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Development of Ultra Durable Pipelines for Resilient Oil and Gas Transportation


Project Description

This project aims to develop a brand-new pipe design with all-round high performances, such as ultra durability, high strength and ductility, and capability against impact and blast from terrorist attacks.

Objectives

1. Develop a pipe design with high durability and performance
2. Conduct experiments to understand the mechanical properties, permeability, chemical reaction and failure mechanisms
3. Conduct parametric studies by numerical modelling for optimised design of key parameters

Hypothesis

A new pipe design making use of the advanced FRP and new UHPFRC materials has the potential to revolutionize the oil and gas transportation infrastructure.

Research questions

1. What are the mechanical properties, durability, permeability of the new design?
2. How are these properties related to the key design parameters?
3. What are the optimal design parameters for performances required by the energy industry?

Methodology

The design will consist of an inner UHPFRC (Ultra High Performance Fibre Reinforced Concrete) tube confined by an outer FRP (fibre reinforced polymer) tube. The UHPFRC material has proved to be exceptionally durable against hazardous chemicals and adverse environmental factors due to its extremely dense microstructure of matrix while offering strength as high as 200MPa. Its fracture resistance is as good as metals due to the fibres’ crack-bridging capability, making it ideal against impact and blast. The high-strength FRP tube is designed to confine the inner UHPFRC tube and provide high radial tensile strength against high tensile stress from the inner fluid pressure as high as 100MPa. The FRP material is also well-known for its high corrosion resistance to chemicals and environmental factors. Such a unique design thus combines the UHPFRC’s high ductility and FRP’s high strength (brittle failure) while making use of the high durability and corrosion-resistance of both materials.

Both extensive lab experiments (chemical, permeability, mechanical, durability) will be carried out to understand the new design’s performance in transporting crude oil and natural gas. Computational modelling focused on advanced constitutive laws of materials and complicated FRP-UHPFRC interfacial behaviour will also be carried out, in a view to optimise the new design’s key parameters such as the geometries, dimensions and joints for optimal performances.

Resources

All the experiments can be done in the structural lab in the University. Numerical modelling will be done using ABAQUS/ANSYS that are available in the Faculty. The project cost will be partly covered by the PI’s own research fund (2k circa) and partly by the Centre (1k circa).

Applications

Applicants must apply using the online form on the University Alliance website at https://unialliance.ac.uk/dta/cofund/how-to-apply/. Full details of the programme, eligibility details and a list of available research projects can be seen at https://unialliance.ac.uk/dta/cofund/

The final deadline for application is 12 April 2019.

Funding Notes

DTA3/COFUND participants will be employed for 36 months with a minimum salary of (approximately) £20,989 per annum. Tuition fees will waived for DTA3/COFUND participants who will also be able to access an annual DTA elective bursary to enable attendance at DTA training events and interact with colleagues across the Doctoral Training Alliance(s).
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 801604.

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