FTI is redefining tank, vessel and piping system protection with high-quality technology. Extol of Ohio Inc., FTI’s approved fabricator, manufactures the fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) cladding that provides mechanical abuse resistance, improves corrosion protection and reduces construction and life-cycle costs.
The tops of the mixing tanks at a chemical company located in Kentucky were comprised of a hand-laid GRP composite that had, over time, incurred severe mechanical abuse and water ingress. As a result, the insulation below the cladding top had deteriorated and needed to be replaced.
The application required an exterior cladding that could not only take the mechanical abuse of people walking on the tank top for mixer inspection and to protect the fragile calcium silicate insulation underneath, but to additionally perform in a harsh chemical environment. Traditional materials such as PVC or aluminum did not meet the mechanical requirements, and the project was fast-tracked with a reduced time schedule for installation.
Extol of Ohio provided pre-fabricated FibaClad™ gore sections that precisely conformed to the contour and radius of the tank top for an exact fit. These pieces were supplied to Extol’s installation contracting partner, Gribbins Insulation of Evansville, Ind., which had the contract with the owner for the install.
Utilizing the FTI FibaClad product, Extol of Ohio was able to provide larger-than-traditional PVC or metal gore pieces of cladding to Gribbins Insulation to significantly reduce the number of cladding gore sections required on this specific mixing tank top. This size tank top would usually require 52 pieces to go around. The FibaClad system only required 14 pieces.
To complete the installation, Gribbins Insulation sealed all joints with FibaBond™ Adhesive to deter moisture ingress. FibaRoll™ was cut to size, sealed and installed as a beauty ring to provide a complete watershed between the tank head and the sidewalls of the vessel.
The FibaClad Tank Cladding System offers considerable performance and cost benefits for tank or vessel tops and for pipelines and difficult terminations when compared to conventional metal cladding.
The piece size available from Extol of Ohio was a benefit in this application. There were four times fewer pieces required to go around as compared to traditional metal options. Additionally, each gore is pre-fabricated by Extol of Ohio with alignment notches to ensure an exact fit. This assists the contractor with ease of application and installation. Substantial reduced labor expense was achieved by minimizing the amount of pieces or sections that are handled or installed, and a quality fit was realized on the tank top.
Fewer gores installed by Gribbins Insulation on this project had another important benefit – fewer joints for water to get into the insulation system below the cladding. Water or water vapor ingress, which is harmful and significantly reduces the insulating properties and damages the fragile insulation installed underneath the FibaClad, is decreased.
FibaClad FR M1 Cladding, an FRP as installed, is mechanically strong with good flexural and tensile strength. It was presented to the owner by Extol of Ohio and Gribbins Insulation for this application not only because FibaClad is resistant to mechanical abuse and able to support foot traffic, but because it additionally has good resistance to UV and most chemicals.
The cladding protects pipe and vessel insulation and combats Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI) and heat gain/loss. This grade of FibaClad, FR M1, was offered to the owner because it was developed specifically for its fire and smoke properties. It is difficult to ignite, has a short burn time and it self-extinguishes with low levels of smoke. It contains no halogens, so it releases no toxic gases or dense black smoke when burnt.
FibaClad – when used in conjunction with FibaRoll, FibaGel™ or FibaBond – forms a permanently sealed installation and was perfect for this application. For any future applications within the facility, as an option, an alternative adhesive may be used to provide a cladding that is fully sealed but can be easily opened up for inspection and then resealed.
The team of FTI-US, Extol of Ohio Inc. and Gribbins Insulation were proud to supply an economical cladding solution for this facility owner and accomplish the goals of bringing the project in on time and under budget while providing long-term system performance.