Composites’ potential extends to repair of other materials.
While the design and installation of new composite components are well-documented, ongoing upkeep and repair issues are just as important — particularly in the harsh conditions of an offshore installation. Composites are readily repairable, as evidenced by routine procedures in the aerospace industry. In addition, composites now play a significant role in the repair of steel and other metallic platform components, which allows operators to save considerable time and cost because they do not have to shut down operations. Plus, composite patch application requires no heavy equipment or hot welding repairs, so repairs can be effected in tight quarters where access is limited. However, personnel must be well trained in composite laminating technique, and surface preparation is critical to success.