Apr 2017
Gas Distribution
System Two Assess and Seal System (STASS)
Apr 2017
Apr 2019
Northern Gas Networks
Patrick Horton, Richard Hynes-Cooper
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Network Innovation Allowance
GD - Reliability and maintenance
Asset Management
The scope of the project is to;

(1) Undertake the design, development, manufacture and testing of a new Synthotrax IRV that can bring together visual, location, and sealant systems.

a. Development of the Synthotrax platform to include spray head and CCTV

b. Development of the Sealant injection system to increase injection length from 40m -50m to 130m

c. Field Trials to confirm TRL 6, 7 and 8

d. Manufacture of TRL8 Synthotrax

(2) Maximise the use of the ALH Bond and Bolt and Synthotech Key hole vertical access systems and encirclement clamps to minimise the number and size of excavations.

(3) Determine impact on Standards and operating procedures

a. Review and Gap Analysis

b. Support generation of G23

c. Technical reporting on the joints and connections sealed during the trials

The primary objectives will be to provide the necessary products and process to allow innovative and alternative method for to allow the sealing of joints in Tier 2 and Tier 3 mains. This will include the following defined outputs:


Stage 1: Laboratory testing of the complete system – TRL6 – 4 Months

  • Development of existing Synthotrax platform to allow the deployment of sealant up to 130m from access point
  • Demonstration in as bench top / laboratory system (non-gas)

Stage 2: Field trial testing of the complete system – TRL7 – 4 Months

  • Development of the Stage 1 system for use in a simulated operational environment
  • Demonstration in a simulated environment
  • Generation of Risk Assessments and Method Statements for progression to Stage 3

Stage 3a: Mobilisation – TRL8 – 4-6 months

  • Field Trials in working environment
  • Training and Skills assessment
  • Support of standards and approvals
  • Technical Approvals
  • Support of G23 Field Trial documentation
  • Assess drilling sizes for T2 and T3 mains e.g D/4 vs D/3.33

Stage 3b: Feasibility Study for potential future development

  • Identify and assess the potential for ‘bolt on technology’ e.g. Leak Detection
  • Options for Key hole 12” to 18”
  • Review potential Bond for permanent access fittings to allow future periodic inspections at lower costs
  • Understand statistical information to inform GD2

Stage 4: Technical & NIA closure report (2 Months)

  • Generation of data folders
  • Collation of trials data
  • Review of data management protocols for embedding in existing IT infrastructure


The project is deemed successful if, the products and end to end processes are developed that;

  • Meets the requirements of the project objectives

  • Achieves technology readiness level as detailed in the project scope