Kevlar® for Oil & Gas
For more than 40 years, DuPont™ Kevlar® has continued to help innovate in applications for the oil and gas industry.
Kevlar® in Offshore Hoses and Pipes
The strength of Kevlar® brand aramid fiber helps offshore oil facilities to carry out vital operations. In umbilicals — bundles of high-pressure hydraulic hoses that run from the top of a drilling platform or production facility down to control the equipment on the ocean floor — Kevlar® is the primary strength reinforcement that helps enable the use of flexible thermoplastic hoses instead of steel tubes. Kevlar® is also used to help reinforce the risers, the pipes that carry the oil from the ocean floor back up to the production platform. Combined with its chemical and corrosion resistance properties, the resistance of Kevlar® to elongation under load and “creep” — incremental elongation distortion over time — helps make it particularly well suited for the rigors of offshore oil extraction and production.
Kevlar® in Onshore Piping
Kevlar® fiber is also suitable to use as the reinforcement strength member of small diameter thermoplastic pipes (RTP) for onshore applications, helping to enable higher pressure ratings than unreinforced pipes. The reinforced thermoplastic pipe can be produced in long continuous lengths and coiled for transport to the installation site. The corrosion resistance of a thermoplastic pipe makes it an excellent alternative to steel pipe. An RTP solution will have a lower installation cost and longer lifetime in corrosive environments than steel pipe.
Kevlar®: Putting New Life into Old Pipes
The developed world is crisscrossed with pipeline networks, and many are close to the limit of their working life. Energy suppliers, industry, and public utilities face spiraling costs of replacing pipe networks with corroding steel. Conventional methods of repair or replacement are expensive and disrupt supply and surrounding infrastructure, especially in urban areas. Innovative use of DuPont™ Kevlar® brand fiber, however, helps enable the trenchless renovation of many different kinds of pipeline in a fraction of the time necessary for conventional repair or replacement. Downtime and disruption are minimized. Cost savings can be enormous. Kevlar® fiber helps offer tomorrow’s solution to the limitations of yesterday’s technology: flexible, high-pressure plastic pipes that restore the efficiency of aging pipe networks. In effect, a new pipeline is inserted within the structure of the old. Its tough, flexible construction enables it to be fed around bends and through long lengths up to 2,000 meters. Pipeline diameter is virtually unchanged, so there is no loss of volumetric flow. The inner liner is entirely self-contained — the old pipe is only used as a route, so its continuing deterioration is irrelevant.