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Rapid Encapsulation of Pipelines Avoiding Intensive Replacement Workshop

The Rapid Encapsulation of Pipelines Avoiding Intensive Replacement (REPAIR) workshop seeks to reduce costs for replacing bare steel and cast iron gas distribution pipes by fabricating new, “smart” pipes inside the old pipes using robotics, advanced composite materials, and new inspection tools.  The objective is to go beyond current industry practices:

  • The rehabilitated pipe is lower cost, has superior specifications, and is “smarter” than new polyethylene
  • Concurrently document 3-D map of system, detailed inspection record including composite materials certifications
  • Proactively address qualifying rehabilitated pipe as a new assets in the utility rate base

While this program is focused on gas distribution pipelines, the processes can also be used for gas gathering, water, sewer, and possibly higher-pressure transmission pipelines, which represents a multi-billion dollar market.

Success requires technical and commercial expertise from within and outside the pipeline community.  We have contacted you because you have one or more of the following competencies:

  • Utility and regulatory stakeholders to set system performance specifications
  • Pipe and materials testing expertise, facilities, and/or Codes and Standards expertise
  • Service companies that can integrate components and create a turn-key commercial offers
  • Robotics experts to create platforms for applying composite coatings and conveying inspection tools
  • Composite experts who can develop a “Goldilocks” smart formulations with the correct mix of viscosity, set time, strength, flexibility to achieve minimum 50 year life. We are interested in “smart composites” that have enhanced adhesion, self-healing features, and “self-reporting” functionality to provide positive feedback related to stress/strain
  • Sensors/Inspection tools that can assess integrity of coating, as well as assess underlying metal pipes.  Relevant expertise includes eddy current, UT, and thermal
  • Data analytics/visualization software to allow “real-time” decisions by operators.

For more information on REPAIR, please watch the recorded presentation below:

The meeting's output will help direct the actions of ARPA-E towards the most promising and appropriate high risk, high return R&D funding opportunities and management strategies. Interested participants may apply to the workshop by sending an email to sends e-mail) stating your interest in attending along with the requested information: a) your resume including a description of your expertise in the topic and b) a brief statement on what you see as the key challenges and opportunities facing the topic. Please note there is an attendance fee to defray workshop costs. This event is closed to the media.