It is something of a misconception that pipe repair bandage alone can fix a leaking pipe. What they do is reinforce repairs carried out by other solutions such as pipe repair tape and epoxy putties, pastes and coatings as well as strengthening and reinforcing damaged pipework.
Pipe repair bandages are resin-soaked fibreglass wraps which are water activated. Once doused with water, they will begin to harden. After less than 30 minutes, the bandage will have set to provide a rock hard, impact resistant layer over the repair around which it has been wrapped.
Damaged, weakened or worn pipes and structures can be reinforced using pipe repair bandages. They protect brittle and older parts from further damage, add hoop strength and prevent future leaks from occurring. They offer a guaranteed solution for increasing the lifespan of pipes.
If using a pipe repair bandage sounds easy, that is because it is. Once you have wrapped the bandage, you can continue to add water to produce a smooth finish. When set, it can even be painted to match the colour of the pipe or structure it has been applied to.
Pipe repair bandages come in a variety of different sizes, from wraps suitable for fixing leaking bathroom and kitchen pipes to bandages designed for the repair of major pipelines in industry and infrastructure.
They are effective on pipes made from steel, stainless steel, copper, malleable iron, GRP, ceramic, clay and most plastics. High-quality pipe repair bandages can resist pressure up to 30bar and temperatures of over 200ºC.
One important consideration to take when purchasing pipe repair bandages is to check that they have WRAS approval, especially if they are being used on pipework which supplies drinking water.
WRAS approval ensures that the bandage has been certified as safe for use with drinking water. Products which are not independently tested and verified by WRAS could end up contaminating water and posing a danger.
Given the success and popularity of pipe repair bandages and wraps, it is no surprise to see companies begin to experiment with specialist bandages for specific applications.
Corrosion Repair Wraps infused with corrosion inhibitors to protect pipework from environmental and saltwater corrosion have begun to hit the market.
Other manufacturers are exploring flame retardant bandages for use in extreme temperature applications. Specialist wraps capable of withstanding the effects of acid and other harsh substances are available for repairing and reinforcing petroleum and chemical lines.
Those advanced pipe repair bandages are not something that the average user needs to worry about. For most jobs which involve reinforcing repairs or strengthening existing pipework, standard pipe repair bandages will suffice.