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Glass Fibre Reinforced Plastic Pipes (GRP pipes)

Glass fibre reinforced plastic (GRP) pipe is a matrix or composite of glass fibre, polyester resin and fillers. The resultant matrix laminate is a homogeneous structure and chemically cross-linked with the material of composition. Continuous filament winding machine facilitates the manufacturing of pipe of uniform composition in sizes ranging from 600 mm to 2500 mm to an endless length which can be cut to any desired length of 6 m or 12 m (as per IS: 12709-1989).

Advantages of GRP pipes

  1. Corrosion resistance. No coating or lining is required.
  2. The pipe is of low density with about 20% weight of steel pipe and 10% weight of PSC pipe of same internal diameter
  3. Fewer joints and hence less loss due to leaks or less infiltration.
  4. Easy to handle and faster installation due to lesser weight.
  5. They are appropriate for gravity and pumping mains in low and medium stress situations (under field and lightly trafficked roads)

Disadvantages of GRP pipes

  1. Performance and durability of GRP pipes may be sensitive to damage incurred by poor handling and installation practices.
  2. External impact can induce star cracking of the barrier layer on the pipe bore with no apparent damage to the surface of the pipe.
  3.  They are not suitable under major urban carriageways or where there is high risk of third party interference after installation.
  4. Though GRP pipes have excellent corrosion resistant properties, they can suffer strain corrosion in acidic environments.
  5. Anchor blocks must be designed to withstand the bursting stress generated when the GRP pipeline is under pressure.
  6. Even though, pipe cost is higher than HDPE, the total installation cost would compare with any other pipe material and the time saved in construction is significant