Looking for some TLC? You’re in the right place.
Welcome to the Fibreglass Solutions Learning Centre. Here you will find numerous resources for our products, including engineering and design assistance, installation advice and best practices, and Fibreglass Solutions bulletins covering a variety of topics.
The education and familiarization of fibreglass piping products for owners and end users, installation contractors, engineering, procurement and construction firms is a cornerstone of Fibreglass Solutions’ mission. It is always our goal to enhance the knowledge of those who work with and employ the products we distribute.
If you are unable to find the answer to your question in The Learning Centre, please contact us today so we can help.
Each of the products we distribute has a complete set of literature, including product data, fittings guides, installation instructions and additional resources.
Please visit our Products page to download the latest copies of literature for the product in question.
If you cannot find what you are looking for, or require additional assistance, please contact us today!
Fibreglass Solutions Inc. can assist in material selection, specification, engineering and design support, and system stress analysis through our network of third-party licensed professional engineers.
Please refer to the ENG1000ENG – Engineering & Piping Design Guide for specific guidelines on a wide range of piping system engineering considerations:
Contact us today to discuss how we can be of further assistance.
Line Class Templates (Information Coming Soon)
Information Coming Soon
Fibreglass piping systems are installed in both new construction, and in retrofit installation across a wide variety of markets and applications.
All products should be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Each product has its own manufacturer-published set of specific installation instructions covering the material, joint type employed, bonding procedure, fabrication, installation, testing, site considerations, crew setup, best practices and much more. These can be found on our Products page in the section related to the product in question.
Product-specific installation instructions allow installation contractors to adopt the procedures as their own without the associated ambiguity of trying to write a new procedure or specification. This is of significant benefit if a bonding procedure is to be registered with a boiler or pressure vessel safety authority (ie. TSSA or ABSA) for use in projects designed and build to ASME B31.3 or ISO 14692 design codes.
Please contact us today for project-specific installation instructions and further guidance.
Repair Methods for FRP
Additional details can be found in the installation instructions related the piping product in question. Please contact us for more information.
Fibreglass piping can be repaired using a variety of methods.
Cut Out and Replace
Damaged sections of pipe and fittings can be cut out, with new materials replaced in kind and connected to the existing system via flanges, bonded couplings, split repair couplings, butt and wrap (laminated) joints, or mechanical couplings.
Cut Pipe Patch Repair
For areas with point loading, impact damage or small holes, a cut section of the same type of pipe can be bonded in place over the damage as a permanent repair.
Cut a length of good pipe of sufficient length so that it extends at least 4″ on either side of the damaged area. Cut the pipe length-wise twice so that 3/4 of the circumference remains of 1-4″ pipe, and 1/2 of the circumference remains for 6″ and larger pipe.
Remove all of the gloss on the OD of the existing pipe, and on the ID of the repair patch. Ensure that both surfaces are clean and dry, and free of all dirt, oil and other contaminants.
Apply a thick coating of adhesive to both the existing pipe and the repair patch. Snap the patch in place, centered over the damage. Use gear clamps to secure the patch in place, and force cure with an electric heating blanket or hot air gun.
Please contact us for adhesive and cure time recommendations.
For some piping products with a heavier wall, the above repair technique will not be possible, so split repair couplings will need to be used.
Split Repair Couplings
Split repair couplings are available in 2 – 12″ sizes, and are a convenient tool to repair a leaking pipe wall in confined spaces, or add a new section of pipe where there is no room to make tapered or socket joints.
Please contact us to discuss your repair.
To repair leaking joints, or pipe/fittings without cutting out and replacing with new material, an overwrap repair can be conducted.
The area in question is thoroughly sanded to remove all gloss, dirt, oil, and other contaminants, and to profile any sharp edges (such as where the end of a fitting meets the pipe wall) to minimize voids in the final laminate. Remaining transitions are blended in using a thick adhesive, cured, and then sanded to remove any gloss.
Lengths of glass cloth are saturated with epoxy adhesive, and overwrapped onto the area in question. Once the adhesive has had time to gel, the overwrap can be force cured with an electric heating blanket or hot air gun. Lamination details (type of adhesive, width of glass, number of layers of glass) are repair-specfic. Please contact us to discuss a repair plan for your project.
Heat Tracing & Insulating FRP Piping Systems
Best practices for insulating and heat tracing any piping system apply in the same fashion to FRP piping systems.
