Brazil publishes FRP inspection, performance standard

Two and a half years after meetings among raw material suppliers, manufacturers, users and representatives of the Brazilian Technical Standards Association (ABNT) began, fiberglass reinforced polyester (FRP) pipes have been standardized. Published in November 2007, NBR 15536 sets forth inspection and performance parameters of FRP pipes and connections used in basic sanitation works, such as a water channeling system and sewage emissary, among other applications...

SÃO PAULO, Brazil, Jan. 23, 2008 -- Two and a half years after the beginning of meetings among raw material suppliers, manufacturers, users and representatives of the Brazilian Technical Standards Association (ABNT), fiberglass reinforced polyester (FRP) pipes have been standardized. Published in November 2007, NBR 15536 sets forth inspection and performance parameters of FRP pipes and connections used in basic sanitation works, such as a water channeling system and sewage emissary, among other applications. The text, based on international regulations such as AWWA C-950 and ISO 10467 and 10639, also specifies methods for performing pipe tests.

"It refers to a great achievement, specially for the consumer market, which will rely on piping performance," states Macel Dal Posso, Amitech's quality manager, the largest Brazilian FRP pipes manufacturer. The company operates a FRP pipes manufactory in Ipeúna, 200 km from São Paulo, which has the capacity to produce 120 km/year of pipes 400 mm to 1,200 mm in diameter. In 2008, production will increase 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 basic sanitation agencies, the regulations will be advantageous to the FRP pipes manufacturers themselves. "There will be a leveling of quality and everyone must comply with the same requirements," states Dal Posso. Again, pipeline users will be the main beneficiaries. "They have wished for the standard publication for a long time," states Amitech's quality manager. The non-compliance with the standard implicates in penalties described in the Code of the Customer Rights.

ABNT's Support
Together with seven FRP pipes manufacturers, several representatives of water and sewerage agencies, as Sabesp, Copasa and Sanepar, have taken part in the standard text process. Raimunda Maria Pires, Sanepar's executive, believes that the support given by ABNT is the main advantage of such standardization. "They came to be one more available alternative for the agencies after the standard publication," she states.

In certain situations, such standardization helps to reduce the typical high-volume water loss in Brazil, believes Raimunda. "As we demand strict tests, we are ensuring a better-quality product in both manufacturing and operating aspects, that is, during the installation and maintenance."

Controlled by two international groups -- Inversiones Mundial, from Colombia, and Amiantit, from Saudi Arabia -- Amitech is the largest Brazilian manufacturer of fiberglass reinforced polyester (FRP) pipes.

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