Glass-fiber-reinforced (GFR) Plastic Pipes Market: Overview
Glass-fiber-reinforced (GFR) plastic pipes are pipes manufactured from the GFR plastic material, also known as GRP (Glass-fiber-reinforced Plastic) or FRP (Fiberglass-reinforced Plastic). The material is a combination of glass fibers and resins, wherein resins provide chemical and environmental resistance to the product, apart from acting as a binder for glass fibers in the structural laminate.
Glass-fiber-reinforced plastics offer several advantages over other reinforced plastics. They are highly resistant to corrosion. This property is attributable to both the resin content and the type of resin. Corrosion resistance increases with rise in the resin content.
Glass-fiber-reinforced (GFR) Plastic Pipes Market: Drivers & Restraints
Another distinct advantage of glass-fiber-reinforced (GFR) plastics is their low weight-to-strength ratio. For the same amount of strength provided by a material, GFR plastic weighs only 50% of aluminum and around 14% of steel. This property is highly significant if the manufacturing cost, transportation, and ease of installation of GFR plastic pipes are considered. Several materials other than GFR plastic can be used to avoid or prolong the onset of corrosion. These include rubber lining, titanium, and exotic stainless steel. However, GFR plastic costs lower than these materials and hence, it is a more preferred option.
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Flexibility offered by GFR plastic is highly important in the manufacture of pipes. GFR plastic can be used for molding pipes in almost any type of configuration such as round or rectangular shapes including Tee inlets, flanges, and elbows.
However, the use of GFR plastic is also held back due to health related factors. Excess contact between resins and human skin are harmful to humans. Relevant regulatory guidelines are in place to ensure proper handling, transport, and storage of GFR plastic products, including pipes.
Glass-fiber-reinforced (GFR) Plastic Pipes Market: Key Segments
The global glass-fiber-reinforced (GFR) plastic pipes market can be segmented based on resin, end-user industry, and region. Three types of resins are used for the manufacture of pipes: polyester, vinyl ester, and epoxy. The choice of resin type is highly dependent on the purpose of using the pipe and environmental factors it may be exposed to. For example, epoxy resin is highly recommended due to its corrosion resistance. On the other hand, polyester resin is recommended for use in the marine industry. Vinyl ester resin dissipates more energy and is highly resistant to penetration.
In terms of application, the global glass-fiber-reinforced (GFR) plastic pipes market can be segmented into construction and industrial. The construction segment comprises residential, commercial, institutional, and infrastructure sub-segments, wherein glass-fiber-reinforced (GFR) plastic pipes are primarily required to transport water and wastewater. The industrial segment comprises manufacturing facilities wherein pipes are required for transportation of water, wastewater, chemicals, and gases.
Glass-fiber-reinforced (GFR) Plastic Pipes Market: Regional Outlook
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In terms of region, the global glass-fiber-reinforced (GFR) plastic pipes market can be segmented into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. Growth of the construction industry is a major driver of the global glass-fiber-reinforced (GFR) plastic pipes market across all regions. Construction of buildings requires extensive piping systems. Growth of the manufacturing sector is also a driving factor for the global glass-fiber-reinforced (GFR) plastic pipes market.
Glass-fiber-reinforced (GFR) Plastic Pipes Market: Key Players
Several large companies operate in the global glass-fiber-reinforced (GFR) plastic pipes market, for example, Kolon Industries Inc., Amiblu Holding GmbH, Megha Fibre Glass Industries Ltd., and Fibrex.
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