As the owner of an industrial company, you often have a lot on your plate. Not only do you have to ensure productivity and worker safety, you also have to ensure that all of your equipment operates safe and sound. Industrial tanks often hold a variety of gases and liquids that can range from wastewater to crude oils and everything in between. If a tank lacks the proper seal coating, it can have hazardous results. Fortunately, you can protect your tanks, your business, and your employees by gaining a better understanding of tank coatings and how best to apply and maintain them.
Do Not Overlook the Importance of Proper Prep Work
Prepping your tanks for a layer of coating is not as simple as surface cleaning. In 2014, it was documented that the most common reason behind tank coating failures was because of the existence of nonvisible residuals on the surface of the tank, such as soluble salts. The existence of residuals on the surface of the tank prior to the application of a lining or coating resulted in corrosion and the failure of the lining or coating.
Sandblasting is often used to clean and remove any residue that exists inside and outside of industrial tanks in order to ensure their cleanliness and proper preparation. However, the American Petroleum Institute decided to revise their practices for cleaning and maintenance to ensure that coating failures did not happen. One such adjustment that was made was to include a testing for the existence of salts on the surface of the tank.
Adopting a similar practice for your industry is highly recommended. Testing the surface of the tank after cleaning is complete to ensure the removal of residuals, such as soluble salt, can diminish the likelihood of a premature coating failure. The proper application of a tank coating ensures that you are not having to spend a ton of money later on tank repairs and it ensures the safety of your industrial crew. Therefore, proper prep work is a necessity for you and your company.
Choose the Proper Coating for Your Tanks
There are various types of coatings you can choose for your industrial tanks. For example, you can go with widely used epoxy coatings or even steel coatings. You can also choose glass coatings. In truth, you need to make sure that the coating you choose is capable of adhering to the surface of the tank and withstanding the test of time.
One coating that seems to have had excellent results thus far is glass coating. While the thought of using glass might seem like a bad idea given how fragile glass is, when applied to a steel tank, the composition of the glass changes entirely. Glass is a material that is considered resistant to corrosion, which makes it a great choice for tank coatings.
To begin with, the glass does not just coat the steel of a tank. Instead, it fuses with it, creating an entirely new composite material. The glass is fused to the steel at a temperature of 830 degrees, therefore making it a very heat resistant material, which is what you would want out of a coating. As the glass and steel cool together, it places the glass under compression, which helps to strengthen the material.
The finished product is a coated tank that is highly resistant to corrosion, heat, cracking, and other factors that might otherwise cause stress and tank failure. Unlike glass, epoxy and similar coatings do not fuse with steel. Instead, they create layer over the steel that often has a gap in between. The gap that exists between the steel and the epoxy can pave the way for corrosion, particularly if a crack forms in the steel, therefore leading liquids and gases to leak out between the tank and the layer of coating.
If you would like to learn more about the proper steps for tank preparation and the best coatings you can use for your tanks, it is best to talk with a professional. A professional from a company like RSR Industrial Coatings Inc can provide you with various options based on the type of tanks you have and what you will store inside your tanks. Make sure you adhere to the advice of the professional in order to avoid any costly tank failures as they could lead to unnecessary injury and other such hazards for your business.