Composites in Chemical Industry

Composites in Chemical Industry
Umer Adil
Dept of Textile Processing
National Textile University Faisalabad, Pakistan

What is composite?
A complex material made up of two or more complementary substances. They can be difficult to recycle. Plastic laminates are an example. Composite materials are best applied in situations where they can be removed for reuse, not requiring remanufacture [1].

Composite structure
Fig: Composite structure
Composites in chemical industry:
1. Composites for Chemical Resistance and Infrastructure Applications, in this paper Ben R. Bonger[2] presented that unsaturated polyester and vinyl ester resin composites have proven successful against chemical attack. Applications include piping, fittings, connectors, storage and holding tanks, scrubbers, weirs, baffles, flumes, domes, grating, ladders, walkways, enclosures, buildings and panels[2].

2. Advantages of composites of fire resistance properties, lightweight, mold ability, and resistance to chemicals has made the material used in the chemical industry. Composites are extensively used in industrial gratings, scrubbers, ducting, piping, exhaust stacks, pumps & blowers, structural supports, storage tanks, columns, reactors etc. for alkaline & acidic environments. Some applications are drive shaft, fan blades, ducts, stacks, underground storage tanks, casings, composite vessels etc. Internationally, composites applications in chemical industry are a relatively small segment in relation to the total usage of composites[3],

3. Fabrication And Testing Of Fibre Reinforced Polymer Composites Material[4]in this paper K Alagarra[4] explained that, glass fibre is made from silica (sand), sodium carbonate and calcium carbonate together with other compounds to give the specific properties required.There are certain applications in which the magnetic, electrical or thermal properties of GFRPs are advantageous, an example being minesweepers which need to be non-magnetic in order to avoid activation of mines. Glass-phenolic resin prepregs are also used to improve protection for armoured vehicles.[4]

4. Hemp fibre Concrete [5]is a simple, everyday example of a HPRC, the composition varying according to its intended use. It undergoes chemical reactions leading to setting in a few hours with hardening continuing over a number of weeks or months. This material is reinforced with aggregate (the dispersed phase) such as pebbles or chippings (1-2 cm) and sand (1-2 mm). In addition to reinforcement, the dispersed phase brings other benefits. The initial setting reactions of the concrete are exothermic and, when only cement and water are used, this leads to problems with heat dissipation and cracking[5].

5. Water, chemicals, gases and salt corrode the traditional materials. The composites perform well in applications requiring resistance to corrosion in damp soil conditions, acids, oxidising agents, metal salts, reducing gases and sulphur gases. Composite products such asscrubbers, underground gasoline storage tanks[6] and sewer liners have been successful in service for up to 40 years or more.[6]

6. In order to meet increasing technical, technological and economic requirements imposed by oil industry Thermoplastic polymer composites (polyethylene, polyvinyldene fluoride, polyamides)[7]are most frequently used for the production of risers, which are wound around steel reinforcement of riser. Due to its corrosion resistance, polymer represents excellent insulation and protects riser against etching corrosion. Risers designed in such way are flexible and they can be used at sea at depths of water up to 800m, at pressures of 35 MPa and at temperatures of 120°C.[7]

7. In the early 1960s, composite tanks based on isophthalic acid polyesters were installed in North America. They are leak free, durable, soil corrosion resistance and unexpensive[8].

8. Venturi scrubber is an excellent device for removal of fine dust particles from volatile,hazardous or corrosive gas streams, or gas streams containing particulates that are difficult to handle. For the first time in the country, venturi scrubber was manufactured using multi-axis CNC filamentwinding technique under the project launched with Fibro Plastichem Pvt. Ltd., Kolkata.[9]

9. Filament wound pipes are used in a wide variety of industries, due to the advantages composites have over metal pipes, such as a high strength to weight ratio, and resistance against frost, corrosion and heat[10].

