Overview of fiberglass pipes

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Not so long ago, almost all com­mu­ni­ca­tions were assem­bled from met­al prod­ucts. Now, at a time of active devel­op­ment of tech­nol­o­gy, con­sumers can eval­u­ate prod­ucts made from mod­ern mate­ri­als — fiber­glass pipes that do not rust after sev­er­al years of use. When a solu­tion to this prob­lem was found, the mate­r­i­al became most wide­ly known.

Prod­ucts for degassing coal mines

Features of fiberglass products

The pro­ce­dure for the pro­duc­tion of such pipes is sim­ple — fiber­glass threads are wound on a strong frame in a con­tin­u­ous mode. Such threads are rein­forced with a spe­cial fiber­glass com­po­si­tion. In addi­tion, they are impreg­nat­ed with a resin mix­ture, sand and small par­ti­cles of fiber­glass. This man­u­fac­tur­ing tech­nol­o­gy allows the prod­uct to last more than 50 years. There is still no infor­ma­tion regard­ing a longer ser­vice life, since the first batch pro­duced just “knocked” 50. Accord­ing to experts, the prod­ucts are able to serve longer. Fiber­glass prod­ucts are char­ac­ter­ized by the fol­low­ing advan­tages:

  • Length of ser­vice life;
  • Ease of instal­la­tion work. Addi­tion­al cou­pling con­nec­tion allows you to eas­i­ly install pipes in com­mu­ni­ca­tions. There is no need to use weld­ing and qual­i­ty con­trol of the weld, which saves both mon­ey and time;
  • Light weight. Fiber­glass prod­ucts, com­pared to high-qual­i­ty steel alloy prod­ucts with sim­i­lar dimen­sions, will be 80% lighter;
  • Prod­ucts are not afraid of cor­ro­sion, respec­tive­ly, it is not nec­es­sary to use anti-cor­ro­sion com­pounds and impreg­na­tions;
  • Aggres­sive com­po­nents do not affect the mate­r­i­al, so it prac­ti­cal­ly does not wear out;
  • It is allowed to install fiber­glass pipes both in win­ter and in sum­mer, since the ambi­ent tem­per­a­ture does not affect their prop­er­ties;
  • Envi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly prod­ucts that do not adverse­ly affect human health and nature;
  • Eas­i­ly with­stand tem­per­a­ture fluc­tu­a­tions in the fol­low­ing ranges: from ‑65 to +155 degrees Cel­sius.
Rein­forced prod­ucts

Fiber­glass prod­ucts are man­u­fac­tured not only by con­tin­u­ous wind­ing, but also by cen­trifu­gal mold­ing.

The tech­ni­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics of the mate­r­i­al large­ly depend on the num­ber of struc­tur­al lay­ers. The vari­eties are as fol­lows:

  • The most afford­able are sin­gle-lay­er pipes. In this case, the fiber­glass lay­er is not pro­tect­ed by aux­il­iary coat­ings;
  • Pipes with two lay­ers are dis­tin­guished by an out­er pro­tec­tive sheath, due to which the impact of harm­ful sub­stances and ultra­vi­o­let rays is sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduced;
  • Prod­ucts with three lay­ers are sup­ple­ment­ed with a pow­er lay­er, which is locat­ed between the pro­tec­tive shell and the wall struc­ture. The key fea­ture of these pipes is increased strength and resis­tance to pres­sure, both exter­nal and inter­nal. For this rea­son, their cur­rent cost is quite high.

As for the scope of the described prod­ucts, it is prac­ti­cal­ly unlim­it­ed. The tech­ni­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics of the prod­ucts make it pos­si­ble to use them for lay­ing any com­mu­ni­ca­tions: water sup­ply, sew­er­age, oil and gas pipelines, high-volt­age equip­ment.

How to choose fiberglass pipelines

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There are sev­er­al cri­te­ria based on which the right prod­ucts are select­ed. All sig­nif­i­cant char­ac­ter­is­tics are indi­cat­ed on the accom­pa­ny­ing doc­u­men­ta­tion and on the pipes them­selves in the form of mark­ings.

