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30 year old pipeline in fiberglass appears as brand new

News International-French

24 Dec 2013

GRP pipes have withstood the forces of nature for 30 years at the power plant north of Lillehammer. The pipeline is emerging as resistant as when it was installed in 1982. A smooth and glossy inner surface implies that the pipe characteristics are maintained over time and that the tubes have very long life.

Due to a planned shutdown of the plant, the suppliers of the pipeline, APS Norway AS and Flowtite Technology, required an inspection of the pipeline.

A significant upgrade of the facility was conducted in 1982, including replacement of pipeline steel in favour of GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic).

No visible signs of wear-out
"In long term tests carried out in our laboratories, pipes are exposed for large overloads. The results from these tests is then extrapolated to 50 years. Thus, the pipes are designed with spacious safety margins. If we relate this to tests and inspections of facilities, this indicates that the pipes will keep very long" says Gudmundur Pálsson, chief engineer at Flowtite Technology.
"On the inside, the pipeline was covered by a thin layer of humus. This we easily washed away with water and were able to ascertain that the pipeline emerged new with a smooth and polished surface. Through visual inspection, we could conclude that the surface had no visible signs of wear-out or other negative impact after 30 years of operation" points Pálsson.

Low headloss
"A glossy and smooth surface after 30 years of operation confirms that the pipes hydraulic properties over time is maintained. This has great significance for headloss and the plant's ability to maintain an efficient production. It matches well with our expectations and is also in line with the literature, where plastic pipes is expected to retain its excellent hydraulic properties over time" says Pálsson.

State of the art GRP-technology for almost 50 years
For nearly 50 years, Flowtite GRP pipes have been manufactured and marketed by Flowtite Technology worldwide. The tubes are currently installed in thousands of installations worldwide, and has been dominant as pipe material for projects in hydropower-, water and sewage- and industrial applications, many of these among the largest of its kind in the world.

The pipes were a contender in the market when they were launched in the late 60's. Competitors had been on the market for a long time, steel and concrete was well established. Moreover, the market was wary of a new material - thrown in fiberglass. Is it strong enough? Will it live up to claims?

The task of establishing Flowtite on the market was challenging. But with faith in a good product and painstaking work over the years with focus on quality, continuous investment in research and development, Flowtite pipes taken a solid share of the market. Today, the pipes are always considered a good option for hydropower projects, water and sewage- and industrial applications.

About Flowtite Technology:
The company is part of Amiantit Group, one of the world's largest pipe manufacturers. With its affiliates and subsidiaries, it is a global company with a presence on all continents. The company has supplied GRP pipeline technology for nearly 50 years. Worldwide, there are about 70 factories or production lines for Flowtite GRP pipes. Flowtite Technology is headquartered in Sandefjord/Norway and exporting the technology worldwide.

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