Trackwise IHT flex printed circuit technology used in oil and gas leak detection system from Direct-C

Trackwise, the 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 utilizes 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,” said 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 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.”

Philip Johnston, CEO of Trackwise said: “We have worked closely with Direct-C and test house TWI to implement the WrapSense oil and gas leak detection system using our IHT flexible printed circuit technology. We are delighted that it has proved successful in trials and we are ready to supply production-runs from our UK manufacturing facility.”

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