Materials Performance

OCT 2018

Materials Performance is the world's most widely circulated magazine dedicated to corrosion prevention and control. MP provides information about the latest corrosion control technologies and practical applications for every industry and environment.

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6 OCTOBER 2018 W W W.MATERIALSPERFORMANCE.COM Graphene Added to Protect Subsea Oil, Gas Pipes Researchers at The University of Manches- ter (Manchester, United Kingdom) and The Welding Institute (TWI) (Cambridge, United Kingdom) have found that laminat- ing subsea oil and gas pipes with graphene can help reduce the permeation of corro- sive substances. In their research, the team has incorpo- rated graphene into a polymer liner often used in pipes transporting crude oil and gas from the subsea floor. These pipes are gen- erally made of internal layers of polymer or composite and external strengthening steel, they explain. Within these pipes, fluids are often found at very high pressures and ele- vated temperatures. When carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), hydrogen sulfide (H 2 S), and water permeate through the pipe's protective barrier layer, the steel has the potential to corrode. This causes the pipe to lose strength over time, leading traditionally to a risk of failure. In their study, the researchers found that if the graphene was mechanically mixed with the plastic—or if a single layer of graphene were applied—gases could still pass through. However, by laminating a thin layer of graphene nanoplatelets to polyamide 11 (PA11)—a plastic often used in these lin- ers—the researchers produced structures that performed as exceptionally good barriers. The multi-layered laminate structures were tested at 60 °C (140 °F) and at pres- sures of up to 400 times atmospheric pres- sure, with CO 2 permeation reduced by over 90% compared to PA11 alone. Meanwhile, the permeation of H 2 S was reduced to un detectable levels. "Our work represents an important step in taking graphene out of the laboratory and into the real world," says Peter Budd, a pro- fessor of polymer chemistry who led the Manchester team. For more information, visit www.manchester.ac.uk. —Ben DuBose Researchers are incorporating graphene into the polymer liner used in subsea pipes transporting oil and gas. Image courtesy of The University of Manchester. UP FRONT

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