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An Engineering Guide to Composite Pipe

Need a better understanding of Composite Pipe and its applications?

This guide provides everything you need to know about our innovative, flexible Composite Pipe along with resources for installation, maintenance, and support.

Complete the form below and we’ll send you a PDF copy of the guide as a resource for you and your team.

Chapters

1
Introduction

The Baker Hughes team is ready to assist you in selecting the right pipe for the right project.

Go to chapter 1
2
Design Overview & Quality

We deliver consistent quality throughout our composite pipe’s design, qualification, manufacture, and installation.

Go to chapter 2
3
Composite Pipe End Fittings & Couplings

Our proprietary composite pipe end fittings and couplings take just 15-30 minutes to install.

Go to chapter 3
4
Distinguishing Specs & Features

Long-term hydrostatic strength (pressure rating), chemical compatibility, pressure cycling & vibration, flow characteristics & erosion

Go to chapter 4
5
Maintaining Your Composite Pipe by Baker Hughes

Standard line-clearing procedures like pigging or hot oiling clear blockages easily.

Go to chapter 5
6
Composite Pipe Installation

Includes special instructions for pull through rehabilitation.

Go to chapter 6
7
Composite Pipe Engineering & Field Support

Our in-house engineering team can collaborate with you from project inception to field installation and ongoing performance monitoring.

Go to chapter 7

Chapter 1

Introduction

What you need to know about our Composite Pipes

Baker Hughes Composite Pipes are suitable for an array of pipeline applications.

Composite Pipe by Baker Hughes is a continuous, spoolable, reinforced thermoplastic pipeline system. Its non-metallic design and manufacturing process provides high-pressure, corrosion-free operation.

Composite Pipe by Baker Hughes is a continuous, spoolable, reinforced thermoplastic pipeline system. Its non-metallic design and manufacturing process provides high-pressure, corrosion-free operation.

You can use composite pipe in all typical oil and gas applications, including: 

  • Production gathering
  • Enhanced oil recovery (EOR)
  • Saltwater disposal (SWD)
  • Transmission, injection, and distribution

Other industries, like mining, have used Composite Pipe by Baker Hughes to handle acidic and erosive applications.

We manufacture our composite pipes, couplings, and fittings in our state-of-the-art facility in Houston, Texas. The facility produces multi-layer coextruded liner pipe, tape line winding, and cover layer extrusion.

Onsite silos store raw materials, which eliminates downtime. And it allows for efficient production planning. The facility also houses its chiller water system, giving precise control of the pipe production cooling process.

Besides rapid development of pipe products and specialty testing, our site supports research and development staff and equipment. This proximity allows for fast communication between development and production operations.

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Install Stages

 

Install Stages

Chapter 2

Design Overview

3 sizes to choose from and 5 - layers of reinforcement.

Baker Hughes designs its composite pipe according to API Specification 15S: Spoolable Reinforced Plastic Linepipe. The pipe includes:

  • a multi-layer design with a hydrocarbon resistant liner, which acts as a barrier or bladder,
  • reinforced thermoplastic tape that provides pipe strength, and
  • a UV and abrasion-resistant outer jacket for added durability.

Our composite pipe is available in sizes from 4” to 8” and for pressures from 750 psi to 2250 psi. Reel lengths go up to 2,160 feet, depending on pipe size and reel capacity.

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Your temperature requirements and chemical compatibility determine the pipe liner and cover materials. HDPE handles temperatures up to 150°F (65°C), and PERT covers temperatures up to 180°F (82°C). Both materials are PE4710 per ASTM D3350. We can also manufacture the liner with a PA or PPS barrier layer for more chemical and permeation resistance.

 

Composite Pipe Quality

We deliver consistent quality throughout our composite pipe’s design, qualification, manufacture, and installation.

Quality assurance starts with inline sensors that monitor the manufacturing process. Multiple sensors track the various stages of pipe manufacture. The sensors check several process parameters. Machine intelligence identifies deviations and automatically corrects them, minimizing manufacturing defects.

Offline sampling and destructive testing assure that our product quality meets your challenging application needs. These include burst, fiber tensile break tests, and cross-sectional inspections of the laminate and liner.

Our Quality Management System is compliant with the requirements of ISO 9001 and API Q1. A Certificate of Quality Assurance is available before shipment. All it takes is a simple request. The certificate summarizes the results from all quality assurance tests.

Chapter 3

Composite Pipe End Fittings & Couplings

Install in 15-30 minutes with a single-step swaging process

Our proprietary composite pipe end fittings and couplings take just 15-30 minutes to install. These robust and reliable fittings have a stem and ferrule design. You can install them with a single-step swaging process.

The process compresses the ferrule into plastic deformation and anchors the fitting to the pipe. This creates a leak-proof seal between the inner layer of the pipe and the stem of the fitting.

stainless steel fittings

Our end fittings use NPT threads, API/ASME Lap Flanges, or weld-prepared (beveled) ends for connections to surface equipment or infrastructure. We construct connection points, like tees and wyes, from several composite pipe end fittings. Depending on your requirements, we can preconstruct these fittings or construct them in the field.

