Selecting an FRP Manufacturer: Key Considerations

There are many considerations to keep in mind when searching for a company to design and manufacture custom Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) products.  Selecting the right FRP manufacturer can make a huge difference; in many instances it dictates the success of the project–a decision not to be taken lightly.

Provided below is a non-inclusive short list of some critical services you’ll want to be sure the company you decide work with provides.  Keep in mind these consideration covers just the basics.

Key Considerations When Selecting an FRP Manufacturer

Does the Company Provide the following:

  • Design and Engineering Services
  • Custom Precision Manufacturing and Fabrication
  • Resin and Product Specification
  • Computer Aided Design (CAD)
  • Computer Numeric Control (CNC)
  • Diversity of Precision Capabilities
  • Custom Tooling and Molding
  • Product Quality Control Inspection
  • On-Site Modifications and Maintenance Inspection
  • Project Management
  • Equipment Rebuilding
  • Design that will meet your exact specifications and industry standards

There are many FRP manufacturers out there, but you’ll want to be sure that the outfit you hire has the capabilities, capacity and know-how to get the job done properly–the first time.  In addition, to this simple list you’ll want to be sure that the equipment and products are engineered as an entire system for the defined design and operational conditions–among many other things.

International Corrosion Awareness Day

international corrosion awareness dayApril 24, 2013 marks the date of the fourth annual International Corrosion Awareness Day, started by the World Corrosion Organization; who’s mission is to promote education and best practices in corrosion control for the socio-economic benefit of society, preservation of resources, and protection of the environment.

Founded in 2006 by the Australasian Corrosion Association, the Chinese Society for Corrosion and Protection, the European Federation of Corrosion, and NACE International, the WCO is an international association of societies and organizations involved with corrosion management and control. In July of 2010 the World Corrosion Organization (WCO) was granted Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status by the United Nations Department of Public Information Non-Governmental Organization (DPI/NGO) Section.

According to “Now is the Time,” a paper released by the World Corrosion Organization in the U.S. alone corrosion is a 2.2 trillion dollar problem that isn’t going away.  According to George F. Hays, PE, Director General, the WCO believes that “We are at a unique point, when the tools and resources are all in place to match our needs and help us meet our goals. Now is the time to make government agencies, industry, and the public aware of the high cost of corrosion – to our environment, our resources, and humankind.”

The primary goals of world corrosion awareness day and the WCO are:

  • To raise public awareness of corrosion and corrosion control:  To develop and implement a Corrosion Awareness Day that is recognized worldwide in the way we recognize Earth Day. A worldwide Corrosion Awareness Day will help create public awareness of corrosion and what the public – individuals – can do to control it.
  • To identify world best practices in corrosion management:  To identify what are the best practices; that is, those practices which should always be used by the industrialized world. However, in many parts of the world, countries lack the resources to put in place what the industrialized world agrees are best practices and determine what would be the best practices most suitable for their socio-economic conditions.
  • To facilitate the provision of corrosion control expertise to governments, industries, and communities:  To work with the International Corrosion Council to make this information available particularly in the developing world.
  • To normalize corrosion-related standards worldwide:  To harmonize the standards that are already in use.

Moving forward, it is clear that Fiberglass Reinforced Polymer (FRP) will play a critical role, helping to solve many corrosion related problems.  As a corrosion and abrasion resistant material, FRP is just one piece to the large and very complex corrosion puzzle, but the future is bright.  FRP is growing in popularity, replacing conventional construction materials including many metal alloys and is currently used throughout the world in chemical processing, power generation, pulp and paper, mining and minerals, coal, petrochemical, wastewater, and desalination

Corrosion in Soils: FRP is a Cost-Effective Alternative

Have you ever stopped to think about what is happening just below your feet under the soil?  The soil is teeming with life, literally.  Each tablespoon of soil contains billions of microorganisms—bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms.

Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion (MIC) refers to corrosion that is influenced by the presence and activities of microorganisms and/or their metabolites (the byproducts of their metabolism).  Below the soil, bacteria, fungi and other organisms can play a major role in soil corrosion—for example, some anaerobic bacteria produce highly corrosive species as a part of their metabolism.  Similarly, aerobic bacteria produce corrosive mineral acids and fungi organic acids.

