Process Piping: Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastic (FRP) Pipe

Image provided by Smith Fibercast

Process piping involves non-hydronic piping systems, generally used to convey chemicals. When...

Fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) pipe is a composite material using a polymer matrix...

Benefit of Material to Systems Application

Glass reinforced resin pipe is one of the strongest piping materials by weight in use today. Most of these piping products are made by using filament winding or centrifugal casting techniques. Varying conditions of service has resulted in the use of three major FRP piping resins: epoxy, polyester, and vinyl ester.

Like most plastic piping systems, FRP is durable, safe and easy to install. In addition, it is very cost competitive when compared to many metal-alloy piping systems. Most FRP piping has both internal and external chemical resistant barriers.

Although FRP piping is normally heavier than other plastic piping systems, it weighs less than most other metal piping systems resulting in freight and labor savings. One of the distinguishing factors that separate FRP piping from thermoplastic piping systems is the ability to maintain working pressure at increases in temperature. Most thermoplastic piping working pressure capability decreases with an increase in temperature.

FRP piping systems has made significant inroads into markets previously served by alloy-steel piping.

System Application and Material Usage

FRP piping is commonly available in size ranges from 1” to 24”  diameter and can be fabricated in much larger diameters with the limiting factor being the ability to safely and economically transport these unwieldy loads. Most FRP systems are available in various pressure ratings depending on the application.

The two most commonly used joining methods for FRP are adhesive bonding for bell and spigot ends (mostly used on pipe diameters 12” and below) and butt-strap adhesive, used mainly for larger diameter or specially formulated piping systems. The bell and spigot joining method provides installation savings compared to other piping systems.  The butt-strap joining method is more labor intensive but still very cost competitive when compared to welded piping systems. 

FRP is not only used for piping and fittings, it is a common material for valves, tanks, scrubbers, duct, and other fluid handling products. FRP normally handles higher temperatures and pressures better than thermoplastic piping however, when temperatures exceed 250 F and working pressures are greater than 200psi, metal piping systems are usually the better choice.

Manufacturers and Suppliers Participating in OPUS

F.W. Webb Company

F.W. Webb Company is a multi-faceted distributor of plumbing and heating, HVAC and controls,......
(click for details)


Ferguson specializes in providing PVF, Plumbing, HVAC and Related Specialty Products and......
(click for details)

Hajoca Corporation

Founded in 1858, the Hajoca Corporation is the largest privately owned wholesale distributor of......
(click for details)

Jomar Valve

Founded in 1966 by former Navy Commander Joseph Martin, Jomar Valve set out to change the way......
(click for details)


MORSCO is a leading U.S. distributor of commercial and residential plumbing, HVAC, and PVF, with......
(click for details)

The Commonwealth Group

The Commonwealth Group is the industry’s newest, 100-percent member owned, $8.5......
(click for details)

Weldbend Corporation

Weldbend Corporation is a manufacturer of carbon steel welding fittings and forged steel......
(click for details)

Applicable Joining Methods

Adhesive Bonding

Primarily used for fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP), adhesive bonding is a process in which...
(click for details)