Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic Pipe - Composites USA

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Fiberglass ReinforcedPlastic PipeComposites USAA Critical Process Systems Group Company

FIBERGLASS REINFORCED / FRP PIPE:resin systems, including polyester, vinyl ester, furan,phenolic, and epoxy thermoset resin systems. Resinsystems as well as reinforcements are tailored for specific applications. FDA compliant materials are available, as are flame retardant and dual containment FRPpipe systems.The design of any pipe system must take into accountmany different factors. Corrosion allowances, operating pressure, vacuum, temperature, abrasion, flammability, electrical conductivity are just a few of the characteristics of the desired system that must be consideredand addressed with proper choice of materials of construction. Mechanical design evaluates the strength ofthe 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 overallfiberglass FRP pipe design solution.The system analysis is completed using conventionaltechniques, substituting appropriate physical propertiesfor the fiberglass system specified. A typical Specification for fiberglass pipe is also available in this catalogbinder.Fiberglass reinforced thermoset plastic pipe (or FRPpipe) is often the material of choice for corrosive process systems. This is due to a variety of factors:An ability to be tailored for a wide variety ofcorrosion resistant conditionsLight weight (less than 20% of steel, 10% ofconcrete)Excellent strength to weight (stronger than steel onan equal weight basis)Low coefficient of friction ( 25% better than steel)Good dimensional stabilityLow thermal conductivity (saving insulation costs)Low long-term maintenance costsAn evaluation of the total cost of the system, includingall of the above variables, often demonstrates cost savings for fiberglass FRP pipe vs. steel, with even greatercost savings over alternative alloy constructions.Composites USA manufactures hand lay up and filament wound FRP pipe in all commercially availableDESIGN CONSIDERATIONS:Fiberglass FRP pipe design is greatly influenced by theprocess design. The process will generally determinethe required corrosion liner resin selection and thickness, the design and operating temperatures, pressures,and vacuum.Following a determination of the above criteria, themechanical design of the fiberglass pipe laminate structure begins. The laminate design will balance the economic benefit of various resin and reinforcement characteristics to meet the specified process design. Finally,the overall system is evaluated for proper support, thermal expansion stresses, and compliance withappropriate codes.In the sections that follow, key relationships for fiberglass FRP pipe are highlighted. At the end, a life cyclecost comparison is shown to demonstrate the costeffectiveness of fiberglass pipe vs. steel.

Process Design:Corrosion Requirements:The anticipated concentration limits of the processstream needs to be evaluated for chemical corrosionresistance at temperature. Specific recommendationsshould be made by the resin manufacturer wheneverpossible. Fiberglass pipe is not subject to many of thecorrosion problems associated with metal pipes, suchas galvanic, aerobic, intergranular corrosion or pitting.Resin Selection:As noted above, specific recommendations should bemade whenever possible. Fairly extensive data exists fora number of resin systems, while corrosion data is relatively scarce for others. General-purpose polyester resins should usually be avoided for chemical process piping. Corrosion grade polyesters provide an excellentvalue for many mildly corrosive systems. Vinyl esterresins provide additional corrosion resistance to strongoxidizing solutions while offering better mechanicalstrength and temperature resistance than the polyesters.Extensive corrosion resistance information is availablefor these resins.Furan, phenolic and epoxy resins generally offer additional solvent and temperature resistance, sometimessacrificing resistance to strong oxidizers. Corrosion datafor these resins is generally more limited than for thepolyester and vinyl esters, but particularly for conveyingorganics in acid environments, they can offer significantimprovements. For all the above, resin catalyst andpost cure should follow the resin manufacturer'srecommendations.Corrosion Liner Construction:The corrosion liner refers to the inside portion of thepipe laminate including resin reinforced with a corrosion veil or veils, and chopped strand fiberglass mat.The veil(s) may be either a corrosion grade fiberglass(C-glass), or an organic veil such as polyester (Nexus),ECTFE (Halar) or graphite. An organic veil would beused in environments known to attack glass, such assodium hydroxide, hydrofluoric acid, etc.The veil when cured will vary from 0.010" to 0.027", at10% to 50% reinforcement for C-glass or Halar, respectively, with polyester in between. The fiberglass chopped strand E-glass mat that backs up the veil forms thebalance of the corrosion liner. This mat generally curesto 30% /- reinforcement. The final corrosion liner mayvary from as little as 0.040" for a C-veil and one layer of1.5oz/ft2 chopped strand mat, to over 0.250", depending upon the customer's understanding of the corrosiveproperties of the fluid contained. The standard (SPI)corrosion liner is 0.100", while many pulp and bleachmanufacturers routinely use liners twice that thickness.To avoid confusion, the corrosion liner and the corrosion allowance should be specified. Some specificationsallow the use of the corrosion liner to be used in calculating required overall pipe wall thickness. Other specifications require the liner be treated as a sacrificialcorrosion allowance and not to be used in any of thepipe structural calculations for pressure and vacuumhandling capability.Temperature Requirements:The temperature handling capability of the variousresin systems depends upon the corrosive nature of theprocess fluid. In general, corrosion grade isophthalicpolyesters are suitable up to a temperature of approximately 120 - 170 F (50 - 75 C), while vinyl esters aresuitable up to a temperature of 170 -210 F (75 -100 C).These ranges are general only. The specific systemmust be evaluated in light of the corrosion requirements, and later on for the mechanical requirements(supports, expansion, fatigue, etc.). Furan, phenolicand epoxy resins may offer slightly higher temperaturesdepending upon the system.

