A new generation of lightweight, flexible, non-metallic, un-bonded pipes has been developed for use in subsea and deepwater floating system applications. These pipes are the first of their kind offering large savings in weight and cost to operators. In addition, the elimination of metallic reinforcements removes the associated corrosion concerns in sea water and the U-value of the pipe is improved.
The Flexible Fiber Reinforced Pipe (FFRP) is constructed from extruded polymeric layers reinforced with unbonded laminated glass-fiber tape stacks. The unique design allows the construction of lightweight flexible pipes with attractive features such as capability for high internal and external pressures, in a wide range of sizes varying from 2 inch to 16 inch. It is intended to be used in deepwater.
An overview of FFRP technology is presented in this paper. Typical designs of the pipe are described. A brief overview of qualification tests is provided along with a description of initial applications. This technology has the potential to be a ‘game changer’, enabling new, lower cost field development solutions in offshore areas around the world.