Corrosion resistant fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) resins were first invented by chemical companies searching for more chemically resistant materials of construction to stand up to their aggressive chemical processes. Hetron™ chlorendic polyester resins were invented to replace high nickel alloys in piping and headers used in chlor alkali production units. Later, Derakane™ epoxy vinyl ester resins were developed and employed not only in the production of chlorine and caustic but in a myriad of additional chemical processes where metal alloys were found to be insufficient to the task.
Both of these polymer chemistries are produced by Ashland Performance Materials. Hetron™ chlorendic resins are still used today, more than 60 years later in chlor alkali systems and Derakane resins have been demonstrating their reliability for 50 years.
Today, more and more design engineers and material specifiers are calling for FRP in both new and replacement equipment used in chemical processing operations. FRP materials are superior to the traditional materials of construction - such as carbon steel, stainless steel and masonry - that often break down shortly after being placed in service due to the extremely corrosive material handling environment found in the chemical processing industry.
In addition to being well suited for service in aggressive chemical environments, FRP is also considerably more economical than rubber-lined steel or high nickel alloys. As a $6 billion international specialty chemical company, Ashland Inc. purchases a wide variety of chemical processing equipment around the world for its many chemical production sites. Ashland’s engineering group conducted a study to determine the relative cost of common storage vessels fabricated with various materials of construction. The results below demonstrate the cost effectiveness of FRP.
When higher nickel alloys are required for more corrosive environments, FRP becomes a strong contender relative to 304 or 316 stainless steel and considerably better than Duplex 2205. If the chemical environment necessitates the use of Hastelloy or titanium, FRP is significantly a more economical choice.
Ashland corrosion-resistant resins have been specified for more than 60 years for FRP process equipment used throughout the chemical industry. We strongly believe in this technology and even use it in our own facilities around the globe.
The Ashland Corrosion Team provides free Lunch & Learn seminars for design engineering firms and chemical plant owners. Sign up here if you would like to learn more about Managing Corrosion with FRP.