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9 November 20155 min read

Nylacast Back to back BEEA win makes engineering award history

International engineering specialist Nylacast was among a gathering of world class companies at the prestigious 2015 British Engineering Excellence Awards (BEEAs), making history by becoming the first and only company to win back to back awards for the Materials Application of the Year category.

The awards took place at the exclusive Hurlingham Club in London, with Nylacast returning as reigning champion, having won the 2014 award for the innovative, safety critical Nylacast worm wheel found in over 50 million vehicles worldwide. 2015 saw Nylacast once again lift the award, this time for its industry leading Pipe-in-Pipe Spacer application, which attracted the attention of the judging panel for its unique use of material selection and integration of materials.

The judging panel, made up of high calibre engineers, was looking for products which exploited material properties in order to solve industry challenges. On announcing Nylacast as the award winner, the judges commented: “Nylacast’s Pipe-in-Pipe Spacer was the stand out winner because it clearly met and solved real world application demands. Used extensively in the oil and gas sector, the system uses the company’s custom polymers, with low friction on one surface and a patented ferrous metal underside where high grip was required. This clever application demonstrated a real understanding of an industry’s needs.”

The unique product utilises a combination of materials derived from in depth understanding and knowledge of material science. The use of a ferrous and non ferrous material within one application works to eliminate the disadvantages and weaknesses each material may have, with a polymer excelling where a metal will not and vice versa. The advantages delivered through this engineering solution leads to faster installations, better performance and improved costs within the oil and gas industry.

Nylacast Marketing Manager, Junaid Makda, commented: “As a company focused on using material and engineering knowledge to meet challenging industry requirements, winning this BEEA back to back strengthens our grounding in the engineering arena as a value adding technology partner to our extensive range of clients.”

The design and manufacture of Nylacast Pipe-in-Pipe spacers takes place at Nylacast’s headquarters and main manufacturing facility in Leicester,UK, alongside its Houston sales office with deployment to key locations worldwide including, Angola, the Gulf of Mexico, the Norwegian Continental Shelf and the UK North Sea.

Nylacast has been awarded a number of contracts for the supply of Pipe-in-Pipe Spacers and centralisers to major contractors across the subsea tieback market. These projects awarded include Block 32, Dalmatian South, Gulfaks and Catcher: these are in addition to the hundreds of thousands of products already in service and supplied over the last 7 years.

Howard Bradfield, Marine, Oil, Gas and Offshore Engineer at Nylacast commented: “In the current challenging economic environment, Nylacast is delighted to be considered as the ‘go to’ company for the provision of such critical components in Subsea Tieback. Nylacast appreciates the opportunity of delivering engineering enhancements on these high profile contracts, allowing for greater length and improved performance of pipe-in-pipe systems. Working closely with tier one contractors is the tip of the supply chain engagement for Nylacast: sharing our engineering expertise at all levels, delivering novel solutions and excelling in customer service are what make us a key player in the market.”

Nylacast Pipe-in-Pipe Spacers:
Within the oil and gas industry the word ‘polymer’ is often associated with low grade applications, however the Nylacast Pipe-in-Pipe Spacer changes this perception through its proven track record.
A fundamental element of the oil and gas industry, used in sub-sea applications, the production pipe is housed within an outer pipe, keeping it dry and maintained at a temperature which allows the product inside to easily flow. The outer pipe acts as an environmental shield, the pipe-in-pipe spacers are utilised to accurately centralise the pipes.

Material selection is key for engineering products: with over four decades of engineering excellence, Nylacast Pipe-in-Pipe Spacers are created from a custom formulated grade of cast Nylon PA 6, combined with a patented coating on the underside. The low friction, self lubricated top surface allows the outer pipe to easily sleeve the inner pipe, eliminating damage and the need for further greases or lubricants during installation. Meanwhile, the patented high friction under layer allows the spacer to create an immensely strong grip on the inner pipe, withstanding significant force during installation and operation. This high friction layer also avoids the spacers bundling up at one end, which could unbalance the inner pipeline and potentially result in damage.

The combination of ferrous and non ferrous materials delivers enhanced performance for the finished product. This unique combination of materials also eliminates the disadvantages of each material, with the polymer excelling where the metal would not be suitable, and vice versa.

Nylacast Pipe-in-Pipe Spacers are utilised on projects with service lives ranging from 5 years to more than 25 years. To date, hundreds of thousands of spacers have been deployed within thousands of kilometres of pipeline around the world, with no reported failures, defects or other issues.

Founded in 1967, Nylacast has been at the forefront of engineering for almost half a century. Highly focused on the development of engineering solutions proven to increase performance, efficiency and safety, Nylacast polymers are renowned for outperforming traditional engineering materials and are therefore utilised across key industries worldwide including oil and gas, automotive, defence, mining, construction and pharmaceutical.

The company works closely with many blue chip organisations including BP, Shell, One Subsea, Technip and Subsea 7 on projects extending from the North Sea to the Gulf of Mexico. With manufacturing and distribution facilities strategically located in the UK, the USA and South Africa, Nylacast services a worldwide market, exporting to over 43 countries. Engineered polymers are said to be more durable, reliable and versatile than metals or ceramics, particularly in extreme and arduous environments. Typical uses include worm wheels, located in steering systems of more than 60 million vehicles worldwide, wear pads for construction equipment and custom components for the oil industry. The polymer components are corrosion and wear-resistant, self-lubricating and lightweight, offering improved performance, increased efficiency and lower whole life costs.

Nylacast provides a full engineering consultancy and project management service from concept to delivery, working closely with customers to understand their applications and provide innovative, tailored solutions. The company continually invests in its in-house R&D, creating market-leading resources and expertise to custom formulate materials and components.

Its manufacturing facilities are also state-of-the-art, enabling Nylacast to offer customers complex one-off components, or high volume production runs to meet the requirements of the largest manufacturers. All production is carried out to industry-specific high quality standards and has unique full traceability from chemistry to component.

Valuing people as a core asset Nylacast employs 440 people worldwide.

Following investment in people and polymers, Nylacast has won multiple awards for engineering, manufacturing, training and corporate social responsibility. This includes the 2014 and 2015 British Engineering Excellence Awards for the category of Materials Applications.

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