Material

The Fluid Highway™ pipelines are manufactured from composite materials, comprising a leakproof polyurethane inner lining, multiple resin impregnated glass reinforcing layers and an outer protective casing.

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(1) The polyurethane inner liner

The thermoplastic polyurethane inner liner is continuous and seamless.

The polyurethane inner liner is designed to separate and isolate the pipeline contents, whether a fluid, slurry or gas, from the reinforcement layer. The polyurethane is not sprayed onto the pipe as in conventional pipelines. In the Fluid Highway™, the polyurethane inner liner is a solid continuous socklike structure comprising up to a number of fused layers. These multiple layers ensure that the inner liner does not leak.

The material is very tough and durable and is typically used in areas of high abrasion and corrosion to overcome problems of wear. Long Pipes considers polyurethane is the optimum material for lining pipes. The Long Pipes team has developed various different inner lining materials for a range of different applications.

The inner liner is 0.35mm thick.

(2) Resin impregnated glass reinforcing layers

The reinforcing layers are made up of fibreglass and resin. The fibreglass has been specifically designed to maximise the strength of the pipe in both the axial and the circumferential directions. The number of fibreglass layers can be varied in accordance with the application and design requirements.

Long Pipes is planning to offer fibre optics implanted into the pipe. This can give an early warning signal when there is potential damage from nearby machinery. In addition Long Pipes plan to have a strain based analysis to detect any movement in the pipe from subsidence or the threat of occasional accidental loading.

Long Pipes is investigating carbon and basalt as alternatives to glass.

(3) Protective outer casing

The outer layer is a premium quality spread coated PVC. The material has UV stabilisers and fire retardant inhibitors. In the case of fires the material is self-extinguishing. This material has been exposed to the sun for more than ten years without any degradation.