Rigidity and nominal pressure

The resis­tance of pipes to exter­nal loads and inter­nal pres­sure depends on the mate­r­i­al stiff­ness index. Based on ISO stan­dards, it is cus­tom­ary to clas­si­fy pipe prod­ucts accord­ing to stiff­ness class­es. The thick­er the walls of the fiber­glass pipeline, the more rigid it will be.

bonding material

The binder direct­ly affects the per­for­mance of the prod­uct. In the case of fiber­glass, these are poly­ester and epoxy type addi­tives:

  • PEF addi­tives. Ther­moset­ting poly­ester resins are used to form the walls of the pipes, which are sub­se­quent­ly rein­forced with fiber­glass and sand. The poly­mers used in the course of work are char­ac­ter­ized by: low tox­i­c­i­ty, reli­able tenac­i­ty with fiber­glass and chem­i­cal inert­ness. Com­pos­ite pipes with PEF addi­tives are not afraid of cor­ro­sion and aggres­sive envi­ron­ment;
  • Epoxy resin. Thanks to this binder, the prod­uct is more durable. Such pipes are able to with­stand tem­per­a­tures up to +130 degrees Cel­sius and pres­sures up to 240 atmos­pheres. An addi­tion­al advan­tage is the almost zero ther­mal con­duc­tiv­i­ty. This allows you not to spend mon­ey on ther­mal insu­la­tion for already assem­bled pipelines.

Wall construction

Fiber­glass pipes can have up to three lay­ers, which sig­nif­i­cant­ly affects their tech­ni­cal fea­tures and scope of oper­a­tion:

  • 1 lay­er — no pro­tec­tive lin­ing is pro­vid­ed, so this prod­uct is the most afford­able. Not suit­able for regions with a harsh cli­mate and dif­fi­cult ter­rain. It is nec­es­sary to install such pipelines care­ful­ly, that is, dig a volu­mi­nous trench, equip a sandy “cush­ion”, which, ulti­mate­ly, increas­es the esti­mate of work;
  • 2 lay­ers — from the inside lined with high-pres­sure poly­eth­yl­ene. Thanks to such pro­tec­tion, the chem­i­cal resis­tance of the mate­r­i­al increas­es and her­met­ic per­for­mance is improved under exter­nal loads. Two-lay­er mod­i­fi­ca­tions installed in oil pipelines have some fea­tures: insuf­fi­cient lev­el of adhe­sion (the solid­i­ty of the walls is bro­ken), the pro­tec­tive film los­es its elas­tic­i­ty in the cold, the lin­ing can peel off (if a gas-con­tain­ing medi­um is trans­port­ed through the pipes);
  • 3 lay­ers — such a fiber­glass pipe con­sists of: an out­er poly­mer lay­er (increas­es mechan­i­cal and chem­i­cal resis­tance), a struc­tur­al lay­er (improves the strength index) and a lin­er (inner fiber­glass shell). Thanks to the inner lay­er, the prod­uct is smooth, air­tight and resis­tant to cyclic fluc­tu­a­tions in inter­nal pres­sure.
The more lay­ers, the bet­ter the tech­ni­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics.

Pipeline docking technology

Depend­ing on the con­nec­tion method, 4 groups of fiber­glass pipes are dis­tin­guished:

  • Dock­ing by a sock­et-and-stud method using a seal­ing ring. Rub­ber gas­kets are installed in the rec­i­p­ro­cal grooves on the end spikes of the prod­ucts. Land­ing rings are made on elec­tri­cal equip­ment, which allows you to observe their exact dimen­sions and loca­tion;
  • Sock­et-thorn method with a stop­per and a seal. If a land line is being built, com­pen­sa­tion for the action of axi­al forces is required. For this, in addi­tion to seal­ing, a stop­per is used. The ele­ment is made of a met­al cable, polyamides and polyvinyl chlo­ride;
  • Con­nec­tion with flanges. Allows you to con­nect the com­pos­ite pipeline with met­al prod­ucts;
  • Glue fix­ing. This method is non-sep­a­ra­ble — the line ends are processed with rein­forc­ing glass mate­ri­als. This pro­vides not only a high rate of strength, but also tight­ness.
Fiber­glass chem­i­cal resis­tant pipes

Protective inner layer and its marking

Tubu­lar prod­ucts are man­u­fac­tured by var­i­ous meth­ods, so the inner lay­er may dif­fer in com­po­si­tion. The indi­ca­tor of resis­tance of the line to the work­ing envi­ron­ment depends on this.

