Exploring Composite Materials for Coiled Tubing Products

Prototech and the University of Aberdeen have been awarded 500.000,- Norwegian Kroner to perform research into the potential of using fibre reinforced composite materials for coiled tubing products.

Published: 30 November 2016
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The pre-project will provide a detailed foundation on which to base future studies on flexible composite materials. The project is a spin-off result from the activity in the Global Subsea University Alliance, and runs from 2016 to 2017, with funding from the Regional Research Fund Vestlandet (RFF-Vest) programme.

Searching for Partners

The aim is to establish a main project by autumn 2017. - We are very interested in attracting additional partners with experience within topics such as manufacturing, installation, transportation, operation, failure analysis or design, says Kevin Cox, Project Manager at Prototech. Composite manufactures are also of interest, particularly those with knowledge of filament winding.

GCE Subsea Active in Establishing International Projects

GCE Subsea contributes both professionally and financially with developing and writing applications for external funding. Moreover, we have taken an active role in using the Global Subsea University Alliance as a platform in generating international R&D projects. As an example, a targeted R&D workshop was conducted during UTC in Bergen in June 2016 to establish new projects. - The Alliance has been instrumental in establishing this project, says Cox.

Several Advantages

Advantages of composite materials such as high specific stiffness, lightweight, resistance to a wide range of fluids and excellent fatigue performance make them ideal candidates for use in structural applications. These properties, combined with the unmatched tailorability of fibre reinforcements along load paths, have motivated the industry to promote them in several load bearing applications: particularly for risers, spoolable tubulars and tethers.

- Several topics will be addressed including optimisation of fibre orientation, tubing diameter and wall thickness, says Cox. Failure modes of the tube structure will be identified (such as strength, deflection and buckling resistance) and linked to the material failure mechanisms (such as fibre failure, matrix cracking and delamination). Lifetime costs of the coiled tubing including material, manufacturing, transportation and operation as well as other factors such as service lifetime and maintenance, will be estimated and compared to the steel solution, says Cox.

Potential Huge Benefits

- If the technology is proven to be viable, it will have a huge impact for the region and to coiled tubing users worldwide, says Cox. The reduction in tubing mass leads to lower costs, energy use and emissions during transportation, deployment and retraction. Thinner tube walls and a flexible cross-section allow for longer lengths on a single spool, leading to fewer spools needed per job and lower transportation costs; in addition, the tubing lifetime is expected to be substantially better, Cox explains.

- Industrialisation of this concept will create new job opportunities within composite design and manufacturing in the subsea cluster, Cox finishes.

About the Regional Research Fund

Regional Research Fund Vestlandet (RFF-Vest) supports regional research, which can generate new innovations and create new jobs in the region. Next application deadline for main projects is 15 February 2017. You can apply for pre-project continually.

For more information, go to RFF-Vest.

GCE Subsea will arrange an applications seminar related to funding possibilities focusing on RFF-Vest and DEMO2000 13 December 2016. Read more about detailed programme and sign up for the event at Søkerseminar DEMO2000.

For more information about the composite material project please contact:

Kevin Cox
Phone: +47 469 05 192
E-mail: Kevin.Cox@prototech.no

Nelson Thambiraj
Phone: +47 982 49 229
E-mail: Nelson.Thambiraj@prototech.no

Contact Information:

Jon O. Hellevang

Senior Subsea Innovator
+47 988 48 828
jon.hellevang@gcesubsea.no