Fighting corrosion with plastic-based pipelines

O&GME looks at the pros and cons of plastic-based pipelines as steel’s susceptibility to errosion made news

  • E-Mail
By  Nicholas Wilson Published  September 5, 2006

Pipelines|~||~||~|The modern advancements in plastic technology have resulted in the development of high quality, cost-effective plastic pipes that are replacing conventional pipes made from ductile iron, steel or asbestos cement. Plastic pipes are manufactured from different kinds of plastics depending on what they are used for.

Vinod Madhusudanan, marketing assistant of Cosmoplast, which makes such pipes, said: “The demand for plastic pipes, which are extremely resilient and do not face the corrosion problems associated with steel and concrete, is growing in the Gulf.”

Most of the sales are to municipalities and contractors, rather than to oil firms directly, he said.

Their advantages in installation, jointing and value over their long lifetimes make them attractive—they are used in essential supporting infrastructure and in plants and refineries. Plastic pipelines are not, however, widely used in transporting hydrocarbons, as most plastic piping could not withstand the high pressure inside an oil or gas pipeline.
Although there is a potential demand by the energy industry for small diameter thermoplastic pipes, which can transport hydrocarbons, Madhusudanan said.

Pre-insulated pipes are also used for distributing oil products, in addition to water, high- and low-temperature chemicals and gases for industrial applications.

A pre-insulated pipe is a three-layered structure with an inner service pipe, outer jacket and a high quality polyurethane foam insulation sandwiched between the two. The use of polyurethane foam is due to it being the best insulation commercially available in the market today, providing excellent moisture and chemical resistance and heat insulation.

Pre-insulated pipes can easily be customised to specific customer requirements through selecting material characteristics for the service, jacket and insulation processes. The advantage of a pre-insulated pipe is its inbuilt compatibility for the installation of leak detection systems, which enables the detection and location of any water entry layer by monitoring the transmission of a low energy electric pulse, which can identify any presence of moisture in the structure.

Being able to use many materials also broadens the scope of applications of pre-insulated pipes, including both rigid and flexible products.

Rigid pipes are primarily produced with high-density polyethylene, glass reinforced pipe or steel service pipes with high density polyethylene jackets. Whereas flexible pipes incorporate cross-linked polyethylene service pipes with high density polyethylene jackets.||**||

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code