FRP Tanks Market: Overview
FRP or Fiber Reinforced Plastic, also known as GRP or Glass Reinforced Plastic, is a modern composite material used for construction of chemical plant equipment such as tanks and vessels. FRP is referred to as a composite material, as it combines widely divergent properties of its constituents – reinforcing fibers and resin- into a unique material. Owing to this, corrosion-resistant FRP uses two basic laminate types: a corrosion barrier and a structural laminate.
The use of FRP tanks is becoming crucial in end-user industries such as water & waste water, chemicals, and oil & gas, due to light weight and superior properties of composites, low maintenance, and long product life. Owing to corrosion-resistant properties, FRP has replaced other costlier metals in several industrial process equipment such as tanks, piping, duct and hood systems, and reaction vessels. FRP tanks come in a wide assortment of shapes, sizes, and capacities to meet storage and processing needs.
FRP has one-fourth the density of steel, which means that, in several instances, equipment can be handled manually instead of renting a crane. FRP is easy to repair and does not require arc-welding in hazardous areas. Engineered composites have properties and capabilities that metals lack and they usually cost less than their metals counterparts viz. austenitic stainless steels, high-nickel-content alloys, and titanium.
FRP features low density, which can often offer good strength-to-weight ratio, which is important in transportation and several structural applications. FRP is also a good thermal insulator as well as electric insulator.
Storage of fuel oil, middle distillates, and aliphatic hydrocarbons has been gaining momentum. FRP tanks with isophthalic- and terephthalic-based resins are highly preferred for storage of oil and gas products.
FRP Tanks Market: Dynamics and Trends
FRP has dielectric properties. This property encourages its use in applications wherein electric conductivity cannot be tolerated. Rising demand for oil and gas storage systems and expansion of chemical plants are likely to boost the global FRP tanks market.
The anisotropic nature (different physical properties in different directions) of FRP makes it a strain-absorber because its fibers can be reinforced and aligned in multiple ways during production. FRP is often used competitively with aluminum, due to advantages in cost, weight, and similar physical properties. Examples include solid storage bins and grating.
Carbon steel, stainless steel, rubber-lined steel, and premium alloys, which were regarded as standard materials for construction of chemical storage tanks. These materials are now being replaced by FRP due to advantages such as increased corrosion resistance, light weight, higher strength-to-weight ratio, low lifecycle costs, and high tensile strength.
Most recent application of FRP is with polymer concrete applied on the bridge deck overlays. This provides chlorine protection to the steel used in restoring road profile thus improving ride quality and the durability of the road profile. This trend is now being observed in countries in Asia Pacific such as China, Australia, Malaysia, and India.
FRP Tanks Market: Segmentation
The FRP tanks market has been segmented based on material technology (unsaturated polyester resin and vinyl ester resin), based on FRP tanks end-users (aerospace, construction, transportation, infrastructure, industrial process equipment, paper, and oil & gas), and based on reinforcement techniques (glass fiber, fiberglass, and carbon fiber).
FRP Tanks Market: Region-wise Outlook
APAC dominates the global FRP tanks market. Increasing demand for energy, demand from retail fuel stations, increasing number of desalination plants, looming freshwater shortage, conservation of rainwater, and growing replacement of old existing tanks are the key factors that drive the FRP tanks market in APAC. In terms of growth of the market, Europe, North America, the Middle East, and Latin America follow Asia Pacific.
FRP Tanks Market: Key Players
Key players operating in the FRP tanks market are: Augusta Fiber Glass, Reichhold Inc., PPG Industries, Jushi group Co. Ltd., Owens Corning, Teijin Ltd. (Japan), Hexagon Composite Engineering Sdn Bhd, ZCL Composites, and Belco Manufacturing.