Our composite pipe end fittings and couplings meet the requirements of API 15S. The requirements include an elevated temperature test for long-term performance. They also include a temperature cycling test for suitability across the installation and operating temperature ranges. Our composite end fittings and couplings match the pipe size, temperature, and pressure ratings.

Composite pipe end fittings and couplings use the following materials:

  • Carbon steel with Zinc chromate coating: non-corrosive applications
  • Carbon steel with FBE coating (stem only)
  • Carbon steel with PPS coating (stem only)
  • Stainless steel 316
  • Stainless steel Duplex 2205

Depending on your fluid composition and corrosion resistance requirements, we have different coating options available.

Corrosion of metallic materials is a complex phenomenon. Many factors drive corrosion, including fluid composition, CO2, H2S, water content, chloride concentration, temperature, and pressure. Our Application Engineering team can help you choose a material based on in-house testing, published literature, and industry standards.

couplings and fittings

 

Chapter 4

Distinguishing Specs & Features

Long-term hydrostatic strength (pressure rating), chemical compatibility, pressure cycling & vibration, flow characteristics & erosion

Qualification regression testing at the maximum rated temperature per API 15S determines pressure rating or long-term hydrostatic strength.

The chart below shows the rated pressures and sizes for composite pipes determined by regression testing and product variant tests. The minimum specified design life of the pipe is 20 years.

The Maximum Operating Pressure (MOP) is rated using industry-standard design factors for all fluid types. It does not require a derate for any standard oilfield service, including hydrocarbons, gas, and produced water.

GRAPHICS FPS-05-1

 

Composite Pipe Chemical Compatibility

Our composite pipe designs handle a variety of chemicals and fluids. The liner can include a co-extruded PA or PPS barrier layer. This extra layer provides superior resistance to the permeation of gases—up to 40 times lower than HDPE (see chart below).

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This additional barrier also prevents absorption and breakdown of the pipe from acids, BTEX’s, and other light hydrocarbons. The liner is fully compatible with methanol and alcohols used to prevent freezing in winter climates.

Our design isolates the reinforcement layer from the bore fluid and protects it from external hazards by the jacket. Because of this unique feature, the strength of Composite Pipe by Baker Hughes is not affected by most chemicals. However, our engineering teams can explain the compatibility of specific chemicals to you.

 

Pressure Cycling & Vibration

All pump types produce pressure variations. Pressure cycling caused by different pumps or on/off cycles generally doesn’t affect composite pipe. The glass-fiber thermoplastic tape reinforcement design withstands cyclic loading and abrasion caused by pressure and external movement or vibration. We recommend using properly sized pulsation dampeners if you’re using high-pressure positive displacement pumps, such as triplex or duplex.

If you anticipate high vibration, your pipeline should be restrained from unwanted movement and isolated from objects that could abrade the pipe over time. Contact Baker Hughes Engineering for guidance about any pressure cycles or vibration concerns.

 

Flow Characteristics & Erosion

Composite pipe has a smooth bore which produces favorable flow and reduced frictional losses compared to other pipe materials like steel.

Because we use non-metallic pipe materials, the roughness will not change due to corrosion. This means you’ll see minimal changes to the flow capabilities of the line over its useable lifetime.

The roughness value of our pipe for friction loss calculations is 0.00006 in (0.015 mm). The graph below shows pressure drop comparisons for four-, six-, and eight-inch composite pipes over varying flow rates for water and gas applications.

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Erosion and abrasive flow generally don’t affect composite pipe. Our non-metallic materials experience less abrasive loss than steel under the same flow conditions. Many variables can change the severity of erosive flows, such as particle size and flow velocity. However, maintaining a sufficient flow velocity keeps suspended particles from dropping out of the carrying fluid. We recommend testing the specific operating conditions for compatibility where severe erosion is a concern.

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Chapter 5

Maintaining Your Composite Pipe by Baker Hughes

Easy installation, easy maintenance

Paraffins and asphaltenes can form when fluids in the pipe change temperatures and pressures. These solids occur when they can precipitate from the fluid when the temperature falls below the liquid cloud point or wax precipitation temperature (WPT).

Higher temperatures or chemicals can keep the solids in solution and control precipitation. Composite pipe is compatible with various chemicals used for injection and paraffin control and can handle temperature up to 180°F. If you cannot suitably hinder paraffin formation, it may adhere to the pipe wall causing buildup and blockage.

Composite pipe has a very smooth bore which reduces the ability of the precipitates and asphaltenes to adhere to the pipe. Our PA and PPS lined options further reduce the ability for these substances to build up as they are dissimilar materials to the hydrocarbon-based paraffins and asphaltenes.

