Fiberglass fuel tanks

Discussion in 'Materials' started by tom28571, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. tom28571
    Joined: Dec 2001
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    Location: Oriental, NC

    tom28571 Senior Member

    Many have had problems with ethanol and fiberglass fuel tanks, including me. I replaced mine before any real degradation took place.

    My question relates to composite material fuel tanks buried at filing stations. Many leaking metal tanks have been replaced with fiberglass tanks over the years. Has anyone heard of problems with these or might it be a disaster happening in the dark? I'm not trying to start a chicken little issue, just looking for information. If it is a problem, I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
     
  2. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    Replaced them with what, plastic?

    -Tom
     
  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I thought the 'glass portion of the new in ground tank upgrades, was the "containment" walls that are now placed around tanks.
     
  4. tom28571
    Joined: Dec 2001
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    Location: Oriental, NC

    tom28571 Senior Member

    I've researched this issue a bit more. Large fiberglass fuel storage tanks and piping has been approved for use with ethanol for quite a while. The resins used must be compatible but apparently there are resins and fabrics or fibers that will take this service. If the materials and methods are compatible with home use, I'd like to know what they are since that could open up the possibility of home built fiberglass tanks again.

    The same source says that distributors do have problems with ethanol and have sometimes only added it to the delivery trucks to reduce the time it is in the fuel before use. That doesn't sound very good for the consumer. The problem is greater for greater percentages of ethanol. Still a pathetic boondoggle foisted on us by greedy politicians, lobbies and big agriculture.
     
  5. ABoatGuy
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    Location: LeftCoast

    ABoatGuy Member

    I believe most of the problems with ethanol and FRP tanks came from early boats using polyester laminating resin to build the tanks.

    A boat fuel tank manufactured with vinylester resin, and most are, should be fine with ethanol. Many of the tanks under gas stations are vinylester based frp.
     
  6. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    ... and what about epoxy?
     
  7. ABoatGuy
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    Location: LeftCoast

    ABoatGuy Member

    Or epoxy . . . it is just usually more expensive.

    Your wife has the right idea :)
     

  8. cracker
    Joined: Sep 2011
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    Location: Queensland

    cracker NA

    yes, polyester is the problem as I recall
     
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