11 Sep Why GRP is the perfect pipe material
Glassfiber reinforced plastics (GRP) are a composite consisting of a polymer matrix and glass fibers. The polymer matrix is usually an epoxy, vinylester, or polyester thermosetting resin. The resin brings the environmental and chemical resistance to the product, is the binder for the fibers in the structural laminate and defines the form of a GRP part. The glass fibers add strength to the composite. They may be randomly arranged, or conveniently oriented.
Why it’s so strong
As with many other composite materials, the two materials supplement each other to form a stronger compound. Plastic resins are strong in compressive loading; the glass fibers are very strong in tension. By combining the two materials, GRP becomes a material that resists both compressive and tensile forces very well. Production methods of GRP include filament winding, centrifugal casting, hand lay-up and spray lay-up, and pultrusion.
GRP in pipeline construction
Since the 1950s, GRP has gained a firm foothold in the construction of pipelines. The range of applications covered by GRP piping solution today is broad: from sewer systems and potable water lines to storage tanks, drainage pipes, hydropower penstocks, industrial pipe systems, as well as rehabilitation solutions with special non-circular pipe profiles, to name just a few. The methods by which the pipes can be installed are just as manifold and include open trench, above ground, on suspensions, underwater, and by means of trenchless technologies such as relining and microtunneling.