Tank Coatings: The Best Defense against Corrosion

April 1, 2009

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The danger of corrosion is always present when it comes to storage tanks. Liquids of any form, be it ordinary potable water or specialized chemicals, have different requirements because of their unique effects on containment tanks. In general, most liquids have strong corrosive tendencies in the inside of storage tanks. Externally, tanks are also often exposed to environmental elements – dust, humidity, wind – that have equally adverse corrosive effects. The possibility of damage due to corrosion is one of the reasons why the choice of tank coatings is a very important consideration to make.

Tank corrosion occurs when elements like liquids and acids react chemically with the surface material of the tank, causing the breakdown in the tank’s surface property. Continuous corrosion will lead to material degradation, surface discoloration, and overall deterioration that can threaten the structural integrity of the tank.


Anti-Corrosive Tank Coatings

Storage tanks can be protected and made less vulnerable to corrosion with the use of tank coatings that can provide chemical resistance against corrosion and any abrasive damages. The right type of tank coatings applied to the surface of the tank can guarantee lesser costs in maintenance and tank repair.


Because tanks are often constructed of steel, aluminum or concrete, many tank coatings products are manufactured to cater to tanks made of these materials, both for inner lining and exterior protective painting. Manufacturers offer a variety of epoxy coating, elastomeric painting products, cold weather coatings, and even tank coatings that are specifically designed to be highly-resistant to caustic acids and chemicals.

The most common criteria in choosing the best anti-corrosive coatings product for any particular tank are the “best-fit” criteria. This means to choose tanks coatings that are specifically designed for the tank’s properties and characteristics. If the presence of any chemical is most common in a tank, then the coating products to use must ensure protection and no adverse reaction to this chemical.


Applying Tank Coatings Against Corrosion

While there are many quality tank coatings available in the market nowadays, high performance against corrosion is only achieved during actual coatings application. For factory-welded tanks, coatings that are consistently and expertly applied, dried and cured, with full adherence and strict observance of quality-control processes almost always guarantee the highest quality coatings.


For field-welded tanks, onsite coatings application should undergo a chemical process to protect from welding damages. There is a need for stricter quality control procedures and constant third-party inspections, owing to the less-controlled field environment and the effects of the weather and the elements.


Prevent Corrosion with the Help of Experts

After all relevant factors have been considered, from understanding the effects of corrosion, to choosing the anti-corrosive tank coatings product, to the importance of correct application, one other crucial factor to consider is the choice of certified manpower to implement an anti-corrosion tank coatings system.

A long history of quality work experience is always a factor in choosing the tank coatings contractor. A review of the contractor’s portfolio will yield valuable information such as the quality of coatings that the contractor often use, the coating processes they practice, their quality control procedures, and any third-party accreditation they have earned.

To prevent corrosion and other harmful effects that can lead to tank deterioration and a potentially endangering tank failure, the need for quality coatings and applications, done by experienced coatings experts, will translate to lesser longer-term costs in terms of maintenance and repair.

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