RL Industries, Inc., Fairfield, Ohio, specializes in internal decking, support grids and structural internals for wet FGD scrubber systems, using open molding and vacuum infusion processing. Filament- wound storage tanks and pressure vessels up to 30 feet in diameter are also produced in RL Industries ASME-accredited shop. Brian Linnemann, engineering manager, observes that the biggest consumers of composites in pollution control are coal-fired power plants for wet flue gas desulphurization equipment. Others include the mining, chemical, steel and concrete industries.
“Reinforced plastics are well suited to that corrosive environment. They are a much better option than metals,” he relates. Composites outperform metals in these applications because they provide better resistance to the chlorides and fluorides in the abrasive slurries typically used in scrubbers that can cause severe corrosion in metal. “Properly engineered and fabricated correctly, they’ll last longer than metals in these applications. They are the most corrosion resistant, have the best mechanical properties and hold up better,” adds Linnemann, noting that E glass, E-CR glass and vinyl ester resins are most commonly used.
“The components we produce for coal-fired power plants use very high strength, directional laminates that are used in modular design that simplify installation and lessen the amount of field work required by our customers,” he explains. A large percentage of the tanks and vessels fabricated by RL Industries are of dual-laminate construction with a thermoplastic lining, notes Linnemann. The liner is made from fabric-backed fluoropolymer sheet, which is sleeved onto the filament winder, and the laminate is built up around it, he explains.