Although these deposits and subsequent blockages are less likely with composite pipe, you can use standard line-clearing procedures like pigging or hot oiling to clear them.

Pigging

Pigging aids in removing blockages and deposits that may form inside the line. When pigging composite pipe, Baker Hughes recommends using a bullet nose bare foam pig of low (1.2 lbs./ft3) or medium (2.0 lbs./ft3) density. Other flexible pigs such as urethane cups and disk pigs, or small body smart pigs with flexible cups, could also be safely used.

Under no circumstances should you use rigid body pigs of any kind with Baker Hughes Composite Pipe products. Contact Baker Hughes Engineering for additional information.

Hot Oiling

This procedure also aids in removing paraffin obstructions in pipelines and minimizes the potential for plugging or buildup in the line when pigging alone isn’t adequate.

Hot oiling injects solvents, like diesel fuel or BTEXs, at elevated temperatures into the pipeline. This heats the paraffin and helps melt it into solution. The usual treatment time is 2-8 hours. Hot oiling usually occurs annually but may be more frequent depending upon the severity of the paraffins in the line. The process does not have any long-term effects on Baker Hughes Composite Pipe. You can safely perform hot oiling at any temperature and pressure within the product’s rated limits. Baker Hughes does not support operation above the maximum allowable operating temperature.

 

Static Discharge

Composite pipe uses non-conductive materials and acts as an electrical insulator. Uses where dry gasses and non-polar liquids are present may generate a static charge inside the pipe. Discharging static electricity near flammable gases or liquids may cause an explosion or fire and result in injury or property damage.

Follow standard maintenance and operating procedures when working with non-conductive pipe and dissipating static electricity, including proper PPE. OSHA’s Hazard Information Bulletin dated September 30, 1988, includes more information on the handling of static electricity in non-conductive pipelines.

 

UV Protection

We manufacture our composite pipe with a continuous CV white-colored jacket. The jacket protects the pipe while the white color resists solar heating when used in surface applications. Any discoloration is cosmetic and doesn’t affect the performance of the pipe. A titanium dioxide (TiO2) UV stabilizer is included in the jacket masterbatch to provide suitable resistance for the entire 20-year design life.

Chapter 6

Composite Pipe Installation

Our Composite Pipe by Baker Hughes Installation and Handling Manual is available upon request.

Composite pipe installation and handling methods follow most standard Reinforced Thermoplastic Pipe (RTP) practices.

Our composite pipe manufacture produces long continuous lengths per reel of pipe. This makes it one of the most flexible RTPs on the market, reducing installation costs and time.

Composite Pipe by Baker Hughes shall be installed using the recommended practices and procedures outlined in the Composite Pipe by Baker Hughes Installation and Handling Manual. Please reference this manual, available upon request, for proper composite pipe installation and handling techniques.

The Composite Pipe by Baker Hughes Installation and Handling Manual is a controlled document containing detailed installation practices for properly trained and authorized personnel. We offer training for customers and contractors to properly and safely install our composite pipe.

Special Installations: Pull-Through Rehabilitation

Pipeline rehabilitation is a cost-effective way to repair problematic pipelines or repurpose abandoned pipelines instead of constructing new infrastructure.

The pipeline rehabilitation process pulls a new pipe (typically a spoolable composite pipe) through a problematic or abandoned line. This process reduces construction costs and the time needed to resume production.

Rehabilitation with our composite pipe usually results in equivalent flow rates to the original host pipe. This happens because of the better flow coefficients and the operational advantages of corrosion, chemical, bacterial, and paraffin resistance.

Chapter 7

Composite Pipe Engineering & Field Support

Both global & local, we are here to help

Our in-house engineering team can collaborate with you from project inception to field installation and ongoing performance monitoring. Our team provides engineering support and recommendations to your design teams and field crews. This typically includes:

  • Pre-job application reviews,
  • Flow assurance and pressure curve analysis to ensure proper sizing,
  • Application and installation,
  • Hydrotesting recommendation and supervision,
  • and 24/7 technical support.


If you work with the Baker Hughes Field Service team, you’ll see additional benefits, including:

Transport & Logistics: Our field service team can deliver pipe on reels from the manufacturing facility to your location. Because we also manufacture the pipe, we can handle all the hassles of logistics – you just focus on the project.

Staging & Unspooling: Our experienced field service technicians will be by your side to assist in staging the installation equipment and unspooling the pipe from reels.

Installation & Connection: To ensure the best possible outcome, we can inspect every installation – including any necessary connections. This includes training for your staff onsite.

Hydrostatic Testing: Correctly setting up and performing a hydrostatic test is crucial to properly deploy spoolable pipelines. Our field service team is here to support and facilitate successful testing post-installation and beyond.

 

Baker Hughes Global Footprint

We are global…..but we’re local too. With operations in more than 120 countries and over 58,000 employees, we work in partnership with our customers, wherever they are, to deliver better outcomes. We are proud that our people and our businesses are part of the fabric of the communities in which they work.

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