Preparing Storage Tanks for Painting

August 18, 2010

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The key to a successful painting application is to prepare the surface to be painted carefully. To paint storage tanks requires the same careful surface preparation as any other surface.

Any coating system will fail if the paint adheres poorly on the surface to be painted. Not even the use of the best quality paints will prevent a coatings failure, when the target surface has poor adhesion properties.

What is the cause of poor adhesion? Foreign contaminants like dirt, oils, dust or water can ruin adhesion. Better surface adhesion is also achieved when the surface has a rougher profile or texture — allowing coatings to rest on the irregular surface better than when the surface is smooth.

To paint storage tanks successfully, surface preparation should be done with more care. New tanks, in particular, come with smooth surfaces initially. This smoothness or glossiness need to be removed to increase the adhesion properties of the tank’s surface. To prepare the tank, the exterior has to be blasted with sand with the use of a sand-blaster or by hand, removing the glossy surface.

Another way to remove the glossiness prior to the activity to paint storage tanks is to expose the surface to heat using a hand-held propane torch. But this method should be done very carefully, so as not to hold the flame too much in one location at the surface.

To paint storage tanks which are older, a rough surface may have been already achieved, and surface cleaning will suffice to prepare it for painting.

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