On Wednesday, 2 April 2008, Ten Cate Advanced Composites bv in Nijverdal (Netherlands) and Airborne Composite Tubulars bv in The Hague (Netherlands) will sign a Memorandum of Understanding during the JEC Composites Show in Paris (14.00 hours on Paris Expo, Hall 1, Stand N30). By doing so, the two parties will ratify their intended strategic collaboration relating to the development and production of continuous tubular systems based on thermoplastic composite materials. These innovative tubular systems will be used primarily in oil and gas extraction.
Tubulars made of composite materials offer considerable advantages. For one thing, they provide substantial weight-saving, so that drilling at greater depths becomes possible; for another, such systems have a longer lifespan. Other functionalities, such as sensors, can also be relatively simply built into composite pipe systems. Composites are to some extent more flexible, which allows access to areas that are currently difficult to reach. This may be of particular importance for environmentally vulnerable areas.
Thanks to the recent acquisition of the Phoenixx company (USA), TenCate has acquired UD (uni-directional) technology, which represents a major addition to its product portfolio in the field of composite materials. This is an indication that TenCate is specifically pursuing new developments for applications in the aviation industry, and that it also sees new, high-level and functional areas of application in the oil and gas industry.
TenCate Cetex® thermoplastic composite material will play an important role in this development and production. Applications for these tubular systems include coiled tubing for use in boreholes; lightweight risers (vertical tubulars) for offshore, deep-sea use; and maintenance-free transport pipelines.
Director Marcus Kremers of Airborne Composite Tubulars: "This collaboration is extremely important to us, because by deploying our joint expertise and technologies we will be better able to adapt thermoplastic composite materials to application in tubular systems. In addition, this collaboration will provide us with the opportunity to harmonize the scaling up of the production capacities of both companies."
Group director Frank Meurs of TenCate Advanced Composites (Europe) too is enthusiastic: “This partnership will create the opportunity to combine state-of-the-art material technology with advanced production technology, thus accelerating the qualification of tubular systems for the oil and gas market. Moreover, our companies will together be capable of providing stable supplies to this market.”