Inspectioneering Journal

Inspector's Responsibilities for New FRP Vessels: Part 2

Part 2

By John E. Niesse. This article appears in the July/August 1996 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.
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This article is part 2 of a 2-part series.
Part 1 | Part 2

FRP Tank Fabrication Standards

All FRP tanks should be fabricated to a national standard as a basic requirement. Additional requirements may be appropriate and should be agreed to by the purchaser and fabricator. Very acceptable basic standards are:

  • ASME RTP-1 is a comprehensive standard with significant inspection requirements. Detailed visual inspection, as well as other requirements, are listed. This standard requires a designated Inspector (Big I) who is mutually agreeable to the fabricator and purchaser. He is responsible for ensuring that the requirements of RTP-1 are met. These requirements ensure the safety and reliability of the tank. Other requirements are not covered by RTP-1 and should be inspected by other inspectors (small i) provided by both the fabricator and purchaser.
  • ASME Section X is another comprehensive standard which is a Code standard and is enforceable by law in states which have incorporated the ASME Code as a legal requirement. The inspection requirements are similar to those for Section VIII. In practice, the Inspector currently is the insurance company inspector who inspects metal tanks under Section VIII, although he may be an Inspector qualified by a state or municipality. This Inspector is required to perform or certify many items related to the safety of the vessel including vessel design, thickness verification, hydrotest and acoustic emission response conform to ASME requirements, visual requirements, etc. The other inspectors (fabricators and purchasers) perform similar duties as for RTP-1 above.
  • BS 4994 is an excellent British standard used in the UK and in Canada. It is a comprehensive standard which contains detailed inspection requirements. These include provisions for what organization the inspector(s) reports to and the specific inspections and tests which are to be performed.
  • SPI-FRP-001-92 is a new Canadian standard which is available but which has not been used extensively yet.
  • ASTMD 4097 "Contact-Molded Glass-Fiber-Reinforced Thermoset Resin Chemical-Resistant Tanks" is a fabrication standard and has many desirable requirements in the areas of materials, design, fabrication details, assembly details, etc. There are not provisions for inspectors although the technical requirements for the tank are well defined. note that the purchaser has much latitude in specifying certain requirements.
  • ASTMD3299 "Filament-Wound Glass-Fiber-Reinforced Thermoset Resin Chemical-Resistant Tanks" is a fabrication standard very similar to ASTMD4097 except that it is for filament wound construction. The inspection requirements are the same, there are no provisions for inspectors.

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