Successful Composite FRP Pipe System Design

Composite pipe systems are used in a broad range of tough industrial services from acidic to alkaline environments and they are unaffected by chlorides. Composite pipe systems, both Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) and Dual Laminate (Thermoplastic Lined FRP) offer many advantages over other piping materials including Rubber Lined Carbon Steel (RLCS), Stainless Steels (SS), and Alloys. In most applications Composite Piping offers lower installation and life cycle costs than RLCS, SS, and Alloys. As with any piping material good composite FRP pipe system design is critical to ensure you realize the full benefits of Composite Piping.

Following are the key components of RPS Composites pipe system design and the questions that need to be addressed which we will be answering in more detail in other Technical Center articles.

Material Selection

What are the process conditions – chemical concentrations, normal operating temperature, and upset conditions? Are composites suitable for the application? Which is the best material for the application: dual laminate or FRP?

Component Design

This includes pipe, fittings, and joints. Which are the applicable codes and standards? Do the specifications include requirements beyond the codes and standards? Are there conflicts between the specifications, the codes and standards, or the best practices? Which codes and standards apply to composites?

Stress Analysis

When is a stress analysis required? What is unique about analyzing FRP piping?

Support Design

Who is supplying the supports? Have the supports been specifically designed and fitted for FRP piping? Are weight supports, guides, anchors, etc. properly utilized?


Who will be installing the pipe system? Do they have relevant FRP pipe installation experience? Do they have qualified bonders? Don’t trust your well-engineered, expertly crafted high performance pipe to anyone but experienced, knowledgeable technicians.

Material selection, component design, support design, system stress analysis, and installation – all critical to a successful composite FRP pipe system design.

In our next article, we begin our detailed look at these items by looking first at Material Selection.

Next in the series: Material Selection