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36" Buried "Fiberglass" (Glass-Fiber-Reinforced Thermosetting-Resin) Pipe In-service

36" Buried "Fiberglass" (Glass-Fiber-Reinforced Thermosetting-Resin) Pipe In-service

36" Buried "Fiberglass" (Glass-Fiber-Reinforced Thermosetting-Resin) Pipe In-service

A couple of failures at the assembled joints of the above stated material over the years is a major concern here. Is there any convenient monitoring technique to determine the structural integrity of this pipe considering damage mechanisms such as fibre debonding, resin cracking, bond or thread failure in assembled joints, fibre breakage, delamination or fibre pullout? Which design or inspection code would be applicable here as many of the applicables codes does not address this situation!

I would be grateful for any professional assistance on this.

RE: 36" Buried "Fiberglass" (Glass-Fiber-Reinforced Thermosetting-Resin) Pipe In-service

What type of joints?

RE: 36" Buried "Fiberglass" (Glass-Fiber-Reinforced Thermosetting-Resin) Pipe In-service

The long term issue with "fiberglass" pipe is bruising. When we were starting out the coalbed methane play in 1989 in the San Juan Basin of Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado we were concerned about the corrosive potential of 18% CO2 and chose to go with Centron GRP. We ended up with more of the stuff than anyone had ever interconnected in one place before that time (and maybe since, there is a lot of Centron here). To start with we didn't treat it like glass, we treated it like pipe. Big mistake. Every time a rock fell off the spoil pile onto the pipe it bruised the pipe. Over the years the fibers around the bruise rubbed against each other and eventually led to leaks. Lots and lots of leaks.

There really isn't a systematic way to monitor the pipe condition and smart pigs are blind to the bruising and delaminations. We approached the problem through surface surveillance and fixing leaks as they were identified from surface indications. I know this is a terrible answer, but we were never able to come up with a better one. Once the bruising issue manifested itself (about 6-7 years after installation) I stopped installing new GRP, but I couldn't find anything to do with the hundreds of miles of the stuff already in the ground.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei, Italian Physicist

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