Q. I am considering the use of a 5 stage part washer constructed from FRP (Fiber Reinforced Plastic). Do you or know anyone who has any experience with a washer constructed from this material? It is intended to wash mild steel sheet metal parts. S.W.
A. The chemical resistance of the fiber reinforced plastic systems is very good, often equal to stainless steel and can generally be operated at temperatures that any typical wash system would experience. The primary area for concern with an FRP system such as this is the potential to drop parts from a hanger or basket. If they have a large enough mass, it is very possible to break out the bottom of the tank where the solution is contained. You mention the cleaning of sheet metal parts, however, so it is likely that you would not experience a problem such as this since the sheet metal would generally be thinner. Although as a part, it could weigh a considerable amount, it is unlikely to cause problems since the part is not as “dense” as say a large gear or something that would have a small surface area to ratio weight.
If this is still of concern to you, it is possible to avoid the problem altogether by building the spray washer with a metal tank and base, but use the fiberglass reinforced plastic as the washer housing. This will offer a compromise in structural strength and lower cost.