Tecniplas' FRP tank operates with zero maintenance at Braskem plant

FRP composite tank has been storing wastewater from chlorine-soda production for seven years.

In 2010, Tecniplas (Cabreúva, Brazil) supplied a FRP (fiberglass-reinforced plastic) composite tank to Braskem (São Paulo, Brazil). Measuring 13 meters in diameter by 11 meters in height, and the capacity to store up to 1.5 million liters, the tank was installed at the company’s chlorine-soda plant in Camaçari, Bahia, to store the wastewater resulting from the production process. According to Tecniplas, unlike the previous alternative used by Braskem, a rubber lined steel tank, Tecniplas’ equipment requires no maintenance, even seven years later.

Due to the corrosion caused by the wastewater, Braskem had to reapply the rubber lining at least every four years. This made operation costly and reduced the productive rhythm, further complicating the already complex chlorine-soda production process. “It has been seven years since we installed the FRP tank, and all this time not even a simple paint job was required,” says Giocondo Rossi, Tecniplas director. 

To Manuel Sanches Filho, executive in charge of several projects across the many Braskem plants in the Brazilian Northeast region, the solution provided by Tecniplas also stood out for how convenient it is from a logistical perspective. “A tank with this size would have to be produced at our plant, which would entail risks to workers. With Tecniplas’ innovative system, the tank parts were made in São Paulo and then transported up to Bahia, where all they had to do was assemble them.”

About 10 years ago, Tecniplas introduced in Brazil the process of oblation, a technology that enable the transportation of the mega tanks that it manufactures in Cabreúva, in the interior of São Paulo. When the tanks present more than 5 meters in diameter, limit for the road transport in Brazil, Tecniplas went through the process of oblation. In general, this system allows the ring-shaped sections of the tanks to be molded as an oval shape and then flattened at the ends, resembling the shape of the number eight. At the installation site, the sections are resized and manually laminated one over the other. 

This system can reduce the transportation time from 90 to 10 days. Depending on the diameter of the tank, it also allows carrying two or three rings in the same truck, representing a considerable gain in terms of logistics.