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Fiberglass Tank Covers

When considering the safety and environmental impact of chemical storage, do you feel concerned? Fiberglass tank covers, with their excellent corrosion resistance and high-strength lightweight characteristics, provide an innovative solution that completely transforms the protection of traditional storage tanks. Imagine a lightweight yet powerful tank cover that not only significantly extends the lifespan of the tanks but also effectively controls the emission of harmful gases, protecting the environment from pollution.
Continue reading to learn more about fiberglass tank covers.

What are Fiberglass Tank Covers?

FRP Tank Covers

Fiberglass tank covers are protective layers or components made from fiberglass materials, specifically designed to cover storage tanks. These covers serve multiple purposes such as providing a secondary seal for tank fittings, valves, and pumps, as well as offering surface pathways for the maintenance and upkeep of the tanks. They can form a liquid-tight isolation container to prevent environmental contamination and provide a clean, dry environment for future maintenance of tank components.

What Is the History of Fiberglass Tank Covers?

The use of fiberglass in tank covers began in the mid-20th century. Compared to traditional materials like steel, fiberglass tanks offer advantages such as corrosion resistance and light weight, making them ideal for storing various chemicals and liquids. Over the years, advancements in fiberglass technology have enhanced the quality and functionality of these covers. Innovations such as UV-resistant coatings and customized designs have made fiberglass covers more effective and durable.

How Are Fiberglass Tank Covers Made?

Fiberglass tank covers are made from fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP), a composite material that combines the high strength of glass fibers with the chemical inertness and durability of plastic resin. The manufacturing process includes several steps:

  1. Design and Engineering: Covers are customized to meet specific requirements, including environmental factors like snow load, high heat, wind, seismic activity, and severe corrosion. The design process considers the geometry of the tank and the specific environmental conditions it will face.
  2. Molding Process: Different methods like chop gun or filament winding are used. The chop gun method involves chopping continuous strands of glass fibers, mixing them with liquid resin and hardener as they exit the gun, and then applying the mixture onto a metal mold to form the sides, top, and bottom of the tank cover.
  3. Lamination: Fiberglass is applied in layers, and multiple applications may be necessary to form a solid layer. The uniformity of the fiberglass wall depends on the operator’s skill. Each layer may take between 10 to 40 minutes to harden, depending on the resin system.
  4. Curing: After the necessary layers are applied, the material is allowed to cure and harden to form a robust and durable structure.
  5. Finishing: A final coating is applied to the finished product, which can be colored according to customer requirements, eliminating the need for painting. This coating also provides additional protection against environmental elements.
  6. Customization: Unique custom tank covers and base configurations can be designed and manufactured to meet specific needs. Support systems like saddles, support legs, ladders, walkways, platforms, and handrails can be included to enhance and perfect the design.
  7. Quality Standards: The manufacturing of the tank covers complies with industry standards and meets specific standards such as ASTM D-4907 (contact molding) and ASTM D-3299 (filament winding). Typical design pressures and vacuums are +/- 15 psig, with custom options available for special projects.

What Are the Advantages of Fiberglass Tank Covers?

The advantages of fiberglass tank covers include:

  1. Corrosion Resistance: Fiberglass tank covers are inherently resistant to corrosion, making them suitable for harsh chemical environments and various weather conditions.
  2. Low Maintenance Cost: These covers are resistant to corrosion, have a smooth surface that prevents debris and particle buildup, and therefore require minimal maintenance.
  3. High Strength-to-Weight Ratio: Fiberglass covers are light yet strong, facilitating easy installation and handling while also being capable of supporting significant loads.
  4. UV Resistance: The materials used in fiberglass tank covers possess UV resistance properties, maintaining the integrity of the covers even when exposed to sunlight for long periods.
  5. Impact Resistance: The design of fiberglass covers includes impact resistance, which increases their durability and lifespan.
  6. Custom Engineering: Covers can be customized to fit any tank geometry or configuration and can be designed for airtight/watertight applications as needed.
  7. Insulation: Some fiberglass tank covers can include foam or balsa cores within their structural layers, providing excellent insulation properties beneficial for temperature-sensitive processes.
  8. Odor and Vapor Control: Covers effectively suppress odors and gases associated with processing techniques, crucial for environmental compliance and community relations.
  9. Accessibility: Systems like the XL3™ are designed for easy access and disassembly, crucial for maintenance and inspection.
  10. Non-Conductive: Fiberglass is non-conductive, transparent to electromagnetic and radio frequency interference, important for installations requiring accurate readings from equipment or instruments.
  11. Cost-Effectiveness: Compared to other materials like stainless steel or carbon steel, fiberglass tank covers offer greater cost-effectiveness, reducing initial costs and long-term maintenance expenses.
  12. Customizability: Tank covers can be customized to meet specific needs, maximizing efficiency and meeting safety, maintenance, and operational requirements.
  13. Environmental Protection: By preventing pollutants and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from being released intothe air, fiberglass tank covers contribute to environmental protection and sustainable practices.

