Specialty products like fiberglass pipe and fittings require special assembly tools for joining. Depending on the type and size of pipe, and the manufacturer, the tools required will vary. Smaller pipe to 6 normally requires simple tools for the common bell x spigot adhesive joints. Pipe sizes 8 to 16 require heavier, more bulky tools to shave spigots onto the pipe. These tools may be purchased or rented and can become a costly item depending on the pipe sizes being joined and the project duration.
Larger fiberglass pipe and fittings, in sizes above 16-inch, are joined using a butt-and-wrap joint where plain-end pipe and fittings are over wrapped with multiple layers of fiberglass mat impregnated with resin. Although making butt-and-wrap joints requires common tools like grinders and saws, specialty items are also needed such as: rollers, brushes, and mixing cups with cc measurements for catalyst. These items when purchased all add costs to the customer above and beyond the initial material charges.
In addition to the pipe and fittings cost, the tools cost, the specialty tool costs and other items like heating blankets, there are other costs involved in field joining of fiberglass pipe. The largest of these costs is contractor or customer labor followed by the costs for adhesive kits, field butt-and-wrap kits, grinding discs, flapper sanders, special cutting blades, etc. In addition there is the assembling of all necessary small tools such as: fixtures for flange alignment, levels, squares, pipe stands, grinders, drill motors, solvents, gloves, power saws. The list can get quite complex depending on the pipe sizes and quantities involved.
One of the greatest labor saving services we provide is complete factory fabrication of pipe and fittings. Factory fabrication greatly reduces the field labor and equipment costs associated with field joining a piping system and in many cases eliminates expensive fittings and joining materials that would be required if the pipe and fittings were field assembled.
RAM Fiberglass recently fabricated a 24-inch diameter diffuser (see photo) that is now installed in a local municipal water treatment facility. If the engineer/contractor had purchased loose materials and fabricated this diffuser at the job site himself, the total cost would have been $23,336.46 (see Table 1) which still does not include any of the miscellaneous tools required for assembly (see Table 2).
This 24-inch diffuser was shop fabricated by RAM Fiberglass at our Chino, CA, facility. Total cost to the engineer/contractor was $12,503.00, a savings to the engineer/contractor and city in excess of $10,833.00!
From a simple pipe spool with a flange at both ends to a one piece header system (as above) to a complex piping system, the benefits of shop fabricated piping include savings in time, savings in field labor and savings in installation costs. Factory fabrication, its the smart choice
Materials * Description Extended Total Cost
1 24 90 elbow, PE x FLG
1 24 Tee, PE
6 24x12 Reducing Tees, PE
2 24x6 Reducing Tees, PE
2 6 Male Adapters
2 6 Threaded Caps
2 24 End Dome
21.5 24 Pipe
15 24 Weld Kits
5 24 Tool Kits
13 24 Pipe Cuts
15 24 Butt & Wrap Welds
2 6 Adhesive Bond Joints
TotalField fabricated by contractor $23,336.46
*Material costs could have been reduced by substituting reducing saddles for the reducing tees for a total material cost of $13,892.45 and a reduced labor charge of $3,764.80. Due to the 150 psi rating required that was not permitted
Miscellaneous tools required by contractor:
- Pipe Stands - Square - Drill Motor
- Grinders - Solvent - Flapper Sanders
- Grinding Discs - Gloves - Adhesive Kits
- Heating Blankets - Fixtures - Electrical Cords
- Heat Lamps - Power Saw - Levels
5236 Faraday CT.