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January 31, 2019 / Fari Mahdavi
Category: Research Update 

Research Update January 2019

Energy Pipelines CRC research projects continue to deliver outcomes and many are nearing completion. Interesting highlights from each research program since the start of this year are as follows:

Research Program 1: More efficient use of materials

Research into Cracking in Polyethylene and other Polymer Pipelines (RP1-07) was completed in late January 2019. This project has aimed to develop a standardised approach for assessing the relative remaining lifetime of plastic pipes used within the Australian network. The degradation behaviour and lifetime of different grades of Polyethylene and Nylon were investigated in this project. The findings of this seminar will be presented via Webinar in late February.

Research Program 2: Life extension of new and existing pipelines

The first milestone report of project RP6.2-04B was released in January. This project is the second phase of ‘Shore Crossing Cathodic Protection Test Program’ aims at providing the design specification of cathodic protection systems for shore crossing pipelines and its interaction with onshore pipes when functioning in dry soil condition. The first report suggests that the standard level of CP applied to offshore pipes may be insufficient to protect the pipe buried in dry sand environmental.

The steering committee members of program 2 will join for a meeting to discuss the progress and outcomes of active research projects of this program in late February.

Research Program 3: Advanced design and construction

Research into acoustic reflectors during pipeline blowdown was completed this month. Project RP3-11D assessed the performance of noise mitigation devices at representative industrial operation pressures. The final report of this project suggests that acoustic reflectors of suitable scale, when appropriately structurally supported, are a reasonable noise reduction method for the high-pressure venting typical of blowdown operations.

A joint steering committee meeting will be held in early February for industry and researchers to discuss the outcomes of recently completed and progress of active projects of research program 1 and 3.

Research Program 4: Public safety and security of supply

Two research projects were finalised in January. The final report of Project ‘RP4-24: Uptake of process safety research by industry’ is a literature review on research impact concepts, measurement, and maximisation. Some outcomes of this review indicate that the assessment of the impact of research is highly contested and there are no accepted best practices for research impact assessment (RIA). Also, the review indicated that there is ‘no silver bullet’ to either ensure research has an impact, identify what the impact is or might be, or to measure it.

The final report of project ‘RP4-23: Learning and decision making for improved process safety’ were released in this month. The outcomes reveals that case-based learning in fostering the skills and knowledge is required for accident prevention. The research also recommends industry that use case studies from outside the pipeline sector to encourage new perspectives and good engagement.

The program 4 steering committee members will meet in early March to discuss the progress and outcomes of active projects.

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