Fiber Technology Corporation
- Written by: Tom Faunce
- Produced by: Ryan Fecteau
- Estimated reading time: 3 mins
Incorporated in 1992, Fiber Technology Corporation (FTC) was founded with the mission to provide innovative water storage solutions. Headquartered in Lorton, Virginia, with a manufacturing facility in Dubai and a new facility in Lorton, Virginia, FTC designs and manufactures a simple, innovative, globally-certified water storage solution by assembling glass reinforced plastic (FRP) sectional panels in modular and flexible patterns which ensures preservation of water to the highest standards of purity.
The FRP panel type water storage tanks that are produced by FTC follow a unique design, which are available in any size from 260-2.5 million gallons. The tank panels are designed to the highest level of opacity to ensure no light transmits into the tank, thus preventing chlorine evaporation, bacterial and algae growth. “They are very few tanks in the world that actually keep clean water clean,” says Owen Stevens, vice president of sales and marketing for FTC. “Our tanks also do not have any coatings in them, which can deteriorate over time.” FTC achieves this through its manufacturing process, which involves very high temperature and pressure techniques.
The mirror smooth inner walls on the tanks FTC produces prevents the adherence of bacteria and algae. “All water has bacteria in it, which is not dangerous,” Stevens explains. “As soon as bacteria start sticking to a surface and growing colonies; that’s when it becomes a sanitary problem and can be dangerous.”
The fact that bacteria are not able to colonize in the FRP panel tanks maintains the chlorine residual present in drinking water longer. The tanks are also a consistent gray color, which prevents the passage of light through the panels with a light transmittance factor of 0.00.
While traditional water storage tanks require continuous maintenance, FTC tanks are maintenance free. Aging, fatigue and corrosion are the main drawbacks to conventional storage systems. FTC’s hot press molding production ensures zero defects and delivers high-quality panels with constant fiberglass distribution with the most accurate dimensional stability for the utmost reliability and performance
As a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) FTC is concerned with its carbon footprint and takes advantage of the benefits of being a member. “The prestige of the organization and what they represent certainly applies to our company values,” says Stevens.
Focusing on its carbon footprint, FTC’s externally reinforced FRP panel type water tanks offer significant environmental benefits. Weighing less than traditional steel tanks FTC’s tanks require less energy for transport and installation. “They have excellent mechanical properties and are corrosion free,” says Stevens. “Their design life is in excess of 40 years. It’s likely that the tank will last well after this time with very little maintenance required. Ultimately the external steel supports and the FRP panels can be completely recycled as scrap or put to other uses.”
FTC was recently involved in a project that received LEED Platinum certification at Kroon Hall, part of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University. The facility was designed to consume half the energy of an equivalent academic building and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 62 percent. The FTC FRP water tanks form the heart of the rainwater harvesting system that is expected to save more than 500,000 gallons of potable city water per year.
FTC’s tanks were also installed in the brand new Whitney Museum of American Art, which is set to open in downtown Manhattan in May 2016. The museum is seeking LEED Gold certification from the USGBC and if achieved it will be New York City’s first LEED-certified art museum.
Stevens has been with FTC since 1999. Before his involvement with FTC, Stevens worked as an export manager for one of the largest companies in South Africa. He decided he needed a change and looked into obtaining a career in the United States. “I looked for anything that fit my skills and description,” says Stevens. “I found FTC because they were actually looking for South Africans because we are known for having a great work ethic.”
Stevens says the future of the industry is bright. With the market getting bigger FTC is going to continue to grow and establish its presence in new markets. “In the U.S. we are doing well in fire protection but I would like to see us break into the public water company sector as our tanks comply to AWWA D121 and are NSF 61 listed with Annex G [no lead].”
As the company continues to grow, Fiber Technology Corporation will continue set the standard in keeping clean water clean.
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