FRP for Structural Repairs – The Advantages of Structural FRP
Recently featured by Energy-Tech Magazine, “ASME: Repair of pressure boundary and structural components with composites,” by John Charest is a great overview of the advantages of FRP when used for structural repairs.
“Deterioration of components and structures at power generating facilities has caused unscheduled plant outages, personnel safety concerns and significant impact on operating budgets. However, a new technology is available that can increase the usable life of components and structures, while significantly reducing the economic burden normally associated with repair or replacement options.” The new technology? Fiberglass reinforced polymers (FRP) of course.
FRP repairs offer a number of advantages over other material choices. FRPs tend to be light weight but strong and, “are comprised of high strength fibers in an epoxy matrix… These long fibers tend to have fewer defects, which leads to stiffer, stronger properties.” While strength is undoubtedly a huge advantage, one of the biggest advantages is the ease with which FRP repairs can be performed. “The work is performed quickly and can often be completed during regularly scheduled shutdown times.” The ability to perform repairs without plant downtime is a huge boon. The exact repair procedure is determined by the type of repair needed and the surface material the FRP will be applied over.
According to Charest, “Many of the FRP installations currently in-service at power generation facilities have been utilized to repair piping. Primarily, these installations have been made by applying the FRP on the inside of the piping. These applications have successfully provided pressure boundary and structural integrity.” FRP can also be used as, “a structurally acceptable method to rehabilitate aging plant equipment, piping and structures,” says Charest.
High strength-to-weight ratio, dimensional stability, long service life, and reduced maintenance cost combined with ease of installation make FRP an ideal repair material.
To read the full article, click here.