Fibreglass as a product offers exceptional resistance to tensile loading, and as such, lends itself very well to heavy industrial type storage applications. In some cases, FRP is likened to steel but with superior cost effectiveness and corrosion resistance.
Tanks West draws from a range of standard mould sizes from 450L to 65,000L, offering as broad a choice as possible to its clients. Once manufacture of the vessels are complete, we can then apply nozzles and features to suit specific client requirements.
The vessels or tanks are used for numerous applications and all types of processes including chemical, water, effluent and potable water supply, as well as material blending or mixing.
Tanks West have specifically designed and manufactured a range of fibreglass water tanks for the purpose of long-term storage of safe drinking water. Our uniquely formulated potable water approved resin system offers smooth, taint free, light resistant security for the storage of your most precious resource H2O.
Water Storage tanks manufactured with FRP or as often referred to as fibreglass, can sometimes conjure thoughts of chemicals, fibres, and resins, leading to the opinion that the material is unsafe for the application …but contrary to belief, storing potable (drinking) water in a fibreglass tank delivers a clean, hygienic and taint free water supply.
Yes, FRP storage tanks are made with resins, but they are manufactured using resins that match the specific liquid material.
So, when storing drinking water, your tank is made with resin suited and approved for potable (drinking water) and is compliant with the Australian Standard AS4020 – The right material… for the right job.
When it comes to storing volatile liquids, Tanks West FRP storage tanks are a safe, secure and long-term solution. Tanks West uses superior technology and materials to build fibreglass storage tanks that specifically have strong chemical resistance through the terephthalic resin system employed in these tanks. This advanced system ensures the tanks are equipped to handle a range of chemicals, fertilisers, insecticides and herbicides.
All Tanks West fibreglass tanks are created to withstand the extreme temperatures of Western Australia and to resist rust and chemical corrosion. The resin technology we use to produce the highest-grade laminate eliminates any form of corrosion occurring. The proven ability of fibreglass to retain strength and flexibility is enhanced by the UV-resistant external gelcoat.
Fibreglass tanks have a great heat resistance and can withstand low-grade grass and bushfires. Fire damage to a Tanks West tank following a low-grade fire is typically aesthetic rather than structural, involving blackening or blistering of the gelcoat. Tanks West does not guarantee their tanks will survive every fire situation, but there is evidence due to their heat resistance they can stand a better chance compared to alternative materials.
MATERIALS – DIFFERENT TYPES OF GLASS
Different types of Glass
CSM (Chopped Stand Mat)
Long fibreglass strands laid randomly in a styrene binder. Also called CSM (chopped strand mat), non-woven fibreglass mat material is typically used for repair work and laminate build-up.
CSM is easier to conform to tight curves and corners than it is with weaved fabric and is often used in mold construction or projects where thickness is needed.
Biaxial fabric is a two (2) layer fabric with fibreglass roving laid down parallel in the 0° and 90° axis. Lightweight stitching holds these fibres together and parallel in each layer.
The flat, crimp free nature of the biaxial provides improved directional modulus, strength and higher reinforcement content. A lighter stiffer laminate can be achieved. The cosmetic finish of the laminate is also improved by avoiding the undulating weave pattern associated with woven roving laminates.
- Improves rigidity in rectangular composite panels
- Excellent contouring for decks, cabin tops and flat structures
- Adds directional stiffness to laminates
- Compatible with Epoxy, Vinyl Ester and Polyester resins
Triaxial fibreglass combines the benefits of unidirectional and standard +/-45 biaxial fibreglass. The fibre tows run in perpendicular angles to add strength and reduce both torsional and longitudinal flexion and strain. The weave is retained by a thin polyester stitching which holds the tows in place without affecting structural integrity.
Triaxial Fibreglass impregnates easily and is ideal for large glassing jobs focusing on strengthening a surface while adding minimal weight. Experience excellent results when used during wet lay-up.
This four (4) layer fabric has fibreglass roving laid down parallel in the 0º, -45°, +45° and 90º axes. Lightweight stitching holds these fibres together and parallel in each layer. This stitching is non-structural.
This fabric allows the builder to apply multiple layers simultaneously and adds excellent structural support and stiffness to the laminate. The 0° and 90º fibres add strength across the tank with the 45° fibres adding additional cross bracing and torsional stability.
