FRP piping standard published in Brazil

The Brazilian Technical Standards Assn. has published a standard for fiberglass reinforced polyester pipes that establishes test methods and basic manufacturing standards.

Two and one half years after initial meetings among raw material suppliers, manufacturers, users and representatives of the Brazilian Technical Standards Association (ABNT), standards for fiberglass reinforced polyester (FRP) pipes have been established. Published on November 26, 2007, NBR 15536 sets forth the inspection and performance parameters for FRP pipes and connections used in basic sanitation works – for example, water channeling system and sewage conveying, among other applications. The text, based on international regulation such as AWWA C-950 and ISO 10467 and 10639, also specifies methods for performing pipe tests.

"It is a great achievement, specially for the consumer market, which will rely on the piping performance”, states Macel Dal Posso, Amitech's quality manager, the largest Brazilian FRP pipe manufacturer. The company operates in Ipeúna, 200 km from São Paulo, with a facility that has capacity to produce 120 km/year of pipes of 400 mm to 1,200 mm in diameter. In 2008, capacity will reach 300 km/year, with diameters between 300 mm and 3,000 mm. "We have taken part, in an efficient way, in the standard elaboration project, providing the committee with information supplied by our subsidiaries abroad”, he states. Amitech is under the control of two international groups: the Colombian Group Inversiones Mundial and the Saudi Arabian Group Amiantit.

In addition to the benefits offered to the basic sanitation agencies, such regulation will be advantageous to FRP pipe manufacturers themselves. "There will be a level playing field and everyone must comply with the same requirements”, states Dal Posso. Again, the pipeline users will be the primary beneficiaries: "They have wished for the standard publication for a long time”, states Amitech's quality manager. The non-compliance with the standard implicates in penalties described in the Code of the Customer Rights.

Together with seven FRP pipe manufacturers, several representatives of water and sewerage agencies, such as Sabesp, Copasa and Sanepar, took place in the standard text process. Raimunda Maria Pires, Sanepar's executive, believes that in certain conditions, such standardization helps to reduce the typical high-volume of water loss in Brazil. "As we demand strict tests, we are ensuring a better-quality product in both manufacturing and operating aspects, that is, during the installation and maintenance”.