How Do You Know If Your Chemical Storage Tank Is Compatible?

When 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 tank 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 safety and longevity is our top priority. We partner with you throughout the design and manufacturing process to ensure that your crosslinked polyethylene chemical tank will meet the demands of your specific application for years. Our technical team asks you key questions about every factor that could have an impact on the life and performance of the XLPE tank—and it starts with chemical compatibility.

Poly Processing Company measures tanks we manufacture to ensure that they pass the testing protocols in the ASTM D-1998 standard set up by the American Society for Testing and Materials. In rare cases as needed, we leverage relationships with third-party labs to perform rigorous, independent testing on the tank wall. Typically, we supply XLPE 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.

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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 the crosslinked polyethylene that we produce our tanks with will perform reliably throughout its service life.

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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.

Reliable Tank Performance

Poly Processing understands how important it is to have peace of mind about your crosslinked polyethylene chemical tanks. You can count on our technical team to work with you until you’re confident that your XLPE poly 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!

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