Plastic- and Fiberglass-Reinforced Pipe Research

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has provided studies in the area of plastic- and fiber-glass-reinforced pipe (FRP) products for several decades. Continuing a multi-year program for the Gas Technology Institute (GTI), our experienced, multidisciplinary research teams have developed plastic pipe repair methods, inspection techniques, and fracture behavior analysis methods. Recent innovations for the gas and petroleum industries include:

  • Infrared inspection of plastic pipe repair
  • Full-scale studies of gas transmission pipe fast-facture phenomena
  • Analytical prediction of plastic pipe critical flaw growth and failure mechanisms
  • Tension and pressure regression curve development for FRP
  • Development of makeup torque/tightness relationships for FRP
  • Collapse testing of FRP
  • Thermal cycling with tensionand internal pressure of FRP tubing

Specialized capabilities at SwRI for plastic pipe and FRP testing and evaluation include:

  • Flow testing (liquid, gas, two-phase)
  • Gas leak/compatibility testing (high pressure, sour gas)
  • Load frames (200,000 to 1.5 million lb)
  • External pressure collapse (to 12-inch diameter 20,000 psi)
  • Part failure analysis (material failure or compatibility)
  • Thermal cycling (350F + temperature; 15 psi pressure; 300,000-lb sequential or simultaneous load)
  • GTI plastic pipe laboratory (thermography, temperature soaking, repair, and joining studies)

SwRI studies oil field fiberglass tubing samples under interior pressure/tension conditions at maximum operating temperatures.

For more information about plastic- and fiberglass-reinforced pipe research, contact Carl Popelar, Phone (210) 522-5427, (210) 522-6965, Telex 244846, Mechanical Engineering Division, Southwest Research Institute, P.O. Drawer 28510, San Antonio, Texas 78228-0510.

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