Celanese Corp. (Dallas, Texas) and Airborne Oil & Gas B.V. (Ijmuiden, The Netherlands), a supplier of spoolable thermoplastic composite pipe systems for deepwater offshore operations, announced March 7 the signing of a strategic supply agreement for the development and supply of composite materials for these pipe systems.
“This multi-year alliance promises to further improve materials, systems and solutions that will meet the oil and gas industry requirements for harsh deepwater operations,” says Marcus Kremers, chief technology officer, Airborne. “Together, Airborne, with its expertise in offshore thermoplastic composite pipe systems, and Celanese, a leading global producer of high-performance thermoplastic composites, will be able to drive the development of the right material solutions. This strategic alliance is an important milestone in achieving a robust supply chain, ready for scaling up.”
Adds Michael Ruby, global composites business manager at Celanese: “Our multi-year supply agreement demonstrates the Celanese commitment to meeting the needs of the oil and gas sector and supporting its future needs. It will ensure a supply of numerous, fully qualified engineered materials that can meet the demand for oil and gas pipes.”
A flexible pipeline system from Airborne incorporates trademarked Celstran CFR-TP (continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic) composite technologies, and is suitable for use in flowlines, downlines, jumpers, intervention lines, risers and other offshore pipe systems. The durable, spoolable, lightweight composite pipe systems designed and manufactured by Airborne, have high mechanical strength to withstand the extremely high pressures and tensile loads of deep-sea offshore operations, and combine an excellent chemical stability with very good resistance to fatigue, aging and permeation. They are more robust than existing pipe systems used in the offshore industry, and reduce the operational cost because of faster and easier deployment. The absence of corrosion reduces maintenance costs, and the smooth inner bore improves the pressure performance. These pipes are made in a fully automated manufacturing process and can be made up to several kilometers of length in one product. This unique technology has won several innovation awards, including the JEC Europe 2012 Innovation Award.
In an earlier announcement on March 6, Celanese said that it signed a two-year contract extension with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production in Aachen, Germany, to jointly develop thermoplastic composite solutions for automotive, construction, and oil and gas applications.
“The effort in developing potential new business opportunities for applications that use composite solutions from the Celanese broad portfolio of engineered materials is significantly reduced by approaching the task with a strong network collaborator such as AZL,” says Ruby. “We look forward to continuing our work with AZL to enable innovative composite solutions.”
RWTH Aachen University officially launched the AZL in 2013 with 33 founding members to focus on developing lightweight components. The research covers production from carbon- and glass-fibers, textile preforming, high-volume plastics processing, automation, machining and testing to applications ranging from oil, water, gas, infrastructure, buildings and automotive. As a founding AZL member, Celanese has focused on projects to reduce manufacturing costs and increase productivity for thermoplastic composite parts. One Celanese and AZL study has identified applications, components, distribution channels, production volumes, economic potential, and requirements for materials and process chains, across five major business sectors.