A major milestone

Published:  26 March, 2020

In February 2020, several years of hard work paid off for the pioneers of TCP with the release of the first full carbon fibre based material qualification certificate that complies to the DNV GL ST-F119 TCP industry qualification standard.

The comprehensive development and qualification program for the Evonik VESTAPE carbon fibre PA12 composite tape took several years to complete and is now qualified for crude oil sour service up to 80°C.

As the first of its kind, this project has proven the robustness of the DNV GL qualification standard and its ability to be used to build the foundation for what will be the most advanced carbon fibre based TCP pipe system available for commercial use.

Evonik, being a leader in the supply of thermoplastic materials, have led the way in the development, qualification and supply of carbon fibre PA12 composite tape materials for high end TCP applications. Starting with a blank sheet of paper, there now exists a robust supply of Carbon Fibre PA12 tape material direct from Evonik’s state of the art facility in Marl, Germany.

Vitor Lavini, director business segment industrial and oil & gas at Evonik said: “We are very excited that we have reached this important milestone. As a supplier of PA12 for subsea flexible pipelines as well as onshore gas infrastructure we never had any doubts that we would be able to compose VESTAPE with a matrix of Evonik’s PA12 for AOG’s high performance TCP products”.

The carbon fibre used is supplied by one of the world leaders in the production of fibres for the Aerospace and automotive industry. Once delivered to the facility in Marl, the carbon fibre is then combined with a specifically developed grade of PA12 polymer and converted on-site into an extremely high-quality tape. This tape is then delivered to the Airborne Oil & Gas facility in the Netherlands where it is further converted into the flexible pipe structure known as TCP. This entire process is overseen and approved by DNV GL.

Martin Strande, head of department pipelines, materials and testing at DNV GL added: “The oil and gas industry is increasingly adopting thermoplastic composite pipes as a viable alternative to conventional solutions. This enables substantial cost reductions throughout the project lifecycle. Our DNVGL-ST-F119 Standard sets the benchmark for safety requirements for thermoplastic composite pipes in offshore applications, and the certification of Evonik’s VESTAPE PA12 carbon fibre composite tapes to the Standard is one of the industry’s firsts.”

TCP is on an upwards trajectory to becoming the product of choice for a safe and cost-effective solution to the challenges faced in today’s subsea pipeline industry. Breaking the boundaries of what traditional products can offer is no mean feat and as with any new technology being introduced in a safety critical application, a rigorous approach at every stage of the supply chain is key to acceptance.

Henk de Boer, chief technical officer at Airborne Oil & Gas said: “At Airborne Oil & Gas, we are very proud of the achievements we have made with TCP and are grateful to Evonik and DNV GL who have fully supported our ambitions. With this latest achievement, we are looking forward to extending our qualified product lines and continuing our success in offering exceptionally safe and robust pipeline solutions to our industry.”

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