American Fiberglass Tank Repair (AFTR) says its field service teams are seasoned technicians trained by the composites engineers who head up the AFTR operation.
Jeff Colner, Senior CS Engineer at AFTR, states that most common are "calls from facilities engineers and treatment plant operators about municipal and industrial facilities with sodium hydroxide, sodium hypochlorite, ferric chloride, potable water, wastewater or process chemical tank issues. Right now our field teams are on fibreglass tank projects at a US National Park, a municipal wastewater treatment plant, a fire suppression tank at a Fortune 100 company facility and also are adding and modifying nozzles for a pharmaceutical manufacturer."
Colner explains that the company has also recently serviced composite syrup tanks for the largest soft drink manufacturer in the country, inspected tanks for an acid processing facility, worked with an international general contractor on a new power plant, and installed a new corrosion coat on an industrial process trough.
What is the biggest problem in the composite tank service industry?
“I’d say repairs attempted with the wrong materials used and the wrong repair practices," Colner replies. "We can get called after a company has had a contractor out multiple times for the same issue. Fibreglass tank repair is partially composites engineering and partially black art. Our people know both. It’s not uncommon for us to find a resin used on a potable water application that does not meet NSF/ANSI 61 standards. Bad things can leach into water used for drinking, washing or food processing. Materials used and the curing process of the laminate repair are very specialised."
"When the materials still are not fully cured and safe to put into service a month later, AFTR may get called."