Industrial Fluid Storage Tank Coatings
The Risk of Corroding Tanks
Fluid storage tanks are one of the most common aspects of industry. Consider all of the holding variations such as metal, plastic, concrete; sealed or open air; above ground or below; permanent or temporary. Tanks may be stationary or used in rail, air or truck transport.
When filled with water, fuel, waste or other corrosive and caustic liquids, tank materials are in an ongoing state of deterioration. Even “simple” compounds like water and air create natural corrosion of metal and degradation of concrete and plastics used in industrial tanks, but deterioration is sped up by more aggressive liquids. Acids, alkalis, and organic wastes very quickly reduce solid containers to crumbled rusting wrecks. Even the condensation and gas fumes emitted by these chemicals can accelerate damage to holding vessels, leading to several short-term and long-term problems.
First, and most obvious, is that the tank begins to leak. Depending on the liquid, this could be detrimental to the environment and ultimately very costly with clean up, fines from the EPA and other governing agencies and damage to your reputation. Secondary containment is essential but a last resort.
Second, the structural walls of weakening tanks can collapse or topple when held above ground. In addition to property damage, this can harm employees, either from volatile liquids or falling tank debris.
A lesser considered problem is one that may go unnoticed for some time. This concern is the cross-contamination or the dilution of the “purity” of the stored material. For example, water is stored and moved in every community around the world. When this water is designated to be ingested, it needs to be kept safe and clean. While other stored liquids may not be ingested, they are designed to serve some purpose. If the chemical composition is altered, the liquid agent may not perform as intended.
Rubber Liner and Paint Problems
Rubber lining, paint and other surface protection simply do not last as long as polymers such as polyurethane and polyurea. They can also release and absorb materials causing contamination. And, they do not have the same abrasion and corrosion resistance as polyurethane or polyurea and can contain weaknesses that chemically aggressive fluids will find and exploit.
Rubber liners are often thicker than polymer coatings and therefore reduce valuable storage capacity. Pre-formed liners are often ill fitting. The polymer spray application allows it to be applied at varied thickness and conforms to any shape or size of substrate.
Rubber liners may need to be layered to achieve greater thicknesses or fit within the confines. This is costs more time, more material, and creates seams and membrane layers where the stored material can get behind.
Tank Coating Solutions
The best approach is prevention – coating a new tank before using. This reduces the time and risk of not eliminating all of the damage found in a used vessel. For example, rust can continue to grow under a coating if not completely removed. But, if prepared and treated properly, tanks can be refurbished to add years of service.
Our polyurethane, polyurea and other hybrid products are designed for specific solutions in coating the internal surface of a tank and offer a variety of benefits. The most commonly prioritized attribute is the corrosive resistance created by our range of polymers. The seamless membrane instantly forms an extremely strong bond and simultaneously coats seams and protects exposed surfaces. Once installed, reactants and corrosive materials will sit harmlessly against an ArmorThane sprayed on lining and have no effect on the tank itself.
HighLine AquaSafe has been verified and certified by NSF to be used for potable water tanks and stands up to the continuous movement of water running through the system. Our spray-on coating products do not leach materials into or from water and being seamless provide a protected environment for drinking water and other ingested liquids.
Our polyureas and polyurethanes provide an easy clean surface which allows a coated tank to be used for multiple materials at different times. We also have the ability to introduce anti-microbial or biocide materials into the ArmorThane polymers. This decreases the algae or mildews that could grow in the damp recesses of a chemical storage tank.
Our method applying tank corrosion prevention provides another set of advantages. A trained and licensed ArmorThane applicator can achieve the desired thickness as one solid piece. By spraying the polyurea or polyurethane directly onto the tank’s inner surface, the protective surface forms a seamless membrane that exactly fits, even where poles, pumps and other internal structures attach. The tank sprayed with ArmorThane becomes a long-lasting piece of equipment with extra protections to keep its contents safe.
Watch our YouTube of ArmorThane being sprayed in a large water tank destined to be used at a mining site in the mountains of Peru. Check out an article on coatings for repairing and protecting mining equipment.
Check out ArmorThane’s other industrial applications.
Contact us about spraying ArmorThane industrial coatings.