MIC is a serious concern for many industries.  According to the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE International) based in Houston, TX spectacularly rapid corrosion failures have been observed in soil due to microbial action and it is becoming increasingly apparent that most metallic alloys are susceptible to some form of MIC.

You may be asking yourself what is soil corrosion?  Soil corrosion is a complex phenomenon, with a wide range of variables at play—soil pH, soil type, soil resistivity, microorganism species composition and diversity, dissolved salts,  hydrology, redox potential, chlorate levels, sulfate levels, and mineral composition of the soil—to list some.  Like other forms of corrosion, it is a process that deteriorates substances, typically metal, or its properties because of its reaction with its environment.

The soil corrosion phenomenon is not fully understood largely due to the number of chemical reactions and ecosystem processes that occur in the soil involving the many existing variables.  Parallel to these ongoing chemical reactions are the dynamic changes of soil properties making this specific type of corrosion both elusive and detrimental to buried structures that are susceptible to corrosion. Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) products such as pipe, duct, tank, and vessel can be formulated to be abrasion and corrosion resistant.  This is a huge advantage over metals and metal alloys that can be compromised and damaged by corrosion.

While corrosion as a naturally occurring phenomenon, and the science of corrosion prevention and control may be very complex, there are certain general rules or guidelines that have been formulated to help assist with determining possible outcomes for different types of corrosion. For example, all forms of corrosion with the exception of high-temperature corrosion occur through the action of the electrochemical cell.  To take it one step further, soils with high moisture content, high electrical conductivity, high acidity and high concentrations of dissolved salts will be most corrosive—generally speaking.  While these rules are helpful to decision makers and engineers, they do not solve the problem of corrosion below ground.

Soil corrosion is relevant to many industries.  Anytime you bury an object such as pipe, cable, vessels, or tank you are beginning a grand experiment with many different possible outcomes.  For example, the response of carbon steel to soil corrosion will depend on soil properties and other environmental factors; this will lead to different rates of deterioration or attack.  In some severe cases buried alloy vessels have been known to deteriorate in under one year while in arid desert regions metal objects may remain relatively unharmed.

While there are many questions that remain unanswered about soil corrosion, one thing remains clear—FRP is a material that has provided viable solutions to common corrosion problems.  FRP products have served a multitude of industries, the world over with a cost- effective durable alternative to conventional construction materials, such as metal alloys.

FRP products will withstand the harshest environments from wastewater management, chemical processing, and oil and gas.  Furthermore, FRP has performed exceptionally well below ground in a wide range of applications.  In design you really have two options: you can select a material that will lead you down the path of corrosion control management or you can choose an FRP product that is corrosion resistant and designed to meet you specific industry requirements and standards.

FRP Mining Solutions Solve Corrosion Problems

frp miningMany industries report major problems with corrosion each year. It’s a serious problem that can impact production and safety.  According to the World Corrosion Organization, the estimated cost of corrosion damage worldwide is 2.2 trillion dollars which is roughly 3%-4% of GDP of industrialized nations. 

The mining, mineral processing and extractive metallurgy industries posses the ingredients for an extremely corrosive environment—water, grinding media, dissimilar materials, oxygen, wide pH ranges, and the presence of many microorganisms that promote conditions for corrosion.  According to one corrosion study released by CC Technologies Laboratories, Inc., (Dublin, OH), it was estimated that an average of $93 million dollars was spent annually (1998 estimate) on maintenance painting of metal surfaces, to control corrosion in the coal mining industry.

Corrosion can result from a wide range of conditions and thus can be characterized many different ways.  For example, corrosion in the mining industry is often characterized as corrosion enhanced by abrasion—this is especially true for pipe and pumping systems used in many mining milling processes.  It’s also important to note, the wide range of conditions that can cause corrosion, and because mine atmospheres and waters are unique and vary from one location to the next, make each corrosion related problem difficult to plan for.  This particular type of challenge makes material selection a critical component of most corrosion management strategies.

According to that same study released by CC Technologies Laboratories Inc., which interviewed many engineers and mining professionals, material selection is the most important general form of corrosion prevention. It has been demonstrated many times over that choosing the correct material based on the environment decreases the amount of corrosion and lengthens the life span of the equipment

FRP abrasion and corrosion resistant pipe provide a cost effective material alternative to traditional metal alloys. FRP will not succumb to particulate abrasion or erosion and are often selected for their long life cycles and low maintenance costs.   Conversely, with traditional metal piping and pump systems the particulate erodes and removes the protective film of the metal and exposes the reactive alloy to high flow velocity, thus accelerating the corrosion mechanisms.