10. Composite or glass fibre reinforced plastic (GFRP) road tankers are most ideal for transportation of corrosive liquids due to their lightweight and corrosion resistance. While such containers had been in use extensively in advanced countries, their application did not pick up in India mainly due to the lack of good design, technological capability and manufacturing facility in the country.[11]

11. Chemical & Corrosion resistance characteristics of pultruded composites are attributed to the properties of resin used. Chemical & corrosion attack can occur at the product surface or at the end. The presence of a resin rich barrier layer on the surface provides greater degree of corrosion resistance.To achieve a resin-rich surface, a synthetic veil or mat, typically of polyester fibre, is used on the surface of the products when pultruded. The layer can range from 0.15 to 1.00 mm thick, depending on the thickness of the material used.[12]

12. The construction industry is not itself a major recycler of plastic but it has a key role to play in sustainability of the built environment by promoting plastics recycling (Plastics Federation of South Africa, 2007-2011). A large percentage of recycled plastics is made into extended-lifetime construction products, WRAP (2006), Young (2009), such as channels,insulation, fascias, damp proof membranes, water drainage, pipes and ducting, building blocks, roof tiles, decking, fencingand outdoor furniture.[13]

13. In the United States of America and Europe, the building and construction industry ranks second in the use of plastics and its composites after the packaging industries, Gale Group (2008), being applied in floors, ceilings, insulation,panels, doors, windows, glazing, bathroom units, gratings and railings; structurally and in decorations.[14]

  1. Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
  2. Ben R. Bogner RP Asia 2005 Conference & Exhibition 25-26 August 2005 Bangkok, Thailand
  3. ZJ de Beer, “Applications for composite materials in the mining and metallurgy industry”, present and future, pp. 1-10.
  4. FABRICATION AND TESTING OF FIBRE REINFORCED POLYMER COMPOSITES MATERIAL K.Alagarraja1 ,A.Dhamodharan2 ,K.Gopinathan3 ,R.Mathan Raj4 ,K.Ram Kumar5 . 1,2,3,4,5 (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Adhiparasakthi Engineering College, Melmaruvathur, Tamil Nadu, India)
  5. Properties of Hemp Fibre Reinforced Concrete Composites, Zhijian Li, Xungai Wang* and Lijing WangSchool of Engineering and Technology, Deakin University, VIC 3217, Australia.
  6. Composites in Chemical Industry – An Insight-/ Composites in combating corrosion SangeetaBaksi&Soumitra BiswasAdvanced Composites ProgrammeTechnology Information, Forecasting & Assessment Council (TIFAC)Department of Science & Technology (Govt. of India)‘A’ Wing, VishwakarmaBhavan, Shaheed Jeet Singh Marg, New Delhi-110016
  7. Composites for the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry: Design and Application, Professional Engineering Publishing Limited, John Wiley and Sons, London (UK), 1999.
  8. Composites in Chemical Industry – An Insight-/ Composites in underground storage tankSangeetaBaksi&Soumitra BiswasAdvanced Composites ProgrammeTechnology Information, Forecasting & Assessment Council (TIFAC)Department of Science & Technology (Govt. of India)‘A’ Wing, VishwakarmaBhavan, Shaheed Jeet Singh Marg, New Delhi-110016
  9. AWMA, 1992. Air & Waste Management Association, Air Pollution Engineering Manual, Van NostrandReinhold, New York.Cooper, 1994. David Cooper and F. Alley, Air Pollution Control: A Design Approach, 2nd Edition,Waveland Press, Prospect Heights, IL, 1994.
  10. Repair of filament wound composite pipes Ramin Amali1 and Heather Arnall University of the West of England, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, BS16 1QY, UK
  11. Filament Wound Composite Road Tanker PR Basak, SangeetaBaksi& S Biswas, Advanced Composites Programme Technology Information, Forecasting & Assessment Council (TIFAC)
  12. Pultrusion of Composites - An Overview copyright2009 tifacAtul Mittal andMr. S. Biswas
  14. Application Of Recycled Plastics And Its Composites In The Built EnvironmentANSELM E. O. ENEHDepartment of Architecture, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Nigeria
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Mazharul Islam Kiron is a textile consultant and researcher on online business promotion. He is working with one European textile machinery company as a country agent. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.

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