Aerospace materials used to build pipeline endless green
Instead of conventional concrete or steel pipe comprises a new lightweight of plastic honeycomb, similar to that used in the aerospace industry, between two layers of resin saturated carbon fiber fabric.
In combination, these materials are as strong or stronger than the conventional steel pipes and concrete, which are time consuming and expensive to manufacture and transport.
Concrete pipes and steel are built in short sections to fit standard 18-wheel trucks, but Ehsani new pipe can be built on the site as one section of almost infinite length, hence the product name InfinitPipe.
The processes of heavy industry manufacturing, road transport and long distance leak-prone joints used in the construction of steel and concrete pipes a heavy burden on the environment, not to mention the final results, so the Ehsani company, QuakeWrap is InfinitPipe marketing as the first "green" the world of the pipe.
"Actually, there are two aspects of this invention," Ehsani said. "One is the new type of lightweight honeycomb tube. Segundo is our ability to give customers an endless or infinite tube, without a joint. That is progress very, very big in the pipeline industry that has implications for natural gas, oil, water, and sewer pipes. "
A literally infinite pipeline is, of course, is not feasible, but Ehsani manufacturing method could create extremely long sections of pipe joint free. "We could make a section of a mile long," he says. "Of course, every thousand feet or so, you would need an expansion joint so that the tube can breathe, but it certainly would not be the same concern we have today, where we have to put a joint every 20 feet"
The secret to produce pipe sections virtually endless resides in the manufacturing methodology. Ehsani involves multiple layers of carbon fabric and honeycomb around a mandrel, a mold with a tubular cross-sectional shape matches the internal cross-section pipe, which is usually, but not always circular.
"Basically, start with a tube and wrap materials abroad," says Ehsani. "A pair of carbon fabric layers, then poured into the honeycomb and then a couple of layers of carbon fiber or glass on the outside. This becomes the pipe."
After trying this method of manufacture, Ehsani had a "eureka" moment when he realized that the tube could be partially completed slides off the mandrel, and pipe could be added to the remaining section of pipe in the chuck. "I thought, why not just fall out of the chuck and keep doing this tube?" Ehsani said. "Never stop."