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August 30, 2018 / Fari Mahdavi
Category: Research Update 

Research Update August 2018

A brief overview of recent developments across the four research programs is provided below.

Research Program 1: More efficient use of materials.

This month, a new project has commenced to update and improve the PipeStrain software (RP6.1-06). This software is referenced in AS2885 as an acceptable method for the conduct of a Type 3 field pressure strength test.

Project RP1-07 “Cracking in Polyethylene (PE) and other Polymer Pipelines” continued investigation of the ‘critical aging point’ for different PE grades. This ‘critical point’ refers to the point where the change in material properties occurs. This point can be measured by means of oxidative induction time (OIT) and carbonyl index (CI).

A relationship between the measured CI and the aging time has been developed which can assist industry to obtain a predictive understanding on the remaining life time of in service PE pipes.

Research Program 2: Life extension of new and existing pipelines

Kick-off meetings were held in August for three new projects to be undertaken in program 2.

Project RP6.2-04B: “Shore Crossing Cathodic Protection (CP) Test Program – Phase 2” will complement the physical model and guidelines of the first phase of research on CP design for shore crossing.

Project RP6.2-06: “Assessing coatings for pipelines installed by HDD”. This research aims to develop an improved, standardised test method for assessing the expected gouge resistance performance of coatings that are used on pipelines installed via HDD.

Project RP6.2-07 will examine the longevity and deterioration behaviour of coatings, in particular polyethylene (PE) coatings, on steel pipelines.

On 29th August, industry advisors discussed the draft guideline on pipeline integrity management. This guideline is derived from two Energy Pipelines CRC research projects (RP2-15 and RP2-07D) provides industry with guidance on data-centred integrity management processes. It enables integrity managers to establish the lowest cost strategies for maintaining external-corrosion at a specified level of risk.

Project RP2-09C: “Manufacturing processes for SCC resistance” aims to relate manufacturing processes to microstructures with a lower SCC susceptibility in a quantifiable manner. The researchers have completed the manufacturing and rolling process that has successfully created the correct microstructure of an X70 pipe. In the next phase of the project texture and residual strain measurements and SCC testing will take place. The project is expected to be completed by December 2018.

The final report for project RP2-12 “Cathodic shielding under disbonded coatings” has been completed. This research involved an extensive review and laboratory evaluation of the CP shielding properties of selected linepipe and field joint coatings. It also provided important insights on factors affecting corrosion on metal pipe under the disbonded coating.

Research Program 3: Advanced design and construction

Project RP3-11B: “Gas pipeline vent design and operation” is nearing completion. This research provides a comprehensive understanding on a number of key issues arising from the design, installation and operation of high pressure gas pipeline vents. The outcomes of this work will be published as an industry guideline for vent design and operation.

Two new phases of research on pipeline blowdown vent design started in this month. Project RP3-11C will develop a better understanding of the possibility of power transmission lines to act as an ignition source during a blowdown. Project RP3-11D will test the operational effectiveness of a novel acoustic reflector design in reducing the noise level on a vent operating at full typical blowdown pressures.

Project RP6.3-06 ”Fluid Structure Interaction Modelling” was finalised in this month. This project developed a Fluid-Structure Interaction (FSI) model to simulate a running ductile fracture to complement full-scale testing.

Project RP6.3-07 “Understanding Pipeline Damage Caused by Drilling Equipment” recently completed a number of tasks associated with the commissioning of a test rig designed for evaluating drilling damage to pipes caused by HDD. The project is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

The project RP3-10: “Emerging energy sources and their transportation” progresses in developing techno-economic models that compares options for achieving a 20% hydrogen -80% natural gas blend in an urban distribution networks and options for a 100% renewable region. The work provides information on the ranges of upgrade costs and other costs that could lead to commercial viability of hydrogen in industry and the distribution network. The final report for this project is currently under preparation.

Research Program 4: Public safety and security of supply

Project RP4-20B “Urban Planning for Pipelines” has completed an investigation into external interference management practices in industry and published a comparison of land use planning practices around the pipelines in UK with such practices in Australia. The reports associated with this this work are available on EPCRC’s website.

As part of Project RP4-23 “Learning and decision making for improved process safety” survey work is underway regarding the Australian Standards development process. These surveys aim to investigate the effectiveness of processes used to create and update standards and inform future revisions.

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