Today Fiberglass Reinforced Thermosetting Plastic ("FRP") is being used in many industrial product applications, including the storage and transfer of corrosive materials or the handling of other materials in corrosive environments. While FRP piping has a 30-year history, it is considered a modern day product material with many new emerging applications that take advantage of its corrosion resistance, strength-to-weight ratio, low maintenance and life cycle cost. This paper discusses the history of FRP piping, current applications of FRP pipe and emerging future technological advances for new applications in petroleum storage and handling facilities.
Don’t confuse FRP piping with ordinary thermoplastic piping like PVC and polyethylene. Those thermoplastic systems typically employ non-reinforced extruded pipe and injection-molded fittings and flanges. What strength they have comes from the sheer bulk of material. By contrast, FRP piping materials are manufactured by winding processes that employ epoxy resins reinforced with continuous glass filaments. The resins used are thermosetting i.e., they undergo irreversible chemical reactions as they cure, resulting in superior temperature capabilities, while the filament reinforcement makes the piping components mechanically far more capable than ordinary non-reinforced thermoplastics. The result is enhanced performance and lighter weight.
Also, don’t confuse hand "lay-up" with machine made FRP products. Hand lay-up manufacturers number in the thousands and include small shops which typically specialize in consumer products, such as bathroom vanities or pleasure boats. However, there are relatively few machine made pipe manufacturers. These are large manufacturers that mass produce on-the-shelf or custom piping for petroleum, commercial, industrial and municipal applications for both domestic and overseas markets. Machine made FRP can have a higher glass loading i. e., denser glass fiber filament/resin product which is more reproducible in a quality controlled environment. Therefore, this paper is limited to advancements made in machine made pipe and fittings that will have applications in the petroleum industry.
Today the use of FRP machine made piping has grown from its original major use in oil field gathering lines to applications ranging from handling flammable and combustible liquids at retail consumer facilities to sewer and water mains in the municipal and industrial markets
Architectural and engineering firms are now able to use computer software programs developed to enhance the design of FRP piping systems. The program includes liquid flow analysis, gas flow analysis, free span analysis, thrust block design, chemical composition and installation information. The program makes it easy to step through complicated calculations and analysis when designing a new FRP piping system or for troubleshooting an existing FRP piping system.
We members provide complete fiberglass piping systems for a variety of applications, designed and manufactured to the highest quality standards. These companies assist customers with site layout, anchoring, support spacing, flow rate design, material selection and installation procedures.
These fiberglass products provide uninterrupted transportation in spite of earthquakes, resident environment or the aggressive characteristics of transport.
Motor Fuel Underground Piping:
UL Listed Single and Double-wall fiberglass piping is used for the underground transfer of petroleum products, alcohol and alcohol-blended gasoline motor fuels. This underground piping is available in diameters of 2 to 6 inches.
Tank Storage Applications
Fiberglass tanks are built to last
FRP aboveground tanks are ideal for:
FTPI's member tanks are designed with the latest technologies and manufactured under the strictest industry guidelines to meet a variety of needs.
Using advanced technology for fiberglass production, FRP tanks offer reliability, corrosion resistance and advanced engineering designs for both aboveground and belowground storage tanks.
UL Listed single-wall and double-wall construction are available for many industries. Double-wall tanks can accommodate a wide array of high-tech electronic leak monitoring and stored product control equipment.
- Solvents and non-flammable corrosive fluids in petroleum production, chemical, pulp and paper, and other industrial applications
FRP Shop Fabricated Aboveground Tank sizes range from 40 to 60,000 gallons in capacity. Field erected sizes are larger.
- Environmentally Safe
- Will Never Rust
- Durable Long Life
FRP Underground Tanks are ideal for:
FRP Underground Tank sizes range from 285 to 50,000 gallons in capacity, and from 4 to 12 feet in diameter and 6-1/2 to 73 feet in length.
- Jet Fuel
- Motor Oil
- Diesel Fuel
- Alcohol-Gasoline Blend Motor Fuels
- Ethanol-Blend Motor Fuels
- Methanol Blends
- Oxygenated Motor Fuels
- Water & Septic
- Any Gasoline/Ethanol Blend, including 100% Ethanol, Methanol or M85