Skip to content

NIC Team Recognised by IChemE Awards

Fri, 03 September, 2021

The Non-Metallic Innovation Centre (NIC) together with TWI and Saudi Aramco has been selected as a finalist at the IChemE Global Awards for our work on de-risking electrostatic discharge in non-metallic pipes.

Non-metallic solutions are increasingly being deployed across the oil and gas, construction, and renewable industries. For the oil and gas sector, the transport of natural gas and particulates through non-metallic pipes can lead to the accumulation of static charge on the inner surface of the pipe. Due to the non-conductive nature of the polymeric materials, this charge is not dissipated, leading to the risk of explosion, environmental damage, and injury should it discharge. Moreover, if the charge results in an electric field exceeding the dielectric strength of the material, then the discharge can melt a hole through the pipe. This risk must be quantified and mitigated to ensure safe operation and enable wider use of non-metallic pipes in gas service.

For these reasons, the Non-Metallic Innovation Centre, Saudi Aramco and TWI worked together to develop a multi-physics modelling-based procedure that quantifies the risk of electrostatic discharge in non-metallic pipes. The approach was validated in laboratory conditions and used to assess real scenarios from the field. It is now being used by the oil and gas industry to provide risk assessments and optimise designs for safety.

In recognition of this work, the NIC was named among the finalists for the oil and gas category at the prestigious awards, which celebrate chemical, process and biochemical engineering excellence.

The awards ceremony will be held virtually through a series of webinars running from 5-15 October 2021, where the NIC will present our work and answer questions from the online audience.

As these webinars are free to attend and open to all, they are an excellent opportunity to find out about the innovative new ideas being shared by the NIC and the other finalists from a range of areas of expertise.

You can find out more about the awards here, and see the full list of finalists here.


(The image shows potential evolved on an over-ground non-metallic pipe due to the flow of gas)