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Can Fiberglass Tanks Be Repaired?

Updated: Oct 27

Can Fiberglass Tanks be repaired?


Can a Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic Tank Be Properly Repaired?

Purchasing high-quality Fiberglass tanks will be one of the most expensive investments a company or municipality makes for their facility.


How was the Fiberglass Tank construction? What materials were used? What kind of resin? How much resin was applied? What was the method of application? Any facility storing chemicals will need to know what kind of chemicals will be held in the FRP tank, the temperature of the chemical, and several other essential factors.


Fiberglass Tank Manufacturers are also giving their customers between 20-40 weeks plus the shipping window, leading to a massive supply chain delay. We’ve seen fiberglass tanks last over 30 years if properly maintained.


What is a Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic Tank?

Fiberglass storage tanks can be constructed by being filament-wound or hand-laid. Glass Fibers are intertwined into a nexus veil that is wound onto a spool. In this spool, the fibers create a fiberglass layer. The resin binds the layers together to form a structure more robust than steel. The winding construction method is fascinating to watch. Large strands of glass fiber and mat run through a tray of resin and are woven together and spun around a large circular structure.

filament-wound fiberglass tank
filament-wound fiberglass tank

The winding construction method has inherent seams in the tank walls, which can result in weak points in the structure and lead to leaks. On the other hand, hand-lay tanks are susceptible to human error and seams where the fiberglass panels meet. Other weak points in the tank structure that can lead to leaks are tank nozzles, piping, or other modifications.


Concerns About Fiberglass Storage Tanks

Fiberglass Storage tanks have been a top choice for Industrial Industries like Chemical Manufacturing, Municipalities, Power, and Pulp and Paper for many years. Fiberglass reinforced plastic is the material of choice for storing petroleum-based products (e.g., gasoline and kerosene), bleach, fuel, water, acids, and caustics.


Weak spots on the Fiberglass tanks can form around custom modifications, seams, or the area between the filament layer and resin. Over time, corrosive chemicals, like sodium hypochlorite or sulfuric acid, can corrode the inner lining of the tank away. Relining Fiberglass Tanks is very important to maintain their structural integrity.







Fiberglass tanks need maintenance, but what about a polyethylene or polypropylene tank? Poly and Poly pro tanks can be an excellent alternative to Fiberglass Tanks, and we also make repairs on those tanks. However, in our experience, Poly and Poly Pro tanks can be “throw-away” tanks. If we can’t form a plastic bond on the tank, the tank must be discarded and replaced, even for a minor repair. Poly tanks are not inexpensive or more accessible to install than Fiberglass Tanks.

Conclusion

So, while Fiberglass tanks may need to be repaired or relined more often, you can almost guarantee that they can be improved, relined, or replaced. It is up to the facility manager to determine the best tank for their site. However, Fiberglass Tanks can certainly be repaired.


To request a free quote for Fiberglass Tanks or to set up a free inspection, call us at 410-737-4700 or email us at contact@plastechservices.com

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