The temperature of the heat trace should be regulated so that;
- the mean wall temperature of the pipe does not exceed the maximum temperature rating of the pipe;
- the maximum heat trace element temperature does not exceed 100°F above the temperature rating of the pipe, and;
- the maximum recommended design temperature for the service chemical is not exceeded at the surface of the pipe’s inner wall.
Typically speaking, heat tracing is added to an FRP piping system for freeze protection. With this in mind, heat tracing can be regulated to not exceed the design temperature of the piping system based on the chemical service it is being used for.
Use low wattage electrical heat trace cable intended for use on non-metallic piping. Due to the insulating properties of FRP, multiple cables may be required based on calculations.
FRP pipe can be field insulated with loose insulation and cladding in the same fashion as other piping materials.
Our piping can also be supplied with factory-applied closed cell urethane foam insulation. The insulation is cut back from the pipe ends to facilitate bonding; fittings are installed bare and are covered with molded half-shell insulation kits. Piping can be provided with a galvanized or stainless steel jacket for above ground applications, and HDPE jacket for below ground. Heat trace channels with fish lines are applied to the pipe prior to insulating. Heat tracing is pulled through after hydro testing, and the open joints are closed up with half-shell kits and shrink taped for water tightness.
Contact us today for more information!
Bolting to Raised Face Flanges
Typically speaking, fibreglass flanges are flat faced, and are filament-wound, compression-molded, or contact-molded in construction. While filament-wound flanges are inherently flexible which allows them to be bolted directly to raised face flanges, compression- and contact-molded flanges do not possess this flexibility and must be protected.
Bolting compression- and contact-molded flanges directly to a raised face creates increased stress on the fibreglass flange at the edge of the raised face, and can lead to cracking or premature failure. This is remedied by adding a spacer ring of equal thickness to the raised face flange, or by adding a metal backing ring to the fibreglass flange to protect it.
Spacer rings can be a nonmetallic, inorganic fiber bound in elastomer, or a material matching the raised face flange. It is important that the spacer ring matches the thickness of the raised face (typically 1/16″). Custom spacer rings may be required if bolting to lined steel where the liner thickness may be thicker than a standard raised face.
Metal backing rings can be supplied as a two-piece assembly which allows them to be added at time of flange boltup, instead of needing to be in place behind the flange before bonding. This saves weight, and is a safer option from a material handling perspective.
Maximum allowable bolt torques should always be followed, as per NOV FiberGlass Systems guidelines for the product in question.
Here is a series of pictures for a spacer ring and backing ring on a raised face blind flange to compression molded fibreglass flange boltup for illustration:
Anchoring & Guiding FRP
Please refer to the product data for the piping system in question, and the ENG1000ENG – Engineering & Piping Design Guide for specific guidelines on supporting FRP piping.
Fibreglass Solutions can assist with providing specific recommendations for maximum continuous/single spans, as well as support spacing at free/restrained changes in direction. Please contact us today.
Transportation, Handling and Storage
FRP piping systems are designed to handle the rigors of many demanding corrosive and hazardous applications. FRP is also robust enough to be installed without fear of damage due to cold temperatures. However, there are best practices that can be employed when handling, transporting and storing FRP materials to reduce the potential for damage, loss and wasted time during installation.
Inspection of all material is recommended upon receipt, prior to installation and before testing/commissioning.
When transporting pipe, impact damage and point loading must be avoided. Spacers under and between layers of pipe joints must be of sufficient width to avoid point loading on the pipe wall. 2×4 or 4×4 dimensional lumber is typically used. A minimum of four spacers should be used for supporting 14″ and larger 40′ long pipe joints. More spacers should be used for smaller pipe, or if pipe is stacked over eight feet high. Piping should be secured with nylon straps. Do not allow chains to contact the pipe during transport, as they can produce cracking or buckling damage. Straps should be snugged tight, but not so tight as to cause deformation. Do not allow the bell end of a pipe joint to support any weight.
When lifting equipment is required, use nylon slings or chokers around the pipe. Do not allow chains or cables to contact the pipe during handling. If a pipe or fabrication is more than 20 feet long, use at least two support points. The number of supports is based on the allowable bending radius and maximum unrestrained free end during the lift. Please contact us for more information and a specific recommendation for your project.
