Case Study

Plymouth Marine Laboratories: Fibreglass Tank Food-Grade Epoxy Lining

Plymouth Marine Laboratories
As one of the UK’s most important marine research facilities, Plymouth Marine Laboratories specialises in monitoring environmental matters in waters around the world, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. We were commissioned to install a food contact grade lining that could be applied in situ to their fibreglass mesocosm tank, used for the collection of deep sea water samples.

Challenges

  • The water tank was leaking and the source of which had not been identified.
  • The lining had to be very pure so not to contaminate the sea water samples.

Solution

We recommended the installation of a complete tank lining system to repair the leaks and mitigate any risk of contamination. We lightly abraded the internal surface by shot blasting and applied a new layer of fibreglass inside the tank, which was bonded together with a food-grade solvent-free epoxy resin lining.

As the project got underway, we found the floor of the tank was flexing due to a cavity under the tank. Over time the concrete had eroded and caused the floor to move each time the tank was filled and emptied. Fine cracks had formed at the base of the tank. The cavity had to be filled but we could not move the tank. We therefore used an epoxy mix, which filled the cavity and displaced the water. This hardened very quickly and gave an effective result. The holes in the floor were sealed with epoxy resin plugs and the entire floor, walls and ceiling were coated with a resin tank lining system.

The Results

A smooth easy to clean tank that, although had holes in it and had been leaking was now completely watertight and will last for 20 plus years.