IHT flex circuit technology for oil and gas leak detection

3rd December 2021
Beatrice O'Flaherty

Trackwise, manufacturer of specialist products using printed circuit technology, has announced that Direct-C, a Canadian producer of gas and oil leak detection systems, is using Trackwise’s patented Improved Harness Technology (IHT) to improve the ruggedness and manufacturability of its WrapSense sensing strip, and to reduce installation costs.

WrapSense utilises a proprietary nanocomposite which is specifically designed only to react to liquid hydrocarbons.

The nanocomposite is applied as a coating to a substrate which also contains electronic circuitry that can capture the data and feed the information back, identifying the presence of a leak.

By using Trackwise's IHT flexible printed circuit technology, 26m-long strips of WrapSense can be produced.

"Previously, we were daisy-chaining small segments together", explained Direct-C's Chief Science Officer, Stephen Edmondson. "This is time-consuming and requires many links, each of which is a potential failure point. Trackwise's IHT FPC eliminates these issues."

The Trackwise IHT technology uniquely enables multilayer FPCs of unlimited length to be constructed. Therefore, multiple wires can be replaced with a single FPC, saving space and weight, but also increasing reliability and repeatability and reducing assembly time.

Trackwise offers cost-effective, high-volume UK production of FPCs and the company is also very experienced in the aerospace and other high-reliability markets, making it a perfect match for Direct-C's requirements.

Edmondson added: "We do make very long lengths of WrapSense - for example, we just completed a 350m run for a German refinery. Trackwise's IHT FPC would enable us to scale-up easily as well as improve robustness and reduce installation costs."

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