Fit-for-purpose TCP materials

2 June 2020

Over the last few years Thermoplastic Composite Pipe (TCP) has gained significant traction in the SURF market and Airborne Oil & Gas is proud to be the initiator of this technology and today’s market leader. The reason why the industry sees TCP as a disruptive technology is easily explained: it offers no corrosion at lower cost and with a lower carbon footprint. And all of that with a product that excels in simplicity: a fully bonded solid pipe wall and end fittings that can be terminated offshore in a couple of hours.

Although our clients like the simplicity and robustness of our products, there is one question that always comes back: “Your products are so simple, but why do you add complexity by offering so many different material choices? Why not offer just one material that can do it all?”

It sounds indeed very appealing to have just one material. The reason we offer a range of materials lies in our believe in offering a fit-for-purpose solution, very similar to what we are all used to for steel pipes. We use carbon steel if possible and Inconel where we need to. Why pay for something we do not need? That is why we developed several materials for our products: we are committed to deliver you the best solution for your application.

The materials we offer today are glass fibre reinforced polyethylene (GF-PE), carbon fibre reinforced polyamide 12 (CF-PA12) and carbon fibre reinforced polyvinylidene difluoride (CF-PVDF). Before we use these materials in our products, they have been extensively tested and qualified according to DNVGL ST-F119. During the testing, we pre-age the materials to their end of life condition before we measure their performance. With all these qualification efforts we ensure that the quality, robustness and reliability of our products is independent on material choice.

In selecting the best material for your application the three most important parameters are temperature, pressure and fluids. As a rule of thumb, the temperature and fluids determine which polymer to use (PE, PA12 or PVDF) and the pressure requirement determines the choice of fibre (glass or carbon).

Our GF-PE material offers the most cost effective TCP solution and is the material of choice if you do not need high temperatures (above 65°C or 150°F) or high pressures (above 5ksi for large bore). It is qualified for a wide range of fluids, from water injection to sour service hydrocarbons and has extensive track record for those fluids.

When you need higher pressures and/or higher temperatures, we offer CF-PA12 for temperatures up to 80°C (176°F) and 10ksi pressure rating for all sizes. Recently we completed the qualification of CF-PA12 for water injection and hydrocarbons.

In case you need even higher temperatures or dynamic risers, we offer CF-PVDF for temperatures up to 121°C (250°F). Full qualification of CF-PVDF will be completed by the end of this year and commercial delivery is scheduled from next year onward.

If you want to know more about the benefits of TCP for you application, please visit our website or contact us.