Strength Members with Kevlar® for Oil & Gas
For more than 40 years, DuPont™ Kevlar® has continued to help innovate in applications for the oil and gas industry.
Kevlar® uses in strength members for the oil and gas industry include:
Offshore Hoses and Pipes
The strength of Kevlar® brand fiber helps offshore oil facilities to carry out vital operations. In umbilicals — bundles of high-pressure hydraulic hoses that run from the top of a drilling platform or production facility down to control the equipment on the ocean floor — Kevlar® is the primary strength reinforcement that helps enable the use of flexible thermoplastic hoses instead of steel tubes. Kevlar® is also used to reinforce the risers, the pipes that carry the oil from the ocean floor back up to the production platform. Combined with its chemical and corrosion resistance properties, the resistance of Kevlar® to elongation under load and “creep” — incremental elongation distortion over time—make it particularly well suited for the rigors of offshore oil extraction and production.
Kevlar® fiber is also suitable to use as the reinforcement strength member of small diameter thermoplastic pipes (RTP) for onshore applications, helping enable higher-pressure ratings than unreinforced pipe. The reinforced thermoplastic pipe can be produced in long continuous lengths and coiled for transport to the installation site. The corrosion resistance of a thermoplastic pipe makes it an excellent alternative to steel pipe. An RTP solution will have a lower installation cost and longer lifetime in corrosive environments than steel pipe.
Putting New Life into Old Pipes
The developed world is crisscrossed with pipeline networks, and many are close to the limit of their working life. Energy suppliers, industry, and public utilities face spiraling costs of replacing mooring lines and pipe networks with corroding steel. Conventional methods of repair or replacement are expensive and disrupt supply and surrounding infrastructure, especially in urban areas. Innovative use of DuPont™ Kevlar® brand fiber, however, helps enable the trenchless renovation of many different kinds of pipeline in a fraction of the time necessary for conventional repair or replacement. Downtime and disruption are minimized. Cost savings can be enormous. Kevlar® fiber helps offer tomorrow’s solution to the limitations of yesterday’s technology: flexible, high-pressure plastic pipes that restore the efficiency of aging pipe networks. In effect, a new pipeline is inserted within the structure of the old. Its tough, flexible construction enables it to be fed around bends and through long lengths up to 2000 meters. Pipeline diameter is virtually unchanged, so there is no loss of volumetric flow. The inner liner is entirely self-contained — the old pipe is only used as a route, so continuing deterioration is irrelevant.
Best known for its use in ballistic and stab-resistant body armor, Kevlar® brand aramid fiber is credited with helping to save thousands of lives. Lightweight and extraordinarily strong, it’s used to make a variety of clothing, accessories, and equipment safer, more cut resistant and durable.