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June 23, 2022


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Fire Safety Guidance

HSE report reveals “evidence gaps” in composite repair system response to fire 

A Health & Safety Executive (HSE) research report has outlined guidance on the use of engineered composite repairs to fix defective and corroded pipework on major hazard plants, both on and offshore.

Engineered composite repairs are used in chemical plants, oil refineries and offshore installations.

Pipework includes:

  • Those carrying flammable or toxic process fluids
  • Those within safety critical systems, for instance carrying firefighting deluge water.

The use of these repairs is increasing, for example by duty holders seeking to extend the life of a major hazardous plant. To ensure that safety levels are maintained on major hazardous plants, it is important to understand the properties of composite pipe repairs and any evidence gaps.

One concern is that, in the event of a fire incident, the materials used to make composite repairs, such as glass, fibre or carbon reinforced polymer systems, might begin to leak quicker than metallic pipework. If this were the case, it could potentially increase the severity of a fire incident.

The HSE report describes a preliminary programme of experimental tests to explore the effect of liquid pool fires and burning jets of gas on engineered composite repairs. No previous experimental evidence was available. The research identified evidence gaps in regard to composite repair systems in some fire scenarios.

This is important information for the industry, as professionals must ensure that existing levels of safety are maintained.

To access the report in full, click here. 

This news story is in partnership with Barbour EHS, a specialist information service provider supporting professionals across sectors including fire and security, FM, health and safety, sustainability and energy.


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