Future-proofing Australia’s water infrastructure with GRP Pipeline Solutions


For more than five decades, Iplex has been at the forefront of plastic pipe technology and is a trusted provider of innovative water pipeline solutions that solve customer challenges.

While Iplex’s roots are based on plastic pipes, the company has over many years introduced new and innovative pipe solutions, offering designers choice and flexibility for their unique project challenges.

In 1987, Iplex was first to introduce large bore Glass Reinforced Polymers (GRP) pipes for water and sewer applications. Now with over 34 years of GRP experience, Iplex is proud to have supplied thousands of projects spanning thousands of kilometres for both open trench and jacking applications across Australia.

Iplex is a proud distributor of Flowtite® GRP Pipe and Fittings, manufactured by RPC Pipe Systems in South Australia.

Product Manager for Engineered Products at Iplex Michael Lancuba says the benefits of GRP are widely recognised.

“GRP is a robust and durable material offering designers an alternative to conventional pipe materials.  GRP allows for light weight pipes to be produced with high strength enabling high pressure classes for pressure applications and various stiffness classes for non-pressure applications. Compared to metal pipes, GRP is lighter so, you can get away with lighter lifting equipment saving time and money during installation,” says Lancuba.

“But perhaps the most appealing benefit is GRP’s resistance to chemical attack. It can be installed in naturally occurring ground conditions such as acid sulphate soils or saline ground conditions that are otherwise detrimental to unprotected metal and concrete. This gives asset owners peace of mind over these significant investments.”

Customised options, such as tailored pipe dimensions; pipe stiffness; pipe lengths; and joint types, further demonstrates the material’s versatility as a pipeline solution for installations in difficult environments and meeting tight construction programs.

While Iplex has proudly been the supplier of choice for projects of all sizes and scopes, it is the large or technically complex installations for which it is most proud.

One such example was supplying pressure (PN16) GRP Jacking pipe for the Nightcap Water Treatment Plant in NSW.  (PN16) GRP Jacking pipes selected for the upgrade to the outlet system and increasing capacity of the treatment plant.

There were several design options considered for the project. DN1400 PN16 GRP Jacking Pipe was chosen for its high axial strength and quality pressure rubber ring joint.

This was an Australian first as traditionally GRP Jacking Pipe is used for gravity sewer applications only.

Another milestone project for Iplex was being selected as the GRP supplier for Stage 1 of the $215 million Haughton Pipeline Duplication Project in Townsville QLD.

This important project included duplicating an existing 36.5 km pipeline to provide bulk water backup supply for the Burdekin Water Supply Scheme.

Iplex supplied 36 kilometres of DN1800 GRP pipes, with long radius bends, Scours and Air Valve Tees and specially engineered fittings to deliver 234 megalitres of water per day into the Ross Dam.

The duplication enabled water to be pumped more efficiently than the existing DN1200 DICL pipe, securing a sustainable, long-term water supply for the City of Townsville.

To achieve the Council’s ambitious project milestones, light weight and durable GRP pipes and fittings was a logical product choice, supported by experienced Iplex technical specialists and a dedicated project delivery team.

For more information visit Iplex.

This article featured in the March edition of The Australian Pipeliner. 

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