Part of a system of pipes attached to the ceiling above orange lamps

FRP 101: What Determines the Longevity of your FRP Pipes

FRP is an acronym for fiberglass reinforced plastic/polymer. This is a composite material made of a plastic or polymer that is reinforced by glass fibers. The material has three layers. The innermost layer is a chemical barrier, which is followed by a chemical veil that supports the chemical barrier. These protect the inside of the pipes from damage from whatever is passing through them. The outermost weather barrier protects the pipes from external damage. These are regulated, because they play an indispensable role in determining the longevity of your FRP pipes. Read on to find out what else impacts their lifespan.

Incorrect Resin-Fiber Mix

Before buying and installing FRP pipes, it’s important to know what kinds of material will pass through those pipes. FRP pipes are customized to handle a specific kind of material. For example, you can’t transmit kerosene through FRP pipes designed to handle water. An incorrect mix can cause damage to the innermost layers of your FRP pipes, which are extremely difficult, if not outright impossible, to repair.

Temperature

FRP pipes come with optimal temperature ranges contingent on the kind of resins used to make them. For example, epoxy and polyester FRP pipes have the same lower temperature range of -20 ℉. However, epoxy’s upper limit (300 ℉) is 100℉ higher than polyester’s upper-temperature limit (200 ℉). Moving beyond these limits alters the way the material passing through the pipes interacts with the pipes. Moreover, exceeding these temperature ranges can compromise the structural integrity of the pipes themselves, necessitating repairs.

Environmental Damage

External damage to FRP pipes, within a reasonable limit, is repairable. Generally, as long as the weather barrier is not scratched or damaged enough to expose the inner barriers, FRP pipes can be repaired. However, it’s still an unnecessary risk that can be mitigated by taking extra precautions during periods of elemental tumult. If your pipes are located outside the building, repeated bouts of harsh weather can damage these pipes. Investing in some kind of protection for the pipes can mitigate future repair and replacement costs.

Maintenance

Part of a home’s network of fiberglass pipes

Sediment tends to accumulate in FRP pipes, and all other pipes, over their lifespan. This sediment can obstruct and contaminate whatever is flowing through your pipes. This can cause your costs to snowball, since contaminated material affects your entire supply chain. A proper maintenance program can ensure your pipes remain clean, disinfected and unobstructed. Not only will this save you from needless expenses, but it’ll also lengthen your pipes’ lifespan.

However, sometimes you can’t prepare for every contingency and your pipes can get damaged. Alternatively, your pipes may be reaching the end of their lifespan (approximately 30 years). Whether you need repairs or general inspection, contact Hudson Fiberglass. We’re located in Watertown, FL, and offer FRP pipe repairs and inspections to evaluate the state of your FRP pipes. Contact us now to keep your fiberglass Piping clear, clean, and functional.

Find out more about fiberglass surface coating here.

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