Facility leaders understand the importance of storage tank integrity and the potential consequences of tank failures. They also know corrosion can play a major role in many of those failures. To fight back against corrosion effects, tank operators must use every available resource to ensure attrition prevention. One of the best tricks of the trade is to install secondary containment liners.
Many facility managers opt to line their tanks with fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) — a “composite material made up of polymer that is supported with fibers for added strength.” FRP is especially adept at preventing material and structural integrity losses based on its ability to withstand the caustic materials around it. This not only helps combat corrosion but also stress fractures and the other deformations corrosion ultimately causes.
Just how effective are these linings? With proper application, FRP linings can help combat internal corrosion and prevent leaks for as long as 10 to 20 years. Plus, in cases where steel tank bottoms are perforated, FRP liners can “minimize the problem of exterior corrosion by providing enough strength to bridge small perforations.” This is a significant bonus for facility owners as lining tank bottoms with FRP is less costly than replacing tank bottoms altogether. Additional benefits of FRP lined tanks and pipes include:
- Heat resistant — While FRP’s inherent strengths can make these linings a great option for combating corrosion, they can also maintain corrosion resistance at elevated temperatures. Heat resistance adds an extra layer of security to tank or pipe integrity in extreme conditions.
- Shorter downtimes — Choosing FRP liners rather than replacing tank bottoms is not only more cost effective but also requires less downtime. Quicker installations put your tanks back into commission sooner, helping to keep your operations up and running.
- Lightweight — FRP is strong, durable, and also weighs less than other materials.
- Versatile — Installers can shape and mold FRP linings to fit a variety of tanks and piping designs. FRP is flexible enough that these linings can meet myriad design specifications and protect tanks and pipes in many different types of configurations, including noncircular.
Like most tanks and linings, project and application considerations are key. For FRP linings to work as designed, experts must properly install them in contaminate free environments. FRP linings can help protect tank longevity and have longer lifespans themselves. This can make tank lining investments not only smart but also worthwhile.