In-Situ Pipe Support
Reducing the potential hazard associated with oil-carrying pipelines becoming ruptured, particularly in remote areas prone to seismic activity, led to the development of a new foam system from IFS Chemicals.
The new in-situ applied material is known as Cellafoam 35, a strong, spray-applied support material, which allows pipes to be laid in channels as shown above. Traditionally, pipes buried in the ground, or on rigid overland structures, are prone to rupture during mild earthquakes, sometimes losing vast amounts of oil and contaminating the surrounding areas. As a result of the resilient nature of Cellafoam 35, the new system allows the pipe to move in cases of seismic activity, thus preventing or minimising the hazard. The perceived potential problem of rain water gathering in the trenches between support points, leading to the foam being damaged or washed away, has been overcome by ensuring that water can flow though the foam. Cellafoam 35 has an open cell content of greater than 95%, ensuring that rain water can pass directly through the high-strength support structure. This grade of foam has recently been used on a 150km long pipeline.