SwRI Develops Superhydrophobic Coating, Process for Subsea Pipelines
Materials scientists at Southwest Research Institute have developed a superhydrophobic coating and a process for applying it to the internal surfaces of long tubular structures.
“We’ve developed a family of coatings and a process technology named Lotus, a reference to the lotus flower, which has similar superhydrophobic properties,” said Institute Scientist Dr. Michael Miller. “We produce these coatings using a vacuum process in which a plasma — a state of matter consisting of free electrons plus ionized atoms and molecules — is ignited inside the entire length of the pipe while introducing one or more chemicals. The process selectively fragments the chemicals into ions that are then accelerated onto the pipe surface where they immediately undergo polymerization to form a thin, glass-like, durable coating,” he added.
SwRI’s Lotus family of coatings is unique in that their surface properties, such as surface energy or tension, can be tailored chemically to prevent different kinds of deposits from adhering to the pipe’s interior.
Under an exclusive licensing and technology transfer agreement, the Lotus coating technology is being transitioned to an energy services company for the full-scale production of coated pipe so that the sponsoring client can further demonstrate its performance in deep offshore well applications.
“Construction of a high-throughput coating facility specifically for the Lotus coating technology is underway. It will eventually provide sufficient production capacity to meet the needs of other customers in the oil and gas industry,” Miller added.
Read the full article on swri.org.
Shawcor is currently mobilizing the new facility referred to in the release, using patented polymerization and deposition process. The coating will commence in October 2018 for a major GoM project for a major operator.
Download the LotusFloTM Data Sheet