Currently the production machinery can manufacture pipe up to 450 mm (18 inch) in diameter. The next stage of development will upgrade this machine to produce pipe up to 1000 mm diameter. Long Pipes can make pipes of a specified diameter, subject to application and design requirements.
This can be advantageous when the design requires the optimal inside diameter for the hydraulic calculations. However for general pipelines there will be a range of industry standard outside diameters adopted.
The pipe wall thicknesses will vary according to the maximum operating pressure required as well as the required pipe stiffness. The wall thicknesses are low when compared to other pipe materials, thus optimising and enhancing the internal pipe diameter.
The pipe masses are very low. As an example a nominal 300 mm Fluid Highway™ pipe will weigh approximately 11 kg/m. That is approximately one quarter the mass of comparable steel and polyethylene pipes.
The maximum allowable operating pressure ("MAOP") will be defined in the certification program but initial testing by Long Pipes indicates the 330 mm (13inch) pipe with four layers of glass will have a burst pressure of 100 bar (10 MPa).
Long Pipes utilises the butt wrap process so that the pipe has axial restraint at the joint. The butt wrap joint is standard for GRP oil and gas pipes around the world. The strength and performance of this joint will be confirmed in the certification program.
Industry standard GRP fittings and flanges will be used with the Fluid Highway™ pipe. Long Pipes plans to develop its own range of fittings and flanges in the future.
The coefficient of friction for polyurethane is expected to be similar to other non-metallic pipe materials such as HDPE and PVC. The Fluid Highway™ pipeline system overall can minimise the head loss to reduce the pump capital costs and the power costs, given the following:
• Smooth polyurethane inner liner;
• No joints in a continuous pipe system;
• Joints to fittings and flanges will be seamless with existing pipe;
• Large bend radius will reduce the overall number of bends.