FRP or Fiberglass reinforced thermoset plastic pipe is often the material of choice for corrosive process systems. This is due to a variety of factors, including:
|Customizable for a variety of applications
|Light weight (< 20% of steel, 10% of concrete)
|Excellent strength to weight (stronger than steel on an equal weight basis)
|Low coefficient of friction (>25% better than steel)
|Excellent dimensional stability
|Low thermal conductivity (saving insulation costs)
|Low long-term maintenance costs
An evaluation of life cycle costs of a system, including all of the above variables, often demonstrates significant cost savings for FRP pipe vs. steel; with even greater cost savings over alternative alloy materials.
Composites USA manufactures hand lay-up and filament wound FRP pipe in all commercially available resin systems including: polyester, vinyl ester, furan, phenolic, and epoxy. Resin systems, as well as reinforcements, are tailored for specific applications. FDA compliant materials are available, as are flame retardant, abrasion resistant materials, conductive materials as well as dual containment pipe systems.
The design of any pipe system must take into account many different factors. Corrosion allowances, operating pressure, vacuum, temperature, abrasion, flammability, and electrical conductivity are just a few of the characteristics that must be considered and addressed with proper choice of materials of construction. Mechanical design evaluates the strength of the pipe, the requirements for supports, thermal expansion compensation, burial loads, wind, snow and seismic considerations. Laminate analysis, and when required, finite element analysis is a part of the overall FRP pipe design solution.
The system analysis is completed using conventional techniques, substituting appropriate physical properties for the fiberglass system specified. A typical Specification for fiberglass pipe is also available on this web site.