The two broad categories of fiber-reinforced composite liner repair and deposited weld metal repair technologies were reviewed and evaluated for potential application for internal repair of gas transmission pipelines. Both are used to some extent for other applications and could be further developed for internal, local, structural repair of gas transmission pipelines. Principal conclusions from a survey of natural gas transmission industry pipeline operators can be summarized in terms of the following performance requirements for internal repair: (1) Use of internal repair is most attractive for river crossings, under other bodies of water, in difficult soil conditions, under highways, under congested intersections, and under railway crossings. (2) Internal pipe repair offers a strong potential advantage to the high cost of horizontal direct drilling when a new bore must be created to solve a leak or other problem. (3) Typical travel distances can be divided into three distinct groups: up to 305 m (1,000 ft.); between 305 m and 610 m (1,000 ft. and 2,000 ft.); and beyond 914 m (3,000 ft.). All three groups require pig-based systems. A despooled umbilical system would suffice for the first two groups which represents 81% of survey respondents. The third group would require an onboard self-contained power unit for propulsion and welding/liner repair energy needs. (4) The most common size range for 80% to 90% of operators surveyed is 508 mm (20 in.) to 762 mm (30 in.), with 95% using 558.8 mm (22 in.) pipe. Evaluation trials were conducted on pipe sections with simulated corrosion damage repaired with glass fiber-reinforced composite liners, carbon fiber-reinforced composite liners, and weld deposition. Additional un-repaired pipe sections were evaluated in the virgin condition and with simulated damage. Hydrostatic failure pressures for pipe sections repaired with glass fiber-reinforced composite liner were only marginally greater than that of pipe sections without liners, indicating that this type of liner is only marginally effective at restoring the pressure containing capabilities of pipelines. Failure pressures for larger diameter pipe repaired with a semi-circular patch of carbon fiber-reinforced composite lines were also marginally greater than that of a pipe section with un-repaired simulated damage without a liner. These results indicate that fiber reinforced composite liners have the potential to increase the burst pressure of pipe sections with external damage Carbon fiber based liners are viewed as more promising than glass fiber based liners because of the potential for more closely matching the mechanical properties of steel. Pipe repaired with weld deposition failed at pressures lower than that of un-repaired pipe in both the virgin and damaged conditions, indicating that this repair technology is less effective at restoring the pressure containing capability of pipe than a carbon fiber-reinforced liner repair. Physical testing indicates that carbon fiber-reinforced liner repair is the most promising technology evaluated to-date. The first round of optimization and validation activities for carbon-fiber repairs are complete. Development of a comprehensive test plan for this process is recommended for use in the field trial portion of this program.
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DOIS: 10.2172/833409 10.2172/836716