Pipe reinforcement improves burst strength and performance

Paul Boughton

One of the highlights at the recent American Composite Manufacturers Association (ACMA) show was a novel single-end Type30 roving reinforcement for high-pressure pipe applications.

Known as the SE2350, it is ideal for epoxy-based pipe applications that distribute oil, chemicals and other corrosive materials. It offers a 17percent improvement in burst strength over any competing product, and a host of other industry-leading performance characteristics including a ten per cent increase in cyclical regression – stress – strength, a 41percent increase in manufacturing efficiency, and a 35percent reduction in rework costs.

According to manufacturer Owens Corning, SE2350 achieves this by having easy and consistent delivery of glass from its storage creel to the production mandrel, less frictional resistance and lower fuzz eliminating broken glass strands that result in defects and scrap, and faster ‘wet-out’, a critical step in the manufacturing process.

Because of the improved burst strength that this allows, pipe thickness has been reduced by 10percent – resulting in cost savings of up to this amount too (Fig.1).

“We didn’t set out to create a product that was just incrementally better than current technology, we set out to continue our 66-year history of glass fibre innovation and create a product that absolutely transforms this market and sets a new benchmark for the industry – and SE2350 does that,” said Wisdom Dzotsi, global Type30 product manager for Owens Corning, adding that in developing the product, engineers created over nine tons of sample material and more than 2500feet of pipe, and ran over 600 cyclical regression and 4000 tensile tests.

“After several decades of limited penetration in the oil, gas and chemicals process industry, with high steel costs and high oil and gas prices driving increased sector activity, we’re poised for a growth rate of composites in piping applications of more than twice that of general industry,” added Dzotsi. “And with SE2350, our customers can take full advantage of that growth profitably, with less scrap, increased production speed and volume, and less maintenance and rework costs.”

The company says that in testing, SE2350 is meeting marketplace and product demands for leading epoxy pipe producer Fibre Glass Systems.

“We produce pipe that ends up transporting chemicals and gasoline in places all over the world, so needless to say the pipe needs to be able to withstand extremely demanding conditions, and because of the fragile ecology in many areas, we can’t afford failures. We needed a solution that could help us confidently produce pipe for these requirements,” said Jerry Givens, vice president – quality and process engineering at Fibre Glass Systems, a leading producer of epoxy pipe.

“Owens Corning provided the solution with the SE2350 glass-fibre reinforcement. The added bonus is that it has characteristics that make the manufacturing process smoother and improve the ultimate quality of our product.”

Initially, SE2350 will be manufactured in Amarillo, Texas, USA, and be available globally in various sizes.

Teflon O rings

Meanwhile English company Dichtomatik has a new range of Teflon encapsulated FEP O rings.

Especially suited to operation in hostile sealing environments, the rings feature a high level of resistance to solvents and most chemicals, with a temperature performance range of -60ºC to 205ºC. Other benefits include low coefficient of friction, good shore hardness (85–95 average), low vapour permeability and minimal water absorption – for static or dynamic requirements.

Typical end user industries include chemical and petrochemicals processing, or any safety critical application or where production processes are based on continuous operation.

The rings are particularly suited for use on heat exchangers, filters, pipelines, valves, gas compressors, hose couplings and pumps.

Teflon encapsulated FEP O rings are designed to outperform conventional fluroelastomer, rubber and even solid PTFE alternatives – they also provide a cost effective option compared to specialist compounds such as FFKM.

The rings consist of a uniform and seamless FEP encapsulation that encloses completely a core of either silicone or Viton elastomer. It is a combination that offers resistance against embrittlement, hardening and compression set, while retaining the key core material properties of elastomeric memory and flexibility.

Silicone variants ranging from BS020 through to BS472, and Viton rings ranging from BS015 up to BS467.

Although new imperial and metric sizes are being continually added to the standard stock range, special sizes can also be produced very quickly. Production capability extends from 1.5 to 20mm in cross section, and from 12 up to 203.2mm minimum inside diameter. Customers can also be supplied with hollow silicone core and square or rectangular encapsulated seals to specification.

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