Category Archive: In The News

Fiberglass Flumes for Flow Measurement

Flumes are specially designed static structures or fittings that restrict the flow of fluid by narrowing the available passage area within a system. These simple components measure and monitor the flow of fluid in free-flowing conditions. The flume can accelerate flow rate through changes in its elevation, the shape of the floor, and the narrowing of system sidewalls, which can transform a subcritical flow of fluid to a critical or even supercritical flow that operators can easily measure. With a variety of standard and custom flume types available, industries can choose the type that best fits their application.

fiberglass parshall flumes

 

Advantages of Fiberglass Flumes

Selecting the right flume for an application’s environment, flow rate, and channel type allow that application to capitalize on the key benefits of using flow measurement flumes. These include:

  •     Control over fluid flow rate with high- and low-rate capabilities
  •     Versatility, as they come in various sizes and shapes
  •     Less head loss and easier debris passage in the stream of fluid compared to weirs
  •     Accuracy in making flow predictions
  •     Few maintenance requirements due to self-cleaning
  •     Easy installation with a compact footprint
  •     Readily available, including installation components

 

 

Fiberglass flumes give the flume more structural integrity and easy maintenance characteristics across diverse operating conditions and fluid types. The resin and glass fiber construction gives fiberglass some unique advantages for flume composition, including the versatility and malleability of the material. Fiberglass flumes also come in a wide range of shapes and colors for different operations. Properties of fiberglass that make it an excellent choice for flumes include:

  •     Mechanical strength, despite its lightweight
  •     Cost-effectiveness
  •     Resistance to corrosion from chlorine and other chemicals or contaminants
  •     Thermal, electrical, flame, pest, and microbe resistance 
  •     Ability to resist UV radiation damage with a gel coating

 

Flume vs. Weir

Both flumes and weirs control the open channel flow of fluid through a designated pathway. However, the way in which they guide and manage fluid flow is very different. Fluid passes through a flume, and fluid passes over the top of a weir. That dissimilarity in weir construction can introduce inertia in the fluid, reducing its head to approximately a quarter of that retained by a flume installation. Weirs have a dam plate that allows liquid pooling and results in lost force, as well as more frequent maintenance. Flumes, on the other hand, guide fluid and increase the force of its flow without significant head loss or lost potential. Flumes offer a better solution for moving fluid through a flat or low-gradient system of channels and ditches.

 

VPC Fiberglass Named Employer of the Year

VPC Fiberglass has been named “Employer of the Year” by The New Orleans Chamber of Commerce.

As one of the Nation’s top manufacturers of quality fiberglass products for industrial uses, we are proud to employ some of the best and brightest engineers, fabricators, and sales engineers in the industry. Our continued growth ensures that we can maintain our standing as a premier employer in Orleans County that is consistently hiring quality, skilled workers from the community.

Proudly manufacturing in the U.S.A means that on top of our standard offerings, each of our products can be customized to meet the needs of a specific project. Our service is unmatched, as skilled engineers work with you to create a custom solution for your application. We offer a wide range of products for a variety of industries including water and wastewater management, chemical, oil and gas, marine, air handling/HVAC, and more. We offer on-site installation and repair services and have a dedication to quality that is unmatched in the industry.

If you are interested in a career in Fiberglass Manufacturing, please visit our Employment Page to review the application process.

Fiberglass vs. Concrete

Cost-Effectiveness

The cost savings advantage of fiberglass is seen over concrete in the durability and longevity of the product.

Fiberglass products outperform precast concrete in almost all aspects except one: product cost. Precast concrete products are typically less expensive than fiberglass. However, the savings are short-lived. You may save money on your initial purchase cost, but once the additional costs associated with difficult installations, complex on-site repairs, or even needing to replace the entire product due to deterioration, will lead to increased cost in the long term.

Fiberglass products will not rot, corrode, warp, contract, expand, rust, dent, bow, shrink, twist, fade, blister, split, crack, deteriorate, or distort. Once the longevity of the product is factored into the equation, fiberglass is clearly the superior choice — ensuring maintenance-free and long-lasting performance.

Ease of Installation

Fiberglass is an ideal material for installation in terms of both time and ease.

Fiberglass products typically weigh substantially less than precast concrete products, therefore installation is accomplished with less manpower and time. Additionally, in the rare occasion that a fiberglass product becomes damaged and needs repair, fiberglass can be field repaired much more easily than concrete, including on-site repairs.

Corrosion Resistance 

The intrinsically corrosion-resistant nature of fiberglass makes it an ideal choice.

It is hard to give an average life span for precast concrete products since there are many factors that may cause deterioration at different rates. Concrete is susceptible to Microbial Induced Concrete Corrosion (MICC). MICC is a process by which sulfuric acid, found in most wastewater systems when hydrogen sulfide gas and bacteria react, attacks and degrades the concrete.

Fiberglass products, on the other hand, can withstand drastic and unpredictable chemical and environmental challenges. Fiberglass products are resistant to hydrogen sulfide and many other forms of corrosion. Simply stated, fiberglass will not corrode like concrete and has a much longer life span.

Structure

The structure of fiberglass lends itself to structural soundness and durability.

Fiberglass products are as structurally strong as concrete; in fact, the strength-to-weight ratio for fiberglass is astonishing. Items made from fiberglass will not rot or rust, expand or contract, crack, or deteriorate the way alternative materials would.

Unlike concrete, a fiberglass product that is 30 years old is just as structurally sound as it was the day it was made. Concrete products can appear structurally sound at first, but over time corrosion and cracks caused by expansion and contraction severely affect the structural integrity of the concrete. Fiberglass products, however, experience no loss in strength over time.

Fabrication

When it comes to fabrication, there are several advantages to working with fiberglass.

Fiberglass products are fabricated from a lightweight, non-porous material in strong one-piece molds. Precast concrete is typically created and installed in sections due to its massive weight.

Since there are no joints in fiberglass products, unlike concrete, infiltration, and contamination at the site are highly unlikely. Concrete is also vulnerable to penetration and damage from underground roots. When fresh groundwater enters the system, it can cause an increase in wastewater levels, leading to an increase in treatment costs and even a possible need for oversized water treatment plants.