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Posted: Friday 10th May 2013

Purepipe have developed a new ribbed GRP pipe providing high stiffness characteristics without resorting to the use of silica filler materials.

By selective design of the rib profile and spacing, an economical pipe can now be produced in pure GRP providing not just high pressure characteristics but high stiffness characteristics as well.

Most other GRP manufacturers simply add silica or other inert fillers to add bulk to the pipe wall structure and thus achieve increased stiffness, regardless of the negative effects of fillers in the laminate which do not enhance the longevity of the product.

The design methodology using pure glass fibre and resin developed by Purepipe is based upon helically wound composite pipe with a series of circumferentially wound ribs of specific profile applied at nominated intervals along the pipe barrel . Together these ribs on a length of pipe will interact with each other, producing a stiffening effect of slightly more than 2 diameters of the pipe in each direction from each rib.

Along with Queen’s University Belfast, testing and analysis was undertaken in their Structures Laboratory, under the direction of Dr. Barry Rankin. The results obtained have proved that the design approach adopted for the ribbed pipe is correct.

The 4 key variables in the pipe geometry which determine the stiffness of the ribbed section include:

1. The base pipe wall thickness, controlled by minimum allowable stiffness under AWWA M45 design code

2. Rib height, giving pipe effective OD at ribs.

3. Rib width and profile

4. Rib spacing.

In the marketplace, Purepipe has successfully deployed this new ribbed profile within a Hydro application where point loading above the pipe was particularly significant.

In another application, this technique has enabled pipes to span across unsupported areas within a pipeline route.

In closing, the overall aim is to provide an engineered composite pipe of known ability that will have the same performance many years after installation and provide problem free service at an economical price.

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August 2021

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