TuFF Internal Wrap for Rapid Pipeline Repair (TuFF iWRAP)

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Newark, Delaware
Project Term:
05/17/2021 - 05/16/2024

Technology Description:

The team led by the University of Delaware Center for Composite Materials will develop a novel composite material feedstock and robotic placement process to fabricate stand-alone structural pipe within existing pipelines with no disruption in gas service. Repair strategies will be developed for straight and slightly curved pipe sections that will be internally wrapped and repaired using a new robotic-based design facilitating continuous placement of the tailorable feedstock material and creating a stand-alone structural liner within the legacy pipeline. A tethered material feeding system supplies the material nonstop, which is placed and UV-cured with the internal Wound Rapid Automated Placement (iWRAP) system. This system is designed for maximum deposition rates, reducing repair time and cost for straight sections. For more complex geometry pipe transitions, such as T-joints, diameter reductions, and steep bends, an inflatable toroidal bladder wrapped in the feedstock material will be inflated to stretch and conform to the pipe geometry and co-cured with the straight/slightly curved pipe sections. If successful, the TuFF iWRAP project would lower costs by 50% .

Potential Impact:

REPAIR seeks to eliminate the highest pipe rehabilitation cost components, excavation and restoration, by repairing pipes without their removal.


REPAIR projects should improve the sustainability of domestic natural gas distribution by economically rehabilitating legacy pipes.


REPAIR will produce 3D maps and data management/visualization tools that integrate geospatial data for leak testing, integrity/inspection data, coating deposition data, and locations of pipes and adjacent underground infrastructure.


REPAIR program innovations will accelerate legacy pipeline replacement while reducing cost to utilities and gas customers.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Jack Lewnard
Project Contact:
Dr. John Gillespie
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


Plitzie LLC

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