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NIC Granted United States Patent

Wed, 20 September, 2023

The Non-Metallic Innovation Centre (NIC) has been granted a United States patent for a friction welding technique for reinforced thermosetting resin (RTR) pipe joints.

The patent, ‘Apparatus and Method for Friction Welding of Reinforced Thermosetting Resin Pipe Joints’ (US-11754215-B2), covers a system for coupling two RTR pipes with tapered spigot ends using a specially-designed coupler, with tapered sockets ends, to receive the two pipes.

Once the pipes are inserted into the coupler, a thermoplastic material is deposited between the pipe and the inside of the coupler before a rotational force is applied, melting the thermoplastic material and thereby joining the pipes to the coupler.

This patented technique can replace the use of threaded or adhesive joints for high pressure RTR pipe, which can fail due to improper installation, as well as improving sealing and reliability.

Not only will this invention, which is a result of collaborative work between AramcoTech and TWI Ltd, reduce and potentially eliminate incidents of failure, but it will also increase confidence in RTR technology among oil and gas operators.

RTR pipes have gained attention and acceptance as a solution for oil and gas service, with thousands of kilometres of pipes already installed globally. They offer an economical alternative to traditional carbon steel pipes and are not subject to corrosion, as carbon steel pipes are.

This patent shows how the NIC is addressing the challenges and increasing the confidence in non-metallic materials and technologies.