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Failure analysis of a leaching reactor made of glass-fiber reinforced plastic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-136
JournalEngineering Failure Analysis
Early online date17 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


This paper reports a failure analysis of a leaching reactor in a zinc plant that suffered from a catastrophic failure after less than two years of operation. During normal operation the bottom of the reactor fell out suddenly, releasing the contents, a high-temperature acidic solution, into the surroundings in an uncontrollable manner. The reactor was made of glass-fiber reinforced plastic. Microscopy, thermal analysis, mechanical testing and finite element analyses were employed to investigate the causes of the failure. There were several contributing factors but the root cause was poor adhesion between the bottom and the joint laminate, which was caused by insufficient grinding during the surface preparation stage of the joint.


  • Composites, Environmental interaction, Failure analysis, Process-plant failures, Tank

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland