Spoolable thermoplastic composite pipelines.
The vast majority of pipelines for the oil and gas industries are made from a wide range of carbon steels, or more expensive duplex alloy steels, depending on the field application. These steel pipelines are used all over the world, both on and offshore. In 2003, our founder, Gerry Boyce, was approached by a group of oil and gas companies to investigate the feasibility of continuously manufacturing spoolable thermoplastic composite pipelines. This feasibility study was followed by two major R&D projects to design, develop and test high pressure, spoolable thermoplastic composite pipelines.
The solution involved thermally-fusing continuous thermoplastic composite tapes onto an inner thermoplastic tubular liner, at prescribed angles and a set number of layers to meet burst pressure requirements. The resulting thermoplastic composite pipe then had an outer crosshead extruded layer added, to provide extra protection from the environment. A wide range of pipes went on to be manufactured, from 2-10 inches, burst-tested at pressures up to 800 bar.
The benefits of spoolable thermoplastic composite pipelines include:
- Can be installed in the field at a higher rate and lower cost than rigid steel pipelines.
- Spoolable at diameters up to 8 inches.
- Manufactured bespoke to the short and long term pipe performance needed.
Our areas of expertise
- Materials database of thermoplastic composite tape materials and aging performance/regression data for a number of field applications including temperature, pressure and flow mediums.
- Material performance data for inner and outer polymer material layers – based on application.
- Pipe design software to compute number of layers and fibre angles needed to provide the short and long term pipe performance required.
- High speed tape-wrapping equipment technology and associated heating and tape-fusing know-how.
- Joint designs for both lab and field fittings.
- Spooling and residual bend stress modelling/simulation.
- Pipe aging and burst-testing to international standards including API 15S and DNVGL-RP-F119.