Recent publicity about premature degradation of steel used in flue-gas desulfurization systems in coal-burning power plants has highlighted concerns about replacement costs and potential shutdowns due to corrosion.
This summer, a regional newspaper reported that areas of a tank vessel in a steel pollution scrubber were corroded through the structure's walls just one year after installation.
"Replacing materials like steel and alloys with fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) made with Advantex glass fiber reinforcements is a solution to this problem," said Matt Lieser, Owens Corning global specification marketing leader. "Repairs can cost millions of dollars and there is a risk of plant shutdowns, both of which can have a negative impact on their customers."
Coal-burning power plants have installed scrubbers to help reduce pollution by catching sulfur dioxide (SO2) which is easily oxidized into sulfuric acid when oxygen and water are present. Nitrogen oxide (NOx) is commonly present in combustible processes and is a catalyst for the reaction that causes acid rain. Testing conducted by Owens Corning on standard E-glass and Advantex composite laminates under stress in a 10-percent sulfuric acid environment found that the Advantex composite laminate offers a useful stress performance of up to 12 times greater than the E-glass construction.
The coal power industry is installing FRP chimney liners because the expected service life is significantly higher than other materials with less required maintenance. Lieser said, "We may see that number grow with the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) taking effect Jan.1, 2012, and other rules requiring significant reductions in sulfur dioxide emissions."
Advantex glass fiber reinforcements used in FRP components also offer superior corrosion resistance versus standard E-glass. Other benefits include lighter weight and design flexibility in applications like FRP tanks, ducting, piping and chimney liners exposed to sulfur dioxide from the exhaust of flue gasses at fossil-fuel power plants. Advantex glass reinforcements are available in a variety of forms like chopped strand mat, fabric, veil and rovings to accommodate different processes.
Go to the Owens Corning web site to learn more about Advantex glass fiber reinforcements and download its Glass Fiber Corrosion Guide: http://www.owenscorning.com/composites/aboutAdvantex.asp.