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October 31, 2018 / Fari Mahdavi
Category: Research Update 

Research Update October 2018

Throughout October, several research program steering committee and user group meetings were held. Below are some highlights of the outcomes of these meetings:

On 22nd October industry members of the plastic and composite user group received an update on the progress of research into plastic pipes ‘RP1-07: Cracking in Polyethylene and other Polymer Pipelines’. This research project is progressing well. The research team at Deakin University has developed an equation linking the material properties and pipe degradation for different grades of PE. Preliminary testing on nylon pipes has also been carried out to investigate the correlation between nylon pipe degradation and its properties. A suite of mechanical tests of degraded and squeezed off pipes has been progressed in recent months to provide a better remaining lifetime assessment of the in-service PE pipes.

In light of Australia’s energy transition towards low carbon fuels, industry members of plastic and composite users group and researchers also discussed the research priorities related to assessing the suitability of plastic pipes as a carrier of hydrogen/natural gas blends. A research study was prioritised to investigate the influence of hydrogen on the durability and degradation behaviour of plastic pipes.

On 26th October a steering committee meeting was held at Deakin University to review the progress of active projects in the Energy Pipelines CRC’s research program 2 ‘coatings and corrosion’. Ph.D. students, Max Latino and Ke Wang, involved in research projects RP2-12: Cathodic shielding under disbonded coating and RP2-14: Pipeline condition monitoring sensors, provided the industry advisors with the outcomes of their studies.

The members of the steering committee also discussed a draft of the integrity management guideline. This industry guideline has incorporated the outcome of two projects of RP2-15: Prediction-based decision support framework for energy pipeline integrity management and RP2-07D: Pipeline Operation Life Prediction.

The guideline is based on a data-centred integrity management process to enable energy-pipeline managers utilising the available data to establish the lowest cost strategies for maintaining external-corrosion related integrity at a specified level of risk. The guideline will be sent shortly to RSC members for further commenting and feedback.

Researchers also discussed the progress of projects recently commenced under program 2. The research project RP6.2-06: Assessing coatings for pipelines installed by HDD has been progressing well. A test rig to measure the gouge resistance of a series of commonly used coatings on pipelines for horizontal directional drilling (HDD) has been designed.

Project RP6.2-07: Determining polyethylene coating longevity and deterioration testing is on schedule. The first milestone of this project has been made a available to APGA RSC members. It provides a literature review detailing the current knowledge in relation to the PE coating types used on steel pipes in Australia and includes the results of some preliminary experimental work.

The steering committee for programs RP1 and RP3 was held on the 29th of October at the University of Wollongong.

Researchers from the University of Wollongong and the University of Adelaide reported on finalisation of project RP3-11B: Gas pipeline vent design and operation. This project together with the results of the first phase of this research (RP3-11A),has resulted in an industry guideline on vent design and location to manage the noise and ignition hazards arising from gas venting and dispersion

At the combined RP1/RP3 steering committee meeting, researchers also presented on progress of recently commenced projects, i.e. the third phase of research on pipeline vent design RP3-11C: Gas pipeline vent design and operation- High voltage power lines has progressed with the review of literature. This project investigates the risk of sparks arising from electrical discharge of high-voltage power transmission lines and the conditions under which the spark can potentially ignite natural gas released from a venting pipeline.

Progress on the project this is developing an industry fracture control code of practice (RP6.3-13) was discussed at this steering meeting. This code of practice will provide the pipeline design engineers with guidance on the application of the various analysis methods available to the complicated multi-dimensional problem of fracture control.

A workshop led by GPA Engineering in collaboration with industry experts and researchers from the University of Wollongong, was held to review the design issues in part one of AS 2885 related to pipeline fracture control. The recognised issues will be addressed in the guideline.

The research team working on the project ‘RP6.3-12: Elimination of PWHT for in-service welding’ presented on the final results of this project. The project is will provide pipeline industry with recommendations of revised PWHT thickness limits for conventional pipeline welding, and a methodology for avoiding PWHT on the basis of controlled composition and welding procedures.

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