Long Pipes is developing a complete pipeline system. While the pipe is a critical part of the pipeline, components and processes such as bends, tees, flanges, joints, pipe laying procedures, pressure testing and repairs are on the critical development path.
Initial trials have shown the pipe production rates are greater than for standard industry pipes.
The thermal expansion rate is comparable to carbon steel. The Colebrook-White friction factor (k) for polyurethane is 0.01 mm.
The maximum installation temperature is 65°C and the minimum is -10°C. In very hot conditions the pipe can be produced at night. Once the pipe has cured it is suitable to operate in extreme temperatures from -60°C to +90°C.
A testing and certification company will shortly be conducting tests in accordance with the water and gas standards. This testing program will define traffic loading and other vertical loading. Once the pipe has cured, it will not be affected by rock impingement.
If the Fluid Highway™ is damaged, linear embrittlement does not occur. There is a simple process for patching the outer coating if it is scuffed or torn. For heavy ground traffic over the trench, the pipe can be encased on site in reinforced concrete as part of the production process.
The outer layer is a premium quality spread coated PVC using high quality resins, UV stabilisers and fire retardant inhibitors. The material has been exposed to the sun for 10 years and more without any degradation. In the case of fires the material is self-extinguishing.
Fabrication can accommodate vertical as well as horizontal alignments. The pipe will be formed in the direction that the production unit is moving. A bend radius of 1 in a 100 was achieved during the pipeline projects for Harvey Water.
Long Pipes will be carrying out field trials shortly to determine the maximum pipeline incline.
Fibre optics can be embedded into the pipe to provide warning of any potential damage, detect ground subsidence and ensure location for "Dial before You Dig" purposes.
Generally a gravel or sand bed is required however a smooth surface that will not damage the pipe is also acceptable. A minimum 6 metre track access width is required.
Sections of pipe can be pressure tested after it has been produced, with the final pressure test taking place during commissioning. An external Non Destructive Testing process to test the pipe is currently being investigated.
Critical components on the Pipe Production Machines will be backed up and duplicated. In case of power failures the process can be stopped and restarted.
A composite flange to join to Fluid Highway™ pipe is under development. The flanges are fully lined with thermoplastic polyurethane and at no stage will the fluids being transported come in contact with the reinforcing fiberglass. Up to the time there composite flanges are developed, standard ARP flanges will be used.
For rail, road and river crossings the Fluid Highway™ is very suitable as the required length can be made without joints for concrete encasement or inside a steel casing pipe.
The Fluid Highway™ pipe can be drilled for taps and offtakes and the process is currently being developed.
The Fluid Highway™ can be used above ground. The PVC outer casing material contains UV inhibitors. A polyurethane outer coating is being considered for future use. If required, Long Pipes can provide a concrete encased pipe for above ground applications.
This data will be compiled once the independent testing program commences.