Is fiberglass Ideal for Commercial Fire Protection System?
Fiberglass is one of the most commonly used material in any industry today. It is used in the automobile industry, medical, food, and even in the commercial fire protection industry. Having fire protection storage tank for fire suppression system is one way to conserve water. It is cost-effective, safe and can hold thousands of gallons of water. One of the most reliable material to use is fiberglass. This material has been used for underground storage tanks in the petroleum industry, storing flammable motor fuels and other petroleum products for fueling industries, the government and commercial facilities all over the world.The petroleum industry is a hazardous and highly regulated industry. That means all of the materials they use has to pass their quality control and should have a proven record of reliability. Selecting the best material to use is very important when dealing with fire. Same with fire protection, storage tank. Engineers have to choose the most fire-resistant material available in the market today.
Whether the tank is underground or above ground, fiberglass is one of the most reliable materials for water tanks. It offers the best performance benefits that designers are looking for in a water tank. It is durable but lightweight, easy to install, resistant to corrosion, has a high resistance to fire and not that expensive compared to other tank materials. Fiber reinforced thermoset resin or most commonly known as fiberglass have been used in many industries for many years. Fiberglass is used in environments that have a high probability of corrosion like storage tanks, piping, ducts and exhaust stacks. As an example of their durability, fiberglass tanks are designed for H-20 loading, making it suitable for parking lot and high-traffic location installations. The advantage of using fiberglass is it is durable and lightweight, which minimizes the cost and installation steps. There is no need of heavy-lifting equipment when installing fiberglass tanks. It is also essential that the material used is lightweight because some installation sites are not accessible to heavy machinery.
Fire protection systems require a storage tank that can hold up to 60,000 gallons of water and can provide superior safe and superior quality processes. The fiberglass water tank is designed for water storage as well as a protection in case of fire outbreak.
Fiberglass or Concrete?
Concrete has been used as a material for storage tanks for many years, whether it is above ground or underground. But there are certain limitations when you are using cement or concrete. First, concrete is made pre-cast for models below 4,000 gallons. If it is 4,000 gallons and above, concrete tanks should be made in the field since it is tough to move a brittle object such as hardened cement. Fiberglass can be factory-made since it is lightweight and the installation will take less time. Fiberglass is also a bit cheaper compared to concrete tanks. While concrete is a solid material, it is not advisable to use concrete designs for heavy-traffic conditions. It is also susceptible to rust and corrosion and will require an expensive liner to protect it. And lastly, the primary concern about concrete is the cracking and leaking. Water tanks used in fire protection system should have a watertight design to ensure that the system will have a water supply at all times.
Fiberglass or Steel?
Like concrete, steel has been a staple material in tank construction for many years. And like concrete, they also have some disadvantages. One of the weaknesses of steel, if compared to fiberglass storage tanks, is fiberglass has a much superior corrosion and rust resistance component compared to steel or metal. Corrosion is a major problem, especially when it comes to underground storage tanks. Steel is very vulnerable to rust and corrosion unless they are coated internally and externally. It will only add additional cost and maintenance concerns in the long run. Another concern when using steel is the weight issue. Steel is more substantial compared to fiberglass, in fact, steel is four times heavier than fiberglass. It will present limitations when it comes to logistics and site access.
Fiberglass has been used in making fire-protection water supply tanks for many years. It is the preferred material by most contractors because of the benefits they can offer compared to other materials like steel or cement. Fiberglass is lightweight, inexpensive, easy to install, have anti-corrosion and rust properties and the most important part, it is very durable.In conclusion, using fiberglass for fire protection storage tank will not only help you conserve water, but it can also help you protect the integrity of your storage tank, and you can spend less compared to using cement or steel materials.