Description and modeling of polyurethane hydrolysis used as thermal insulation in oil offshore conditions

Type Article
Date 2013-12
Language English
Author(s) Le Gac Pierre-YvesORCID1, Choqueuse Dominique1, Melot D.2
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER, Ctr Brest, Marine Struct Lab, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
2 : Total SA, DGEP DEV TEC COR 22D67, F-92078 Paris 6, France.
Source Polymer Testing (0142-9418) (Elsevier Sci Ltd), 2013-12 , Vol. 32 , N. 8 , P. 1588-1593
DOI 10.1016/j.polymertesting.2013.10.009
WOS© Times Cited 43
Keyword(s) Polyurethane, Hydrolysis, Accelerated ageing, Sea water, Coating, Offshore
Abstract Polymers are widely used for passive thermal insulation coatings on steel pipe in offshore oil and gas production. In this industry, structures used in deep sea have to be reliable, as they are in service for more than 20 years in a very severe environment: sea water, hydrostatic pressure and temperature gradient. One of the main questions is how to test and predict the lifetime of such structures in the laboratory? This study presents one approach that has been developed to characterize and predict the degradation of polymers used as thermal insulation materials.

This paper is dedicated to polyurethane (polyether based) degradation in sea water at high temperature. Ageing has been performed in natural sea water under hydrostatic pressure at temperatures ranging from 70 to 120 °C on 2 mm thick samples. Water diffusion in the material and hydrolysis have been characterized using mass evolution and tensile tests. Based on these results, a model for the urethane hydrolysis reaction is proposed.
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