A New Press for Large Pipes

Caley Ocean Systems has designed a new pipe press to increase the use of larger pipes in shallow fields.

NOV Tuboscope tasked Caley with creating a pipe press to join X65 carbon steel pipes with a 16-inch diameter and one-inch wall thickness using a mechanical interface connection – a big step away from traditional welding methods.

Using Zap-Lok technology, we designed, manufactured and tested a press which can form continuous pipe strings for offshore projects.  This system is the first of its kind to enable the connection of pipes this size, wall and grade, and certainly makes a case for efficient, cost effective and safer pipelay operations.

In detail…

The hydraulic press joins pre-shaped pipes which have a pin and socket formed at either end.  These pipes can be shaped at site or at a pipe mill using the new Press system.  Before any joining takes place, the ends are lubricated with an Epoxy resin.  The two pipes are then fed axially into the Press, where they are joined together by two of Caley’s friction clamps.  These clamps house three hydraulic cylinders that together can generate more than 1,000-tonnes of squeeze force.  They are driven by two hydraulic cylinders which generate 900-tonnes of axial force each.  Once in place, the epoxy resin seals the joint together, creating a strong and reliable pipe string.

The entire process takes less than five minutes, and because of its repeatability it immediately eliminates costly quality, inspection and repair issues which arise from traditional welding operations.  With such a fast completion time, the weldless method can reduce joining cycle times by 500%.

The machine is mounted on to a render table which counters a ship’s motions, should it be used in subsea operations.  While the press can handle a 16-inch pipe, interchangeable jaws allow it to join a range of pipe grades and diameters, from four-inches upwards.

The development potential with the press is huge, and its adaptability to land and sea environments means the largest pipes can be deployed rapidly, safely and efficiently.  This invention is just the beginning: there’s always more to achieve.

For more information about our pipelay services, please contact us.


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