The Urethane Blog

Pipeline Application for Spray Foam

Wayne-co. company uses foam to help control erosion

Thomas Doohan Dix Communications Published: January 5, 2015 1:00PM



DALTON — Laying down pipelines has always been a back breaking job, but some pipeline companies are utilizing a technology being utilized that can ease the process along — spray foam.

Dalton's Spray Foam Solutions, owned by Jerry Raber and his brother Aaron, is one of the companies contracting with pipeline companies to install the polyurethane foam and make life a little easier for the pipeline workers.

Traditionally, Jerry Raber said, sand bags were stacked in the trench around a pipeline at about 50 foot intervals on inclined stretches.

"It's used for erosion control," he said, explaining the sand bags for breakers that slow the flow of water down the trench.

But now, instead of using sand bags, Jerry Raber said pipeline companies have begun contracting companies like his to create spray foam breakers.

Cadiz based Union Pipeline master mechanic Dwain Harkins said that means pipeline companies are going to be spending less on labor as spray foam is a much more pain free solution to erosion control.

Harkins said stacking the 30-50 pound sand bags around the pipelines has always been one of the most physically demanding jobs on the site. Laborers would have to stand in the bottom of the trench and position the heavy sandbags around the pipeline by hand.

"Spray foam is faster," Raber added.

With one or two workers, he said, breakers can be installed in 15-20 minutes, an hour long job for crews with sand bags. Using spray foam can be a cost saver for pipeline companies for that reason.

In addition to decreasing expenditures for pipeline companies, spray foam is also a matter of being environmentally responsible.

"It adheres to the pipe," Harkins said. "It adheres to the bank."

Raber further explained the spray foam is very efficient at erosion control and helps to prevent wash outs. Additionally, he said because of the rigidity of the foam and its adherent qualities, it is very effective at keeping the pipelines in place.

"It all goes back to the environment," Harkins said, explaining the foam prevents the pipes from moving and causing an environmental disaster. "You can't just put throw (a pipeline) in the ground and expect it to stay there."

Raber said he and his brother used to work in construction. But in 2009 they transitioned into a spray foam insulation company.

In 2013, he said the company stared doing spray foam breakers for pipelines after he heard of people using the material for such a purpose in places like Oklahoma and Texas.

Since that point, Raber said, Spray Foam Solutions has been doing pipeline work throughout Ohio. As more and more pipelines going in throughout the state, Raber said he expects business to continue to pick up. He said the company is prepared to meet that challenge.

"We are well able to handle any amount of pipeline work," Raber said.