Fiberglass Engineering
The only CR FRP Consulting Firm with Extensive Design & Fabrication Experience
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Al Newberry, PE
Owner of FEMech at His Desk


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Guidelines for Selecting
Quality Fabricators
of FRP Tanks and Pipe

INTRODUCTION

Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) is used in a wide range of applications including automotive, tub and shower, marine, and corrosion resistant. When properly designed and fabricated, fiberglass is the material of choice, in terms of cost and reliability, for many corrosive applications.

Fiberglass Engineering Mechanics (FEMech) is an industry leader in the areas of fiberglass design engineering, fiberglass inspection and fiberglass failure analysis for corrosion resistant applications. Corrosion resistant applications include FRP tanks, pressure vessels, pipe, chimney liners and ducting.

FIBERGLASS ENGINEERING

Fiberglass reinforced plastic is an advanced material, and the proper design of fiberglass tanks, pipe, duct, stacks and chimney liners requires specialized expertise. Fiberglass Engineering Mechanics specializes exclusively in fiberglass for corrosion resistant applications and has a worldwide practice. In addition, FEMech is actively involved in ASTM and ASME codes and standards for fiberglass tanks, pressure vessels, pipe and stack liners.

FIBERGLASS INSPECTION

Proper inspection of fiberglass requires specialized training, experience and equipment. Most generic inspection firms have neither the personnel, the expertise nor the equipment to provide industry standard inspection services for fiberglass. Fiberglass Engineering Mechanics has a team of experienced inspectors for both new and in-service equipment.

FEMech specializes in large and complex FRP components. FEMech provided extensive inspection services for the Goro Nickel Project in New Caledonia. Five of these tanks weighed 130 tons apiece and were shop fabricated and shipped via heavy lift vessel to the jobsite. Goro Nickel Project Fiberglass Engineering Mechanics is a world leader in the inspection of large FRP components for corrosion resistant service.

FEMech’s FRP Testing Lab FEMech's FRP Testing Lab

FEMech Engineering has a fully equipped fiberglass testing lab and is the only lab specializing in FRP for the corrosion industry which is owned by a Professional Engineering Firm. We have a state of the art electronically controlled Instron Machine running Instron’s BlueHill 2 software.

FEMech Engineering Lab is the only FRP testing lab with a state of the art Instron video extensometer (SVE). SVE’s are high precision, do not suffer damage when laminates break as do mechanical extensometers (the type used by most FRP labs) and are more cost effective than strain gages.

FEMech’s Instron Machine is powered by a Toshiba Industrial Uninterruptible Power Supply which supplies electronically 60 hz AC so the Instron is protected against brown-outs, black-outs and power surges. This protects valuable test data should a power company problem occur during a test. FEMech’s Lab is also connected to a 24 kVA generator so operations are not shut down by long term power outages.

FEMech Engineering Lab offers a full range of fiberglass laminate lab tests. Other services are FRP laminate test report interpretations, verification of compliance with design basis properties, and conducting forensic studies.

A partial list of our fiberglass lab testing services are:

  • ASTM D 638, “Test Method for Tensile Properties of Plastics” at Room Temperature
  • ASTM D 638, “Test Method for Tensile Properties of Plastics” at Elevated Temperature
  • ASTM D 3039, “Tensile Properties of Polymer Matrix Composite Materials” at Room Temperature
  • ASTM D 3039, “Tensile Properties of Polymer Matrix Composite Materials” at Elevated Temperature
  • ASTM D 790, “Test Method for Flexural Properties of Unreinforced and Reinforced Plastics and Electrical Insulating Materials” at Room Temperature
  • ASTM D 790, “Test Method for Flexural Properties of Unreinforced and Reinforced Plastics and Electrical Insulating Materials” at Elevated Temperature
  • ASTM D 695, “Test Method for Compressive Properties of Rigid Plastics”
  • ASTM D 2412, “Determination of External Loading Characteristics of Plastic Pipe by Parallel-Plate Loading”
  • ASTM D 792, “Test Method for Density and Specific Gravity (Relative Density) of Plastics by Displacement”
  • ASTM D 2583, “Test Method for Indentation Hardness of Rigid Plastics by Means of a Barcol Impressor”
  • ASTM D 2584, “Test Method for Ignition Loss of Cured Reinforced Resins”
  • ASTM D3567, “Determining Dimensions of Fiberglass Pipe and Fittings”
  • RTP-1 M-5, “Secondary Bonder Qualification”

DOT CARGO TANKERS

FEMech is registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for Design Certified Engineering and Certified Inspection for FRP over the road Cargo Tankers per DOT 407 and DOT 412 E12516.

FEMech’s CT Number is 12084 and US DOT Number is 2018780. FEMech's principal engineer is a Design Certified Engineer. FEMech’s inspectors are all Certified Inspectors.

FIBERGLASS FAILURE ANALYSIS

Failure analysis is one of the most challenging aspects of engineering and especially so for composite materials in corrosive service. Failure analysis requires a thorough understanding of correct and incorrect designs, fabrication methods and applications of the materials. FEMech has this expertise combined with extensive contacts with laboratories, material suppliers and other consultants throughout the FRP industry worldwide.

SPECIALIZED EXPERTISE

Fiberglass Engineering Mechanics is the only fiberglass design and inspection firm with specialized expertise in large diameter filament winding machines and in oblation technology.

FEMech’s Principal Engineer has designed the majority of large diameter FRP tanks which have been fabricated during the past 20 years using oblation technology. Since 1995, FEMech has provided large diameter filament winding machines to the world market. These have been sold, along with technology and training for large diameter FRP component production.

Monday October 16, 2017