The Carbon Fiber Blog


Cystic Fibrosis Great Strides 2014

Posted on by Alyssa Wedler
On Sunday, April 6, HJ3 employees, friends, family members and some of our dogs participated in the annual Great Strides walk to benefit cystic fibrosis research.  Cystic fibrosis is a disease that affects more than 30,000 children and adults in the United States by clogging their lungs with unusually thick, sticky mucus.  Research advances for the disease have been extraordinary, but unfortunately, a cure has yet to be found.
HJ3 Team Photo
Even the dogs enjoyed it!
Some of us had wheels…


The day’s events included a 5k walk, as well as several children’s activities and festivities designed to educate and entertain participants.  The event raised over $122,000, and HJ3 proudly assembled the largest group of walkers, with more than 35 attendees!  HJ3 regularly participates in events that benefit the cystic fibrosis cause; together with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, we’re doing our part to help find a cure.


When we got tired, we took breaks
The team!


HJ3 was walking in honor of one of our member’s grandson Walker, who is 6 years old and was born with Cystic Fibrosis. Walker and thousands of others around the globe are living with this disease, which soon may have a cure. Since 1955, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has been the driving force behind the pursuit of a cure, and each Great Strides walk helps the foundation get closer to arriving at that goal. To learn more about cystic fibrosis, or to make a donation, visit
Walker, 6 years old


Intern Wrap-up – Lauren Morast

Posted on by abarela


Hi Everyone! My name is Lauren and I am the HJ3 Marketing Intern who has been responsible for posting these great blog entries every week! I am currently a senior at the University of Arizona studying Biomedical Engineering. After my graduation in May (42 days, if you’re counting), I am hoping to either pursue a Master’s degree at a brand new program at the University of Minnesota called Biomedical Device Innovation or go straight into the biomedical device industry as an engineer. I am still unsure of what I want to do, but I have plenty of time to figure it out (42 days, if you’re counting). Besides, this is how graduating seniors are supposed to feel… right? Luckily, I have a great support system with both my family and my fiancé and am excited for whatever the next step will bring!
This is me, Lauren!


Interning at HJ3 this semester has been a great opportunity for me professionally and personally. The people here are absolutely wonderful and are some of the most caring and dedicated people I have ever met. Having the chance to work at a small, fast-growing company has both broadened my view of the engineering field as well as gives me a lot of perspective into the business world! What is a biomedical engineer doing at a composite company, anyway? I have to admit that when I first started working here it was a big change of pace from my previous work experiences, but the people at HJ3 were quick to make me feel at home. The best part of having the opportunity to work in the Marketing department is being able to learn how to use my engineering background to target new customers and new applications  and help advertise for the various HJ3 technologies. Which is great, because at the end of the day, if no one knows about your product, you can’t help anyone! It has been an absolute pleasure to work here and I hope these blog entries have helped!
Last day of working at HJ3 with a few of the team members.


Earthquake Damage Prevention Through Carbon Fiber Reinforcement

Posted on by abarela


This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Great Alaskan Earthquake. As the second strongest earthquake in recorded history, it had a moment magnitude of 9.2. It lasted 4 minutes, 38 seconds and caused ground fissures, collapsed structures, and initiated a tsunami that killed 131 people. Because the epicenter was so close to Anchorage, only 75 miles away, there was a lot of structural damage. In addition, the airport control tower and the runway were both severely damaged forcing the airport to close down.


