The History And Evolution Of Fiberglass Storage Solutions

Green storage tank to bury fiberglass

Did you know that ancient Phoenicians and Egyptians were two pre-modern civilizations that made glass into fibers, thus resulting in what we now popularly refer to as ‘fiberglass’? People would make a small amount of glass fiber at a time, however, the fiber that they produced was very coarse, and used it for decoration purposes. Glassmakers have used the technique of heating and drawing glass into fine fibers for several centuries, but the mass production of fiberglass was possible only with the invention of finer machine tooling. This article will walk you through the history of fiberglass, and offer an overview of the events and advancements that have shaped present-day fiberglass storage solutions.

A Brief Look Into The History Of Fiberglass

Fiberglass gained popularity during the World War II era when it was utilized for military applications such as radomes and aircraft parts. The applications of fiberglass during wartime showcased its versatility, durability, and resistance to corrosion which paved the way for post-war industrial usage of fiberglass.

Commercialization And Expansion Of Fiberglass In The 1950s

In the context of commercial production, the first time that fiberglass was produced was in 1936, and before this, all fiberglass had been produced as staple fiber. In 1935, Corning Glass worked with Owens-Illinois, which was another company that was experimenting with fiberglass production, to develop and enhance the product further. In 1936, the two groups patented the product “Fiberglas” with only 1 “s”, and in 1938 merged to become the company Owens-Corning which is still around today. Commercial production of fiberglass then commenced in the 1950s and was used in several applications in various industries including construction, automotive, and marine. Fiberglass manufacturers also explored its potential for insulation, reinforcement, and corrosion resistance.

Storage Tank Application In The 1960s

The history of fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) storage tanks led to the gradual development of FRP as a viable alternative to traditional storage tank materials such as steel and concrete for storing chemicals and liquids. The lightweight, easy-to-install, corrosion-resistant, and rust-resistant features of fiberglass tanks were an attractive solution for liquid storage needs across various industries.

Regulatory Acceptance In The 1970s

Regulatory recognition of fiberglass storage tanks started growing in the 1970s, which led to standards and guidelines for fiberglass tank designs and installation. Increased regulatory acceptance encouraged the widespread use of fiberglass storage solutions in the oil/gaswater treatment, and chemical processing sectors. FRP tanks helped these industries comply with environmental and safety regulations when handling hazardous materials.

Technological Improvements In The 1980s

The evolution of fiberglass and the continued research towards fiberglass storage solutions led to technological developments in production which resulted in improved strength, durability, cost-effectiveness, and performance of FRP tanks. These features made fiberglass tanks more accessible to various industries, and there was a growing trend toward selecting these tanks over traditional materials.

Market Expansion Of Fiberglass Storage Tanks In The 1990s

There was increased globalization and trade in the 1990s which allowed companies to access and utilize technologies and materials from different parts of the globe. This facilitated the expansion of FRP tank technology in different regions and for various sectors. Fiberglass storage solutions became popular across the globe, and manufacturers expanded their product lines to fulfill diverse industrial needs. In addition, improved design engineering of FRP tanks led to the production of specialized fiberglass tanks for more unique applications, such as underground liquid and gas storage solutions.

FRP Mocoat is a leading manufacturer of quality fiberglass tanks and storage products, and we can manufacture custom tanks that have designs and drawings stamped by Professional Engineers (P.Eng) with decades of experience in the fiberglass industry. Contact us today to discover the perfect above-ground or underground fiberglass storage tank to fit your unique needs.

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