Pressure & Vacuum:Fiberglass pipe is easily designed for the specificpressure or vacuum requirements of the system.It is common to specify pipe requirements by thedesign pressure of the system, using multiples of25 PSIG (i.e., 25, 50, 75, 100, 125, or 150 PSIGdesign). Higher pressures can be accommodatedwhen required. Fiberglass pipe is usually designed with a factor of safety 10 for internal pressure and a factor of safety 5 for vacuum.Abrasion Resistance:When required, additives such as ceramic fillerscan be incorporated into the fiberglass pipe corrosion liner to enhance abrasion resistance.These systems have been used for many years inpower plant and other services. In addition to fillers, additional layers or styles of veils may beconsidered.Specific Gravity: 1.5Friction Coefficient: 150-160 (Hazen-Williams)Surface Roughness: 1.7 x 10-5 ft(Darcy-Weisbach/Moody)Internal Pressure Rating:Based upon the hydraulic design basis for static orcyclic conditions in accordance with ASTM D-2992.The design basis is the hoop stress or strain that resultsin an estimated life of 100,000 hrs or 150 million cyclesfor static or cyclic conditions, respectively. Servicefactors are applied, usually 0.8 - 1.0 for cyclic and 0.50 0.56 for static conditions.Thermal Conductivity:1.0 - 1.5 BTU/(ft2)(hr)( F)/inch for polyester /vinyl ester pipe. The equivalent K factor is 0.083 0.125 BTU/(ft2)(hr)( F).Thermal Expansion:May vary in the hoop and axial directions. Typical axialexpansion for filament wound pipe at a 55 wind angleis 1.1 - 1.5 x 10-5 inch/inch/ F (or approximately twicethat of steel).Thermal expansion in piping systems may be accomplished by guides, expansion loops, mechanical expansion joints, anchors or combinations of the above. Useof these tools is similar to steel pipe design.Fiberglass pipe has a very low modulus relative to steel( 5% of steel). This significantly improves the pipe'sability to handle expansion and contraction loads.Mechanical Design:Structural Design Principles:Due to the wide variety of available standards,there is no universal set of criteria for designingfiberglass pipe. The following equations and constants may be used in the mechanical design offiberglass pipe. Acceptance criteria are basedupon the most current revision of ASTM D-2996(Standard Specification for Filament Wound Reinforced Thermosetting Resin Pipe):Poisson Ratio:Ratio of the axial strain to the hoop strain.Usually reported as 0.30 for laminates underdiscussion.Density: 0.055 lb/in3, or 1.5 gm/cm3.There are several tables available which specify thedesign modulus for calculating this expansion/contraction force. Fiberglass reinforced pipe is an anisotropicmaterial which results in different modulus values for

