Breaking Down the Competition
One of the greatest challenges to getting broader use of composites into oil and gas applications is changing the mindset of users of traditional metallic options to consider advanced composite solutions. “Or, even worse, they have used a poor-quality FRP and now have no interest in using our materials,” Myers says. “Thankfully, the rigorous fire and performance standards related to oil and gas prevent some lower quality materials from being admitted onto oil and gas rigs.”
While the main competition is steel, composites are able to break new ground through new material combinations and processing technologies. “We work directly with customers to solve their challenges,” says Jacoby. “We find out the geometry of the component they’re using today, the criteria for the application in terms of loads, speeds and the environmental conditions, and the kinds of temperature they are seeing. We do some calculations on the application.” And from there, a new product is born.
Mitchell Johnson agrees that the fun part of working with composites is the nearly endless design options. “You just need to think outside the box as to what problems you need to solve and give us a little bit of time to get there,” he says. “We can usually provide a composite solution.”
This innovative mindset is a perfect fit for an oil and gas industry currently seeking to push past its traditional limits.