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Bend stiffeners: product development

Thursday, 06 April 2017 12:39

Polyurethane bend stiffeners are used to add support to flexible pipes, umbilicals and cables. They are typically positioned at vulnerable interfaces where a significant change in stiffness occurs such as when being connected to rigid structures or a floating production system where there is a requirement to control the minimum bend radius of the pipe.

Three types of stiffener are generally available, dynamic, intermediate and static. These are typically conically shaped PU mouldings with a cylindrical bore that slips over the pipe, umbilical or cable.

In dynamic and intermediate applications bend stiffeners require to have sufficient fatigue resistance to control and protect the in-service bend radii and sustain the cyclic loads to the end of the specified life of the flexible pipe, umbilical or cable. In static applications they protect against gross over-bending.

Balmoral bend stiffeners accommodate a variety of interfaces on client hardware engaging and locking into grooves or bolting directly onto flanges while, in special cases, Balmoral will design bespoke steelwork to accommodate client hardware. In certain circumstances Balmoral also offers split bend stiffeners allowing a retrospective installation providing a greater window for client installation.

Aberdeen-based Balmoral Offshore Engineering’s dynamic bend stiffeners are accredited by Bureau Veritas to API 17L1:2013 standards using specifically formulated PU materials to suit applications that are subject to cyclic and dynamic loading. Static stiffeners are largely used for installation purposes.

Upgraded manufacturing plant

As part of Balmoral’s ongoing investment programme an improved, industry-leading, elastomer manufacturing facility has been installed to increase capacity of the current range and allow the production of bend stiffeners measuring 14m (46ft) in length, which is believed to be an industry ‘first’.

Balmoral’s technical team addressed the health and safety aspects of the industry by qualifying only ‘safe’ polymer materials that avoid the use of highly toxic cross linkers.

Fraser Milne, projects and engineering director at BOE, said: “Our new manufacturing facility will increase production capacity to meet market demands for this product.

“Our industry-leading research and development centre is highly focused on a continuous improvement programme to ensure that our processes and technical capabilities evolve to exceed industry requirements while enhancing and improving our product portfolio.

“Balmoral products are put to the test in some of the toughest conditions in the industry. With much of our SURF-related products carrying BV certification to API standards, and a global track record that is second to none, clients can rest assured they are receiving not only the best product solution on the market but also the best possible technical advice available.”

Balmoral’s engineering team uses the latest design software to ensure all bend stiffeners comply with loading and temperature requirements throughout their service life. Product support data and results are provided by in-house labs and the company’s comprehensive subsea test centre.

You are invited to visit the company’s booth on the UK Pavilion at this year’s OTC where technical personnel will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Notes to editor

Balmoral Offshore Engineering is part of Balmoral Group Holdings Ltd, a privately owned company based in Aberdeen, Scotland. Employing over 600 people Balmoral has been providing solutions to the energy, engineering, marine, building, polymer engineering and processing sectors since 1980.

Press contact

Steve Gibb
Public Relations Manager
Balmoral Park, Loirston, Aberdeen AB12 3GY
+44 (0)1224 859000

Balmoral Group

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