tensile, bending and compression, and vary again depending upon the resin, reinforcement and reinforcement orientation used. Care must be taken to insurethe appropriate modulus is used, and a ply by ply laminate analysis is generally appropriate. An example ofthese tables is shown in our Pipe Specifications.Supports and Guides:Proper support of fiberglass pipe is very similar to steelpipe support. Several key points to consider are thefollowing:Joining Pipe:Composites USA pipe may be assembled using eitherbutt and wrap (fiberglass lay-up) or flanged construction. Factory subassembly is available and recommended for branch connections. The procedures for buttand wrap joining are similar to those shown for Class 1duct, also in this catalog binder. Thickness and width ofthe joints will vary depending upon the pressure classification and liner requirements of the system.Avoid point loadingProvide the minimum support width - bearingstress 85 psi.Protect against abrasion - use abrasion shieldsSupport equipment and valves independentof the pipeAvoid unnecessary bendingAvoid unnecessary loading in vertical runs, andsupport vertical runs in compression wherepossibleGuides should allow movement in the axial directiononly. Care should be taken to provide protection at allcontact points using a steel or fiberglass saddle bondedto the pipe. Anchors must restrain the pipe against allforces. Anchors break the pipe system into componentsystems, which are then analyzed for expansion. Pumps,valves and other equipment can sometimes function asan anchor. Additional anchors may be required, and itis good practice to include them on at least 300 ftstraight run intervals.Guides and anchors function as supports. Supports arerequired to prevent excessive pipe deflection. For fiberglass pipe, a mid-span deflection of no greater than 0.5inch generally results in acceptable bending stresses. Ifthe deflection exceeds 0.5 inch, a safety factor on thebending stress of 8:1 is usually sufficient.Buried Pipe:Buried pipe design differs from above ground design inmany respects. Most of these requirements are spelledout in Appendix A of AWWA Standard C-590-88. Additional design details including pipe size, surge pressure, working pressure, service temperature, soil conditions, soil specific weight, depth of cover, and trafficloads will be required. Note that while the previous discussions have used ASTM service design factors of lessthan or equal to 1.0 the AWWA C-950 specifies designfactors which are the reciprocal of the service designfactors and are always greater than or equal to 1.0.Contact Composites USA for specific guidance in thisarea.Cost Comparison:Hydraulics:Composites USA fiberglass pipe offers significant hydraulic advantages over steel pipe for the followingreasons:Fiberglass pipe is smoother than steelFiberglass pipe stays smoother than steelFiberglass pipe provides larger cross sectionalflow areasFiberglass pipe has a smoother internal surface thansteel pipe, with a Hazen-Williams roughness coefficientof 160 when new, or 150 used. Steel pipe, on the otherhand, has a Hazen-Williams roughness coefficient of120 when new, or 65 used. The far greater loss insmoothness for the steel pipe is due to scale build-up onthe steel pipe. Note that even when the fiberglass pipeis used, it is still much smoother than new steel.Composites USA, as do many manufacturers of fiberglass pipe, provide internal diameters for their pipe andfittings which match the nominal pipe size. Thus, an 18"diameter fiberglass pipe would have an 18" internal diameter, while an 18" diameter schedule 40 steel pipewould have a 16.88" internal diameter, providing only88% of the flow area of its fiberglass counterpart.

These key differences are directly related to substantial cost savings available with the use offiberglass pipe as shown below.Material Costs:The first cost (material) purchase price of fiberglass pipeand fittings for typical installations has been variouslyreported as 0.75 - 2 times the price of similar diameterstainless steel pipe systems. But first cost is only onepiece of information in evaluating overall system cost.An evaluation of installed plus operating cost of pipingsystems usually generates a compelling case for the useof fiberglass pipe.In addition to the material purchase price, evaluationof the total system cost considers the following:A. Pipe Installation CostMaterial purchase price (advantage - usually SS)Support requirements (supports, anchors,expansion joints - advantage FRP)Joint make-up times (cutting and welding advantage FRP)Rigging requirements (light weight FRP vs. steelweights - advantage FRP)B. Pipe Operating CostEnergy costs (

upon the most current revision of ASTM D-2996 (Standard Specification for Filament Wound Rein-forced Thermosetting Resin Pipe): Ratio of the axial strain to the hoop strain. Usually reported as 0.30 for laminates under discussion. 0.055 lb/in3, or 1.5 gm/cm3. 1.5 150-160 (Hazen-Williams) 1.7 x 10-5 ft (Darcy-Weisbach/Moody) 1.0 - 1.5 BTU/(ft2)(hr)( F)/inch for polyester / vinyl ester pipe .

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