The unexpected shifts in the global markets because of the sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 virus have brought many major and minor tremors to industries of all sizes including the FRP Pipe & Tank Market.
It was estimated prior to this unanticipated outbreak that the FRP Pipe & Tank Market was expected to reach US$ 8.0 billion in 2026. However, the gradual slowing down of industries will undoubtedly impose limits on the previously estimated growth rate.
FRP (fiberglass-reinforced plastic) pipe & tanks are fabricated using resins such as polyester, vinyl ester, and epoxy reinforced majorly with glass fiber. FRP pipe & tanks are gradually replacing traditional materials, such as concrete, iron, and plastics because they offer a gamut of advantages over these materials such as lightweight, durability, excellent corrosion resistance, chemical resistance, high level of stiffness, freedom of design, and low maintenance & installation cost.
FRP tanks are being installed underground as well as aboveground. Underground FRP tanks are used to store petroleum products such as store gasoline, diesel fuel, motor oil, kerosene, methanol blends, oxygenated motor fuels, etc. Aboveground tanks are used to store acids, caustics, and other types of solvents. FRP pipes are used to transfer corrosive or other materials in corrosive environments. FRP pipe & tanks have a lower relative density between 1.5 and 2. Also, they have an excellent strength-to-weight ratio, only 20% to 25% of the weight of carbon steel yet provide strength similar to alloy steel. FRP has a low thermal insulating property, only about 1/100 to 1/1000 of that of traditional steel, which means they effectively maintain the temperature of liquids inside the pipe or tank.
The pandemic is rapidly ruthlessly affecting the business environments of major markets. FRP is the fastest-growing category in the total pipes & tanks family but could not escape themselves from it and are witnessing massive declines in their demand in all the market segments across regions. Some regions, particularly, North America and Europe, are witnessing greater declines than Asia-Pacific. Amidst the ongoing crisis, the companies are operating at a lower capacity and will scale up its operation after carefully assessing the course of COVID-19 in the near term.
In order to assess the impact of the Pandemic in the FRP pipes & tanks market with high veracity, Stratview Research has conducted a large number of primary interviews across the FRP market value chain as well as studied the impacts and recoveries on FRP pipe demand in previous downturns. Based on interviews and study of previous downturns, Stratview Research believes that the FRP pipes & tanks market is likely to record a V-shaped recovery, with recovery taking place from 2021 onwards, ultimately pushing the market to cross the unprecedented figure of US$ 8.0 billion in 2026.
Based on the type, the market is bifurcated into FRP pipe and FRP tanks. FRP pipe is estimated to maintain its huge dominance in the market in the coming five years. FRP pipe is also estimated to rebound at a healthy pace in the post-pandemic market scenario. FRP tanks also account for a considerable share of the market. There has been an increasing penetration of FRP in both, pipes as well as tanks, over the eons.
Based on the application type, the market is segmented as oil & gas, chemical/industrial, water/wastewate, and marine & offshore. Chemical/industrial is likely to remain the most dominant application type in the market during the forecast period. In chemical/industrial applications, FRP pipe & tanks are gradually becoming the choice of product in a series of applications including petrochemical & refineries, power & desalination plants, fuel handling, storage tanks, etc. Vinyl ester and polyester resins are preferably used in the chemical/industrial application as both resins possess the high levels of chemical resistance even in the most aggressive environments.
The oil & gas industry segment is also expected to register the impressive growth in the post-pandemic market scenario. FRP pipe & tanks are becoming the apple of the eye for a wide range of applications such as flow gathering, water injection, downhole tubing, well casing, and transmission line.
Based on the resin type, the market is classified as polyester, vinyl ester, and epoxy. Polyester is likely to remain the most dominant resin type in the market during the forecast period. Polyester resin offers a multitude of advantages including excellent corrosion and chemical resistance and moderate strength at a lower cost; hence, is considered a perennial choice for low-pressure applications. Glass fiber-reinforced epoxy pipes (GRE pipes) have high chemical and corrosion resistance as well as excellent mechanical, physical, and thermal properties. GRE pipes are capable to handle high pressure & temperature and resist corrosion caused by H2S and saltwater, which make them a preferred choice in oil & gas and marine/offshore applications.
Based on the manufacturing process type, the market is classified as filament winding, centrifugal casting, hand lay-up, spray lay-up, and others. The filament winding process is likely to remain the most dominant manufacturing process in the market by 2026. Filament winding is the preferred process for the fabrication of FRP pipes, whereas spray lay-up is the dominant process for fabricating FRP tanks. The filament winding process allows continuous fiber reinforcement in the circumferential direction of pipe where the principal stress applies, resulting in high performing product development at a lower cost. Spray lay-up is the extension of the hand lay-up method where a spray gun is used to spray pressurized resin and chopped fiber on a mold. It is much faster than hand lay-up.
All regions are expected to mark a huge decline in 2020 in the wake of the COVID-19. Asia-Pacific, the demand severely hit by the pandemic, is expected to manage its lead in the global market in the foreseeable future. Also, the region is likely to heal up with the fastest pace in the post-pandemic market scenario. China, India, Malaysia, and Japan are the major markets for FRP pipes & tanks. There has been an incessant shift from traditional materials to FRP pipes & tanks across the region. China is estimated to maintain its huge dominance in the global marketplace in the years to come. India to add consequential growth opportunities in years to come.
The supply chain of this market comprises raw material suppliers, FRP Pipe & Tank manufacturers, distributors, and end-uses. The key players in the market are Amiantit Fiberglass Industries Limited, Amiblu Holding GmbH, Farassan Man. & Ind. Company, Future Pipe Industries, Hengrun Group Co. Ltd., Kurimoto Ltd., Lianyungang Zhongfu Lianzhong Composites Group Co., Ltd., National Oilwell Varco, Sekisui Chemicals, WIG Wietersdorfer Holding GmbH, and ZCL Composites Inc.