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Pipeline Joint Isolation: History of Design and Flanges

Conditions have been changing in the oil and gas industry over the last 50 years, and this has had a significant effect on pipelines. Isolation products have also struggled to keep up with the changing conditions.

The “go to” isolation products were almost always based on a glass-reinforced epoxy (GRE) isolation system. However, increasing pressures and temperatures as well as rising levels of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and carbon dioxide (CO2) from deeper and more aggressive drilling are causing traditional GRE products to become vulnerable over time. GRE isolation gaskets also tend to be two to three times thicker than traditional 1/8-in (3-mm) gaskets used in piping systems, which has made installation challenging when flange gaps are less than desired.

Fire safety is now a highly desired attribute in isolation products as well, but because GRE breaks down in a fire, expensive work-arounds from a design standpoint have been the only option up to this point. GRE also has significant permeation issues that have plagued these gaskets and presented additional challenges in regards to meeting tighter emissions requirements.

Although GRE was once an excellent material choice for isolation, it has become very apparent that an innovative new product is needed to help in protecting the world’s aging oil and gas pipeline infrastructure.

Join us and brush up on your joint isolation know-how with Tim Hurley from GPT Industries!

Tim Hurley
Tim Hurley

Senior Product Manager

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