New research from Element Hitchin is groundbreaking…literally! The company completed a research project to design and build equipment for the continuous quality control and repairing of reinforced thermoplastic pipes during the manufacturing process.

The impact of this newfound research could be colossal for the oil and gas industry, which is shifting from metallic pipes to lighter and more flexible composite materials. Identifying and repairing flaws can be rather difficult; using this solution, companies will be able to see substantial reductions in costs.

After two years and £620,000 ($1,045,382), Element Hitchin worked with global manufacturer GE Oil & Gas and non-destructive equipment specialists Wavelength NDT, with the project partly funded by the UK Government via the Technology Strategy Board.

According to Rod Martin, Element Hitchin’s EVP of Oil & Gas, “Element Hitchin continues to blaze a trail in composite materials testing and qualification and this research further cements its reputation as one of the world’s leading laboratories in the field. Its status as the Element group’s international center of excellence for FEA (Finite Element Analysis) was a factor in its critical contribution to the project’s success.”

Needless to say, this research stands to revolutionize the way composite pipes are created in the future. Element Hitchin is planning to commercialize this research as a means to move the oil and gas industry away from relying on metallic pipes.