Black Country Ales: Tank Lining Wooden Fermentation Vats
- The vats were extensively damaged by woodworm and warping, causing the wood to snap and break easily in places.
- Gaps existed between many of the slats were the timber had shrunk.
The vats in their original condition
SolutionWe began working on the vats by abrading each one to remove surface contamination and provide an improved mechanical key. We then applied an epoxy primer, which soaked deep into the wood and, once hardened, added to the structural integrity. We used a purpose made resin paste to fill in the gaps between each of the slats.
Once we had completed these preparatory works, we lined the vats with fibreglass laminate using a food grade epoxy resin, which further increased the structural integrity. Finally, we applied several top coats of the food grade epoxy resin in a light grey colour. As a finishing touch, we embedded the original identification plates into the top coats of resin.
The three fermentation tanks retained their external style and character, whilst benefitting from a high tech modern lining. Using our extensive knowledge and technical capabilities, we were able to bring them back into operation over one hundred years after they were first built.