Corrosion of steel structures in marine environments is a common problem. However, in areas with higher humidity and salinity, it can be significantly more pronounced. That is why it is important to find effective solutions to increase the lifespan of marine piles.
Typically, steel piles will be coated with layers of epoxy paint, which protects the steel underneath from corroding, as long as the coating remains in place. Ageing, damage and abrasion of the coating will expose the steel underneath, allowing corrosion to start. In most marinas, this is a common issue. Damage to the protective coating can occur in a matter of days after installation, as the rollers and wear pads will remove the coating by abrasion over time.
A recent viable alternative is to sleeve an epoxy coated pile with HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) or UHMW-PE (Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene) sleeves. Both options provide the best wear protection and corrosion resistance available and are largely maintenance free, making them an ideal choice for marine applications.
What are other benefits of HDPE and UHMW-PE pile sleeves?
Both HDPE and UHMW-PE pile sleeves are designed for long-lasting durability, while providing the highest impact strength and abrasion. The pile sleeves have significantly longer lifespans than traditional materials and treatment methods when used in marine environments.
On average, industry experts estimate that a galvanized or epoxy coated steel pile has 8-10 years before it will require frequent maintenance and a lifespan of 15-25 years. In comparison, HDPE and UHMW-PE sleeved piles typically have a lifespan of 50-100 years.
Benefits of Composites
The sleeves will never suffer corrosion, and will withstand the harshest UV environments, such as the Middle East.
Lower Maintenance Costs
Both types of pile sleeves require low or no maintenance and limit marine growth on the pile. Should the sleeve be damaged beyond repair, it can be replaced at a lower cost than replacement of a pile.
They not only offer the benefit of longevity, but offer cosmetic benefits to marinas as well. The sleeves restore rusted marine piles to a clean, sleek and uniform look.
The pile sleeves contain no toxins that can leach into ecosystems or negatively impact water quality, unlike traditional methods such as heavy metal coatings.
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