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Old 07-08-2009, 08:21   #16
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Whats the difference between using epoxy paint and just having a good coating of epoxy resin apart from it looking purdy?
As you are probably aware the drawback with epoxy tanks are that ethanol will attack it. The ceram-kote has suspended ceramic particles and is more ethanol resistant. Normally ethanol is not added to diesel but I wanted more peace of mind. Also it has a very smooth surface making it more difficult for creepy crawlies to stick to it. The same company is marking a similar product for bottom anti fouling paint, saying the that it will last ten plus years. I was not sold on this application, if it was fouling then removal of the product would be a PTA.
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Old 07-08-2009, 16:52   #17
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Yes, you can get all of these in one resin:

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Originally Posted by Paolo View Post
Well...after a couple of days of intense research and useful advice, I have opted for Vinylester resin impregnated fibreglass, rated for diesel (not biodiesel. A decision that has to be made at the time of ordering).

This resin is 'produced by the esterification of an epoxy resin with an unsaturated monocarboxylic acid' (Vinyl ester - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Originally created for its antiblistering and fatigue resistance, it has for several years now proven useful for fuel tank production.

It has advantages towards Stainless Steel -and disadvantages. My reasoning has been that advantages (resistance to corrosion and movement stress) outweigh the disadvantages (limited either to standard diesel or biodiesel).

This is as far as I could go. Price was much of a muchness S/S vs resin.

Time will tell if my reasoning and the advice I received from our local experts was correct.

Many thanks to all.

Paolo

Tnemec makes this one:

SERIES 345 GLASS ARMOR 450
A thick film, low temperature cure, modified amine novolac lining for storage tanks.
Acetone Aviation Fuel Benzene
Biodiesel (B20) Crude Oil (sweet or sour) Diesel Fuel
Ethyl Alcohol Gasoline (regular grades) Gasohol (E10, E20, E30, E85)
Heating Oil Jet Fuel Mineral Spirits
Kerosene Naphtha Toluene
Trichoroethylene Xylene

Search "novalac epoxy bio-diesel". Yes, you can laminate the entire tank from a surfacing resin, but in practice often only the inside few layers are special. I have built several gastanks from e-10 rated resins, all 15 years ago (I am in the industry and knew it was coming). They held up fine and are like new.

I will warn you not to expect to be able to repair FRP tanks; often the oil gets into the resin just enough that NOTHING will stick, no matter how much you grind.

Tanks can be built with 1/4" ply. Use many layers of glass/epoxy lining and look at the ply as a form you simply do not remove. It does require good attention to detail, but is very versatile for simple one-off construction. This is common practice for large industrial chemical treatment tanks.
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Old 07-08-2009, 17:14   #18
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Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
Tnemec makes this one:

SERIES 345 GLASS ARMOR 450
A thick film, low temperature cure, modified amine novolac lining for storage tanks.
Acetone Aviation Fuel Benzene
Biodiesel (B20) Crude Oil (sweet or sour) Diesel Fuel
Ethyl Alcohol Gasoline (regular grades) Gasohol (E10, E20, E30, E85)
Heating Oil Jet Fuel Mineral Spirits
Kerosene Naphtha Toluene
Trichoroethylene Xylene

Search "novalac epoxy bio-diesel". Yes, you can laminate the entire tank from a surfacing resin, but in practice often only the inside few layers are special. I have built several gastanks from e-10 rated resins, all 15 years ago (I am in the industry and knew it was coming). They held up fine and are like new.

I will warn you not to expect to be able to repair FRP tanks; often the oil gets into the resin just enough that NOTHING will stick, no matter how much you grind.

Tanks can be built with 1/4" ply. Use many layers of glass/epoxy lining and look at the ply as a form you simply do not remove. It does require good attention to detail, but is very versatile for simple one-off construction. This is common practice for large industrial chemical treatment tanks.
I am very interested in fitting a couple of these FRP tanks in my boat. Can you refer me to any materials that discuss it further?
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Old 07-08-2009, 21:52   #19
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I believe there are a number of boat building books that discuss building tanks.

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I am very interested in fitting a couple of these FRP tanks in my boat. Can you refer me to any materials that discuss it further?
However, building fuel tanks is a bit more demanding. More glass layers. Proper baffles, venting, anchoring and fuel pick-up arraignments. Read-up. There are also code and resale concerns.
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Old 07-08-2009, 22:32   #20
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The "Goucheon Brothers on building wooden boats" book describes the method with plywood and glass/epoxy. I would not hesitate to do that myself for diesel fuel. They also describe the additives to use to make it fire retardant. It looks like a good way to spent some time while saving some dollars.

If I would know that I would be selling the boat in the near future, I would order an aluminium tank instead.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 07-08-2009, 23:00   #21
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Thanks for the info, thinwater and Nick.

"If I would know that I would be selling the boat in the near future, I would order an aluminium tank instead."

I assume this relates to the code and resale concerns mentioned?
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Old 08-08-2009, 10:34   #22
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The "code" doesn't rule out the plywood+glass/epoxy tanks but they do not give guidelines for them either. The method is simply not mentioned. In the "sell the boat soon" scenario I would opt for an aluminium tank because I don't want any discussion about it. Also, if I could weld aluminium myself good enough for building tanks, I might take that road too. But I don't doubt the suitability of plywood + glass/epoxy at all and it is easy to do.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 08-08-2009, 11:08   #23
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I did resently sell about with a glass/ply fuel tank and it did very well in survey.

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The "code" doesn't rule out the plywood+glass/epoxy tanks but they do not give guidelines for them either. The method is simply not mentioned. In the "sell the boat soon" scenario I would opt for an aluminium tank because I don't want any discussion about it. Also, if I could weld aluminium myself good enough for building tanks, I might take that road too. But I don't doubt the suitability of plywood + glass/epoxy at all and it is easy to do.

cheers,
Nick.
The tank was 17 years old.

I believe there were 3 layers of glass outside, ~ 5 inside. 1 layer of the inside glass and 2 veil coats were with an e-10 rated resin. The balance was West System. Be very careful to radius all corners. Cutting glass in small circles is good for the inside corners. The tanks had a water drain and a working draw, plus fill, vent, and sending unit holes on the top. The draws were SS pipe nipples glassed in. the top holes used SS t-nuts BEFORE the interior glass was done.

Include a mounting flange to make installation easy. Mine actually hung under the bridge deck of a catamaran.
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Old 08-08-2009, 20:45   #24
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A lot of the Gulfstars had FRP tanks built in, the ones that I had experienc with did not have survey issues. Nigel Calder covers glassed in fuel tanks in his book, I believe that he had them in a boat that he built. The Amels have built in FRP tanks in the keel. I have no idea why you would want to use plywood in that environment. Just layup 4 or 6 layers of cloth and epoxy, tape some vis-queen on to a flat surface and have at it, use this as your core. Much stronger and better adhesion for secondary bonding.
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