The project contractor noted many advantages of the fiberglass ductwork. “Components could be fabricated entirely out of FRP due to its versatility,” says Cary Broschat, project leader from Quest Civil Constructors Texas, LLC. “ECS fabricated complicated shapes and pieces – reducers, bends, square and round duct with transitions between both shapes – with relative ease.” He says the corrosion-resistant material also eliminated the need for secondary corrosion protection.

ECS prefabricated and sub-assembled the duct system at its facility, then shipped it 60 miles south to Austin. The company sent a field crew of five employees to the construction site to handle all the field layup for Quest. The contractor trimmed the ductwork and placed it in supports, then ECS connected the pipes with field joints.

“We installed most of the duct using field-wrapped joints in lieu of flanged connections,” says Broschat. “Not only was this a cost savings, but the field-wrapped joints were quick and easy to install and allowed for minor gaps between the joints of the pipe to be completely sealed.” He adds that using ECS to perform the field wrapping saved time and money because of the crew’s skill and experience.

Installation of the odor control system was completed in January.

The Contractor Talks Composites

Quest Civil Constructors Texas, LLC served as the contractor on Austin’s downtown wastewater tunnel project, which included installation of an odor control system with fiberglass ductwork supplied by ECS Environmental Solutions. Cary Broschat, project leader from Quest who has worked with FRP on several occasions, offered these views on composites.

Touting the Benefits:

“Composites can be much more costly than other materials. But taking into account the ease of installation and corrosion resistance, using composites results in a very competitive – and often cheaper – installed cost. Composites are also typically much more durable and have a longer lifetime with less associated maintenance cost than traditional materials.”

Making a Plug for Partnering:

“Composites suppliers should work closely with owners and engineers to make the full scope of available products and technologies known and get these products on the standard product lists with municipalities. There are some very cool products out there that offer huge advantages over traditional materials. But these products can only be used if owners and engineers know about them and understand their advantages.”