A recent report from DNV revealed that tubes and piping are the most failure-prone components in the oil, gas and maritime industries; fatigue and corrosion being the most common failure types. To avoid or minimize these common failure types, professionals have been considering digital solutions and digital manufacturing technologies that deliver better sustainability. One of these technologies is Additive Manufacturing.
A recent use case shared by Australian 3D printer manufacturer AML3D highlights the use of Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) in the production of a high-pressure Oil & Gas piping component. This demonstrator component was printed as part of AML3D’s internal development program
Described as the “world’s largest high-pressure Oil & Gas piping component” that has been 3D printed, the 940kg monocoque “piping spool” component measures 850mm in length and 450mm in diameter.
The manufacturing process required the use of AML3D’s patented WAM®. The printing was conducted in one piece, eliminating the need for using three separate components using traditional fabrication and welding methods.
Moreover, the use of the WAM® process has improved material properties using a higher strength wire feedstock and optimised process parameters, while reducing the manufacturing time from months to just days.
The 41mm thick high-pressure piping spool was printed according to the stringent and newly released American Petroleum Institute (API) Standard 20S and has met all test acceptance criteria, a press release reports.
Furthermore, to conduct the acceptance testing for ASME B31.3, a well-used American standard for these applications, a team of Trushape Engineering, experts in high-pressure piping components testing pressurised the component to 34,790kPa. The pressure was held for an extended period with no loss of structural integrity and thereafter, independently witnessed and verified by marine verification company Lloyds Register.
So far, Wire-Arc AM has proven its capabilities for various applications in the Oil & Gas industries; applications that include for instance a 3D printed clamp, a 3D printed waterbushing to name a few.
In this vein, can we legitimately say that WAAM is the only AM process that is uniquely positioned to meet the production requirements in the Oil & Gas sector?
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