What Are the Disadvantages of Fiberglass Tank Covers?

The disadvantages of using fiberglass tank covers include:

  1. Cost: Fiberglass tank covers can be more expensive than other materials such as polyethylene or concrete. Initial investment and professional installation costs may be higher.
  2. Brittleness: Although known for durability and strength, fiberglass can be more brittle compared to other materials. This brittleness can lead to cracking, especially under impact or in extremely cold environments.
  3. UV Maintenance: While generally UV-resistant, outdoor tank covers may require additional coatings or maintenance to maintain long-term UV protection, especially in environments with strong UV radiation.
  4. Installation Complexity: Installing fiberglass tank covers can be complex, requiring specialized knowledge or tools, especially for large or custom installations, which can add to the project’s time and cost.
  5. Weight: Although lighter than concrete, fiberglass covers are still heavier than some modern synthetic materials, which can be a disadvantage in applications where weight is a critical factor.
  6. Limited Chemical Resistance: While generally resistant to many chemicals, certain substances can permeate the resin matrix, potentially leading to degradation of the fiberglass over time.
  7. Repair Complexity: Although repairable, the repair process for fiberglass can be complex, often requiring professional services. Temporary repairs may not address the root problems, leading to further maintenance and costs.
  8. Environmental Impact: The production of fiberglass involves chemicals and processes that, compared to more sustainable materials, can have a negative impact on the environment.

Materials Used in Fiberglass Tank Covers

Materials used in fiberglass tank covers include:

  1. Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastic (FRP): This is the primary material used in manufacturing fiberglass tank covers. Fiberglass-reinforced plastic is a composite material made from a polymer matrix reinforced with fibers (typically glass fibers), offering high strength and durability.
  2. Vinyl Ester Resin: This resin has excellent corrosion resistance and mechanical properties, commonly used in manufacturing fiberglass tank covers, especially effective in harsh chemical environments.
  3. Isophthalic Polyester Resin: This type of resin has UV stability characteristics, suitable for outdoor applications where high sun resistance is required.
  4. Integral Foam Core: Some fiberglass tank covers utilize an integral foam core, providing additional insulation properties. This feature is particularly useful for maintaining temperature control within the tank.
  5. Fiberglass Reinforcement: Fiberglass is a critical component of FRP, typically constituting at least 50% of the material by weight. These fibers provide the necessary strength and stiffness for the tank covers.
  6. UV Stabilizers: Added to the resin to enhance the UV resistance of the tank covers, ensuring durability and longevity under direct sunlight.
  7. Flame Retardant Materials: According to ASTM E84 standards, materials with a flame spread rating of 25 or lower are also used in the manufacture of fiberglass tank covers to enhance safety.

What Are The Applications of Fiberglass Tank Covers?

Applications of fiberglass tank covers mentioned in the material include:

  1. Chemical Storage: Fiberglass tank covers are used to protect tanks storing chemicals, providing a barrier against environmental elements and helping to control any emissions or spills.
  2. Chemical Processes: In industrial processes involving chemicals, fiberglass tank covers help prevent contamination and control emissions, maintaining the integrity of the process.
  3. Waste Treatment Systems: In waste treatment facilities, fiberglass covers can suppress odors, prevent debris from entering the treatment process, and protect against the corrosive nature of waste materials.
  4. Water and Wastewater Treatment: They are used in water and wastewater treatment plants to cover tanks, clarifiers, and other treatment basins, helping to control odors and protect the contents from external contamination.
  5. Petroleum Production: In the petroleum industry, fiberglass tank covers are used to cover tanks, providing protection against environmental conditions and helping to control volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  6. Electroplating: In the electroplating industry, tank covers are used to protect plating baths and solutions from contaminants, maintaining the quality of the electroplating process.
  7. Brine and Vinegar Storage: Fiberglass covers are suitable for brine and vinegar storage tanks, protecting the contents from contamination and maintaining their quality.
  8. Vacuum Vessels: Fiberglass covers can also be used to cover vacuum vessels, providing a seal and protecting the contents from external factors.
  9. Odor Control: Custom fiberglass tank covers can be used to suppress odors emanating from water bodies, capturing volatile organic compounds and preventing the spread of odors.

Conclusion

Fiberglass tank covers offer a versatile and durable solution for a variety of storage and processing needs. While they present certain challenges such as cost and brittleness, their advantages in terms of durability, corrosion resistance, and customizability make them a preferred choice in many industrial applications.
If you interested in fiberglass tank cover,please contact us.

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