Flexible pipe comprising an aluminium alloy matrix composite mat

Pipes and tubular conduits – Reinforced


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138129, 138131, 138133, 138134, 138144, 138174, F16L 1116






The present invention relates to a new flexible pipe structure lighter in weight than prior art pipes while maintaining correct performances, particularly mechanical performances.
The invention applies in particular to the construction of flexible pipes for transporting pressurized fluids, such as water or hydrocarbons.
For numerous applications of such pipes, it is often desirable and sometimes necessary to have light weight flexible pipes, and flexible pipes having also a very good resistance to frictional wear, particularly for deep sea applications.
The flexible pipes in some variants of construction of the invention may in particular be laid at sea at greater water depths.
In fact, one of the problems met with during the laying of such flexible pipes in very deep water, results from the weight of the suspended flexible pipe.
The stress in the flexible pipe resulting from the weight increases the closer to the surface of the water starting from the bottom.
Thus, it is at the level of the means for holding the flexible pipe at the surface that the greatest stresses in the flexible pipe occur.
One means for reducing such stress, is to reduce the weight of the flexible pipe while substantially maintaining its mechanical performances, which is what the present invention proposes.


The flexible pipes to which the present invention applies in particular may comprise at least one of four components, each of which may have one or more elongated elements, such as a shaped section, a cable The components may, for example, include an internal carcase formed of a clipped strip or clipped or interfitted wires, a reinforcement sheathing, a reinforcement arch comprising a profiled elongated element, and an external carcase formed of a strip or clipped or interfitted wires.
Of course, preferably, these elongated elements may be wound helically so as to form the flexible pipe with or without a plastic sheath.
The present invention relates generally to all flexible pipes comprising a metal armour which are used under conditions such that the weight of this armour creates difficulties and all flexible pipes used in dynamics and where the problems of frictional wear of a metal layer on another metal layer may lead to wear of the elements and thereby reducing a service life of the flexible pipe.
More specifically, flexible pipes whose conditions of use are limited by the density of the metallurgical material forming the armouring elements, generally steel, because if the cross section of these elements is increased, in order to increase the mechanical strength of the flexible pipe, the result is an increase in weight of the flexible pipe and, consequently, an increase in the forces applied to the flexible pipe and as a function of which the elements forming the armouring are dimensioned.
Thus, an extremely interesting application for the invention relates to flexible ducts used in underwater oil production in medium or considerable water depths, which comprise ducting providing the connection between the sea bed and the surface (generally designated by the term risers) and the ducting which must be laid at depths from the surface, for providing the connection (over a distance which may vary considerably depending on the case) for example, between an underwater well head and the lower end of the riser, or else a collecting member (manifold) between several ducts and which forms the "base" of the "riser".
Such ducts are used for transporting crude oil or the gas produced by the underwater well under very high pressure, or for transporting gas or water injected under pressure into the producing formation, or for transporting to land or transporting as far as collecting and expedition installations (offshore loading stations for example), the oil or gas previously processed on board the production platform, or for controlling the underwater well heads (hydraulic or electric lines, called "umbilicals").
In the present state of the technique, all the known flexible pipes us

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