Protective liners and lining systems protect an underlying surface from corrosion, wear, erosion, heat or fire. They may also provide leak protection or fluid containment. Protective liners and lining systems come in several forms. Loose or drop-in liners and lining systems are prefabricated into a specific shape to conform to the surface of a specific product or component. Tile, block or sectional liners and lining systems are cemented or bonded to a surface and then grouted or sealed. Wear plates or strips attach to surfaces through mechanical fastening, adhesive bonding, brazing or welding. Spray-on liners are formed in place through an immersion, spray or thermal deposition process. Some protective liners and lining systems are available as fluoroplastic films or barrier membranes. Others are available as coated cloths or tarps. Casings and supports for liners and lining systems are commonly available.
Protective liners and lining systems are made from a variety of materials. Examples include basalt, glass, metal, plastic, rubber, urethane, and polyurethane. Products made from ceramic, composite, fluoropolymer, and laminate materials are also available. High density polyethylene (HDPE) and ultrahigh molecular weight (UHMW) polyethylene plastics provide excellent wear, low friction and high toughness. Textiles provide protection against wear, erosion and other environmental conditions while maintaining flexibility. They also retain particulates, granular media, or soil while allowing the passage of water or moisture. Carbide or hard metal products typically include silicon carbide or tungsten carbide. Specialty cements use advanced binder systems that include potassium silicates, epoxy resins and other polymer or chemical systems.
Selecting protective liners and lining systems requires an analysis of protective functions. Some products are used for blast mitigation, impact protection, soil stabilization, or waterproofing. Others are used to protect against the ingress of particles or dust, or to provide sound attenuation or sound proofing. Flow-promoting liners have a smooth, inert surface that reduces friction and increases flow. By contrast, release liners feature a non-stick or non-wetting surface. Non-slip products increase friction to prevent containers from moving or personnel from slipping. Primary containment liners are used to line tanks, reactors, bins, hoppers and storage vessels for chemicals or wastes. Secondary containment liners do not have as high a degree of integrity as primary containment liners. Typically, thickness is the most important dimension to consider when selecting products.
Protective liners and lining systems are used in many industries and applications. Some products are used in the automotive, aerospace, cement, concrete, construction, power generation, material handling, mining, packaging or pharmaceutical industries. Others are used in food and chemical processing, material handling, oil and gas exploration, or wastewater treatment. Protective liners and lining systems are commonly used in construction, flooring, marine, manufacturing, military, public access and piping applications. Specialized products are also available. For example, cable and wire rope liners provide a low friction surface that allows the free-sliding movement of the core or cable element in push-pull control units. Environmental remediation products are used to contain landfill waste and line exhaust stacks. Chute liners carry foundry sand, coal or coke and provide wear protection. Liners that provide refractory insulation for internal furnace or crucible walls are also available. In the pulp and paper industry, specialized products are used to line digester walls in order to protect vessels from corrosive media.