When storing FRP pipe, 2×4 dimensional lumber (at a minimum) should be placed under each layer of pipe approximately every 10 feet, so that the pipe is supported and the load is distributed evenly. Avoid placing pipe on sharp edges, narrow supports, or on other objects that could cause damage due to point loading. Do not allow the bell end of a pipe joint to support any weight. Storing pipe directly on the ground should be avoided. If required, select a flat area free of rocks and other debris that could cause damage due to point loading. Do not stack pipe higher than 8′. Protective end caps that are installed at the factory should not be removed until installation.
Fittings are shipped in cardboard boxes, and should be stored in a dry area. Keep the fittings protected in cardboard until installation.
Keeping pipe and fittings protected will minimize the amount of sanding preparation required during the bonding process.
Adhesive kits should be stored in a cool, dry place, out of direct sunlight. Refer to the adhesive kit instructions for more information on maximizing shelf life.
Buried FRP Installation Considerations
The best practices for the buried installation of any piping system apply to FRP piping in the same fashion. There are a few nuances applicable to FRP that should be kept in mind.
Additional details can be found in the product data for the piping system in question, and the ENG1000ENG – Engineering & Piping Design Guide.
Bending Offset Allowances
Fibreglass piping bends easily to conform to gradual changes in the direction or depth of an open cut trench, HDD, or microtunnel. The maximum offset bending allowance of FRP piping increases exponentially with increases in pipeline length — for example, the maximum offset for a 40′ straight run of 6″ Green Thread HP16 is 3 feet; for a 80′ straight run, the maximum offset is 15 feet; for a 160′ straight run, the maximum offset is 67 feet. This characteristic allows installers to assemble long sections of piping at grade, and then lower or “rope” the piping into an excavated trench, or insert the piping into an HDD casing, or HDD direct bury. Details on bending offset allowances should be referenced in the product data of the piping system in question.
Here is an example of a 2,000-metre long section of 8″ Bondstrand 2440 that was assembled at grade, and then roped into an excavated trench using a series of side booms/excavators with pipe rollers:
Guidelines should be followed for minimum and maximum burial depths for FRP piping systems.
Minimum burial depths are based on unpaved areas for piping that is subjected to vehicular wheel loading and depends on pipe grade, size, vehicle axle weight and the bedding material used. Recommendations are typically based on a legal axle load limit of 34,000 lbs with pipe that is backfilled in moderately compacted non-clay bearing soils.
Maximum burial depths are dependent on the backfill material used. The pipe must be able to withstand the soil modulus which is a function of pipe wall thickness, burial depth and backfill settling & compaction.
FRP piping should always be buried below the frost line.
Please contact us for more information.
Trench Preparation and Backfilling
Final bedding of the trench should be as uniform and continuous as possible. All gaps under the pipe should be filled with a proper bedding material. Sharp bends and sudden changes in slope should be avoided. Sharp rocks, cribbing and foreign objects that could cause point loading on the pipe wall after backfilling should be removed.
It is recommended that 6″ of a suitable bedding material be placed on all sides of the pipe. The piping can be laid directly on the trench bottom if the native soil meets the requirements of a recommended bedding material.
Please contact us for assistance with specific trench preparation and backfill recommendations for your project.
Unlike metallic piping systems which have their design pressures (and subsequently their maximum allowable hydro test pressures) determined by flange ratings, the maximum allowable hydro test pressure of a fibreglass piping system is determined by the lowest rated component in the system, and the guidelines as set out by the manufacturer.
Specialty fittings like laterals and crosses, some saddles and reducing fittings may have reduced MAWPs compared to standard fittings in the same product line. This information can typically be found in the applicable fittings guide for the product in question, the piping product data, or the installation instructions.
The recommended hydro test pressure for NOV FiberGlass Systems products is 1.5 times the system’s operating pressure, but the hydro test pressure must not exceed the maximum allowable hydro test pressure as set out in the piping system’s product data, based on the lowest rated fitting in the system.
Please contact us for more details.
Selecting the Right Gasket
Selecting the right gasket is important for maximizing chemical resistance, and minimizing the nuisances of flanges leaking during hydro testing, system startup and commissioning.
Because of the relatively low maximum allowable bolt torques on fibreglass flanges, a soft elastomeric gasket (ie. neoprene, EPDM, nitrile, FKM, etc.) with a Shore A durometer of 50-70 is the material of choice. Unless the application contains high concentrations of solvents, a soft elastomeric gasket should perform well.
In the event that one does not, there are modified PTFE gaskets soft enough to seal at low bolt torques.
All gaskets should be full face, and 1/8″ thick.
Please contact us for more details.