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New Pipe Scale Permeation Rig to Assess Pipe and Connectors

Tue, 19 April, 2022

NIC develops world first permeation rig for simultaneous non-metallic pipe and connector assessment in gas mixtures

TWI has designed and commissioned a world’s first multi-gas permeation measurement rig as part of the NIC Programme for extending the operational envelope of non-metallics in the oil and gas industry.

The pipe scale permeation rig answers the challenge brought forward by the NIC Sponsors, Saudi Aramco and ADNOC, “Can we assess the permeation performance of full non-metallic pipes and connectors carrying multi-component gas in a single run?”

The rig has the capability to meet a wide variety of industry needs, supporting the assessment of multi-layer composite pipes and connectors under a range of operating conditions and reducing the time and cost to develop new products. By simultaneously measuring the permeation of multiple species (including CO2, H2 and H2S) radially through the pipe wall, axially along the pipe, and at pipe-to-pipe connectors, large datasets can be generated in a cost effective way to understand material performance and predict leakage rates.

With a static test bed that can accommodate up to 10-inch diameter pipes, the rig can allow for testing with fluids, phased gas and hydrocarbons. The rig can test a range of different pipe types and materials, such as flexible risers, spoolable composites, polymer lined pipes, insulation layers, and rigid pipes as well as pipes with integrated sensors. The operating envelope includes pressures up to 170barg and temperatures as high as 130°C. Pressure and temperature can be accurately controlled during the permeation tests. Furthermore, the rig is designed to undertake rapid decompression events.

The rig will support the qualification of products for service and aims to provide a standardised test method for multi-layer pipe wall assessments for inclusion into API15S and API17J. There is also the opportunity to inform uses of multi-layer systems in high growth, renewable energy sectors, such as applications in carbon capture and storage and the hydrogen economy.

The new permeation rig is available to all TWI Industrial Members for confidential work. The new permeation rig adds to our existing permeation capabilities, accommodating sour hydrocarbon, supercritical CO2 mixtures and gaseous hydrogen, as well as specialised analytical equipment, such as gas chromatography and mass spectrometry.