Case study: sectional tank repair with fibreglass lining

The client

James M. Brown Ltd (JMB) has been putting the colour into paints, plastics and rubber since 1926. And with the recent acquisition of Multicel Pigmentos in Sao Paulo, Brazil, it's now the world's largest producer of cadmium pigments with manufacturing sites both in the UK and Brazil.

The problem – reinstating an old tank

When you mix large quantities of pigment, you need strong, safe tanks for the job. To help reduce its costs, JMB chose to refurbish an old sectional tank instead of taking on the significantly larger cost of replacing it.

The tank wasn't just getting on in age, it had been corroded by rust and had several leaks. JMB needed an economical way to repair the tank and repurpose it for its new job – so they called in tank repair experts, Sui Generis.

The solution – a full repair with fibreglass lining

After conducting a free tank survey, we knew exactly what to do and recommended a complete fibreglass repair and lining. This not only fixed the leaks and weaknesses in the tank wall, but provided a secure layer of fibreglass with many years of useful life ahead.

Secure tank repair under harsh conditions

Under ordinary circumstances, a tank repair of this kind could be done within a week, but this particular repair took place in the middle of a wintery cold snap with temperatures dropping below zero. What's more, the tank was elevated on stilts, causing it to lose heat faster.

Undaunted, the Sui Generis team pushed ahead and took just nine days to complete the refurbishment – leaving RMB's sectional tank safe and secure and doing its job perfectly.

Sui Generis lining specialists, problem solving on the job

Braithwaite tank repair with fibreglass liningGrit blasting reveals damage

First, we grit blasted the interior of the tank to take it back to a clean or 'white' steel state. This removes rust, and reveals weaknesses. The panels were then primed with a coat of resin in preparation for the fibreglass lining.

Braithwaite tank repair with fibreglass liningFibreglass lining of tank joints

With a sectional tank, extra care needs to be taken to properly seal the joints between the panels. That's why we used a flexible polyurethane sealant on all the joints, followed by a flexible sealing coat around the tie-bar knuckles to ensure a water-tight seal. This process served to reinforce the joints before we applied a fibreglass lining to the panels.

Braithwaite tank repair with fibreglass liningWater sprinkler tank repair with fibreglass liningLining applied ready for top coat

The panels were then infilled with layers of fibreglass lining. Because the panels did not form a flat or regular surface, it was important to ensure that the layers adhered perfectly into every groove – creating a strong, leak-free surface.

Braithwaite tank repair with fibreglass liningResin coat, prior to final top coat

During the final stage of the tank lining, we applied a resin coat before applying the final top coat. This provided a superior finish and ensured the top coat adhered properly. A grey top coat was then applied, for a secure, good looking finish to bring JMB's tank back into action again, better than ever.

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