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Effect of hygrothermal conditioning on the mechanical and thermal properties of epoxy grouts for offshore pipeline rehabilitation

1 Centre for Future Materials, Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland 4350, Australia
2 Advanced Composite Structures Australia Pty Ltd, 1/320 Lorimer Street, Port Melbourne, Victoria 3207, Australia
3 Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Composite Structures (CRC-ACS), 1/320 Lorimer Street, Port Melbourne, Victoria 3207, Australia

Topical Section: Advanced composites

Offshore oil and gas pipelines are susceptible to corrosion and need rehabilitation to keep them operating in-service conditions. Fibre composite filled with epoxy-based grout is emerging as an effective repair and rehabilitation system for offshore pipelines performing underwater. In such applications, the infill grout is often subjected to moisture and elevated temperature along with compressive, tensile and localised stresses at the defect. Current standards and practices for composite repairs suggest detailed investigation of the fibre reinforced sleeve, while the characterisation of the infill material is yet to be conducted for performance evaluation. The present work investigates the mechanical and thermal properties of three epoxy grouts as candidates for infill in a grouted sleeve repair for underwater pipeline. An understanding on the effect of hygrothermal ageing on the grout properties for defining the period of 1000 hours as “long-term” according to ISO/TS 24817, in comparison to their unconditioned state, is also presented. The compressive and tensile strength of the unconditioned grouts ranges from 100–120 MPa, and 19–32 MPa, respectively, which indicates that these grouts are suitable for structural rehabilitation of the pipelines. Moreover, the glass transition temperatures, Tg and Tt of the unconditioned grouts are found to be within the ranges of 50–60 °C, and 80–90 °C, respectively, which are reduced by about 20°C after conditioning.
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