Storage tank installation, repair and maintenance are some of the most high-profile activities in facility projects, primarily because of the danger of tank failure should sub-standard methods and technology be used. Structural flaws can lead to leakage that threaten the environment and even put human lives at risk. Tank failures can bring millions of dollars in direct and indirect costs, and even lead to civil and criminal penalties to facility owners for possible non-compliance with tank protection regulations.
To protect tanks and maintain their structural integrity, tank lining projects should be implemented for remedial and maintenance reasons, considering several important success factors below:
1. Hire qualified tank lining contractors
Entrust tank lining projects to experienced and certified painting contractors, preferably with industry-recognized licenses and certifications, to ensure the proper design and implementation of the project.
2. Formulate an optimal project plan
Design the best strategy for the tank lining project, taking many factors into consideration, from tank specifications, materials to be used, and tank lining procedure, among others.
3. Conduct accurate inspections
Exterior and interior tank inspection should be conducted by qualified third-party and in-project inspectors to determine its structural reliability at all stages of the tank lining project, following industry guidelines for safety compliance.
4. Maintain proper documentation
Keep an accurate and updated documentation of all details of work conducted on the tank, including inspection and test results, to obtain a comprehensive view of the tank’s structural wellness and the interventions done to prevent possible tank failure.
5. Determine tank specifications
Gather relevant details about the tank, such as the material it is made of, its purpose, content, location, and size. The data will determine what processes, materials and equipments to use in lining the tank.
6. Utilize the proper equipments and materials
The materials and equipments to be used in the tank lining project depend greatly on the tank specifications and conditions. From food application purposes to chemical containment, different materials can be used for tank lining, ranging from epoxy resins to elastomeric coatings.
7. Ensure proper site and surface preparation
Painting contractors must ensure that the site and the tankâ€™s surface are primed in readiness for the tank lining activity. For site preparation, the contractor may need to place barriers and reroute traffic away from the activity to ensure safety. Surface preparation often involves careful cleaning of the tank surface through abrasive blasting to achieve proper adhesion of the coating material.
8. Implement the correct tank lining process
Skilled painting contractors, plus the appropriate materials and methodology will obtain the best results in tank lining projects. Evenly-applied coating layers that comply with manufacturing instructions and adhere to tank specifications will result to a failure-free tank lining.
9. Establish quality control and assurance systems
An effective system for quality control and assurance should be setup as a means to measure the work quality, as well as interpret quality tests to assure that the project is achieving its goals and objectives at every milestone.
10. Implement a post-project monitoring plan
Essential to the structural integrity of the tank is the continuous monitoring long after project completion. If possible, monitoring equipments should be installed to monitor the tank from there on. A monitoring and response plan should be created as a future guarantee, all the time complying with protection standards and safety requirements.