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Do You Know Your Storage Tank’s Chemical Compatibility?

If you’re storing hazardous fluids such as corrosive acids, bases or aggressively oxidizing chemicals, you need to be confident that your chemical storage tank can meet your expectations for years. You can’t afford to invest in a system, only to discover a year later that your tank isn’t compatible with the chemicals you’re using. That’s a loss of product, time, and money—and it could put your people, equipment and environment at risk, as well.


Sometimes customers come to us seeking proof that our storage tanks are compatible with the specific chemicals they’re using. Usually, it’s due to one of these scenarios:

  • They want to know if their current tank can handle a new kind of chemical
  • They’re ordering a new tank and want to ensure it will perform to expectations
  • They see something about their current tank that concerns them, such as discoloration of the tank wall

Designing and Testing Your Chemical Storage Tanks

At Poly Processing, your tank’s longevity is our top priority. We partner with you throughout the design and engineering process to ensure that your chemical tank will meet the demands of your specific application for years. Our engineers ask you key questions about every factor that could have an impact on the life and performance of the tank—and it starts with chemical compatibility.

If you need additional assurance, Poly Processing has relationships with third-party labs to perform rigorous, independent testing on the tank wall. Typically, we supply samples from our facility, or you can supply a sample from a tank you already have at your site. In either case, the sample is sent to the third-party testing facility and the test results are delivered to you.

ikt test centre plastics three point bending test

Let’s look at two of the most common tests that are performed to determine long-term structural integrity.

Polymer Chemical Resistance Tests

Polymer chemical resistance tests ensure that the corrosive acid, base or oxidizer you’re storing won’t interact with the polymer tank wall which might result in premature tank failure or malfunction. A sample of our crosslinked polyethylene is tested across several properties that could be affected, including mechanical strength, chemical deterioration, and material swelling.

Chemical resistance testing helps determine if your crosslinked polyethylene tank will perform reliably throughout its service life, or if there are weaknesses that need to be corrected.Download tank buying guide

Simulated Stress Testing

The ASTM D543 evaluates plastic materials for resistance to harsh chemicals. Chemical reagents can include cleaning agents, acids, bases, oxidizers or anything else that the test material may come into contact with. ASTM D543 simulates the tank material’s performance and the environment the tank will be used in. The test accommodates changes in weight, dimensions, appearance and strength properties. Provisions are made for various exposure times, strain conditions and elevated temperatures.

Before the test, samples of the tank wall are weighed and measured. The samples are then placed in contact with the chemical reagent to simulate the real-world stress on the tank. After testing, the specimens are removed and re-evaluated for changes in weight, appearance and strength properties.

If you are purchasing a new tank from Poly Processing, we’ll send a sample from a tank that matches your tank specifications or pull a sample from the tank we’re manufacturing for you. If you need to test a Poly tank that’s already in the field, we can give you guidance on how to take a sample from the tank and send it to the third-party lab.

Reliable Tank Performance

Poly Processing understands how important it is to have peace of mind about your polyethylene chemical tanks. You can count on our engineering team to work with you until you’re confident that your tank will meet or exceed your performance expectations. Our track record under the harshest chemicals is proof of that commitment.

Ready to design your chemical storage tank? Get started now!

Topics: Value Added