The Birth of Fuelvac®
Abfad Ltd was contracted by BP in 2003 to refurbish their underground forecourt storage tanks within the UK. Within a twelve-month period, BP had requested the supply of a double skin liner which could be monitored for leak detection either by pressure or vacuum.
Research and development were performed and several designs of systems were launched for the storage tank market in 2004.
The first double skin liner used Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) as one of the layers in the system, PVDF is a speciality plastic material in the fluoropolymer family; it is used generally in applications requiring the highest purity, strength, and resistance to solvents, acids.
This double skin liner was then redeveloped to only incorporate PVDF within the tank. Two liners were installed in 2004 and 2005; one for Shell and one for Total UK Ltd after the system had been reviewed and approved by Foster Wheeler who was Total’s independent consultants.
Due to existing condition of tank steel due to original installation and ground conditions PVDF plastic sheets became difficult to install as the steel had various impact contours so again the double skin liner had to be redeveloped.
By the end of 2006, a new liner had been developed (again approved by Foster Wheeler on behalf of Total UK) which was an engineered layered system which incorporated solvent-free resin as the final protective coating.
The newest double skin liners were installed for Network Rail, Total UK, BP, Sainsbury’s, James Hall & Co. (SPAR Brand), and Simon Storage which was a combination of underground and above ground storage tanks.
In June 2011 revision of the Blue Book (Design, construction, modification, maintenance and decommissioning of filling stations) stated that “Existing tanks may also be reused, with the application of an appropriate double skin lining system, in accordance with EN 13160-7 Leak detection systems.” Due to this requirement, Fuelvac® double skin liner was re-engineered to meet the robust test criteria stated in the original standard.
EN 13160-7 Accreditation was performed by TUV Nord in Hamburg, Germany.
In 2012 the first of the new liner was successfully installed for Morrisons.
The Fuelvac® system continues to push the boundaries of storage tank repair and maintenance with its unique selling points combined with the patented application being the most environmentally-friendly system in the marketplace.
The Fuelvac® team continuously strive to improve their product which means that the double skin lining system will continue to make news and be a leader in today’s World Markets.