenging Conditions

The Problem

The contractor needed pipeline pads and pillows for 1,400 feet of pipeline on a 58-degree hillside in rural West Virginia in challenging weather conditions. A recent pipeline job at Dominion Resource’s extraction/ fractionation plant in Pine Grove, WV presented some pretty hairy challenges. 

The Dominion Transmission plant processes and stores natural gas liquids (NGLs): propane, normal butane, isobutane, and natural gasoline. They extract, fractionate, store, transport and market to various end-user markets including propane retailers, refineries, petrochemical facilities, and aerosol companies. 

The first challenge was laying 1,400 feet of pipeline on a 58-degree hillside where the trucks, excavators, and other equipment had to be winched up the slope and held in place by cables attached to heavy equipment. The second challenge was the constant rain, so severe erosion of the freshly-turned earth was a major concern.


Spray pads, ditch break foam closeup - courtesy of NCFI Polyurethanes

The Solution

The Texas applicator chose to use TerraThane™ 24-series geotechnical foam for the job, winched his truck up the side of the mountain and secured it to heavy equipment. Chad Corbin’s company, All Seasons Foam and Coatings Services, Sanger, TX, was chosen to create pipeline pillows and trench breakers for the project. "We took one look at it and, when most companies might have thrown up their hands or declined the job, we felt right at home because we use TerraThane," says Corbin.

The Results

TerraThane requires much less time to apply, saving time and money on any job. Plus, TerraThane adheres to the soil and ground around the pipeline helping control erosion, and it lasts much longer than legacy products like sandbags.

Corbin says the TerraThane worked perfectly. "They laid 1,400 feet of pipe on the 58-degree slope, we winched our spray rig up the side of the mountain, and sprayed the trench. TerraThane did the job on the slope and in the inclement weather, taking much less time than other legacy products to cure in place."


Pipeline - ditch break foam - courtesy of NCFI Polyurethanes

According to Corbin, "TerraThane is a great product. Polyurethane foam is far superior to sand breakers. Water eats through the sandbag breakers and the sand escapes and erodes over time. Polyurethane foam breakers bond with the earth, and water doesn’t have an effect on them. They’re easier to apply and they last."

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