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News

Steel-and-epoxy superpipe for oil industry

SSAB Tunnpl : 22 December, 2001  (New Product)
A pipe for high pressure conditions with a service life ten times that of alternative pipes, and which can be 70 per cent cheaper, has been developed by Ameron International, one of the world's leading manufacturers of glass fibre-strengthened epoxy pipes. The pipe, Bondstrand SSL, has been constructed with a completely new design. The significantly improved qualities have been achieved by embedding several layers of thin ultra high-strength steel in glass fibre-strengthened epoxy. This gives an extremely strong and corrosion-resistant pipe for the most demanding environments, such as those found in the oil industry.
A pipe for high pressure conditions with a service life ten times that of alternative pipes, and which can be 70 per cent cheaper, has been developed by Ameron International, one of the world's leading manufacturers of glass fibre-strengthened epoxy pipes. The pipe, Bondstrand SSL, has been constructed with a completely new design. The significantly improved qualities have been achieved by embedding several layers of thin ultra high-strength steel in glass fibre-strengthened epoxy. This gives an extremely strong and corrosion-resistant pipe for the most demanding environments, such as those found in the oil industry.

The Bondstrand SSL is manufactured at around a third of the cost of an all-epoxy pipe designed for the same pressure capacity. SSL stands for Steel Strip Laminate - the new pipe has a conventional GRE composite on the interior and exterior of the pipe wall and a layer of SSAB Swedish Steel's ultra high-strength steel Docol 1400 DP in the middle. The layer of steel consists of 100.4 mm wide and 0.5 mm thin diagonally-wound steel strips. The GRE composite provides resistance to corrosion and the steel core reinforces the pipe at a comparatively low cost.

The Bondstrand SSL pipe is cheaper to manufacture than stainless steel pipes and has a service life of at least 30 years. This is longer than the estimated lifespan of stainless steel pipes, which ranges between six months and three years in similar pressure and corrosion conditions.

'The need for even lighter pipe wall designs which can withstand high pressure conditions is increasing all the time,' says Peter Tolhoek, General Manager of Ameron's Fiberglass Composite Pipe Group/Europe. 'In Bondstrand SSL we have a product which surpasses most rival designs because it combines low weight with a high pressure capacity and resistance to corrosion.'

The idea of combining materials comes from the rocket industry, where this technology is used for rocket engine casings. The weight of the Bondstrand SSL pipe is 75 per cent less than a pipe made entirely of glass fibre and 60 per cent less than a stainless steel pipe designed for the same pressure.This also reduces transport and labour costs.

'The Bondstrand SSL is a technologically advanced product,' explains Mr Tolhoek. 'We've made a new production line for winding the steel strips, and we have developed a non-welded joint for high pressure, where the pipe ends are inserted into each other and are connected using O-rings. The joints are protected against corrosion by epoxy treatment.'

'The joining method is very effective and enables speedy assembly, which reduces the cost for the customer,' Mr Tolhoek adds.

The new pipe is manufactured in diameters between 200 and 1,000 mm and is designed for pressures up to 400 bars.

Ameron International was recently awarded the Swedish Steel Prize - the international engineering industry accolade - for the Bondstrand SSL.

'Ameron's work is an excellent example of an innovative engineering approach which uses high-strength steel in its design work,' says Cecilia Dalén, project manager of the Swedish Steel Prize at SSAB Swedish Steel. 'Any company which includes high-strength steel in its engineering designs can enter the competition, irrespective of which supplier it uses. We have instituted the prize to promote innovative thinking worldwide.'
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