Next Decades - TCP/RTP Pipe & Line System Research & Development (Chpt. 1)

The Meaning Of The TCP/RTP Line System Project


International Market Trend


According to related market forcast, the thermoplastic composite piep size is about USD 3.6 billion by 2025, which is 5.2% CAGR in forecasting period. The majority growth market is onshore, offshore, deep water for oil & gas industry , and water supply, wastewater segment. Various industries (oil & gas, water & wastewater, mining & dredging, and utilities & renewables) are witnessing a general shift in the trend toward thermoplastic pipes as properties such as heightened toughness and durability, coupled with chemical inertness, make them an attractive option. TCP products can currently be installed and operate at pressures of up to 12,500 psi (862 bar), and in water depths as low as 3,000 m (9,842 ft) , In comparison to rigid steel pipes and conventional unbonded flexible pipes, TCP Jumper Spools can significantly reduce installation, transportation, and fabrication costs. Companies have saved up to 50% on overall investment costs. (Offshore,2019)



China Market Trend


The Chinese plastic pipe production has been ranked first in the world. According to the statistics of the national plastic pipe industry association - CPPA, China plastic pipe production reached 15.67 million tons in 2018.At present, China is also developing the construction of further urban upgrading , and continued upgrading the smart city construction.Meanwhile, it is actively promoting the construction and development of urban underground comprehensive pipeline development.The central government is also actively guiding the construction of underground comprehensive pipeline system. The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development have identified 10 cities and plans to invest over 10.2 billion RMB to guide local construction projects within three years. According to data, the total investment in urban resilience construction will reach 1.2 trillion by 2020 and 4.8 trillion by 2030. China plastic pipe market will usher in new development opportunities in the future.



Continuous Production of Fiberglass Thermoplastic Composite Pipe (CFTCP/RTP)


Continuous production for fiberglass-reinforced thermoplastic composite pipe (CFTCP/RTP), is a new generation of composite pipe. In recent years, continuous glass fibres have been Surface finishing to enhance their compatibility with resins, and then continuous glass fiber filaments impregnated by thermoplastics resin, finally through hot pressing & cooling molding, cut into tapes,The continuous glass fiber prepreg tape reinforcement material is well prepared.


The composite reinforced tape has a series of advantages such as high strength, well toughness, light weight, corrosion resistance, and fatigue resistance etc... It is a new type of composite material that has grow rapidly in recent years. This kind of reinforced composite material currently has reliable manufacturers that can provide products with stable performance.


The project is by an doing even number of balanced cross-wrapping reinforced composite materials on the liner for continuous reinforcement, then covered with outer layer, then a homogeneous bonding reinforced composite pipe well developed.


The development of this project will improve the product types of existing non-metallic pipes, overcome the defect of existing metallic pipes and non-metallic pipes, to provide benefits for urban residents, industrial water supply and drainage, oil and gas, chemical, municipal, mining and other industries. It also provide alternative choices to solve the long-term application defects of traditional stainless steel pipes, cast iron pipes, steel wire/steel tape reinforced pipes, and polyester fiber wound reinforced pipes. Meanwhile , TCP technology provides a well reference experience to develop continuous fiberglass reinforced thermoplastic composite pipe (TCP) products in demanding applications such as heating supply , oil gas transportation, water supply and underground operations.


A. Current domestic & international market trends


Pipes act important role of transmission medium in civil, industrial and agricultural industries. In recent years, With the increasingly demand of oil field transportation environment, moisture content, temperature have gradually increased, meanwhile, the content of chlorine ion, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and other corrosive has increased, which has brought great difficulties in the use of carbon steel pipes. On the other hand, plastic has many recognized unique advantages, but has obvious disadvantage of low strength.


The application of PE pipes certainly limited. Therefore, The use of other high-strength & reinforced materials to develop composite pipes is a subject that has been explored not only in China, but also international nations. Steel pipe has the advantages of high strength and able to be applied to high pressure range, however, it has the weakness of easy oxidation, weak corrosion resistance, complex construction etc.The performance of plastic pipe is at opposite position of steel pipe, which are great corrosion resistance, easy construction. However, it can only apply into medium – low pressure class range due to weak strength,


In order to overcome the weakness of plastic pipe and steel pipe, various structural forms of composite pipes have developed followed by market demand. As continuous coilable thermoplastic composite pipe (TCP), it has unique advantages by comparing with metallic pipe.

As soon as this type of composite pipe successfully developed, then, it has been pursued by relevant industries. Meanwhile, composite pipe production technology, low cost, great pipe performance, less construction costs and reliable relevant technology.



