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Brazil Publishes Inspection and Performance Standard for FRP Pipes

29 January 2008

Two years and a half after the start of meetings among raw material suppliers, manufacturers, users and representatives of the Brazilian Technical Standards Association (ABNT), new fibreglass reinforced polyester (FRP) pipes standards have been published.

Published in November, NBR 15536 sets forth the inspection parameters of FRP pipes and connections used in basic sanitation works – for example, water channelling systems and sewage emissary, amongst other applications. The text, based on international regulations such as AWWA C-950 and ISO 10467 and 10639, also specifies the methods to be used to perform pipe tests.

“It refers to a great achievement, especially for the consumer market, which will rely on the piping performance"", said Macel Dal Posso, Quality Manager for Amitech, the largest Brazilian FRP pipe manufacturer. The company operates in Ipeúna, 200 km from São Paulo, is an FRP pipes company which has capacity to produce 120 km/year of pipes of 400 mm to 1,200 mm of diameter. In 2008, this potential will increase over to 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, this regulation will be advantageous to the FRP pipes manufacturers themselves. “There will be a levelling upon the quality and everyone must comply with the same requirements"", stated Dal Posso. Again, the pipeline users will be the main supported ones, “they have wished for the standard publication for a long time”, he continued.

Together with seven FRP pipes manufacturers, several representatives of water and sewerage agencies, as Sabesp, Copasa and Sanepar, have taken place in the standard text process. Raimunda Maria Pires, Sanepar’s executive, believes that the support given by ABNT to the companies which decide to specify the FRP pipes is the main advantage of such standardization. In certain conditions, such standardization helps to reduce the typical high-volume of water loss in Brazil, believes Raimunda. “As we demand for strict tests, we are ensuring a better-quality product in both manufacturing and operating aspects, that is, during the installation and maintenance”.