Cut-out samples can be collected from equipment made from fiberglass reinforced plastic. Examples of such equipment can be scrubbers, chimneys and tanks from the chemical industry, flue-gas cleaning, etc. By analyzing the cut-out sample, much can be said about the condition and status of the equipment, i.e. if there are any warning signs suggesting that the equipment should be replaced in the near future, etc. The more background information available on the current equipment, the more information the analysis will provide.
By analysis of cut-out samples taken from equipment made of fiberglass reinforced plastic, information is provided about the existing condition of the equipment and whether it may be needed to be replaced or maintained.
Keeping track of the status of the equipment is important from a safety and working environment perspective and it can also provide the opportunity for planning for future operation and maintenance. When should the equipment be replaced with new? How long should it be possible to use the equipment in the current operating conditions, etc.? Is the equipment safe?
An analysis of cut-outs can also be made to check the new equipment to ensure that it complies with the specifications.
We recommend that cut-out analyses are carried out at regular intervals on the same equipment in order to constantly follow up the quality and avoid unexpected and sudden failures.
At a cut-out analysis, the sample is first investigated by visual inspection, this indicates whether there are large delaminations, blisters or other major defects in the material. After this, a piece of the cut-out sample is being cut, the cross section is sanded and polished and then examined in a light optical microscope.
To further visualize small defects and possible chemical influences such as the diffusion of chemicals into the material, the sample can be stained with a dispersion dye that makes damages visible. The sample is thoroughly investigated with a microscope and any defects and diffusion fronts are detected, see the image at the top.
By burning the cut-out sample, in a high temperature furnace that burns away all the organic matter, the glass fiber content can be calculated. A burn-off also provides information on the types of glass fibres used and the construction of the laminate, such as which layers of woven roving or chopped strand mat are available, etc. This information can be compared to the specification of the equipment when it was built to see if the equipment is actually built up as specified.
Upon completion of the cut-out analysis, a report is delivered with the results and recommendations for the future.
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Analysis of cut-out samples of glass fibre reinforced plastic
Work environment, Chemical processes and products, Pulp and paper, Material transition, Production and manufacturing, Product safety, Risk and safety
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A cut-out sample of about 10 cm in diameter is taken out from the equipment to be inspected, the sample must be representative of the entire equipment and therefore it should be taken in a place where the equipment is most affected/weak. Several samples can be taken from the same equipment to see if there are differences between different areas of the equipment, for example, this may be at the liquid phase and the gas phase in a tank.