Earthquakes are especially damaging to buildings because the shaking of the ground causes movement in directions that are very difficult to predict and protect against. The magnitude and length of the earthquake are factors that contribute to the resulting damage. The longer and stronger the earthquake is, typically the greater chance for damage. The type of soil below the building may also contribute to the damage factor. If the soil is thick, soft, or wet the shaking will increase. Typically, high-rise buildings are more affected by slow shaking and smaller buildings are more affected by short and frequent shaking. Preemptive measures are taken by the government, who issues updates to seismic codes to increase strength for both compression and tension. Buildings are then upgraded and reinforced to ensure compliance.
The Seward Highway near Anchorage after the earthquake.
Credit: The Washington Post


Seismic upgrades include traditional steel and concrete reinforcement, to strengthen steel beams, widen concrete columns, and to increase in-plane and out-of-plane strength of wall slabs. A less costly solution, and one that adds virtually no weight to the building is HJ3’s Civil and Commercial carbon fiber reinforcement. One example of a seismic upgrade where HJ3′s system was used was a historical pub in Salt Lake City, Utah. The pub had several unstable floors from a previous fire and the unreinforced masonry walls needed strengthening to meet the new seismic codes. The owner wished to preserve the historic look and feel of the brink making the job a bit more difficult. To provide the correct reinforcement and preserve the historical feel, HJ3 used a translucent glass fiber strengthening system.
Historical Bar before renovations and repairs.
First, the interior surface of the wall was cleaned with a dry ice abrasive blast. The walls were then primed and the glass fiber reinforcement system was installed. The exterior of the building was abrasive blasted and power washed before being primed. HJ3’s carbon fiber reinforcement system was then used as reinforcement.
Final product of interior glass fiber reinforcement system instillation.
Final product of exterior carbon fiber reinforcement system installation.


By using HJ3’s carbon and glass reinforcement systems, this historical pub was able to increase both the in-plane and out-of-plane strength of the masonry walls, meeting the new seismic codes. Any building can benefit from reinforcement if earthquakes are a concern. Both the carbon and glass reinforcement system are cost effective solutions that can exceed the seismic requirements. On average, customers who repair with HJ3’s Civil and Commercial products save over 50% compared to replacement or other repair solutions. If you have earthquake concerns or need to bring your building up to seismic code and would like to learn more about HJ3’s glass and carbon fiber reinforcement systems, contact our project managers today at

Methanex Titan Cooling Tower Repair

Posted on by abarela


Methanex is a global leader in methanol production who prides themselves on operational excellence and industry best practices. When any one of their plants has an area that is not up to standard, the problem is immediately address and resolved. The Methanex Titan Cooling Tower is located in the Caribbean and is constructed of reinforced concrete.
The Methanex plant, located in the Caribbean. 


Phase one of its reinforcement consisted of repairing a 10’ x 50’ area on the west wall of the tower. The concrete wall showed significant spalling and deterioration of the concrete. The spalling was occurred because the steel reinforcement had corroded and expanded due to salt-water infiltration. The spalled concrete exposed the steel reinforcement, which accelerated the corrosion process.  HJ3 performed an extensive survey to determine which areas were of the highest priority for structural repair.
Methanex West Wall Before
Damaged concrete wall of the Methanex plant, addressed in Phase one.


Phase two of the project encompassed the repair of the 15 support columns on both the North and South Walls for the cooling tower. Significant damages were observed related to the environmental exposure to chemical and local weather. The wall showed high-priority 1 exposed rebar and priority 2 for structural cracks. Replacement of the tower would have been a very substantial project in terms of materials and lost production costs. HJ3 was able to complete Phase one and two repairs in 4 total weeks, saving the Methanex plant 50% compared to replacement costs.
Methanex Damage
Exposed rebar of a concrete wall that was repaired in Phase two.


In Phase one, HJ3 covered a 10’ x 50’ section of the west wall of the cooling tower with CarbonSeal carbon fiber reinforcement to repair damages and return the wall to its original integrity.  Due to the condition of the cooling tower, which included spalling, deterioration, and delamination of the concrete, it was important to prevent any future corrosion of the steel reinforcement. In Phase two, HJ3 covered and reinforced 15 columns on the North and South walls of the tower. The columns had exposed rebar and structural cracks that were compromising their integrity. By scheduling the work in two 12-hour shifts, the work was completed quickly, within 2 weeks for each phase.
Methanex Column
Instillation of HJ3′s CarbonSeal carbon fiber reinforcement system.


