Fiberglass DIESEL fuel tanks

Discussion in 'Materials' started by sabahcat, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. sabahcat
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    sabahcat Senior Member

    Diesel tankage is on a 10 knot vessel, not affected by USCG, ABYC, FDA etc and not in survey

    Before making the decision to do what I did I read all the info such as this
    http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/boat-building/epoxy-fuel-tanks-278.html

    The current situation is I have 6 separate underfloor tanks as part of the structure of my vessel with timber core and epoxy as the material used.
    Once cured, all surfaces have had additional layers of glass and then an additional resin coat, so they are sealed well and truly.
    Fuel from these will be pumped and scrubbed daily up to alloy day tanks before gravity feeding back to engines.
    Full fuel load inc. day tanks was to be approx 2400litres +- for a 2400nm +- range

    Now, I have started having doubts as to whether or not I went the right way here.

    If not using these my only other alternative is to add 2 alloy tanks
    These will take 1/2 the bench space on one side of each hull
    They will reduce my total tankage by approx 1400 litres +- and 1400nm +-.

    Obviously, this is not something I really want to happen

    Has anyone got any CURRENT information regarding Epoxy Diesel Tanks that may put my doubts at rest.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    From what does your doubt arise ? Are you concerned there is some slow internal disintegration going on in the tanks ? Best advice I could give would be drain them and inspect using one of those scopes ( not sure what they call them ) which is like a camera on the end of a flexible cable. Like a colonoscopy gizmo. Mechanics use this type of thing to inspect engine internals without dis-assembly.
     
  3. groper
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    groper Senior Member

    mate youll be fine... nothing wrong with fiberglass tanks... your only consideration might be, How do i get inside to clean them if i need to? For me, this would involve cutting a hole in the top and then repairing it once finished... no big deal considering you built the thing in the first place...
     
  4. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Polyester tanks work fine, so epoxy will have no problem.
     
  5. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    When I made tanks (petrol) from polyester/glass I was advised to use Isothalic resin only.
     
  6. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

    Petrol (gasoline), especially with ethanol added, has very adverse affects on FRP. But diesel does not. Many companies build fiberglass tanks in their diesel power boats with great success. For instance Hatteras Yachts build FRP tanks in their yachts. So as has been said, they should be fine.
     
  7. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    I never had any problems, but no ethanol used.
     
  8. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

  9. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    Nothing to do with luck.. just ethanol.
     
  10. sabahcat
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    sabahcat Senior Member

    OK, so It would seem I am still looking ok with epoxy/diesel, that's good.
    Panic averted

    I really didnt want to have to reduce tankage and range plus lose bench space going the smaller ally tank route.
     
  11. sabahcat
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    sabahcat Senior Member

    I am hoping that an hour or so a day of pumping and recirculating through my bank of "Fg500's" before topping up the day tanks will take care of that.

    Of course once the passage is done I will only keep 2 of the six storage tanks filled so I may well have issues there with the 4 empties.
    Suggestions?
     
  12. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    Circulating from tank to tank is more efficient (for fuel polishing) so you can use all of them and have all tanks clean all the time.
     
  13. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Perhaps you can make integral fiberglass tanks. I wouldn't. Ive seen so many problems over the years that I would go plastic.
    Ive never seen a problem with correctly installed plastic tanks.
     
  14. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    Nothing done correctly is a problem.. not integral gf, metal nor plastic
    Do it wrong and material choices won't help..
     

  15. IMP-ish
    Joined: Jan 2011
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    IMP-ish powerboater

    So long as Diesel stays Diesel. Builders who did early built in fuel takes for gasoline did them correctly. They didn't know ethanol was coming.
     
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