The average life expectancy of a fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) tank is 20–30 years. Compare that to the average life expectancy of a polyethylene storage tank (10–15 years), and you can see why agricultural producers, commercial industries and government agencies prefer using FRP tanks over polyethylene tanks to store and transport water, petroleum products, fertilizers, and everything in between.
That said, it’s not a given that a FRP tank will always complete its expected service life. There are several factors that can reduce the expected lifespan of a FRP tank. Here are the main ones.
Inappropriate Chemical Storage
FRP tanks react to corrosive or oxidizing chemicals. Long term exposure to these chemicals can damage the structure of FRP tanks and cause them to fail prematurely.
Higher Operating Temperature
Higher operating temperature can also reduce the life expectancy of a FRP tank. Higher temperature affects the way the chemical stored inside a FRP tank reacts with its resin chemical-barrier layer, making the FRP tank more susceptible to chemical damage.
Rough handling can cause the weather-barrier resin layer of a FRP tank to gradually wither away, leaving the tank vulnerable to UV and environmental damage. FRP tanks with compromised weather barrier resin layer are prone to developing microcracks.
Improper venting by far is the most commonly overlooked factor in FRP tank failures. “It’s just a storage tank” and “I have a low feed rate” are excuses used by tank owners to answer why their tanks are not vented properly. Over-pressurized FRP tanks or tanks placed under vacuum always fail earlier than expected.
Poor maintenance can also keep FRP tanks from functioning at their best and reduce their expected service life. A robust FRP tank maintenance program entails periodic cleaning and disinfecting and regularly inspecting for leaks and repairs.
So, if you want to get the most from your FRP tank, make sure that you use it appropriately, store it in a controlled environment, handle it with care, provide proper ventilation for it, and keep it clean and maintained. Rest assured your investment will serve you for years to come.
Hudson Fiberglass is your leading industrial FRP solutions provider in Florida. We specialize in FRP tank repairs, installation, inspection, field welding for tank, and modification.
Our 50 years of industry experience allow us to guarantee the best services at the best price. Get in touch with us today at (386) 758-0057 to discuss your industrial FRP needs.
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