One corrosion related issue in the mining industry is that it limits the life span of the processing equipment. Specific areas of major concern due to personal safety and continuation of production include: wire rope, roof bolts, pump and piping systems, mining electronics, and acid mine drainage.  Similarly, acid mine drainage can cause corrosion problems with pipes, well screens, damns, bridges, water intakes and pumps.

Although protective coatings, corrosion inhibitors, and electrochemical techniques such as cathodic protection are valuable and useful ways to deal with corrosion—they are a short term fix.  For example, a 2-coat alkyd/no blasting (4 mil) coating on a metal surface may need touch-up yearly and replacement every two years.  Similarly, a 3-coat epoxy/with blasting (10 mil) will need touch-ups every 4 years and replacement after 8 years.  On the other hand, FRP have a well documented service life of 35+ years (in some cases more) in harsh corrosive environments throughout the world in mining and minerals, chemical processing, power generation, wastewater, desalination, and pulp and paper.

While FRP does not solve every material problem for every industry, it cannot be denied that it is a cost-effective material that performs exceptionally well in extremely harsh environments, including mining sites.  FRP offers design flexibility with constructability.

FRP can be formulated to be abrasion and corrosion resistant. It has a high strength-to-weight ratio, dimensional stability, and offers superior durability—among much else.  Whether you are searching for a new design, material upgrade, or custom components that will interface with existing infrastructure or layout—FRP offer a multitude of benefits for many applications.

Choosing Corrosion Resistant Resin: 11 Things You Should Know

corrosion resistant resinFiber Reinforced Polymers (FRP) use has grown tremendously over the past seven decades in oil and gas, chemical processing, pulp and paper, mining and minerals, wastewater treatment, water treatment, desalination, and power generation—to name a few.  One of the primary reasons FRP has gained so much traction is that it has superior corrosion resistance when compared to other construction materials such as stainless steels, carbon steels, titanium, aluminum, and nickel alloys.  That being said, there are a wide range of corrosive environments throughout many industries and as such special requirements must be taken into consideration when designing/formulating FRP to endure optimal performance. 

When requesting corrosion resistant resin recommendations for FRP equipment applications, users or specifiers should be prepared to supply the following data:

  1. All chemicals to which the equipment will be exposed: feedstocks, intermediates, products and by-products, waste materials, and cleaning chemicals
  2. Normal operating concentrations of chemicals, maximum and minimum concentrations (including trace amounts)
  3. pH range of the system
  4. Normal operating temperatures of the equipment, maximum and minimum temperatures
  5. Duration of normal, maximum  and upset operating temperatures
  6. Abrasion resistance and/or agitation requirements
  7. Equipment size
  8. Manufacturing methods
  9. Flame retardance requirements
  10. Thermal insulation requirements
  11. Vacuum Specifications
Source: Ashland Resin Selection Guide

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Testing and Measuring Flexural Modulus of FRP

flexural modulus of frpWhat is Flexural Modulus?

There are many important properties of Fiber Reinforced Polymers (FRP) that are determined by international testing methods.  These measurements of properties are particularly useful for quality control and specifications purposes.  Flexural Modulus is an engineering measurement which determines how much a sample will bend when a given load is applied, as compared to Tensile Modulus which determined how much a sample will stretch when a given load is applied and Compressive Modulus which determines how much a sample will compress when a given load is applied.   Because composites are non-isotropic(as opposed to metals for example) these additional material properties are required in order to predict the behavior under load which complicates the design problem for the inexperienced.

ASTM D-790 is one such standard testing method that is used to determine flexural properties of FRP.  According to ASTM D-790, flexural properties may vary with specimen depth, temperature, atmospheric conditions, and the difference in rate of straining.  For example, because the physical properties of many materials (especially thermoplastics) can vary depending on ambient temperature, it is sometimes appropriate to test materials at temperatures that simulate the intended end user environment.

