The Armor Plate, Inc. venture originated from Wil-Cor, Inc., which owns the registered trade name of Armor Plate® products. Wil-Cor, Inc. started its business in 1978 and manufactures and formulates epoxy polyester resins for floor coatings, tank linings, grouts, and adhesives for the oil and gas industry. Wil-Cor, Inc. also has field crews that have been repairing fiberglass pipe and structures, fabricating fiberglass pipe and applying chemical resistant linings to concrete pits and tanks since 1978.
Recognizing the potential for developing a pipe repair method using composite materials, Armor Plate, Inc. started an extensive testing program in the fall of 1997. The intent of this research program was to ensure that the Armor Plate® Pipe Wrap system meets and exceeds the ASME PCC-2 standards and repair needs of the oil and gas industry. Stress Engineering Services, Inc. of Houston , Texas was selected as the engineering firm to conduct the evaluation because of their extensive experience in pipeline analysis and testing.
The intent of the test program was to evaluate the structural integrity of the system in terms of composite materials and interaction with various piping configurations. An imperative in the evaluation was that testing must simulate field conditions and represent loads common to pipeline systems. By the early summer of 1998 it was apparent that Armor Plate, Inc. had developed a system that could repair any number of pipeline anomalies involving any pipeline. In July of 1998, Fred Wilson, president of Wil-Cor, Inc. and Armor Plate, Inc., and Chris Alexander, an engineer with Stress Engineering Services, Inc., made a presentation to the Office of Pipeline Safety (“OPS“) about Armor Plate® Pipe Wrap. The former head of Office of Pipeline Safety (“OPS“), Joe Caldwell, was instrumental in setting up this meeting. The outcome of the meeting was two-fold. For Armor Plate, Inc. it served as encouragement to continue research and development and OPS was encouraging innovative technologies, such as composite materials. For the Office of Pipeline Safety, it was confirmation that organizations like Armor Plate, Inc., along with pipeline companies, were anxious to see some type of ruling. Although it would take time for this ruling to take effect, by January of 2000 the OPS had made their ruling and Armor Plate® Pipe Wrap was mentioned prominently throughout the document.
In 2008, Armor Plate, Inc. had engineering testing performed on wrinkle bends. Using some of the insights from a prior wrinkle bend test, Stress Engineering Services, Inc. and El Paso Corporation developed a program to specifically assess the performance of wrinkle bends as a result of vintage construction on a vintage pipeline.
Again, Armor Plate® Pipe Wrap solved the problem and saved the expense of shutting down and replacing the area with new pipe.
Armor Plate, Inc. has continued to grow and now has numerous world-wide installations in regions such as Alaska, Trinidad, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, China, Malaysia and South Africa. Product development continued during this same period involving long-term testing, evaluating the high temperature system, and investigations relating to the underwater application system.
Armor Plate, Inc. has committed to on-going engineer test programs to further serve our customers.