In manufacturing naturally occurring elements rarely have every quality we are looking for. Some may have the strength, but not the flexibility. Another may have the flexibility, but not the durability. The solution is often to use composite material. Composite materials like GRP are used in the manufacturing industry to combine the advantages of two different materials.
GRP is used extensively in the piping industry to make GRP pipes. Also known as FRP, GRP has many qualities that make it ideal for wide usage — from the manufacturing industry to water distribution network. GRP pipe India to day supply to a number of such sectors. With the growth of the manufacturing industry, secondary industries like GRP pipes are also expected to do well.
As mentioned above, GRP pipes have a very usage. Their many qualities make them ideal for usage in highly hostile environments. Some of the areas where we can find GRP pipes are:
- Automobile and aviation industry
- Construction industry
- Electric industry
- Chemical industry
- Water distribution
- Wastewater management
What is GRP?
GRP is a composite material. Composite materials are made by combining two different elements. It combines the strengths, while eliminating the drawbacks of its constituent elements. The elements of a composite material will not combine in nature and hence, must be processed to bond together. It is this careful processing that gives the composite material its advantages.
GRP is made by combining chopped glass fibers with thermo setting plastics. During the manufacturing processes reinforcing agents are also used to strengthen the product. Textile grade glass fibbers are used in the process. Their specialty lies in trapping air creating insulation. Textile glass fibers use different chemical combinations in powder form, which is then heated to a very high temperature.
Glass fiber filaments are extracted by using dies. The filaments then become processed further to give us the glass fiber that we need for reinforcing plastic. The plastic used here is thermo setting plastic. This is a polymeric resin which has been cured by heat or chemical additives. Two most common plastics are epoxy resin and polyester.
There are different ways in which GRP pipes arrange the two elements. Three most common methods are continuous roving, reinforcing mat and surface veil. The arrangement along with the reinforcing agent decides the strength of the pipe.
In continuous roving filaments are spun to get the longer threads and we have untwisted strands. Surface veil uses lightweight layers. Reinforcing mat, on the other hand, has chopped strands. GRP pipes often also contain elements like silica sand, organic peroxides, accelerators and catalysts.
The characteristics of GRP come from its constituent elements — plastic and glass fibre. It has the strengths of both without their limitations. Thermosetting plastic has a high capability when it comes to compressive loading. However, it is weak in its tensile strength. Glass fibre has excellent tensile strength, but is low in bearing compression. The resulting composite material — GRP — makes the perfect match with the ability to bear compression and withstand tension. Because of this the GRP pipe has an incredible strength with the ability to bear heavy loads.
Advantages of GRP pipes:
Resistance to corrosion: GRP is highly resistant to any corrosive material. This gives it the ability of staying durable in very hostile environment, such as underground or in the chemical industry. Most chemicals and other environmental factors have no effect on its composition. It also means that we can use GRP pipes for carrying corrosive elements like oil.
The low strength to weight ratio means that GRP pipes can carry heavy load without being very heavy. This means low costs and easy installation. GRP pipes can easily be installed in places at a height or wherever weight is a consideration without worrying about its load bearing capacity.
Even inner surface:
GRP pipes have a smooth inner lining without any rough edges like those found in cement pipes. This means that the liquid inside can flow smoothly. There are no blockages or deposits. This ensures that the surface remains clean.
Together with its very specific manufacturing process and the glass fibre, GRP is a very non-porous material. This makes it ideal in carrying toxic material. GRP pipes are used to transport corrosive and toxic materials like chemicals and wastewater.
GRP pipe manufacturers are important suppliers to a range of industries. Despite a slightly higher cost than other pipes, the GRP’s superior qualities make these pipes a favored choice.