Aluminum air pipes

Strohm thermoplastic composite pipes receive DNV certification, which is said to have a low carbon footprint

Photo credit: Strohm

Strohm (IJmuiden, The Netherlands) and Evonik (Essen, Germany) have obtained full certification from DNV (Høvik, Norway), certifying that the unidirectional (UD) carbon fiber PA12 tape “Vestape PA12-CF” (PA12) used for Strohm is 100% recyclable thermoplastic composite pipes (TCP) is suitable for use for dynamic applications of hydrocarbon, water and sour and sweet gas injection according to DNV-ST-F119.

The two companies, in partnership with the Netherlands Aerospace Center (NLR, Amsterdam, The Netherlands), are said to have led the way in the development, qualification and supply of PA12 for TCP applications following an intensive program of investment and testing over the past five years , during which the NLR provided the main composite testing facilities. The program served to develop a fundamental understanding of the material to demonstrate the lifetime performance of a product operating in a harsh chemical, thermal and mechanical environment.

During the program, Rens Ubels, Senior Project Engineer at NLR, mentions a test, where the carbon fiber reinforced PA12 specimens were tested in situ in Norsok fluid at elevated temperatures, which proved difficult. . “We have successfully designed and built dedicated fatigue and stress fracture facilities to be able to meet testing specifications and safety and health regulations,” adds Ubels.

PA12 is a completely non-metallic and corrosion resistant solution. Reinforced with carbon fiber it is said to be exceptionally resistant to fatigue failure, marking it for any dynamic application, from jumpers to flow lines and risers, including mild hydrocarbon services and acids, water and gases. Additionally, the high stiffness of carbon fiber, combined with the load transfer capability of PA12 as a matrix, also allows it to operate in deep water and operating pressures up to 700 bar and temperatures up to at 80°C. The material has been qualified for a service life of up to 30 years. A further extension of the scope will include the use and storage of hydrogen and carbon.

“Developing a class of materials for disruptive technologies is always a challenge. Strohm’s PA12 for TCP applications was no exception,” notes Carsten Schuett, Head of Industrial and Energy Technologies at Evonik. “Completely applying the DNV standard approach to qualifying the material only added to the complexity but, with the help of our partners, we were ultimately able to characterize the material in unprecedented detail. and unlock its full potential.The resulting dataset can be used generically, removing the need for material qualification in other projects, further allowing us to use it for energy transition applications. »

A white paper dealing with qualification can be found here.

Eco-friendly thermoplastic pipes

DNV, Strohm and the Nonmetallic Innovation Center (NIC, Cambridge, UK) have also launched a report comparing the life cycle carbon footprint of externally coated carbon steel pipes and TCP, finding that the latter has a significantly lower carbon footprint – between 30 and 60% – to that of an equivalent carbon steel pipeline solution. .

The report presents the results of a joint industrial project (JIP) between the three companies focusing on the life cycle of a 22 kilometer (14 mile) pipeline carrying produced water for injection to a field outside of Angola in West Africa, with an operational life of 20 years.

Companies have considered all stages of the lifecycle carbon footprint, which is a measure of direct and indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with all product lifecycle activities, from the extraction and production of materials at the end of life (EOL) stage of the pipes.

According to Caroline Justet, Business Growth Manager for Energy in Transition at Strohm, the study takes an important step towards establishing TCP as a suitable alternative to steel in offshore applications.