According to ASTM D-790:

“These test methods cover the determination of flexural properties of unreinforced and reinforced plastics, including high-modulus composites and electrical insulating materials in the form of rectangular bars molded directly or cut from sheets, plates, or molded shapes. These test methods are generally applicable to both rigid and semirigid materials. However, flexural strength cannot be determined for those materials that do not break or that do not fail in the outer surface of the test specimen within the 5.0 % strain limit of these test methods. These test methods utilize a three-point loading system applied to a simply supported beam. A four-point loading system method can be found in Test Method D6272.”

Another common standard for testing flexural behavior is ISO 178.  Similarly, this standard specifies a method for determining the flexural properties of rigid and semi-rigid plastics under defined conditions. A standard test specimen is defined, but parameters are included for alternative specimen sizes for use where appropriate. 

It is important to note the differences between ASTM D-790 and ISO 178 standards.  According to one well established leader in plastics testing, most commonly the specimen lies on a support span and the load is applied to the center by the loading nose producing three point bending at a specified rate. These parameters are based on the test specimen thickness and are defined differently by ASTM and ISO. For ASTM D790, the test is stopped when the specimen reaches 5% deflection or the specimen breaks before 5%. For ISO 178, the test is stopped when the specimen breaks. Of the specimen does not break, the test is continued as far as possible and the stress at 3.5% (conventional deflection) is reported.

This article was aimed at providing a snapshot portrait of the standard testing methods used for determining flexural properties of FRP


ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), is a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of international voluntary consensus standards.

ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is the world’s largest developer of voluntary International Standards.

FRP Well Suited for Potash Mining Equipment

It has been demonstrated many times over that modern Fiber Reinforced Polymers (FRP) are extremely durable in a myriad of applications.  Furthermore, FRP have tremendous promise in a wide range of industrial applications, such as potash mining.  Chief among the many benefits of FRP are corrosion resistance and long life cycles in extremely stringent environments—for example, chemical processing, mining and minerals, and pulp and paper.

In contemporary societies, in both industrial and non-industrial applications, we rely on complex systems of infrastructure for safety, prosperity, and economic health. The use of FRP in complex industrial has with time become more widely adopted due to their ability to withstand the harshest environments. According to an educational module released in 2006, prepared by ISIS Canada, a Canadian Network of Centers of Excellence, titled “Durability of FRP Composites for Construction,” a primary motivation for using FRP in civil engineering applications is that FRP are non-corrosive and thus they will not degrade in electrochemical environments.

Potash mining is often conducted in a low pH high chloride environment where variables such as temperature, humidity, exposure to moisture, water, and caustics are important considerations.  FRP are viewed by many as excellent construction materials that will provide protection against caustics, acids, and continuous wet or humid conditions.

In today’s world potash refers usually just refers to potassium chloride.  Potash has a key role production of fertilizer (its one of the three essential nutrients that plants need for healthy growth) and thus in food production, and is one of the crucial ingredients of the world economy. Approximately 75%-85% of the world’s potash production is used for fertilizer.  The rest is used in various chemical processes.

According to a March 19, 2013 web based article published from, titled “Inventories Up, Prices Down,” demand is up for North American potash on domestic and export markets.  In February worldwide potash exports were up 26% to 812,000 tones from one year previous.  Furthermore, potash producers remain optimistic as crop prices rise, farmers are willing to spend more on fertilizer.

With global population rising and improving diets in developing countries- potash production and other nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus are expected to increase.  This is welcome news for FRP producers.  FRP are viewed by many as a great material choice for both conventional shaft mining and solution mining applications of potash because of its inherent properties; corrosion and abrasion resistance, long service life, low maintenance, ease of installation, and cost-effectiveness.  From tanks to pipe, from structural shape to custom components—FRP possess a portfolio of benefits unrealized by other conventional materials.

Did You Know? Thermal FRP Expansion

thermal frp expansionAccording to the Composites Growth Initiative of the American Composites Manufacturing Association (ACMA), the Coefficient of Thermal Expansion  is the change in length (or volume) per unit length (or volume) produced by a one degree Celsius rise in temperature.

While it is commonly thought that the thermal expansion of fiberglass is several times higher than carbon steels, this is not always the case and it’s an important fact that engineers can’t ignore.   According to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) B31.3 standard, FRP is at most 2.5 times that of carbon steel and at most 1.67 times that of stainless steels and, with some filament wound fiberglass reinforced plastics the difference is much less.