Surface veils or tissues are generally applied as an inner protective layer when there is a need to store chemicals such as, caustic, acids and other aggressive chemicals.
Depending of the chemical environment the veil used is generally C-Glass or Synthetic material that is applied internally to the surface to create a resin rich chemical resistant barrier of a min 2.5mm thickness over the structural laminate layer.
Fibreglass FRP (Fibre-Reinforced Plastic) or GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic)
Fibreglass is lightweight, corrosion resistant, has superior thermal qualities and good mechanical properties as well as over 50 years of history.
The fibres come in veil mat, short fibres mat, woven cloth, unidirectional tape, biaxial cloth or triaxial cloth. The resins are typically thermal set resins such as polyester, vinyl ester, epoxy, polyurethane and phenolic. The resins start as a liquid and polymerize during the cure process and harden. The weight ratio of fibres to resin can range from 20% fibres to 80% resin to 70% fibres to 30% resin. Typically, the higher fibre content provides even better strength and stiffness, and continuous fibres provide better strength and stiffness.
The use of composite materials allows us the ability to tailor the combination of fibres and resin to meet design requirement, and perform better than standard materials.
Open Mold Manufacturing Process
Our manufacturing process for fibreglass is the wet lay-up or chopper gun spray process using an open mold. The shape of the tank is determined by the shape of the mold, and the mold surface is typically in contact with the exterior of the part. Mold release is first applied to the mold to prevent the fibreglass part from adhering to the mold. Gel coat, which is pigmented resin, is applied to the mold to give the tank color. Fibreglass and resin are then deposited onto the mold and the fibreglass is compressed by rollers, which evenly distributes the resin and removes air pockets. Multiple layers of fibreglass are deposited until the desired thickness is achieved. Once the resin is cured, the tank is removed from the mold. Excess material is trimmed off, and the part is ready for assembly.
Standards we follow
We know the products you require need to meet high-quality standards, that why our storage products are designed in accordance with the current BS EN 13121.3 Standard “GRP tanks and vessels for use above ground Design and workmanship”. The European standard is used mainly due to not having a current up to date Australian Standard and is the main standard that most manufacturers use now days.
When using fibreglass for storage in a chemical environment it is imperative that all information about the chemical environment is provided to the manufacturer, such as PH, SG and temperature the liquid will be stored.
The manufacturer will then review the requirements needed with their chemical engineers in order to manufacture a fit for purpose design.
THE FABRICATION PROCESSES
Ever wonder what goes into making a fibreglass tank? There are various processes but here at TANKS WEST we use an open moulding process which utilises a chopper gun and hand lay-up manufacture of our robust and superior storage and cartage tanks.
The core of the open moulding process is saturating fibre reinforcement with resin, then using manual roll-out techniques to consolidate the laminate and remove entrapped air.
During the fibreglass fabrication process, thin glass fibres are combined using various types of resins to create a product that is lightweight yet durable. Because it features these fibre and resin combinations, fibreglass is known as a composite.
Composite is popular because fibreglass does not shrink or expand with changes in temperature, furthermore it does not absorb water, is resistant to chemicals and has high strengthto-weight ratio.
At Tanks West, our in-house Engineering & Technical Team can provide both 2D drawings and 3D models, providing increased design, flexibility and accuracy.
- Our Team can provide clients with the ability to create and validate specific designs to suit individual projects.
- Advise on product data with regards to subassemblies, components, material specification and bill of materials.
YOUR CUSTOM PROJECT
Tanks West can assist with your custom-made enquiry, after assessing your specific design requirements, Tanks West’s engineering staff ensure the service provided is second to none.
We can assist from project conception, through design and engineering, to delivery of the purpose specific product.
Our consultation assures customers that the product is designed to achieve their specifications.
LAMINATE & RESIN
Temperature, liquid mass, installation and product application are all key factors when generating a storage solution.
THE PROCESS begins with adding a gel coat external colour finish to a mould, and then by applying resin rich glass rovings to the gelled surface to construct a laminate; the glass and resin is consolidated to eliminate air which produces a high-density laminate suited to storage vessels.