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What is SP9000 Laminating Process Certification?


SP9000 Laminating Process Certification is a Manufacturer prequalification process performed by the Fiberglass Reinforced Plastics Institute (“FRPI”) once upon initial certification and then annually for renewal.  It is a manufacturer “proving grounds” program similar to that provided by Air Movement Control Association for fiberglass fan and damper performance rating plus Underwriters Laboratories and Factory Mutual for fiberglass ductwork fire ratings.  FRPI certification is not a standard that a Manufacturer complies with, but rather a rating process to benchmark their capabilities against FRPI minimum requirements.

Capabilities differ widely between manufacturers.  A fiberglass industry study conducted found that 79% of 754 causes of failure reported involved issues that are significantly influenced by the Manufacturer.  Ongoing field inspection frustratingly confirms similar findings year after year following the study.  Laminating Process Certification recognizes well qualified Manufacturers and publically lists them for specifier reference in an effort to help eliminate risks associated with Manufacturer performance for the betterment of business and safety conditions.


FRPI SP9000 Laminating Process Certification is the first part of a two part process for Equipment Certification.  The second part is FRPI SP9100 Laminate Certification.  When used together these two (2) certification processes enable Specifying Engineers to obtain low risk equipment from well qualified Manufacturers on a competitive level playing field.  SP9000 is an annual FRPI certification process that qualifies manufacturers, whereas SP9100 is a certification process performed by FRPI on a job-by-job basis qualifying equipment manufactured and shipped.

FRPI performs objective audits of Manufacturers laminating processes per SP9000, with the intent of issuing a Laminating Process Certification.  This audit is performed for a fee by FRPI at the request of an authorized Manufacturer’s employee.  The fee is payable to FRPI by the candidate Manufacturer who desires to operate an FRPI Certified Laminating Process.  The audit includes a quantitative and qualitative review of capabilities that are associated with:

aGeneral Facilities        aAssembly and Fabrication 
aApplication Diversity a Secondary Bonding
aEngineering aFinishing
aStandards and Specs aPostcure Methods
aSubmittal Preparation aFDA Prep Procedures
aLayout aPerformance Testing
aResin Formulation aHandling and Packaging
aReinforcement Processing aField Operations
aPermanent Molds / Tooling aQA / QC Implementation
aMold Building aSafety
aLaminating Methods aEnvironmental Compliance
aDemolding aCustomer Support
aMachining a Industry Development

SP9000 Laminating Process Certification is accomplished following a five (5) step Manufacturer Certification Process This process facilitates review of the areas listed above, which includes: a sample engineering submittal following FRPI SP9100 inspection, testing and analysis of sample laminates and stub flanges; onsite auditing of operations and inspection of in process laminating, fabricating and secondary bonding activity plus testing the knowledge level of engineering and production leaders.  Laminating processes covered by the audit as a minimum are hand lay-up, spray-up and filament winding, which are the primary processes utilized in the manufacture of custom FRP process equipment.

In order for a Manufacturer to receive a Laminating Process Certification following the audit they shall demonstrate to FRPI that they have had the capability, for greater than five (5) years, to produce laminates that consistently meet intent of published FRPI standard practice for Laminating Process Certification.  Upon successful completion of the audit process, the Manufacturer is awarded a FRPI Certified Laminating Process certificate bearing a certification number for tractability purposes.  For more information on becoming certified please Purchase Laminate Certification Manual or contact FRPI.


FRPI Certified Manufacturers providing certified equipment are accountable for maintaining their capabilities demonstrated and producing equipment that meets plans and specifications on a job-by-job bases.   Failure to meet these requirements may be grounds for warnings or immediate Laminating Process termination following SP9000 procedures.  Manufacturer accountability is upheld through annual Laminating Process Certification renewal, potential annual unannounced FRPI shop audits and Laminate Certification performed on candidate equipment certification projects submitted from time to time.

Anyone detecting an incident involving a FRPI Certified Manufacturer’s deviation from FRPI standard practices, laminate specifications, specification bulletins, plans and/or equipment specifications referenced in a contract requiring FRPI equipment certification is eligible and encouraged to report it.  Reports shall be filed by Owners, Owner’s Agents, Engineers and/or Intermediaries using the FRPI Report Laminating Process Deviation form available on the FRPI website.  Action against such reports shall follow SP9000 procedures for Termination of Laminating Process Certification.

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