Advanced Composite Structures Australia, together with PETRONAS (Malaysia), have been awarded a JEC Europe 2014 Innovation Award in the oil and gas category for the development of a novel composite clamp for pipeline repair.
The composite clamp is a world first in this specific application, and is designed for use as a repair system for pipes with leaking through-wall defects, with application in the oil, gas and petrochemical industry. Award winners were selected from a large number of applications world-wide, and were deemed by a panel of composites experts as having developed the best composite breakthrough, based on originality, technical interest, market potential, partnerships, financial and environmental impact.
The composite repair clamp is comprised of two half shell sections which are bolted in position around the pipe and a specially designed sealing system to provide the means for leak and pressure containment. Extensive design, analysis and validation testing was conducted to verify clamp integrity and ability to meet required repair scenarios. This work was completed within a CRC-ACS program with partners: Merit Technology (Malaysia), Newcastle University (UK), Pacific ESI (Australia), Supacat (Australia) and University of Southern Queensland (Australia). The clamp is manufactured using a flexible, low-cost manufacturing process, and has significant potential in the global market as a direct replacement of existing repair solutions due to benefits such as:
- Rapid delivery of custom-made composite clamp solutions, resulting in shorter lead time repair deployment and reduced pipeline down-time;
- Reduced weight of up to 85% when compared to steel clamps in underwater application scenarios resulting in simplified installation infrastructure, faster installation and reducing the number of personnel for each repair, which leads to significant cost savings in installation;
- Improved corrosion resistance, reducing the need for inspection and allowing the possibility of repair life extension, which may open up a new market for longer term repairs.