In both phases, the concrete surface was prepared to the HJ3 specific requirements, cleaned and primed with HJ3’s primer. For Phase two, the exposed rebar required a protective zinc coating to prevent flash rusting. A high modulus paste was then applied to the reinforcement area. HJ3’s CarbonSeal carbon fiber reinforcement system was saturated then applied to the surface. A final layer of high modulus paste was applied and two topcoats finished the application process. For Phase two, brace plates, or anchor plates, were used to prevent the CarbonSeal fabric from curling post-cure.
Methanex West wall finished
Completed west wall of the Methanex plant


Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 4.28.10 PMBy proactively reinforcing the cooling tower wall and columns, this Methanex plant was able to  avoid replacing the tower all together. The newly reinforced tower will be functional for another 20years and upon completion of Phase three, the reinforcement will have prevented a total of        5 tons of concrete and steel waste, nearly 30,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, 4,000,000 kWh of energy and nearly 264,000 gallons of water usage when compared to full replacement. HJ3 has been able to save Methanex 50% of the monetary cost compared to replacing the wall and columns. Without HJ3’s repair, this Methanex plant would have stopped production within a year of HJ3’s initial survey.If you have concerns with your cooling tanks and would like to learn more about HJ3’s carbon fiber reinforcement systems, contact our project managers today at

Partial Below Grade Bowing Wall Repair

Posted on by abarela
Basempartially-below-grade-bowing-wall-repair-01ents in New Jersey are typically built below or partially below the ground floor. In this residence, the partially below grade basement had a sloped lawn that, when saturated, exerted additional force on the foundation wall.  By repairing and reinforcing the bowing wall, HJ3′s certified Stronghold installer was able to save the homeowner more than 80% compared to wall replacement.


Design Scope

Heavy rains had saturated the ground, causing water to collect at the base of the foundation wall. The pressure of the soil and water was more than the basement wall could withstand and it began to bow. Some cracking occurred as the wall bowed and resulted in minor leaking. The homeowner wanted a quick and stable repair solution.

Bowed, cracked and leaking basement wall



The interior surface of the wall was prepared with a mechanical grinder to remove all paint and any loose concrete. It was then cleaned to remove any remaining dust or oils. The wall was primed in the prepared areas and the pre-cut StrongHold™ carbon fiber strips were saturated with StrongHold resin and installed on the wall.


The surface of the bowing wall was prepared before installing the StrongHold basement system


The StrongHold fabric strips were saturated and applied to the bowing wall
The bowing wall repair was completed in 2 days by the StrongHold Certified installer, saving the homeowner 80% compared to wall replacement


HJ3′s StrongHold certified installer was able to complete the entire installation process within two days. The homeowner saved more than 65% compared to steel tie-backs and more than 80% compared to total replacement of the basement wall. The installer was able to save on labor costs while getting more jobs done that week in much less time.


Call 1-877-303-0453 or email to learn how you can become a certified StrongHold installer, or for more information about our StrongHold basement repair systems.

Concrete Cracking at Allen High School’s Stadium

Posted on by abarela
Concrete is a material with very high compression strength but very low tensile strength. Concrete cracking is highly probable and can result from shrinkage, temperature variation, subgrade settlement, or applied stresses.  There are different types of cracks that occur in concrete. The most common are shrinkage and temperature cracks. They occur vertically or diagonally and unless they are leaking, there is little cause for concern. Horizontal cracks are likely from an applied load and vertical cracks that are larger in the top or bottom regions indicate heaving or settlement. These types of cracks indicate a larger problem that needs to be address such as poor drainage or overloading. Preventative measure such as using the proper concrete mix designs, minimum water, and mount of cement can be taken to help prevent minimize cracks. The use of control joints can also help prevent cracking. Cracks that should cause concern typically exceed ¼” in width or lateral displacement, leak water, or are long and horizontal in nature.


