Fiberglass Engineering
The only CR FRP Consulting Firm with Extensive Design & Fabrication Experience

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Third Party Inspection

In 1732, Benjamin Franklin wrote in Poor Richard’s Almanac “A stitch in time saves nine”. There are two steps in that “stitch in time”: the first is to determine the need for the stitch and the second is to apply the stitch.

Upon the failure of one of its CR FRP vessels, the plant engineers at an edible oil company remarked “We thought FRP tanks last forever”. Nothing lasts forever. The tank which failed had been in service many years in a difficult environment. Sulfuric acid and live steam sparging made the service of particular concern and the tank should have been inspected every 2 or 3 years and repaired and relined as required. As it was, the tank was neglected and catastrophically failed, causing a lot of unnecessary damage and cost. Periodic inspection of in-service CR FRP equipment should be based on a careful evaluation of the service conditions. FEMech Engineering can work with your engineering staff in developing a periodic inspection and documentation plan.

The inspection of in-service equipment can be very challenging, as different corrosive environments have different effects on CR FRP. In addition to broad-based experience in the inspection of in-service CR FRP equipment, FEMech Engineering has a long standing relationship with the FRP testing labs and FRP resin polymer chemists for assistance in evaluating difficult situations.

Some of the major aspects of in-service equipment inspection are:
  • Full and friendly compliance with the customer’s safety regulations and confined space entry requirements as well as good industry practice.
  • Detailed external inspection of the equipment, anchor bolts, supports, etc.
  • Verification the vessel is clean and safe and that oxygen levels are being monitored prior to entry.
  • Detailed internal inspection of the equipment using some or all of the following:
    • Industry standard visual criteria
    • Barcol hardness testing
    • Grinding of cracks or delaminations if significant in nature
    • Taking “biopsy” samples using FEMech’s small diameter diamond core bit.
    • Sending samples for lab testing
  • Once the inspection is completed, FEMech will issue a formal report and, if repairs are required, issue a recommended repair procedure. FEMech can provide a follow-up inspection of any repairs prior to putting the equipment back in service.
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Thursday September 21, 2017