Necessity is mother of invention; the saying goes on. Middle East is well known for its arid regions and poses challenging climatic conditions coupled with varying nature of geological features. In general Middle East is surrounded by Red Sea and Arabian Gulf. The soils of these arid regions are laden with salts and fossil fuels. The deserted Middle East contains chlorine in the air and salts in the under grounds leading to expansive soils called "Sabkhas" which are very sensitive to fluctuating water tables due to vicinities of the Gulf. All these concomitant conditions poses harsh environments for traditional piping materials. This situation has been aggravated with fluctuating humidity, temperatures coupled with arid environment poses high amount of risk for traditional construction materials. The mitigation of this risk was found in the hard plastics called as Glass Reinforced Plastics, commonly known by various standards, as Fiber Reinforced Plastics (FRP), GRP, Glass Fiber Reinforced Plastic (GFRP), Reinforced Plastic Mortar (RPM) or Reinforced Thermoset Resin Plastic (RTRP) is an amalgamation of resin, glass Fiber, manufactured using appropriate additives and treatment methods. It is a composite engineering material uniquely capable of meeting a wide variety of specific processes and end product requirements of various applications of fluid transport requirements. It has a combinations of properties generally not found in any other traditional or conventional material, these include exceptionally high strength to weight ratio (have low thicknesses and high mechanical properties-withstands high pressures), superior corrosion resistance (no scaling and no build-up), maintenance free, higher hydraulic efficiency (smaller sizes), light weight (lower transportation and installation costs), higher resistance to surge pressure (more safer under worst conditions due to its low modulus of elasticity), best joining systems, excellent workability and design flexibility's.
This paper discusses various stages of the GRP piping system in various fields of Oil, Gas, Water and Petrochemical industries and provide the longest serving case history of this GRP piping system with in the region. These case histories were from performance point of view were from the year 1977 on words in various regions of the Saudi Arabia and Middle East. Apart from above, this paper enumerates the challenges faced for this GRP piping system where there is need for Industry and University interaction which will pave the way for extended service life of these GRP Piping Systems. It summarizes that GRP piping system is being used in underground, above ground, On Ground, Undersea applications of 25mm to 4000 mm diameter with gravity till 250 Bars G pressure classes.
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ISECC, Saudi Arabia