In Allen, Texas a local high school’s new $60M football stadium was shut down only 18 months after opening. The stadium seats 18,000 people and will be closed until at least June pending examination of the damage. It is likely that the closure will continue past June and affect the home football games of the 2014 season. The concrete cracks in the concourse of the stadium range from ¼- ¾” wide and are currently being covered to prevent rain from seeping in. The school district is in the mist of determining the cause of this concrete cracking and the completed report will recommend an appropriate course of action to rectify the issue. PBK Architects, the stadium designers, claims the cracks are not likely from a design issue. The contractor, Pogue Construction, has yet to comment on the cracking but is working with the school district and also investigating to resolve the issue. It is unclear the type of prevention taken for concrete cracking, but addressing the cracking with additional structural support can prevent any further problems.
Cracking in the concourse of the Allen HS football stadium.
Photo Credit: NBC Washington


This recent example is not an isolated incident, as concrete cracking occurs in walls, floors and columns of all types of structures. HJ3’s Civil and Commercial reinforcement system is a cost-effective and sustainable solution to alternative repair methods or total replacement. In a similar situation, HJ3′s client, the owner of this commercial building, was able to save over 50% in repair costs by using HJ3’s CarbonSeal reinforcement systems. They had cracking in the shearwalls and concrete columns of a staircase. As an alternative to replacement, HJ3′s repair system was chosen to reinforce the cracked concrete infrastructure.

Cracking had occurred in the shear walls and columns of this commercial building 


The commercial building in this particular case required seismic reinforcement of reinforced concrete columns and shearwalls. Columns measuring 12′ and 9.1′ required additional reinforcement to resist shear forces in the North to South direction. The concrete substrates were prepared with an abrasive blast, holes were drilled into the columns, and then primer was applied. Carbon fiber dowels were inserted through each hole, smoothed out on each side, and wrapped by a saturated layer of carbon fiber. The shearwalls were wrapped horizontally with fiberglass and then vertically with carbon fiber to increase the reinforcement strength. The system was installed successfully while the building was still occupied by instilling the product during the night and performing tear down and set-up during the day. HJ3 wrapped 12,000 ft2 of concrete and was able to save 23,500 tons of concrete, 422,000 gallons of water, 47,000 tons of emitted CO2, and 6,500,000 kWh compared to completely replacing the reinforced concrete columns and walls.


Cracking had occurred in the shear walls and columns of this commercial building.
HJ3′s Civil and Commercial Repair System was used to reinforce this commercial office building’s shear walls while the building was occupied.


By repairing the cracks with HJ3’s Civil and Commercial carbon fiber reinforcement system, Allen High School stadium will prevent any further damage in addition to fixing the current concrete cracking. HJ3’s CarbonSeal is a cost effective and sustainable solution that provides more reinforcement than steel and total installation will require very little downtime. On average, repair with CarbonSeal carbon fiber system will save a customer more than 50% compared to alternative repair methods. If you have concerns with your concrete structures and would like to learn more about HJ3’s carbon fiber reinforcement systems, contact our project managers today at


Posted on by abarela

HJ3 is proud to announce the nomination and election of it’s Quality Control Manager, Olley Scholer, to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) PCC-2 Committee.  The PPC-2 Committee published “Repair of Pressure Equipment and Piping” in 2006, which stood as the first standard for the use of non-metallic repair systems for high risk and low risk pipeline repairs. The committee continues to evolve various aspects of the standard and HJ3 is excited to support its evolution.


“Becoming a member of the ASME PCC SG-NMR (ASME Post-Construction Committee Sub-group Non-Metallic Repair) means working with design engineers, testing experts, and industry leaders who are passionate about evolving a standard that supports the use of composites for repair of steel pressure pipe.  Ultimately, we are committed to providing end-users within the oil & gas market the Relentless Quality they expect from composite repairs. On behalf of HJ3, I am honored to provide a technical contribution to continue the advancement of the state of the art standard,” says Scholer.


