Corrosion Resistant Material for Secondary Containment Systems

A secondary containment system is a provision put in place to prevent, control, or mitigate the discharge of hazardous substances into the environment following severe component failure. This typically comprises a physical barrier of corrosion resistant material that contains the spill and prevents it from contaminating surrounding ecosystems. Drip trays, concentric piping, and reinforced dikes are commonly used as secondary measures to eliminate the likelihood of severely hazardous events such as oil spills into navigable waters and shorelines.

Uncontrolled chemical discharge can be an extremely costly event. It can contaminate and spoil sources of drinking water, with significant ramifications to wildlife and local human populations. This can have far-reaching environmental and financial costs.

HFF Containment System

The installation of suitable secondary containment systems is mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the spill prevention, control, and countermeasure (SPCC) ruling. This introduces general and specific provisions for facilities processing hazardous substances such as hydrocarbons and chemicals. One of the most common ways a plant can ensure SPCC compliance is the installation of a generous dike comprised of sufficiently corrosion resistant material.

Secondary Containment System: Fiberglass Dikes

The EPA describes a dike containment system as a permanent engineered barrier comprising an embankment and walls of suitable corrosion resistant material. These are designed to hold oil in the event of a large spillage from a primary storage tank or pipework. SPCC compliance requires that the secondary containment system can hold as much as 110% of the primary container’s maximum storage capacity, without leakage or system corrosion.

Concrete and earth embankments are often used for secondary containment of electrical substations, but this is unsuitable for facilities in remote, challenging environments. The large footprints of each of these conventional systems can make it difficult to access primary containers. There may also be limited amounts of space surrounding the substation, making it difficult for the conventional corrosion resistant materials to meet SPCC standards in terms of the secondary container’s volumetric capacity.

The COMPSOLITE® Secondary Containment System from Strongwell has been used to resolve these issues and provide an impervious barrier for SPCC-compliant secondary containment systems. This reinforced paneling system is comprised of corrosion resistant materials capable of withstanding chemical attack from various aggressive media. These panels are lined with a geosynthetic material and the embankment is fitted with a drainpipe to enable effective containment and controlled discharge of spilled materials.

Strongwell’s COMPSOLITE® Secondary Containment System was able to contain oil spills with no leaks for a period of three weeks. It has even been tested for combustion, to assess the containment system’s efficiency in response to severe mechanical failure. Despite exhibiting some thermal warping after a burn that lasted 30 minutes, the secondary containment system discharged no oil into the environment.

Alongside these exceptional levels of efficiency, the COMPSOLITE® Secondary Containment System displayed savings of up to 10% due to the ease of installation and commensurate reduction of labor.

Corrosion Resistant Materials from Strongwell

Fiberglass has emerged as a surprising solution to a range of industrial challenges in recent years, representing a lightweight, high-strength, corrosion resistant material suitable for an array of applications. Strongwell is determined to push the technological letter of fiber-reinforced polymer products, exploring the emerging potential of the material with an extensive product range.

If you need any more information about our COMPSOLITE® product range, please do not hesitate to contact us.