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Diakont part of ARPA-E program REPAIR program for pipelines

Diakont is part of a team that was awarded $5 million in funding from the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) Rapid Encapsulation of Pipelines Avoiding Intensive Replacement (REPAIR) program (earlier post) to develop new technologies for rehabilitating legacy cast iron and bare steel natural gas distribution pipelines, by building new, robust replacement pipe inside the existing pipelines.

Diakont’s team members for this program includes project leader Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and LifeLast.

The project is to develop a cost-effective and efficient smart structural coating deposition system and advanced high-end technology tools to inspect and rehabilitate gas distribution pipelines. The team will build on ORNL’s success in developing low-cost carbon-fibers, composites, smart polymer materials, and non-destructive evaluation methods by leveraging expertise of partners on coating deposition and robotic inspection tools for smart repair of gas pipes.

The designed polymer composite coating materials provide structural strength and facile processability with smart functionalities. Integrated robotic technologies—Diakont’s contribution—for coating deposition and non-destructive multiscale interrogation of the pipe enable delivery of the complete solution for rehabilitation of gas distribution pipelines.

The success of this research program is critical for ensuring the safety of our communities. Conducting this pipeline remediation in-situ requires overcoming substantial technical challenges, but our team is implementing reliable, economical solutions that will accomplish just that. The rehabilitation of these legacy pipelines to extend their safe operating life is needed to ensure the continued reliability of our natural gas supply system, particularly in cities where excavation is impractical, or in some cases impossible.

—Edward Petit de Mange, Managing Director at Diakont

San Diego-based Diakont is an industry leader in the development and use of innovative robotic technologies that support oil and gas operations, often for the purpose of extending the safe operating life of system assets, through new methods of inspection and remediation.

The technologies that Diakont and its REPAIR teammates are developing aim to extend the safe operating life of rehabilitated pipes by at least 50 years, while working toward a 10x to 20x reduction in cost per mile.

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