Specifically, Mr. Scholer will focus his contribution on developing Quality Control Standards for end user clients to monitor and maintain existing repairs and active installation.


For more information, please contact Adrienne Barela, Marketing Manager for HJ3, at, or call 1-877-303-0453. c


Preemptive Measures for Freezing Water Pipelines

Posted on by abarela
When water is frozen, it will expand in volume. When it is inside a pipe, the pipe can burst and the escaping water can cause serious damage. According to The Weather Channel’s article on preventing frozen pipes, the break is not from the extreme expansion of the water. Rather when the ice completely blocks the flow within the pipe, the increase in pressure following the blockage is what causes the pipe to burst. So although the ice needs to freeze for this to occur, the pipes burst is directly related to the increase in pressure. When the pipes have a small diameter, this blockage is much more likely to occur. With the freezing temperatures we’ve seen this winter so far, both utilities and homeowners need to take special precautions to prevent pipe bursting.


In Wisconsin, the freezing temperatures are causing hundreds of water pipelines to break. In February the Milwaukee water crews repaired 305 main breaks within the one month, which is more than double the average of 97 for January. When frost extends four feet into the ground, the pipes buried four feet feet can freeze quickly. To thaw a lateral pipe, special equipment is used to push steam into the pipe to the ice blockage. If the blocked lateral is close to the main beneath the street, it must be excavated. Thawing a pipe can take from 30 minutes up to 12 hours if excavation is necessary and it can cost from a few hundred to $1,000 per repair. Prevention is possible by keeping the water moving within the pipes. If 100 gallons of water were moved through the faucet everyday, at a trickle, there would be an additional $5 on the water bill. If the pipe bursts within the home, it is not the responsibly of the city, it is the responsibility of the homeowner.
Wisconsin Pipes
Water Utility worker thawing a lateral pipe burst.
Photo Credit: Journal Sentinel 


Canada is experiencing the same dip in temperatures and as a result, there has been an increase in water main breaks. Regina municipal workers have inspected on 33 water main breaks on Monday and 7 breaks were reported in Saskatoon. Regina generally has an average of 41 pipes bursting in February, but this year the number is already at 49 on the 25th. Temperatures in this region have reached lower than -55°F. If these temperatures are maintained, both cities should expect a dramatic increase in pipe bursts. Typically older pipelines are more affected, but the deep frost can affect even the most recently installed water pipes. No institution can be excluded from the danger of exploding pipes. Royal University Hospital had a pipe burst behind a wall in the pediatric outpatient area. It left the room covered in an inch and a half of water and traveled into the rooms below, including an operating room and public areas. The hospital was able to avoid canceling any procedures but needed to move its outpatient services to another portion of the hospital. Infection Prevention and Control are assessing the site for possible risks for the spread of infection. It is estimated that the cost of the damage4 is near $10,000 including repair and cleanup.
Workers repairing a water main pipe burst.  
Photo Credit: Metro News


HJ3 Composite Technologies can provide preemptive solutions for pipe bursts. The CarbonSeal carbon fiber reinforcement system is an approved system that meets the ANSI/NSF-61 requirements for potable drinking water.  If pipes that ruptured were wrapped in CarbonSeal the pressure from the ice blockage would not have been enough to burst the pipe. To proactively wrap the pipe would be an initial expense, but it is typically 50-80% less than the cost of repair and replacing the pipe when it bursts. Not to mention the incurred damage costs from a water pipe break. In addition to providing reinforcement, the carbon fiber system can increase hoop strength, seal leaks, and contain cracks. By wrapping small and large diameter pipe with HJ3’s CarbonSeal carbon fiber reinforcement system before an accident happens, a lot of time and money can be saved. If you have concerns with your water transmission pipelines and would like to learn more about HJ3’s carbon fiber reinforcement systems, contact our project managers today at
 City of Mammoth Water Pipe Repair
HJ3′s CarbonSeal reinforcing and stopping leaks on a pipe.


