Maintaining ambient temperature friendly to both applicators and protective coatings products is of paramount consideration for facility managers conducting their tank painting projects in winter. To maintain ambient temperatures, a useful reference is the document manual from the American Water Works Association (AWWA). The AWWA manual provides useful guidelines on working with steel storage tanks during cold and winter weather.

One very helpful information in the manual is the heat loss chart, wherein the relationship between the storage tank’s interior and exterior temperatures are explained, and the rate of heat dissipation when the given interior and exterior temperature levels are encountered.

Since heat is critical in storage tank protective coatings projects, heat loss prevention is consequently very important. The solution to losing critical heat during protective coatings applications is to setup a high-performing insulating system for the storage tank. Despite the insulating capabilities of the tank that comes from its thick walls, and whatever protective coatings or linings are already in place, more insulation maybe needed for the project, such as thermal blankets, a heat containment system, or a forceful heat infusion to the tank to compensate for heat loss. The latter often requires fuel and adds to heating costs, but if there is budget for it, it can greatly help in achieving ambient temperature.

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