Based on related opportunities , TCP technology has widely developed by all countries such as The United States, Germany, France, Britain, Japan, Russia and other countries began to study the production technology of TCP/RTP composite pipes as early as the 1970s, and have gradually begun to put into industrial production. Due to its excellent corrosion resistance, strong pressure resistance, long-term service life, convenient installation & transportation, low maintenance costs, low hydraulic friction coefficient, abrasion resistance etc…, plastic composite pipes has become an important development directly benefit oil gas transportation pipelines.



The pipes applications in oil and gas composites market growth is attributed to the increase in production of shale gas and growing hydraulic fracturing activities, thereby increasing the demand of composites risers, jumpers, flowline, and so on. This is because these composite components offers complete solutions against highly corrosive fluids and harsh environment conditions at various temperature, pressure, adverse weather, and soil conditions. (Composites in Oil and Gas Industry Report).



On the other hand, glass fiber as an inorganic material, cost is about half of polyethylene(PE). Therefore, glass fiber reinforcement can not only increase the strength of the composite pipe, but also reduce the cost of the composite pipe.


Reinforced thermoplastic composite pipe (TCP/RTP pipe) have been widely promoted and applied in oil and gas fields in China domestic market and international market due to its continuous production, coiling can be up to hundreds , thousands of meters in length, few joints, high strength, great flexibility, excellent impact resistance, corrosion resistance, and light weight, low transportation cost, fast and simple installation etc. TCP pipes and RTP pipes become one of the most development potential non-metallic pipes.


Otherwise, general polyolefin materials such as polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene and polypropylene applied in water supply and drainage, gas, hot spring, floor heating and other fields, which have weakness of high strength, greater wall thickness, increased pipe transportation cost , high pipe production cost, and sometimes insufficient pressure resistance and strength.



Continuous glass fiber tape wrapping reinforced composite pipe can sufficiently improve the pressure resistance and strength of the pipe, while reducing the wall thickness, especially for the large-diameter composite pipe, which can significantly reduce the wall thickness and weight. Therefore, composite pipe is able to sufficiently reducing the overall pipe manufacture cost. There are some of companies worldwide has been developed reinforced thermoplastic composite pipe, especially in fibre-rope, steel-rope reinforcement, Aramid, carbon fiber reinforced type of composite pipes. However, most of composite pipe manufacturers produce unbonded structure of fibre wrapped reinforcement or metallic rope or tape reinforced composite pipe. With the usage of unbonded RTP pipe use, there are typical problems found:


1. In the process of pipeline operation, unbonded reinforced pipe liner has greater risk to collapse while under pressure fluctuation or pressure load.

2. Unbonded RTP pipe made of polyester fiber as reinforcement, such fibre is an organic fibre, the mechanical properties of the pipe decrease significantly with the increase of temperature, resulting in the decrease of the pressure performance of the pipe under high temperature.

3. Unbonded fiberglass RTP liner, reinforced layer, cover layer is relatively independent, which has larger material expansion coefficient differentiation, which leads the inconsistency of longitudinal shrinkage for each layer and can be result in instability of the pipe structure.

4. Since each structural layers are unbonded, it has macroscopic clearance that provides a convenient permeability path for gas molecules and weakens the anti-gas permeability ability of the composite pipe.

5. Each structure layer of the unbonded RTP pipe is relatively independent, which cannot form a synergistic effect to ensure the ring stiffness of the pipe body, leading to poor resistance to pipe external pressure.


Therefore, the bonded type of RTP (as called TCP) is the way to solve the problems that mentioned above, and it’s the new opportunity for entire composite pipe market by breaking through bonded RTP manufacture technology and related application in order to promote technological progress and rapid and healthy development of the non-metallic pipe industry. The surface of continuous glass fiber treated with coupling agent, and then combined with polyethylene to make a reinforcement tape as the reinforced winding layer, fusion bonded TCP liner, multi wrapped layers ( as called TCP laminate), and cover layer by using melt fusion technology to form homogeneous continuous composite pipe,which has high strength, strong resistance to internal and external pressure, well collapse resistant , and low cost. Therefore, TCP becomes hottest composite pipe that manufactures try to develop worldwide.


In next chapter, We will continue share opportunities and development for TCP/RTP related market for next decades.


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Reference


Offshore-Org, StackPath, www.offshore-mag.com/subsea/article/14072692/thermoplastic-composite-pipe-evolves-to-meet-industry-needs.


Watch, Market. “Global Thermoplastic Composite Pipe Market 2020 Key Players, Regions, Company Profile, Growth Opportunity and Challenges by 2025.” MarketWatch, MarketWatch, 6 Dec. 2020, www.marketwatch.com/press-release/global-thermoplastic-composite-pipe-market-2020-key-players-regions-company-profile-growth-opportunity-and-challenges-by-2025-2020-12-06.







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