The rate of thermal expansion in FRP products is highly dependent upon the amount of glass in the product and the orientation of the glass. Again, according to ASME, this is because the thermal expansion of the resin is approximately 2.0 – 3.5 x 10-5 in./in./EF and the thermal expansion of the glass is only 0.28 x 10-5 in./in./EF.

Table 1

Typical Thermal Expansion Coefficients (valid up to 300F)


0.9- 1.5 x 10-5 in./in./EF

Carbon Steels

0.6 – 0.65 x 10-5 in./in./EF

Austenitic Stainless Steels

0.9 – 0.95 x 10-5 in./in./EF

90/10 Cu-Ni

0.9 – 0.95 x 10-5 in./in./EF

70/30 Cu-Ni

0.8 – 0.85 x 10-5 in./in./EF

Source: American Society of Mechanical Engineers, B31.3 Standard

Beetle Plastic’s fiberglass pipe is filament wound and, therefore, has different thermal expansion in the hoop and axial direction. In the hoop direction, the thermal expansion is about the same as steel. However, in the axial direction, the thermal expansion of the fiberglass pipe is about twice that of steel.

When designing FRP pipe systems there are other important considerations that will be influenced by the thermal expansion.  According to a case study released by the Fluid Sealing Association in 2006, “Mechanical considerations also are important. Since FRP is a composite, there are two distinctive axial modulii of elasticity: compression and tensile. The axial compression modulus of elasticity varies from3 to 10 percent that of steel.”  Similarly, another design consideration should be the relatively low modulus of elasticity of FRP pipe. It’s an advantage of FRP which should be figured into the design of a piping system.

To view the 2009 edition of the ASME B31.3 Process Piping Guide follow the link below:

Contact us to learn more about our FRP and how we can help you meet your goals.

Building Waste Water Treatment Systems—No Problem

waste water treatment systemsEvery year there are technological advancements.  New materials are available today that once were just an idea or considered novel.  In wastewater treatment, chemical processing, desalination, or other corrosive services, Fiber Reinforced Polymers (FRP) are becoming common place, replacing conventional materials, and have the advantage of light weight (1/6 the weight of steel), cavitation resistance, low coefficient of friction, and corrosion resistance. 

Our series 5000 FRP pipe has been specially designed for severely corrosive industrial services, over a wide temperature range from sub-zero to 180⁰f and is suitable for earth burial at all depths with selection of wall thickness, ribs, and filament wind angle . 

Series 5000 is a filament wound fiberglass reinforced premium vinyl ester epoxy composite pipe with UV inhibition. It’s recommended for a wide range of applications including brine and brackish water, potable water, chlorine, oxidizing chemicals and acids, alkalies, and non-oxidizing acids—to name a few. 

This FRP pipe is ideal for salt or seawater handling and will also withstand chemicals that are commonplace in wastewater treatment and water purification, such as, chlorine dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and sodium hypochlorite.

Our FRP pipe can be designed, formulated, and manufactured per your specifications, industry requirements and is meets ASTM D-2996 Classification Type 1, Grade 2, and Class E standards.  Similarly, the resins used in Series 5000 pipe meet the requirements of F.D.A. Regulations 21-CFR-175.105 and 21-CFR-177.2420, respectively.  Diameters, ranging from 1/2″ Ø up to 168″ Ø; wide range of lengths available.

As a custom manufacturer of pipe and fittings, we can design and build pipe to handle burial conditions ranging from live loads due to highway and rail traffic – to earth loads of 100 feet or greater. We even have experience with underwater installations. Our engineers will welcome the opportunity to work with you on a pipe design, backfill selection and installation methods to meet your specific requirements.


  • ASTM D2996
  • Classification Type 1, Grade , and Class E
  • FDA Regulations 21-CFR-175.105
  • FDA 21-CFR-177.2420


  • Nominal 40 to 50 mil Glass Veil and/or Nexus Reinforced Corrosion Liner
  • Filament Wound Structural Overlap
  • A premium grade vinyl ester resin,
  • pigmented dark grey for UV inhibition
  • Custom formulations available

FRP has proven its worth in a wide range of applications. With longer life cycles, lower installation costs, design flexibility, and superior corrosion and abrasion resistance it’s quickly becoming the go-to material throughout many markets the world over.