There is no area in which the value of our integrated approach of supplying a coated pipe is more visible than in research and development. This was true in the past and is still true today. For example, one of our predecessor companies, Mannesmannröhren-Werke AG, developed the 3-layer coating method, which is the oil and gas industry standard for outside coating in many parts of the world. Today, we are working on many exciting projects which could have similar impacts on the way large-diameter pipes are coated and protected.
Our efforts in the areas of processes and manufacturing during the last decade have yielded significant improvements in terms of throughput time and quality. We expect the biggest effect, however, to be on materials. Here, we have patented a solution in which a 3-layer anti-corrosion coating system, with a protective outer layer of cross-linked PE, gives a step-change in the protection of the coating against sharp objects during transport, laying and operating time. The bed of fine-grained sand in which pipelines are normally laid can be done away with. This saves a great deal of material and effort during pipe-laying.
A second marketable product is the crack-arrestor, a steel pipe part with fibre-reinforced wrappings that is applied off-line. They are used to stop the propagation of cracks in pipelines by reducing crack speed to below critical in the wrapped section.
The third and most radical approach is the EUROPIPE Safety System, which is a fibre-reinforced FBE coating that elevates the strength of the coating due to various fibre layers, consuming the energy from the crack caused by a defect. This coating can be applied online in our coating facilities and requires no special logistical or field-welding efforts.