Characterization of a phenolic Resin for Offshore Applications
Tutor / director / evaluatorImrie, Corrie
Document typeBachelor thesis
Rights accessRestricted access - author's decision
Nowadays, there is a strong interest in wet insulation systems for offshore applications. Oil and gas extractions are being performed in deeper waters, where the extreme conditions of temperature and pressure lead flow assurance to become a challenge because of formation of wax and hydrates. Wet insulation systems are studied as a prevention technique. They consist of an insulating layer involving the steel pipe. In this piece of research the insulating material analysed is a phenolic resin. Firstly, a deep study of its properties, synthesis and curing reactions is done in order to reach at consistent conclusion. Secondly, in order to study how effective this system can be, a resin under one year of aging process has been analyzed. DSC, TGA and FTIR experiments has been realized in different layers of the resin. Experiments with an unaged sample have been done in order to compare and study how the aging process had affected in the thermal properties and the effectiveness of the material as a insulation material. Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC) experiments were performed with samples heated up from -40ºC to 120ºC at 2 1C min-1 in order to study the specific heat at different temperatures. Surprisingly, condensation of water was found in the inner layer instead of in the outer one as it could be imagined, leading to the conclusion that the curing process had keep going because of the temperature. Then, a program between -40ºC and 180 ºC at 10 ºC min-1 was realized and the curing reaction studied. Many similarities were found in the outer layers. It can be thought to be because of being exposed to lower temperatures than cure temperature (Tc). The heterogeneity of the samples has also been studied. TGA analyses support the hypothesis of water´s accumulation because of the curing process in the inner point of the pipeline, which were closer to the oil. These results also show higher amounts of water in the outer layers than in the unaged, leading to think that water´s absorption could have occurred during the aging. FT-IR analyses did not show any difference between samples. Therefore no undesirable reaction and products were found. Finally, some pieces of advice for future work are suggested as a consequence of inaccuracy and unanswered questions in some experiment.
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