Storage tanks used to hold chemicals for the purpose of water treatment, wastewater treatment and industrial uses are available in three main materials of construction: polyethylene, steel and fiberglass. Regardless of use, ease of handling, installation, maintenance, resistance to leakage and lifetime cost should always be important considerations when selecting a chemical storage tank. This article will explore the advantages of cross linked polyethylene tanks.
Advantages and Value of Cross Linked Polyethylene Storage Tanks
Ease of Handling and Installation
Since poly tanks are relatively light in weight and are extremely durable, transporting them is easy. Cross linked polyethylene tanks ship using basic freight methods such as common carriers and flatbed tractor trailers. Fiberglass tanks have special handling requirements, and because poly tanks are lighter than steel tanks, freight is cheaper. Additionally, when the tank arrives at your location, it can be offloaded using techniques and equipment commonly available at a jobsite. Lastly, they can be maneuvered multiple times until they are ready to install without fear of damage. All these factors make getting and installing your chemical tank much easier.
Ease of Maintenance
Unlike tanks made of other materials, poly storage tanks require a limited, routine maintenance. Steel tanks require external preventive care such as painting and internal inspection to determine weld integrity. Fiberglass also poses its own issues, like multiple layer construction and the sensitivity toward micro-cracking.
Polyethylene storage tanks are leak resistant because they are molded, one-piece construction without seams. Steel tanks tend to develop pin leaks over time from rust and corrosion and have stress points at welds. The quality of fiberglass tanks and their resistance to leaks can vary widely due to the method of construction and quality of the manufacture. The seamless construction and superior inert qualities of polyethylene means less chance of leaks. Overtime in the field, tanks will in most cases leak due to improper plumbing and venting.
Lifetime Cost Effectiveness of Cross Linked Polyethylene Storage Tanks
In addition to reduced cost to transport, less error-prone installation and reduced need for maintenance, poly tanks also last longer than steel and fiberglass tanks.
In particular, high density cross linked polyethylene tanks offer longer life and reduced maintenance compared to commodity grade polyethylene tanks. The same holds true with fiberglass storage tanks, where chemicals can wick into the fibers of the tank. This increases the cost of maintenance to detect and repair leaks and reduces the overall life of the tank.
Cross linked poly tanks typically are functional for 15-20 years. HDPE, steel and fiberglass tanks sometimes last only a third as long, especially if they are not properly maintained.
When considering a storage tank, keep these three important factors in mind:
- Proper installation is critical to maximizing storage tank life.
- Reducing potential leak points reduces the ongoing responsibility and cost of storing chemicals.
- Tank material can determine the lifetime cost of a tank.
In the end, the advantages of cross linked polyethylene tanks may make your choice an obvious one.