Trio to collaborate on pipeline technology

A tie-up between the University of Strathclyde, the Oil & Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC) and US company Blueshift has helped accelerate the development of a new product that aims to reduce the cost of pipeline installation.

Ian Phillips: Said project underlines university skills

The new “polymer aerogel” technology should improve the insulation for deep-sea oil and gas pipelines, reducing the amount of steel used in construction while increasing the rate of flow.

Aerogels are the world’s lightest solid materials, composed of up to 99.98 per cent air by volume.

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Blueshift was founded in 2013 to focus on the commercialisation of polymer aerogels for application in oil and gas, aerospace, radar, automotive and building materials. They are 500 times stronger than conventional silica aerogels.

The firm linked up with OGIC to support the development of the polymer aerogel blanket, and selected Strathclyde as its academic partner.

Tim Burbey, president of Blueshift, said: “This was Blueshift’s first experience working with a Scottish university. The team demonstrated an exemplary level of technical expertise.”

Ian Phillips, chief executive of OGIC, said: “The success of this project serves to underline the world-class capabilities within Scottish universities and research institutes which are applicable to oil and gas technology development.

“The work carried out to date is fast-tracking a new product to market and has resulted in an ongoing relationship between Blueshift and the University of Strathclyde.”