Green Solutions Save Millions For Tank Repairs

Posted on by abarela


Wastewater tank replacement is an extremely expensive process given tear down, new tank replacement, and lost production costs. According to an article in the Whittier Daily News, Ridgeline Energy Services in Santa Fe Springs, CA is beginning the demolition of the first few out of 19 total tanks at their wastewater treatment plant. The plant is operated on the site of the former Powerline Oil Co. refinery and has experienced several odor violations from the wastewater mixing with the leftover Powerline sludge. As the tanks were filled with wastewater, leaks in several of the tanks permitted the mixing of substances and consequent production of hydrogen sulfide gas. The gas, when released into the air through holes in the tank roofs, is non-toxic but can significantly reduce air quality. The 28-ton tanks have enough space to hold 16,800 gallons of wastewater. The metal from the demolition will eventually be taken away and recycled. Instead of repair, odor issues are being resolved by destruction and removal of the 19 wastewater tanks.
Santa Fe Springs Demo
Demolition of a leaking wastewater tank.
Photo Credit: Whittier Daily News


This is just one example of many plants worldwide experiencing similar problems. Steel tanks can become corroded over time, and leaks may develop. Steel welded plates are one way to stop leaks, albeit temporarily, as the plates will also corrode over time. A cost-effective and sustainable alternative to replacement many are turning to are Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) solutions, such as HJ3’s CarbonSeal reinforcement systems. Complete replacement of a wastewater tank costs millions of dollars in material and downtime costs. And there is a toll on the environment. For instance, it takes 60,000 gallons of water to produce one ton of steel. That means it would take an estimated 32 million gallons of water if Ridgeline was looking to replace its 19 tanks.
steel tank repair
NRG Energy’s 2M gallon tank pre-repairs.


One example of how HJ3’s CarbonSeal system saved one power plant millions of dollars and significant environmental costs was working with NRG Energy. NRG is one of the country’s largest power generation and retail electricity businesses in the country. A 2 million gallon wastewater tank at one of NRG’s subsidiaries was leaking. Previous repairs were attempted using steel plates to patch the holes. There was no welding or epoxy to seal the plates but a fiberglass coating was installed over the entire floor and wall surface. After this repair, thousands of through holes developed in the walls and floor, leading to additional repairs.
carbon fiber steel tank repair
Installation of HJ3′s CarbonSeal reinforcement system.


Originally the design scope included repair of the tank walls, floor, and roof support columns. While the surfaces were being prepared and hydroblasted, an additional 4,300 though holes were revealed that needed additional reinforcement. Steel plates were used to cover the holes and welded to the surface to prevent further leakage. Then HJ3’s CarbonSeal carbon fiber reinforcement system was applied to the tank’s walls, floor, and support beams. Extensive corrosion within the tank required special preparation. All the surfaces were sandblasted, cleaned, inspected for holes, tested, and primed to prevent flash rusting. Once this was complete, the surfaces were primed with HJ3’s primer and high modulus paste was applied to the reinforcement area. Finally, HJ3’s CarbonSeal carbon fiber reinforcement system was applied to the walls, floor, and support columns and protected with a chemical-resistant topcoat.
steel tank repair
Installation of HJ3′s CarbonSeal reinforcement system. 


By repairing not replacing NRG’s wastewater tank, HJ3’s CarbonSeal reinforcement system is designed to extend the tank’s life another 30 years.  Replacement would have been very costly to the plant, as well as the environment. By using HJ3’s CarbonSeal repair system, 90% was saved in kWh consumption, 96% in CO2 emissions, and 60M gallons in water consumption. The cost of the replacement saved NRG over $3M or 75% compared to replacement. If you have a wastewater tank or want to be more sustainable in your repairs and would like to learn more about HJ3’s carbon fiber reinforcement systems, contact our project managers today at

