A Brazilian company has received certification from the international agency Underwriters Laboratories (UL) for a thermoset resin for the production of fuel tanks.
Responsible for this accomplishment was Ara Ashland, which has been manufacturing the isophthalic grade of heavy molecular weight Aropol 7241T in Araçariguama (SP). “We have also obtained approval for the composite, that is, the resin combined with the mechanical reinforcement provided by the national fibreglass producers Owens Corning and Saint-Gobain Vetrotex”, commented Rodrigo de Oliveira, sales manager of Ara Ashland.
The isophthalic Aropol 7241T resin has already received international certifications for application in fuel tanks, because it is traditionally processed by North American, European and Asian clients of Ashland. Ara Ashland is a company resulting from a joint venture entered into in 1999 between the Brazilian company Ara Química and the American company Ashland. “However, the conditions of use for resin in Brazil are more rigorous because of the higher presence of alcohol in the composition of our gasoline. This is why we decided to subject Aropol 7241T to the demands of rule NBR 13785 of ABNT-UL 1746”, explains Oliveira.
The Aropol 7241T grade is enabling the manufacture of composite jackets (resin + fiberglass) that enclose the primary steel tanks. “Between the steel tank and the composite jacket, there must be an opening to detect leakage”, explains Márcia Cardoso, technical manager of Ara Ashland. Besides the chemical assault caused by fuel which might possibly leak from the steel tank, as Marcia further explains, the composite jacket must resist corrosion caused by the soil. “”Which can be as intense as an assault of stored gasoline or oil”, she says.
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