Glass reinforced epoxy (GRE) gaskets were an improvement over prior isolation technologies and have been used to isolate pipelines in a broad range of industries for over 35 years. GRE has permeation issues (which has been recognized for some years now), but also many other weaknesses that open this product up to potential failure in a pipeline. The epoxy resin is chemically attacked by a number of commonly found medias that exist in today’s sweet and sour gas systems, the GRE is prone to delamination at high pressures due to the material’s laminate construction, the permeability of the GRE material is a gateway to explosive decompression failure, the glass transition temperature (Tg) value is typically lower than the rated operating temperature of the material and finally, the thickness tolerance is extremely broad leading to potential failure by media leakage.
This paper will graphically and technically display these performance weaknesses with output from both laboratory testing and field evaluation. An in-depth review of failure modes and causation will be executed on a mode-by-mode basis. A solution will be presented with data and imagery defining a new solution for pipelines requiring isolation.