Synthetic piping

Synthetics for piping systems. More and more pipes on board are made from synthetics, not only for accommodation and sanitary means but also for ballast systems. The main advantage is the corrosion resistance of synthetics. The small weight is another advantage. The pipes are easier to handle on board as well as on the yard and the reduced weight allows the ship to carry more cargo. Disadvantages are the sensitivity to temperature changes and the lower strength compared to steel. Classification Societies often state that “synthetic pipes may be used when they have no adverse effect on the continuity of vital installations in the event of breakdown or fire.” Means of repair for synthetic pipes are compulsory when a vessel makes use of synthetic pipes.

from Karl Van Dokkum’s Ship Knowledge: a Modern Encyclopedia, 2003.

Now I’ve seen these things in the wild: in the ballast systems of semi-submersibles, but I don’t know much about them. Who has the reference material?

The commonly used stuff is called Bondstrand - it’s fiberglass piping that is used commonly on ships ballast systems.

https://www.nov.com/products/bondstrand-fiberglass-pipe

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Most commonly referred to a GRP (or FRP) Piping. The terms are used interchangeably. Depending on the resin used it may also be called GRE Piping.

I have dealt with it used as ballast piping in double bottoms.

  • if its electrically conductive how come it doesn’t do galvanic damage to the valves and pumps?
  • how is the ballast system of a semi not considered to be a vital installation? Ocean Ranger?
  • does ‘means of repair’ mean Bondo?

I’ve seen some fiberglass piping but it wasn’t in any vital application. I should think that since it’ll burn you can’t use it to carry fluids, at least below the water line? the way that stuff can crack you might have a fun time stopping a leak … ““not so tight””" ha ha
I don’t doubt there are some materials that’ll work fine and like all progress eventually it’ll show up in all construction but also with the attendant disasters while the industry ‘‘adapts’’ and ignors the sage advice of old salts.