What Does Glass Reinforced Epoxy (GRE) Mean?
Glass reinforced epoxy (GRE) belongs to a group of fiber-reinforced plastics. It is a composite material consisting of an epoxy resin, used as the base polymer matrix, reinforced with glass fibers.
GRE is widely used as an alternative to carbon steel, particularly in industrial pipelines, due to its corrosion resistance, chemical resistance, low thermal conductivity, relatively light weight and desirable mechanical properties.
Corrosionpedia Explains Glass Reinforced Epoxy (GRE)
GRE has become especially prevalent in the oil and gas industry due to the advantages it possesses compared to steel. Pipes, gaskets, casings and fittings are constructed using GRE to protect equipment from damage resulting from the high temperature, high pressure and corrosive environments often imposed by oil and gas extraction and transportation methods. Additionally, GRE components are usually preferred since they are easier to install and handle due to their light weight.
However, GRE is known to develop flaws as it ages in harsh environments. Aging GRE significantly decreases in flexural strength and can become susceptible to deterioration. Microcracks and delamination can occur between the layers of the reinforcing fibers resulting in leaks, reduced overall capacity and material failure.