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Properly Storing Corrosive Chemicals in Polyethylene Tanks

Whether you’re an engineer writing a spec for a chemical storage system, or an end user who is looking for the best way to store corrosive chemicals, there are multiple factors that go into creating a safe storage system. Cost might be the first consideration, but there is more to cost than the initial price of the tank, its fittings and accessories, delivery, and installation. The durability and longevity of the tank system is an important consideration when storing corrosive chemicals. Leaks and degradation can be costly to repair, and even more costly when a tank system has to be replaced because it wasn’t up to the task of storing your chemical. Let’s take a look at the nature of corrosive chemicals and the best tank options out there to help you make the right decision.

What Are Corrosive Chemicals?

A corrosive chemical is one that will damage or destroy another substance upon contact. It can cause chemical burns to living tissue, and the higher the concentration, the more corrosive it is. Fumes from the chemical can cause eye and lung irritation or damage. Some acids and bases are corrosive - some commonly stored corrosive chemicals are:

  • Sulfuric Acid
  • Hydrochloric Acid
  • Sodium Hypochlorite
  • Nitric Acid
  • Sodium Hydroxide

Many of these chemicals can corrode metal, especially at higher temperatures. When metals corrode because of these substances, they give off a hydrogen gas, which is flammable. That’s why polyethylene is a preferable tank material.

Not All Polyethylene Tanks Are Created Equal

Polyethylene is a durable plastic. It comes in medium-density, high-density (HDPE) and high-density cross-linked (XLPE). Medium- and high-density polyethylenes are usually linear, which means that the fibers of the plastic are joined in a twisted, rather than knotted nature. XLPE is created in a way that the very molecules of the plastic are bonded and linked, creating a superior product that has five times the impact and tensile strength of polyethylene.

XLPE with OR-1000

Corrosive chemicals can be stored in an XLPE tank with an anti-oxidant barrier surface to extend the longevity of the tank. The technology behind OR-1000 takes the guesswork out of choosing the right storage tank system for corrosive chemicals. The barrier resin is actually just a medium density polyethylene, but what makes it special is 400% more antioxidant additives in that resin. This antioxidant resin is added during the rotomolding process, creating a seamless bond between the barrier resin and XLPE polyethylenes that creates a stronger, more durable tank that doesn’t have the same risks and maintenance costs as an FRP tank or a poly tank that is mass-produced with a potentially faulty lining. The combination of polyethylenes create ideal containment for corrosive chemicals. XLPE gives you the strength from catastrophic failure and corrosive chemical getting out. OR-1000 gives you optional additive oxidation resistance vs HDPE or XLPE alone over time. The value, longevity, strength and durability of an offering like OR-1000 with XLPE can stand up to almost any chemical and stand the test of time.

Talk to a chemical storage expert today to prepare the best storage system for your corrosive chemicals

Talk to a chemical storage tank expert

Topics: Chemicals