Composite Repair Systems

Composite repairs have become a critical part of pipeline integrity management programs. Back in 1994 we started doing work for the Gas Research Institute on Clock Spring, which was our entry into the composite repair industry. Since then, we have tested composite repair systems from literally all over the world, and we have been able to attend conferences and make presentations to really help the industry understand the power that these composite repair systems provide.

We have developed some very strong relationships with pipeline companies to help them understand how these composites can be used to address particular anomalies that they might have.  For example, we finished a project last year that was focused on reinforcing pipeline dents using composites.  It was a collaborative program where we looked at many different technologies to see how they could reinforce the dents. Another area that we are also seeing some interest in is using composite materials to reinforce cracks in long-seam welds.  This problem is a real serious concern for the pipeline industry, and if we are able to evaluate composites as part of that process, it could be a great success story for the industry.

Over the past 20 years, we have formulated a great resource of composite repair research data but if you look forward, we are going to see even greater things for composites.  In the past several years we've looked at composites to reinforce high temperature pipelines dents, corrosion, and there is also a great interest is using composites to reinforce pipe fittings. More recently we have been looking at high modulus carbon materials to reinforce cracks. We feel that the future composites is very bright, and Stress is in a good position as a company to evaluate these tools and bring the research that we been doing over the past 20 years to really help the pipeline industry.

From the beginning of Stress Engineering our goal has been to solve very challenging problems, and sometimes they're extremely challenging. Our pipeline group has taken that same approach by bringing a really sharp group of people together to work with clients and try to understand what the cause of the problem is.  As this composite repair technology continues to develop, pipeline companies are calling on Stress Engineering to help them understand why components are failing, to work with them to develop repair solutions, and then perform full-scale testing and numerical modeling to validate the approach that we developed with the operator. So it is a very healthy process and at the end of the day, the deliverable that we have for industry is a solution we can have great confidence in.