What most people call fiberglass tanks are actually known as fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) tanks. FRP tanks are made of plastic that is reinforced with fiberglass, not unlike the way rebar is reinforced with concrete.
They are made using one of two methods: the filament winding method and the chopper gun method. By gaining some insight into how FRP tanks are constructed, you’ll gain an understanding of the benefits they provide.
We’ve prepared this comprehensive guide on how fiberglass tanks are constructed to help you do just that.
Fiberglass Tank Construction: Filament Winding Method
The filament winding method utilizes a spool to wind a layer of glass around a rotating tank mold. Hardeners and resin aren’t mixed with the fiberglass because the resin is only added to the bottom of each layer.
Here are all the steps involved in this method:
- Rollers are used to allow air bubbles to escape the fiberglass mat.
- Individual strands of the glass are applied to the mat.
- As the mold rotates, it pulls these strands and wraps them over the tank.
- Once the resin and mats dry, the tank mold can be removed.
- In order to prevent the open end of the tank from falling in, a steel ring is placed near the opening.
- The top is then placed on the tank.
- All the remaining layers of the fiberglass are added using a chopper gun.
- Once the tank is ready, openings are cut for fixtures and attachments.
Fiberglass Tank Construction: Chopper Gun Method
The chopper gun method utilizes metal molds to create the top, bottom, and sides of a fiberglass tank.
Here’s what the chopper gun method involves:
- A chopper gun is used to cut strands of fiberglass into smaller pieces. A hardener, along with liquid resin, is simultaneously mixed with the fiberglass as it passes through and leaves the chopper gun.
- The sidewalls, bottoms, and tops of the tanks are all constructed separately.
- Finished bottoms and tops are attached to a tank’s sidewall with fasteners.
- Final fiberglass layers are applied over the exterior so the fasteners and the rest of the tank are indistinguishable.
- Accessories and fittings, such as manways, and cleanouts, are added once the tank is glassed and assembled.
- A gel or paint coat is the final layer applied to the tank to protect it from ultraviolet rays. Without this extra layer of protection, fiberglass tanks suffer from the same UV damage as polyethylene tanks do.
If you’ve decided to purchase FRP tanks for your organization, it’s highly recommended that you let professionals handle all the installation procedures to prevent any problems from occurring.
Over the many years that we’ve been providing our services, we’ve garnered a stellar reputation for excellence in custom fiberglass work, working with some of the largest organizations in the world.
Get in touch with us today for more information or call us at (386) 758-0057.