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Did You Know? Thermal FRP Expansion

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Did You Know? Thermal FRP Expansion


Posted by Matthew Mettry on Thu, Apr 04, 2013 @ 10:00 AM
According to the Composites Growth Initiative of the American
Composites Manufacturing Association (ACMA), the
Coefficient of Thermal Expansion is the change in length (or
volume) per unit length (or volume) produced by a one degree
Celsius rise in temperature.
While it is commonly thought that the thermal expansion of
fiberglass is several times higher than carbon steels, this is not
always the case and its an important fact that engineers cant
ignore. According to the American Society of Mechanical
Engineers (ASME) B31.3 standard, FRP is at most 2.5 times
that of carbon steel and at most 1.67 times that of stainless
steels and, with some filament wound fiberglass reinforced
plastics the difference is much less.
The rate of thermal expansion in FRP products is highly dependent upon the amount of glass in the product and
the orientation of the glass. Again, according to ASME, this is because the thermal expansion of the resin is
approximately 2.0 - 3.5 x 10-5 in./in./EF and the thermal expansion of the glass is only 0.28 x 10-5 in./in./EF.
Table 1
Typical Thermal Expansion Coefficients (valid up to 300F)
FRP

0.9- 1.5 x 10-5 in./in./EF

Carbon Steels

0.6 - 0.65 x 10-5


in./in./EF

Austenitic Stainless Steels

0.9 - 0.95 x 10-5


in./in./EF

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90/10 Cu-Ni

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Did You Know? Thermal FRP Expansion

0.9 - 0.95 x 10-5


in./in./EF
0.8 - 0.85 x 10-5
in./in./EF

Source: American Society of Mechanical Engineers, B31.3 Standard


Beetle Plastics fiberglass pipe is filament wound and, therefore, has different thermal expansion in the hoop and
axial direction. In the hoop direction, the thermal expansion is about the same as steel. However, in the axial
direction, the thermal expansion of the fiberglass pipe is about twice that of steel.
When designing FRP pipe systems there are other important considerations that will be influenced by the
thermal expansion. According to a case study released by the Fluid Sealing Association in 2006, Mechanical
considerations also are important. Since FRP is a composite, there are two distinctive axial modulii of elasticity:
compression and tensile. The axial compression modulus of elasticity varies from3 to 10 percent that of steel.
Similarly, another design consideration should be the relatively low modulus of elasticity of FRP pipe. Its an
advantage of FRP which should be figured into the design of a piping system.
To view the 2009 edition of the ASME B31.3 Process Piping Guide follow the link below:
http://engstandards.lanl.gov/esm/pressure_safety/process_piping_guide_R2.pdf
Contact us to learn more about our FRP and how we can help you meet your goals.

Beetle Plastics
Tags: fiberglass reinforced plastic
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