Glass reinforced epoxy pipes, also known as GRE pipes, are alternatives to the standard steel carbon pipes. GRE pipes are produced or manufactured using high strength fiberglass and amine cured epoxy resins. These substances are processed under the discontinuous filament winding process to manufacture GRE pipes. In the process of filament winding, glass fibers are supported for their transportation into the resin tray. The tray has glass, which is soaked or impregnated into the epoxy resin. The fibers are then winded around the rotating mandrel at a particular specified angle. The winding process is continued till the desired pipe wall thickness is achieved.
There are various benefits of using GRE pipes. GRE pipes are light in weight compared to carbon steel pipes. Thus, they are easy to transport and install. GRE pipes offer high strength-to-weight ratio compared to other pipes. GRE pipes are highly anti-corrosive. Thus, they are suitable for usage in applications where the surrounding environment is moist, salty, and swampy. Apart from being anti-corrosive, GRE pipes have longer service life, high resistance to surge pressure, and low thermal conductivity. One of the key advantages of GRE pipe is its hydraulic efficiency. The internal frictional losses of fluid flow are very less in GRE pipes compared to carbon steel pipes. This can be ascribed to its smooth internal surface. Less frictional losses of fluid flow lead to reduced requirement of pumping energy and low operation cost.
GRE pipes are able to withstand various conditions of temperature, pressure, and adverse soil and water conditions. Thus, these pipes are typically used in desalination plants, chemical plants, oil exploration, fire mains, dredging, etc.
Increase in global demand for energy, especially oil and gas commodities, is a major driver of the GRE pipes market. GRE pipes are employed extensively in the oil & gas industry. Crude oil transportation, oil field application, petrochemicals, and refineries are common applications of GRE pipes. Rise in infrastructure development and increase in urbanization in developing countries offers growth opportunities to the GRE pipes market. However, GRE pipes are prone to impact damage. These pipes have less impact resistance compared to conventional carbon steel pipes due to the brittle nature of the thermostat resin system. This is one of the restraints of the GRE pipes market.
In terms of region, North America is anticipated to dominate the GRE pipes market. The region is one of the key exporters of crude oil owing to the recent developments in the shale oil field. GRE pipes are used for the transportation of crude oil and gas. Asia Pacific is another lucrative region of the GRE pipes market. Countries such as China, India, Malaysia, and Indonesia are experiencing rapid industrialization and urbanization. The petrochemicals industry in Asia Pacific is vast. This is estimated to boost the GRE pipes market in the near future. Middle East & Africa is also an attractive region of the GRE pipes market. The region is known for its natural resources such as coal, oil & gas, and other precious minerals. Significant investment is being made for the development of these resources. Furthermore, infrastructure development and developments in the natural gas field are likely to create opportunities for the GRE pipes market in the near future.
Key players in the GRE pipes market are Smithline Reinforced Composites FZ-LCC, Saudi Arabian Amiantit Co., Epp Composites Pvt. Ltd., Kemrock Industries And Exports Limited, EMCO International, Future Pipe Industries, Chemical Process Piping Pvt. Ltd., Rotec Composite Group, Conley Corporation, and HOVOY Composite.
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