The Maverick blog is meant to provide you, the reader, with information across a broad spectrum of topics involving or related to the use of FRP pipes, vessels and tanks in corrosive or abrasive environments. Here you will find technical discussions as well as general interest items, some developed by Maverick staff, some from other sources and some suggested by you. Check back frequently for the latest posts.
I’ll admit that I’ve always thought my questioning nature was a strength. Philosophically, I hope this leads me to keep an open mind regarding things I don’t know. If I don’t understand something, I learn as much about it as I can to form an accurate opinion. So when I hear tales of mysterious NDT machines that can find FRP laminate defects and determine the remaining service life of FRP equipment using only an external scan, I will admit to you that my interest gets piqued. The industry I work in, which I would broadly classify as the FRP piping and vessel industry, desperately needs improved inspection tools. I applaud everyone who is working to develop these new technologies, however end users should be cautioned to completely understand how these developing inspection technologies relate to their fiberglass equipment.
I have a sister who has her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing along with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Sociology, and who also holds a MBA Degree. She is a gifted nurse, a great mother and a perfect mentor to the many women she leads. She is however, terrible at Mathematics! I imagine she can properly calculate the right dosage of a medicine for you based on your weight and other factors, but ask her to calculate the area of a circle and you will be reminded of why blonde jokes are one of the hallmarks of comedy performances.
I have the opportunity to see a lot of tank specifications from projects. Like many technical documents, specifications are living documents and they grow over time. Specifications continue to be improved, areas of interest are sharpened with more depth of information. Also, over time specifications collect baggage. Old outdated standards and practices continue to collect and accumulate in specifications. Many times this creates conflicts within the specification, such as between ASTM product standards and ASME construction standards. MSS PS15-69 continues to be referenced in specifications, even though it has been discontinued and never updated since 1969, hence the -69. That’s 50+ years ago for those of you that aren’t counting. MSS PS15-69 is no longer “State of the Art” and we learned a lot more since that time. There are many newer and well-maintained standards from ASME and ASTM that are current and more applicable than MSS PS15-69.
Plant Owners and Engineers are becoming much more knowledgeable regarding design concerns and expectations for nonmetallic piping systems. Performance and reliability continues to improve for these systems. It has begun to be recognized that engineering nonmetallic piping systems, is much more involved that just picking the Piping Code and inputting piping material properties in a pipe stress analysis program. Depending on the selected Code or standard, the analysis approach and requirements change.
Regularly, I am asked, “We have some FRP tanks, do they need to be inspected?” or “How often do I need to inspect my FRP tanks?” In a plant, all equipment needs a maintenance assessment program. FRP equipment is not any different. Considering that many FRP tanks and process vessels typically handle hazardous fluids, such as acids, caustic, bleach and oxidizers, it is easy to make the case that the severe and demanding services where FRP tanks are used, justifies a regular inspection program to assure plant safety. Decades of success with FRP in chemical service has built a lot of confidence in FRP with plant operators, although “Trust, but Verify” applies for FRP as well.
A new series of videos about FRP.
I’ll admit that I’ve always thought my questioning nature was a strength. Philosophically, I hope this leads me to keep an open mind regarding...
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