There are several types of fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) and plastic reinforced with glass fibers options available with fiberglass being the most versatile. Though the glass fibers themselves have been around for centuries, the practice of combining glass fibers with plastics didn’t begin until the 1930s, at which time the term “fiberglass” was coined. It is sometimes known as glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) or glass-fiber reinforced plastic (GRFP).
Tank manufacturers will use fiberglass for several different applications, such as lining and laminating, but there are times when the tank itself may be fabricated solely from fiberglass. In the right environment, fiberglass tanks can be a long-lasting tank choice. FRP tanks and vessels are also corrosion and chemical resistant, making them suitable for fuel or chemical storage tanks. This composite material is simultaneously strong and lightweight, with more fire resistance than plastic or poly tanks. More resistance are the key words here, as nothing beats the fire resistance of a steel tank.
It’s important to note that FRP tanks don’t come without drawbacks. They would seemingly lend well to storing water, were it not for the fibrous nature of the material, which allows more light penetration than alternative materials. Without proper treatment of an FRP tank, algae can form. Fiberglass tanks are also more expensive than poly or plastic tanks, and their strength can become a weakness. Rigidity makes them more brittle and highly susceptible to impact. Fiberglass tanks will also weaken or even crack from repeated or prolonged exposure to heat or fire. As mentioned earlier, fiberglass can’t match endurance of a steel tank and many would advise against using a fiberglass tank for underground storage, as would be difficult to monitor the integrity of the tank.
You don’t get to be the Masters of Custom Steel Tank Fabrication without also learning about all of the options on the market. Buckeye Fabricating has the experience to ensure the tank you need meets the specs you have. Call Buckeye and let the Masters work for you.