Thermoplastic Composite Pipe (TCP/RTP) Line System - Banline TCP-Ultra ™ Oil & Gas

Fiberglass TCP Inner layer ( TCP Liner ) Extrusion

The uniqueness and benefits of thermoplastic composite pipe (TCP) makes on oil gas operation and subsea infrastructure. This section covers thermoplastic compoiste pipe machine line system process, and technologies behind Banline's bonded fiberglass TCP machine line (TCP-Ultra™) , the uniqueness and advantages of bonded thermoplastic composite pipe (TCP pipe) can be found in the previous article.

The thermoplastic composite pipe has three levels of the process :

- Inner layer pipe extrusion

- Reinforcement layer process ( fiberglass tape wrapping, heating, and cooling )

- Outer layer extrusion ( TCP cover layer).

TCP pipe machine line single screw extruder that designed for top performance in continuous pipe extrusion and ideally suited for PE 100 + pipe, for oil gas thermoplastic composite pipe, the inner diameter of pipe produced on the machine can be between 50mm – 160mm.

The fiberglass TCP pipe liner will need to fulfill its function of containing the transported fluid, the liner material should have adequate resistance to degradation from all the components of the fluid. In the hand, the liner should also possess sufficient ductility to enable it to withstand the strains imposed upon it during fiberglass TCP machine line manufacture, storage, and deployment (which may involve reeling or axial loads). It should also be able to resist long-term loads imposed upon it by joints and fittings without excessive creep. Furthermore, it should be capable of withstanding the strains imposed during pressurization and, where appropriate, cyclic pressurization.

For such cold & hot water applications, generally plastic pipes such as PE-X, PE-RT, etc. have oxygen permeability, the oxygen concentration will increase as temperature rises. EVOH material has barrier resistance. Based upon liner multi-layer co-extrusion technology, a 3-layer co-extruded pipe of PE-RT and EVOH is produced. There are 5 layers of co-extruded pipes for TCP pipe with the structure from the inside to the outside: PE-RT/adhesive/EVOH/adhesive/PE-RT. EVOH barrier performance to hydrocarbons is about 4,400 times better than that of HDPE and many times greater than that of nylon 6, which makes them ideal for safe, light, durable, and environmentally friendly fuel system components.

Oil Gas Thermoplastic Composite Pipe Machine Line Bonding Process

For fiberglass TCP taping machine, generally use fiberglass tape as reinforcement material, and consist with tape applying machine.

Bonding quality after the tape winding machine is based on the heating process after wrapping the fiberglass tape layer, instantaneously heating, and cooling is the most ideal solution. The current TCP pipe technology for heating has infrared heating, laser heating, etc. however, due to instantaneously heating and cooling control difficulties, fusion bonding technology is still improving, which is the most challenging for TCP machinery line system companies.

Banline TCP-Ultra™ using the newest wrapping procedure that different from current wrapping procedures like Ridgeway, Goldstone Group, etc in the market. The new wrapping procedure we called the co-axis wrapping process, which means we designed entire wrapping machine that is able to fit 90mm – 360mm fiberglass tape width, and also able to contain more fiberglass tape. There’s no need to adjust each bobbin angle and position if some clients use planetary-wrapping machines for example Ridgeway or Goldstone’s.

In another hand, fiberglass tape gaps between each wrapped tape is well solved since one fiberglass wrapping machine wraps one layer of fiberglass tape. The fiberglass TCP and fiberglass RTP pipe manufacturer can easily adjust the wrapping angle and line speed in order to make fiberglass tape perfectly wrapped on the liner without significant glass fiber tape gaps or overlaps. It is quite important because both gaps or overlapped fiberglass tape will impact the fiberglass bonding quality, and lead to inaccurate outer diameter (OD), in another hand, the shape of the fiberglass TCP pipe looks also strange if has defected wrapping procedure.

Bonded thermoplastic composite pipe heating process, we also use our own designed heating unit that can adjust heating temperature around the reinforcing pipe, which means Banline TCP-Ultra™ line allows us to adjust the heating temperature at each side of the pipe. The performance of this function is more obvious by applying to larger diameter fiberglass thermoplastic composite pipe (TCP) , for example, DN 400-DN 630 of Banline TCP-Wave™ line.

The heating temperature can reach up to 900 ℃ for the heating units. In order to support high heating temperature on fiberglass tape. TCP-Ultra™ line applied celerity heating & cooling ( fast heating and fast cooling ) process to ensure both heating performance ( high heating temp.) and pipe stability (liner not collapse). After the fusion bonding process, the sufficient and fast cooling process is also quite important before the next wrapping procedure. During our experience, sufficiently heating and cooling for each single wrapped layer can be reach sufficient bonding performance.

The composite pipeline outer layer extrusion ( Coating process)

The purpose of the cover is to protect the internal components, most especially the fiberglass reinforcement layer, from damage. The outer layer will generally be applied to the TCP by a process of extrusion, which is also the same process with a general reinforced thermoplastic pipe (RTP pipeline). Although the cover does not contribute significantly to the load-bearing capacity of the TCP under normal working conditions, it is subject to significant strains that arise from the deformation of the underlying components when the fiberglass TCP is pressurized. These strains may be magnified in the vicinity of the end-fittings, due to the restraining effect of the latter.

Burst Pressure performance

The following table will provide some thoughts of TCP raw material savings. The calculation is based on the Chinese market price, the prices may variable based on market and region. Let us use :

Fiberglass tape history price in China – 25,000 RMB/ton ( 3524.25 USD/ton)

PE price – 7500 RMB/ ton (1057.27 USD/ton)

Exchange rate 1: 7.09 RMB/USD

The following table and chart of Banline TCP Pipe burst pressure test. The sample dimension is :

TCP Diameter : DN 110

Pipe Working Pressure: 1.6 Mpa

TCP Overall Thickness: 0.7 mm

The result shows burst pressure is 7.89 Mpa, 4.93 times than working pressure ( 1.6Mpa). We also did 10 related burst pressure experience, the avg. testing result is around 4.8 – 4.98 times than nominal working pressure. ( Generally designed burst pressure is 3 times nominal pressure). It fairly shows the great performance of fiberglass thermoplastic composite pipe.

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