High-Performing Materials for Flexible Pipes

Demand for flexible pipe technologies in the oil and gas industry has grown enormously since they were first introduced offshore in the 1990s. Production processes depend on flexible pipe systems of different varieties, from flexible risers and flowlines to fluid transfer lines. Yet, flexible pipes are often exposed to harsh conditions that can adversely impact efficiency, cost and dependability. Exposure to extreme temperatures and high-pressure environments, for instance, can test the integrity of flexible pipes. Additional stressors such as ocean dynamics and increasingly corrosive fluid mixtures offer further challenges to flexpipe systems. 


Solvay offers industry-leading thermoplastic composites and specialty polymers that withstand extreme onshore and offshore operating environments, providing higher-performing, sustainable alternatives to steel, and provide an unblemished track record and confidence in long term integrity. Our materials are also a viable option for emerging sectors such as hydrogen, carbon capture and more.

 

Enhancing Onshore and Offshore Operations

With a wide range of benefits, our materials are ideal for offshore operations, where they enable the use of flexible risers, flowlines and thermoplastic composite pipes as an alternative to metallic pipes. Additionally, our composite materials and specialty polymer solutions enhance the performance of reinforced thermoplastic pipes used in onshore operations. Compared to steel, nonmetallic pipes manufactured with Solvay’s advanced materials are easier to install, and have been demonstrated to retain their properties for at least 20 years. They offer low corrosion, permeation, and can substantially reduce carbon intensity.

 

Trusted Portfolio of Solutions for Flexible Pipes

Solvay’s specialty polymers and thermoplastic composites enable manufacturers to create next-generation flexible pipeline systems. Industry references for developing high-performance flexible pipes include our thermoplastic composite tape,  Evolite®, plus our well known resins Solef® PVDF, Ryton® PPSKetaSpire® PEEK and all featuring impressive mechanical and chemical properties to cope with aggressive environments.

 

High-Performance Solutions for Flexible Pipe Systems

Solvay’s material solutions for flexible pipe systems offer improvements to sustainability, cost-efficiency and durability when compared to steel. Our advanced materials support the challenging needs of both onshore and offshore operations with a unique combination of performance and processing benefits. 

 

Offshore Operations

Lightweight Flexible Risers & Flowlines 

Risers and flowlines experience challenging thermo-mechanical demands. To meet performance requirements, Solvay supplies Evolite® thermoplastic composite tape, specifically designed for risers and flowlines, and exhibits superior chemical, thermal and mechanical performance in a wide range of temperatures. Additionally, we offer high-performance polymers like Solef® PVDF and KetaSpire® PEEK. Our specialty polymers and thermoplastic composites are used in innovative and complex structures contributing to barrier and sheathing solutions that comply with API and other regulatory and customer-specific requirements.

 

Thermoplastic Composite Pipes

Thermoplastic composite pipes (TCPs) require excellent chemical and temperature resistance for optimized performance. Thermoplastic composites are at the heart of Solvay’s portfolio of solutions for flexible pipes, and Evolite®, as a reinforcement layer, encompasses the capabilities of our materials. Our high-performance, lightweight thermoplastic composite tape is ideal for offshore flexible pipe applications because of its superior mechanical and chemical resistance properties and proven performance in high-temperatures. 

 

Onshore Operations

Reinforced Thermoplastic Pipes 

Reinforced thermoplastic pipes (RTPs) are spoolable fluid transport pipelines experiencing increasing demands. They have a strong sustainability profile with a lower carbon footprint compared to steel pipelines, and a significant reduction in TOTEX. Our Ryton® PPS provides optimal cost-performance benefits and superior corrosion and gas permeation resistance under aggressive conditions, ideal for onshore requirements. To meet the full range of potential onshore RTP needs, other polymers within our portfolio which exhibit an exceptional combination of properties - include Evolite® thermoplastic composite tape and Solef® PVDF.

 

Polymer Solutions and Thermoplastic Composites for Flexible Pipe Systems

Our expansive materials portfolio for flexible pipe systems is designed to enhance performance properties across a wide range of challenging operating conditions. Our flagship specialty polymers for flexible pipe applications include Solef® PVDFKetaSpire® PEEK, Ryton® PPS and , and our thermoplastic composite materials are available via our Evolite® grades. 

  • Evolite®: Evolite® thermoplastic tape offers exceptional mechanical and chemical resistance for flexible pipes exposed to high temperatures. Offering design freedom and customized fiber and matrix translation, Evolite® materials are adaptable to meet the most complex operating requirements, which makes them particularly well-suited for oil and gas flexible pipe systems.  
  • Ryton® PPS: This polyphenylene sulfide withstands prolonged high-temperature service. RTPs rely on Ryton® PPS because of its flexibility, exceptional permeation resistance and corrosion inhibition, as these are optimal properties for reinforced thermoplastic pipes.
  • KetaSpire® PEEK: KetaSpire® PEEK offers the best combination of mechanical strength, permeation and chemical resistance, and can operate at higher temperatures than most other polymers in this segment. Other benefits include good wear and abrasion resistance, excellent resistance to hydrolysis and ease of processing, which are ideal characteristics for designing flexible risers.
  • Solef® PVDF: This thermoplastic fluoropolymer is ideal for RTPs because its fluid barrier performance combines with excellent spoolability. Additionally, Solef® PVDF has outstanding properties necessary for flexible pipe systems.