Cold Spray Additive Manufacturing for New Pipeline Fabrication in Live, Natural Gas Distribution Mains
Project Innovation + Advantages:
ULC Technologies and its partners, PSU Applied Research Lab (PSU ARL) and Brookhaven National Lab (BNL), will develop a novel Cold Spray Additive Manufacturing (CSAM) process for fabricating stainless-steel pipes inside aging gas distribution pipelines. Using methane as the carrier gas, the operation can be performed in a live, natural gas pipeline resulting in zero service disruptions. Stainless steel offers high resistance to corrosion, compatibility with standard pipe fittings, and low permeability to hydrogen for future hydrogen transport. By minimizing reliance on the aging host pipe substrate and providing high strength, the newly fabricated pipe will ensure a life greater than 50 years. A compact robotic cold spray system will be developed in the subsequent project phase that will require minimal excavation and enable the technology to be cost-effective (< $1million per mile). Cold spray technology does not require pipe pre-cleaning, can be automated, and can be operated at high speeds, which will allow pipeline operators to restore pipe integrity quickly and cost effectively.
REPAIR seeks to eliminate the highest pipe rehabilitation cost components, excavation and restoration, by repairing pipes without their removal.