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HSE RR1181

Preliminary fire testing of composite pipe repairs

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SUMMARY

Engineered composite repairs are used to repair defective and corroded pipework on major hazard plant both on and offshore. This includes chemical plant, oil refineries and offshore installations. Pipework includes: that carrying flammable or toxic process fluids; and that within safety critical systems, for instance carrying firefighting deluge water. The use of these repairs is increasing, for example by dutyholders seeking to extend the life of major hazards plant. To ensure that safety levels are maintained on major hazard plant, it is important to understand the properties of composite pipe repairs and any evidence gaps.

One concern is that in the event of a fire incident, the materials used to make composite repairs, such as glass fibre or carbon fibre reinforced polymer systems, might begin to leak more quickly than metallic pipework. If this were the case, it could potentially increase the severity of a fire incident. This report describes a preliminary programme of experimental tests to explore the effect of liquid pool fires and burning jets of gas on engineered composite repairs. No previous experimental evidence was available. The research identified evidence gaps about the behaviour of composite wraps in fire scenarios. This is important information for industry as part of ensuring that existing levels of safety are maintained. This work helped inform the development of the publicly available Management of engineered composite repairs: end user good practice guidance published by the Energy Institute (2021).

This report will be of interest to those responsible for the ongoing integrity and safety of major hazard plant.

This Research Report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

Publisher: HSE
Published in: 2022

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