Com­pa­nies of the domes­tic mar­ket mark pro­tec­tive coat­ings in their own way. Depend­ing on the let­ter des­ig­na­tion, the scope of the pipe is deter­mined:

  • A — trans­porta­tion of liq­uid with abra­sives is allowed;
  • P — for the sup­ply and removal of cold water;
  • X — for trans­porta­tion of chem­i­cal­ly aggres­sive gas and liq­uid media;
  • G — hot water sup­ply (no more than +75 degrees Cel­sius);
  • C — oth­er liq­uids with a high acid­i­ty index.

As prac­tice shows, a pro­tec­tive lay­er 3 mm thick is enough.

Tech­ni­cal fea­tures of fiber­glass pipes, depend­ing on their diam­e­ter, are pre­sent­ed in the table below.

Table

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Leading manufacturers and their products

Many com­pa­nies are engaged in the pro­duc­tion of fiber­glass prod­ucts. Below are a few com­pa­nies whose rep­u­ta­tion has been pos­i­tive for many years.

HOBAS — GRT products with a polyester binder

The enter­pris­es of this com­pa­ny are locat­ed in the Unit­ed States and Europe. The com­pa­ny has earned recog­ni­tion pri­mar­i­ly due to the man­u­fac­ture of high-qual­i­ty pipes. The pro­duc­tion method is cen­trifu­gal cast­ing from fiber­glass and poly­ester resins.

Com­pos­ite pipes from HOBAS have the fol­low­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics:

  • Diam­e­ter — from 150 to 2900 mm;
  • Hard­ness (SN) — from 630 to 10000;
  • PN-pres­sure — from 1 to 25;
  • The inner walls of the pipes have a lin­ing anti-cor­ro­sion coat­ing;
  • Excel­lent acid resis­tance.

In addi­tion, the com­pa­ny pro­duces fit­tings: elbows, adapters, tees and flanged pipes. The cost of pipes starts from 65 rubles (150 mm).

flowtech

The prod­ucts are man­u­fac­tured by the Stek­lokom­poz­it com­pa­ny using the con­tin­u­ous wind­ing method. In the course of work, equip­ment is used that involves the dou­ble sup­ply of resinous sub­stances. Resins of a high-tech type go to the inner lay­er, and cheap­er ones go to the struc­tur­al lay­er. Thanks to this tech­nique, con­sump­tion is ratio­nal­ized and pro­duc­tion is cheap­er.

Flowtech Enter­prise

Amiantite

Flowtite pipes are man­u­fac­tured from fiber­glass, sand and poly­ester resin in a con­tin­u­ous wind­ing process, result­ing in a mul­ti-lay­er con­struc­tion. Fiber­glass pro­duced by this com­pa­ny con­sists of 6 lay­ers:

  • Exter­nal wind­ing — non-woven tape;
  • Pow­er lay­er — chopped fiber­glass with resin;
  • The mid­dle lay­er is fiber­glass with sand and poly­ester resin;
  • Sec­ond lay­er of pow­er;
  • Glass threads and resin;
  • The pro­tec­tive lay­er is non-woven fiber­glass.

Spe­cial stud­ies were car­ried out, dur­ing which the high abra­sive resis­tance of the prod­uct was revealed — there were 1000$ grav­el treat­ment cycles and the pro­tec­tive coat­ing was erased by only 0.34 mm.

Conclusion

Mod­ern tech­nolo­gies make it pos­si­ble to man­u­fac­ture pipelines from inno­v­a­tive mate­ri­als for a wide vari­ety of pur­pos­es: these are lin­ear pipes, water pipes, sew­ers, heat­ing, and so on. When choos­ing a prod­uct, it is nec­es­sary to pay atten­tion to the pur­pose for which it will be used, and then pro­ceed to the tech­ni­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics. Fiber­glass high­ways have shown that they suc­cess­ful­ly cope with a wide vari­ety of loads.

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