What is Driving the Increased Adoption of FRP in North America and What You Need to Know for Your Spec

Feb. 29, 2016

Thursday, March 31, 2016

2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Eastern

Participants earn one Professional Development Hour.

Webinar Overview

Recent news, such as the Flint, Mich., crisis, has highlighted the fact that corrosion is the sworn enemy of any pipeline owner or operator.

For utilities and municipal authorities, budgets are tight and will continue to provide challenges, but at what social cost? Owners and engineers are questioning the necessity of managing corrosion, which requires operating  and maintenance costs, when they can eliminate it at the design stage.

The sleeves, liners and cathodic protection associated with ferrous pipes cost money and have recognized limitations.

Worldwide, FRP has been specified in open-cut, sliplining and jacking applications, and can be used for pressure, force main, sewage and storm water installations. Adoption has been slow in North America, but is gaining ground.

This webinar will cover applications, information on how to specify FRP, the common misconceptions that have slowed adoption, and practical insights from Alan Plummer Associates’ Clete Martin, P.E.

Thompson Pipe Group—Flowtite’s Executive Vice President, Mike Leathers and Engineering Manager, Jeff LeBlanc, P.E., will present this webinar with a live, technical Q&A for real-time participants.

Company Profile

Pipe and structures are built to last for decades and handle the most challenging infrastructure issues of today. The Thompson Pipe Group serves this need across the U.S. and Canada beginning with three flagship products: Reinforced Concrete Pipe (RCP), Precast Box Culverts, and Flowtite fiberglass pipe (FRP). Thompson Pipe Group also manufactures polymer concrete pipe, Meyer Polymer Concrete structures, and a range of other structures including precast concrete, often custom-poured.

In 1977, contractor Ken Thompson started a company to install concrete pipelines and underground structures. The business gradually shifted focus to the manufacture of piping and related products to serve the whole U.S., with superior support and delivery based on contractors' needs. Because of the contracting background, Thompson Pipe Group is a company that has a unique perspective that includes the needs of the owner and contractor and manufacturing efficiency, as well as a focus on meeting the needs of the most demanding capacities and lay schedules. Each manufacturing plant has teams of engineers and designers with the same hands-on contracting experience that forms the company’s roots. Every project is supported all the way from the drawing board to the construction site.


Mike Leathers, Executive Vice President, Thompson Pipe Group

Mike Leathers is executive vice president for Thompson Pipe Group. Prior to this, he was president of Hanson Engineered Products, which included Hanson Pressure Pipe and the Canadian gravity RCP division in Ontario and Quebec. Mike serves on the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Task Committee on Sustainable Design of Pipelines and is a member of the University of Texas at Arlington Civil Engineer Advisory Board. He previously served two terms as chair of the American Concrete Pipe Pressure Association. With all this, and more than 20 years in the industry, he is passionate about his business and the importance of water transport.

Currently, Mike lives in the Dallas–Fort Worth area. He’s active in his community council and serves on the planning committee for the city of Colleyville, Texas.

Jeff LeBlanc, Engineering Manager, Thompson Pipe Group—Flowtite

Jeff LeBlanc is the engineering manager for Thompson Pipe Group— Flowtite, which is the licensed manufacturer of Flowtite Fiberglass Pipe for North America. Jeff has a B.S. in civil engineering from Louisiana State University and is a Registered Professional Engineer in the state of Louisiana. 

He has more than 16 years of experience in the water and wastewater industry. For the past decade he has worked in the design, manufacture and installation of fiberglass and polymer concrete pipelines for water, sewer and hydropower utilities. His expertise is in flexible pipe design and long-term performance of composite pipe materials.

He is an active member of the ASTM committees on Plastic Products (D20) and Plastic Piping Systems (F17). In addition, Jeff is also a contributing member of three ASCE Pipeline Committees. These committees include Thrust Restraint Design for Buried Pipelines, Sustainable Design of Buried Pipelines and Water Pipe Condition Assessment Guidelines. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Southeast Society for Trenchless Technology in Region 4.

Clete Martin, P.E., Alan Plummer Associates, Inc.

Clete Martin has managed the design of more than 75 major pipeline projects, and overseen practically every aspect of the planning, technical and practical problem-solving associated with pipeline construction. His experience includes all manner of crossings and structures. He has worked with all kinds of operations, including drilling, auger boring and tunneling. A sleeves-rolled-up engineer, he insists on in-person, on-site investigations. With APAI for more than 25 years, Clete also serves on the Board of the North Texas Chapter of the Underground Construction Technology Association (UCTA), has been active on several ASCE pipeline conference committees, and has assisted in authoring a Manual of Practice on Pressure Pipeline Design.

Click here to register.