FRCPipes first began manufacturing fibre reinforced concrete pipes in 1926. FRCPipes concrete pipes have been manufactured and used successfully for over 25 years using the current product technology and formulation.
The original cement pipes were water cured, but in the 1950s James Hardie commenced the manufacture of autoclave-cured pipes. Autoclaved pipes incorporate a mixture of cement with ground sand, which is cured with steam, in a high pressure autoclave. This process produces a pipe that is fully cured, with a very low free lime content. This renders the pipe resistant to soil sulphate attack, unlike traditional air cured concrete pipes.
In the mid 1980s James Hardie pioneered the research work necessary to develop a fibre reinforced concrete pipe ground cellulose as the reinforcing fibre.
The first of the cellulose reinforced concrete pipes were manufactured in Australia in 1984, and today this form of autoclaved pipe is exclusive to FRCPipes. The manufacturing plant is located in the Brisbane suburb of Meeandah in Queensland. Since 1984 this facility has manufactured, sold and distributed more than 12,000kms of pipe which has been installed Australia wide.
The presence of FRCPipes concrete pipes in the Australian market expands the choice of reinforced concrete pipes available and increases competition, both of which should be good for specifiers and contractors.