Amargo, Poland, is home to Mikrosam‘s newest floor-based state-of-the-art filament production line for chemically resistant tanks or storage hydrogen in industrial plants. Using wet-impregnated fibers, this machine can produce composite tanks in a diameter range of 200mm – 4,300mm and a length range of 12,000mm with mandrel shafts.
Amargo covers many applications from idea or demand, through concept, project, production, delivery, and full service during the whole lifetime of the tank. In addition, the company has teamed up with two technical universities – Warsaw and Wroclaw – and is working on a three-year project entitled Development of an intelligent construction for a composite pressure vessel with a big hinged bottom (number MAZOWSZE/0141/19), that will allow it to design and produce even complex tanks using the filament method winding process.
„Amargo has been supporting many industries for over 18 years by providing chemical-resistant tanks with complete installations and the necessary additional equipment and controls. When the operating conditions of the tank, including the corrosive environment, temperature, and pressure, are very demanding, solutions based on materials from the thermoplastic group, e.g. polyethylene PE100, and polypropylene PP-H, are no longer sufficient. It is then necessary to use resin tank structures and glass fiber reinforcement, preferably with the use of continuous fiber, “– says Szczepan Gorbacz, President of the Management Board of Amargo
To increase the chemical resistance of tank walls, highly chemically resistant internal layers are additionally used – the so-called liners, obtaining hybrid solutions, known on the market as “dual-laminate”. Then the chemically resistant barrier is a material from the halogen group, such as PVDF, E-CTFE, and PFA. In turn, for hydrogen tanks, a liner made of modified plastics is used: polyethylene or polyamide – special varieties. Solutions based on a composite structure with a liner are characterized primarily by durability, very long service life, and low weight. These are the main reasons why the Amargo solution wins over metal tanks.
Additionally, chemical pressure storage tanks are containers that are designed to store fluids at high pressures, i.e. their internal pressure is higher than the atmospheric one. They can come in various shapes and sizes and may be fabricated from a variety of materials. As aggressive chemical agents stored under elevated pressure can cause significant damage to both people and the environment, it is essential to develop systems for early damage detection and structural integrity monitoring of such vessels. The development of early damage detection and condition monitoring systems could also help to reduce maintenance costs associated with periodic inspections of the structure and unforeseen operational breaks due to unmonitored damage development as well as reduce the related environmental burden. Amargo and technical universities’ engineers prepare special detection systems – sensors, which can measure elastic waves excited by PZT (piezoelectric) transmitters, installed on the outer GFRP layer.
The system ensures constant monitoring of the technical condition of the tank structure along with early detection of abnormal situations, which effectively prevents failures and damages – this is the so-called “prediction maintenance system”.
Additionally, as part of complete solutions, Amargo obtains Digital Twin solutions – which in the era of Industry 4.0 is highly desired by the service and renovation services of corporations and industrial plants, especially in the chemical industry.
Amargo chose Mikrosam for its experience, expertise, engineering support, and flexibility in equipment design and integration.
Mikrosam’s system features a filament winding machine, an impregnating bath system for deep impregnation, a fiber creel, a fiber delivery system, software for programming, and a quality inspection system. It has a single spindle, four axes of interpolation, and a carriage floor-based configuration. Normally, the machine uses glass fiber, but it can be converted to carbon fiber, which is important, especially for high-pressure tanks and hydrogen storage tanks. A fiber delivery system guides and transports fibers up to the resin bath and mandrels with minimal fiber damage. The ceramic eyelets minimize friction between the fibers as they are guided in a precise order until they reach the resin bath using the special system. Designed for high production speed, the deep immersion bath has 32 tows (fibers) for excellent impregnation quality.
“This machine offers a variety of possibilities, from producing smaller hydrogen tanks, up to large high-volume chemical resistant and water tanks. The flexibility of Mikrosam’s designs enables it to upgrade the delivering eye with a 5th controlled axis and a second roller-impregnated bath. We provide customers state-of-the-art technology and equipment performance for fast and high precision winding with consistent quality versus other methods and mechanisms,“ – says Vele Samak, Vice President of Mikrosam.
The machine is equipped with WindingExpert software, which can generate mandrels and patterns, simulate parts, produce parts, and export FEA data (Nastran, Abaqus); among many other features. For advanced control, there is QCS – Quality Control System with SCADA integration. By using this manufacturing historian, the customer monitors and controls critical filament winding parameters. This includes precise tension control of the continuous fibers, accurate resin flow control, and maintaining consistent winding angles. Using historical data to analyze the winding process, Amargo can guarantee high-quality, well-balanced, and reliable tanks.