Skip to content

NIC Wins Pipeline Industries Guild’s iLCE Award

Mon, 03 July, 2023

We are pleased to announce that the Non-Metallic Innovation Centre (NIC), in collaboration with Aramco and Future Pipe Industries, have won the Pipeline Industries Guild iICE award.

The award is conferred for showing potential for increased efficiencies and reduced costs, and it was awarded in relation to the NIC’s RTR joints project.

The project team designed and manufactured prototypes for a novel method of joining and sealing reinforced thermosetting resin (RTR) composite pipes; This approach demonstrates a reliable jointing solution for the oil and gas industry.

This creates further cost savings as metallic pipes can be replaced by non-corroding, non-metallic pipe solutions for the transportation of hydrocarbons, chemicals, water and wastewater. Not only does this provide longer lifetimes for the pipe systems being used but also contributes to more sustainable solutions with lower carbon emissions, lower operational expenditure, and lower failure rates.

This work addressed the challenges of connecting and sealing systems for large diameter (>24”) high-pressure (>1500 psi) applications. The main issue with these larger pipes was that they needed rigorous surface preparation, carried out in the field, in order to ensure a good adhesive bond between pipe ends. Alternatives, such as o-rings, also posed a challenge as they can be susceptible to aging when exposed to certain service conditions (fluids, gases, etc.).

The NIC developed an innovative method for joining and sealing RTR pipes using friction welding techniques and a thermoplastic interlayer that acts as both a joining and a sealing element. With this technique, layers of thermoplastic can be applied to the joining surfaces at the manufacturing stage in-factory, where strict quality control measures can be relied upon. The pipes can then be joined, using an automatic process, without further preparation in the field at the point of installation. The automatic process for the final join means that the quality of the joints can be guaranteed, significantly reducing the chance of defective joints and the environmental of safety consequences of a failed joint.

The NIC is delighted to have received the award and the recognition for our innovative work with RTR pipe joining and sealing.