Gas Pipeline Explosions Amid Freezing Temperatures

Posted on by abarela

Pipeline explosions occur all too often these days, causing injury, property damage, inconvenient outages and sometimes can cause death. According to the National Transportation Safety (NTS) board, there are two main reasons why natural gas pipelines explosions occur: 1. mechanical failure and 2. rupture of the high-pressure natural gas line. Richard Peekema1 suggests that a gas leak from a weld crack or a corrosion pinhole could cause gas to accumulate in adjacent air space surrounding the pipe that could be accidentally exploded. All of these problems can produce enough kinetic energy to cause a pipeline explosion but they all can be prevented. With proper reinforcement and repair mechanical failures and gas leaks can be avoided as well as reinforce the pipelines for a greater pressure value.


Freezing temperatures have affected millions across the United States and Canada this winter. People are struggling to stay warm through these conditions, which becomes even more of a challenge when there are gas outages. Earlier this year, a Canadian pipeline exploded that was operated by TransCanada Corp. Flames shot up to 600ft and the fire burned for more than 12 hours. Immediately 4,000 residents and businesses lost supply to the natural gas. The gas outage lasted for three days leaving the 4,000 people without heat in their homes or businesses during a blizzard with extreme temperatures down to -20°F. An explosion this large has a large domino effect on the business owners that relied on gas for operation as well as residents in North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Minnesota who were asked to reduce their natural gas consumption. In addition to the immediate damages, the pipeline explosion may have damaged other pipelines.
Gas Pipeline Explosion in Canada that left 4,000 residents without power. Photo Credit: PBS and ThinkProgressive 


In Kentucky, a gas pipeline explosion occurred around 1:00am on February 13, 2014. The pipeline, operated by Columbia Gulf Transmission, is buried 20ft below the surface and transmits gas from the Gulf of Mexico to New York. This pipeline is connected to almost every major pipeline system operating in the Gulf Coast. The blast left a crater, nearly 60ft deep, and flung rocks in the air as far as 150ft from the explosion site. The resulting fire could be seen from 25 miles away and set three homes ablaze, completely destroying two, burned four cars, and two barns. Some people were hospitalized and some came away with minor burns. The cause of the explosion is undetermined but likely due to one of the two reasons mentioned above. This and other similar explosions may have been prevented by utilizing HJ3’s CarbonSeal carbon fiber reinforcement system. The CarbonSeal pipe repair systems, when utilized as part of the gas company’s on-going maintenance program, are able to mitigate corrosion and therefore through-holes and cracks, and are approved for high-pressure, high-risk pipe repairs through ASME/PCC-2.
Gas Pipeline Explosion in Kentucky from 20 miles away.Photo Credit: NBC and Michael Clinkscales


HJ3’s CarbonSeal carbon fiber reinforcement systems are used to maintain and repair gas and oil pipelines all over the world in places like Boston, Alaska, California, Texas, Turkey, and Mexico, to name a few. These reinforcement systems strengthen the pipelines to withstand high pressures at a significant cost savings to the pipeline owners.  PEMEX recently conducted burst testing on HJ3’s CarbonSeal system, up to 5200 PSI, for which HJ3 was approved for all PEMEX pipeline repairs. Typical pressure within a gas pipeline ranges from 200 to 1,500 PSI depending on the area of the pipeline. If you own or operate a pipeline or have concerns about pipeline explosions and would like to learn more about HJ3’s carbon fiber reinforcement systems, contact our project managers today at
Burst test for HJ3′s CarbonSeal carbon fiber system, shown to withstand 5200 PSI.


1- Peekema, R. (2013). ”Causes of Natural Gas Pipeline Explosive Ruptures.” J. Pipeline Syst. Eng. Pract., 4(1), 74–80.

Subscribe to The Carbon Fiber Blog


Cystic Fibrosis Great Strides 2014


On Sunday, April 6, HJ3 employees, friends, family members and some of our dogs participated ...

When Less is More


When Less is More When it comes to carbon fiber applications for structural repair and reinforcement, ...