SBIR Phase I: Honeycomb_FRP Composite Sandwich (HCS) Pipe
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project presents a patent-pending new approach for on-site pipe manufacturing that can reduce time, overhead costs, materials costs, leakage, and corrosion when compared with other pre-manufactured pipes in the industry. Phase I of this research activity will focus on developing and mechanizing the technique for assembling the pipe using sandwich composite construction, and then evaluating the short-term behavior of the honeycomb-fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite sandwich (HCS) pipe under various loading and environmental conditions. Performance limits that will be considered include key failure modes of buckling, deflection and internal pressure. Testing will include a sand bed for buried pipes, internal and external pressure tests which will reveal how the stiffness of the pipe, which is fabricated from composite materials, compares to the stiffness of the composite materials in a flat panel. The data collected will provide useful design information regarding the behavior of the pipe, as well as demonstrate the feasibility of manufacturing and installing such a product. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is enormous, considering the versatility and low cost of the pipes, in addition to the corrosion resistance that they provide. The ability to produce pipelines on-site has far-reaching implications for remote locations and developing nations which have little to no infrastructure for natural gas discovery and water delivery systems. As the viability of this product is proven, there are quite a few variations that can be tested, such as using the pipe vertically and filling it with concrete for piles and columns in various construction industries. Other possible uses include underwater pipelines and transmission lines for the oil and gas industries, or even as low cost, mobile, temporary pipelines for mining and fracking operations around the globe. As the mobile manufacturing units are developed and the process becomes more efficient, the resulting cost savings, not only in terms of the pipe itself but also on equipment and freight costs, will be substantial. This, in addition to the long-term savings from reduced leakage and maintenance of these pipelines, will lead to an industry shift towards this greener, more efficient technology.
Small Business Information at Submission:
2055 E 17th St Tucson, AZ 85719-6947
Number of Employees: