Fiberglass (also called glass-reinforced plastic, GRP, or glass fiber-reinforced plastic, GFRP), is a fiber reinforced polymer made of a plastic matrix reinforced by fine fibers of glass.
Fiberglass is a lightweight, extremely strong, and robust material. Although strength properties are somewhat lower than carbon fiber and it is less stiff, the material is typically far less brittle, and the raw materials are much less expensive. Its bulk strength and weight properties are also very favorable when compared to metals, and it can be easily formed using molding processes.
The plastic matrix may be epoxy, a thermosetting plastic (most often polyester or vinylester) or thermoplastic.
Common uses of fiber glass include boats, automobiles, baths, hot tubs, water tanks, roofing, pipes, cladding and external door skins.
Due to the corrosion resistant nature of FRP, the tank can be made entirely from the composite, or a second liner can be used. In either case, the inner liner is made using different material properties than the structural portion
The liner, if made of FRP is usually resin rich and utilizes a different type of glass, called “C-Glass”, while the structural portion uses “E-Glass”. The thermoplastic liner usually is PE or ABS. This thermoplastic liner is not considered to contribute mechanical strength. The FRP liner is usually cured before winding.
FRP which is constructed over the liner provides the structural strength requirements to withstand design conditions such as internal pressure or vacuum, hydrostatic loads and regeneration hydrostatic load.
FRP tanks and vessels are widely used in chemical, refining, electroplating, brine, vinegar, food processing industries, especially at waste water treatment and water treatment plants filtration system.
FRP vessels and tanks are the best option in multiple applications which require a strong, corrosion resistant environment such as sea water desalination and water deionization.
The size of FRP vessels is rarely limited by manufacturing technology, but rather by economics. Standard FRP vessel size available in market range from 8″ to 63″ diameter, tank larger than 63″ diameter are generally limited by shipping constraints.
Limitations Typical FRP temperature limits are almost depend on the resin use. The thermoplastic resin will suffer from creep at elevated temperatures and ultimately fail. The typical maximum is 49 degrees Celsius.
Maximum operating pressure of FRP vessel is 10 bar or 145 psi.