Fiberglass Flume vs. Concrete Flume

If you’re thinking about installing a Parshall flume in your open channel flow operation, you must decide the material from which you’ll have your flume constructed. Parshall flumes, like many primary devices, can be constructed using a wide range of materials, including concrete and fiberglass.

Because so many people are familiar with concrete, it’s common to assume that this is the best material option. In many cases, however, you should avoid concrete. Here is some information to help you decide between a concrete or fiberglass Parshall flume, so you can be sure you have the right device for your system.

Size of the Flume

Although there are several factors you should consider when choosing a construction material for your flume, the most important is the size you are planning for your device. For most Parshall flume sizes, particulary small ones, fiberglass is the preferred option. It’s much easier and more cost effective to produce small flumes from fiberglass than concrete.

If you need a large flume, such as in an industrial operation, then concrete may be the better choice. In general, if your flume needs to be over 15 feet in length, you should choose concrete as your material.

Consider Your Application

Most people assume that having a Parshall flume constructed out of concrete is the more durable option. While this does make some sense, the durability of your flume will actually depend on the application where it’s installed. In some cases, a fiberglass Parshall flume will provide more durability.

For instance, if you are installing your Parshall flume for the purpose of wastewater management, then fiberglass is by far the better choice. The chemicals used in most wastewater treatment plants can severely damage concrete in a short period of time, so if you want your flume to last in a wastewater application, you should pick fiberglass.

Do You Need Modifications?

Depending on the nature of your system, it’s possible that you may need to modify your Parshall flume in one way or another. If you do need to make modifications to your Parshall flume, then constructing your device out of fiberglass is the far superior option.

Making modifications to concrete Parshall flumes must take place during their construction, meaning you would not be able to modify a concrete flume after installation. Parshall flumes made from fiberglass, on the other hand, can undergo modification virtually whenever you need. So, if you want to easily be able to add a cavity in the sidewall or extend the sidewalls themselves, you should pick a fiberglass flume.

Purchase a Fiberglass Parshall Flume

While there are some situations where constructing a flume out of concrete can be a good choice, the better option in most circumstances is constructing your flume out of fiberglass. If you’re interested in purchasing a fiberglass Parshall flume for your operation, you need to browse the Tracom, FRP catalogue.

At Tracom, we are proud to produce a high-quality line of fiberglass open channel flow products. From flumes, to weirs, to packaged metering manholes, we offer the tools you need. Contact us today for more information.