This project by our customer Verderg Connectors Ltd involved producing one of the most technically advanced insulated towhead structures for extracting oil from the North Sea. The purpose of the insulation was to maintain the oil temperature at around 180°C. However, this posed many technical challenges such as subsea pressures, high temperatures and the variety of geometric forms that the towhead was made up from.
16 different customised tools were manufactured to ensure the composite insulating panels closely matched the shape of the metallic pipes used in the towhead structure. A laminate which was defined to resist the subsea pressures was infused with a very high temperature infusion resin system, which was post cured to 180°C to generate a high tg.
The encapsulation was to protect a super insulating material known as Aerogel which offered outstanding insulation performance, by keeping the oil hot during extraction it significantly improved the flow rate from the well.