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New Composite Pipe Laboratory Opens at TWI

Fri, 20 November, 2020

A new permeation and ageing laboratory for composite pipe materials has opened at TWI’s Cambridge site.

The Non-Metallic Innovation Centre, a partnership between TWI, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Saudi Aramco Technologies Company (SATC), which is based at our Cambridge site, has opened the dedicated laboratory that will benefit the oil and gas industry.

The newly opened 1,900m2 laboratory is able to undertake specialist permeation and ageing tests using state-of-the-art polymer ageing equipment that can reach pressures of 2,600psi and temperatures of 374°F in the first installation. Permeation and ageing tests can be carried out using single components or a mixture of sour, hydrocarbon fluids, natural gas, water, hydrogen gas and supercritical CO2.  Bespoke continuous-flow permeation cells and large volume autoclaves are also available for use, allowing for fluids to be tested based on ISO23936 1/2 or Norsok M710 and in accordance with API15S and API17J.

Oil and gas industry companies are increasingly using non-metallic flowlines and wellbore products to reduce costs associated with the corrosion of steel pipelines in sour environments. However, the wider adoption of these non-metallic flowlines requires further assessment of barrier properties and chemo-mechanical stability at different temperatures and pressures.

Operators are governed by standards that detail ageing in non-metallic materials such as fibre reinforced polymer and reinforced thermos-plastics. The use of different fluid mixtures within composites need initial screening to ensure they can be safely used, requiring an understanding of the operating parameters and properties to prevent chemo-mechanical failure. A fundamental understanding allows for boundary conditions for the use of these materials to be expanded, without requiring tests for each specific condition.

The new NIC laboratory is located within our existing 10,000m2 sour gases engineering hall.  This laboratory builds upon our existing reputation for barrier property testing and ageing of non-metallic materials.

TWI scientists and engineers, Dr Bernadette Craster, Dr Chris Worrall, Dr Ewen Kellar and Dr Farshad Salamat-Zadeh have many years’ expertise and experience in permeation and material assessment and provide technical support to NIC client projects.

NIC Programme Director, Mihalis Kazilas said, “The NIC is committed to expanding the operating envelop of non-metallic pipes.  Our new laboratory will offer specialist permeation and ageing tests to the NIC sponsors, TWI Industrial Members, and partners and clients in the oil and gas industry.”

To find out more about the new facility, please contact us, below.

For more information please email: