Articles & Case Studies

Forbes increase production of their new generation of low cost large thermoplastic tanks

Posted: Wednesday 26th April 2006

Being the market leaders in the design and manufacture of a wide range of tanks & other chemical engineering equipment, Forbes offers tanks from 100 litres capacity to in excess of 200,000 litres.

With three production facilities specific to materials of construction, covering glassfibre reinforced, dual laminate composites and their recently expanded facility for thermoplastics, the correct materials & design can be selected without bias.

In 1961 Forbes produced the first freestanding polypropylene tank for chemical storage in the UK and has been the leading manufacture of custom built thermoplastic tanks for the chemical & water industries since this early innovation. Having seen major problems of stress cracking & early ageing with many of the traditional high density polyethylene (HDPE) and in particular the linear polyethylenes used for rota moulding, Forbes selected polypropylene as being the main contenders in materials for the chemical engineering industry and in particular for the manufacture for chemical storage tanks.

Until this last year Forbes had only produced a small number of tanks in HDPE having seen problems with certain types of products offered, over the years, in traditional HDPE materials, which can suffer from early ageing & environmental stress cracking when exposed to a variety of chemical environments. Basell, the World leader in polyethylene production, has recently developed a superior polymer within their Hostalen range, namely PE100. This new generation polyethylene polymer has been developed primarily for chemical pipe, container & tank production to overcome the stress cracking and degradation seen in other polyethylenes. Whilst Forbes still prefers polypropylene for the majority of applications, they have recently produced a number of tanks in polyethylene PE100 for hydrogen peroxide storage and other chemicals which are more suited to HDPE.

Expansion during 2005 of the thermoplastics manufacturing facility at their Kelso site has been further upgraded by the introduction of more automated production equipment, which produces a high quality low cost tank with capacities in excess of 60 cubic metres. Tanks are designed to the very stringent German Code DVS 2205. The manufacturing process gives a smooth integral robust shell. The process incorporates the latest monitoring quality control equipment, which confirms the integrity and safety of the tank.

The advantages oftanks built to DVS 2205 using Forbes techniques:

Large thermoplastic tanks in Polypropylene & PE 100 are the chemical engineers answer to safe long term storage of chemicals and a useful addition to Forbesí already large range of products.

Purchasing a Tank ?

The supplier must be able to demonstrate long term case histories of similar tanks and applications. The purchaser must be wary of the company who can only offer one type of tank or limited to one or two materials. Whilst it may be suitable for the duty, there is no opportunity to discuss alternatives in an unbiased way.

There are a number of companies who can offer a large range of plastics & glassfibre reinforced materials together with the appropriate design standards without bias, which will achieve the correctly specified tank to give long and trouble free service.

Melvyn Jupp is a Director of the Forbes Group and has 28 years experience in the design & manufacture of tanks, vessels & chemical plant in both thermoplastics & GRP.

Contact Details

Downham Market
PE38 0DR

Tel - 01366 389 640
Fax - 01366 385 274]

Web -

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