Aramco-supported center to examine composites
Saudi Aramco has signed a charter with TWI and the UK’s National Structural Integrity Research Centre to establish the Non-Metallic Innovation Centre.
CAMBRIDGE, UK – Saudi Aramco has signed a charter with TWI and the UK’s National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC) to establish the Non-Metallic Innovation Centre (NIC).
This will be based at TWI’s complex on Granta Park in Cambridge, and will conduct R&D of non-metallic technologies for oil and gas field applications, with partners drawn from various academic institutions, research centers, oil and gas companies, and composite materials manufacturers.
Aramco undertook an initial analysis that revealed how the slow take-up of non-metallic pipes and other equipment in the oil and gas industry is due mainly to the technical limitations of current products, in terms of temperature/pressure and chemical compatibility, and their failure to address challenges such as increasing temperature cut and H2S/CO2 levels.
This is compounded, TWI added, by a lack of reliable inspection and fit-for-service assessment methodologies of in-service composite pipes, and insufficient confidence in the long-term performance of non-metallic pipes and their potential degradation with age.
The new center will focus on expanding the operating envelope of polymer composites pipes, advanced polymer liners, monitoring and inspection of non-metallic composite structures, and finally, fitness for service, lifetime prediction and rehabilitation of these structures.