Common Types of Chemical Tank Lining Systems

Common Types of Chemical Tank Lining Systemsfeatured image

Posted on August 18, 2023 by Brent Phillips

Chemical tank liners play a crucial role in ensuring the longevity and integrity of various types of tanks. Whether the vessels store, transport, or process material, tank linings are essential to protect the underlying substrate from the substance or material in storage.

Tank linings are chemical bonds that adhere to the interior surface of a tank. The primary function is to create a protective barrier between the stored material and the containment vessel. The purpose is to prevent the stored material or the vessel from becoming contaminated by means of:

  • Environmental Corrosion
  • Chemical Reaction
  • Biological Contamination

One of the primary benefits of tank linings is their ability to protect against corrosion. Tanks often come into contact with corrosive substances or environments that can lead to degradation over time. Tank linings are a barrier between the tank’s surface and the corrosive elements, extending its lifespan.

Furthermore, tank liners help prevent chemical reactions with the stored substances inside the tank. Many chemicals can react with metal surfaces or leach into them, compromising their structural integrity and contaminating the stored contents. Tank linings provide a chemically resistant barrier that prevents or slows such interactions.

Another advantage of using tank liners is their ability to sustain product quality by preventing contamination. That’s particularly important when storing food-grade material for consumption, such as food products or pharmaceuticals. A smooth and non-reactive surface provided by tank linings ensures no unwanted reactions or impurities get introduced into the stored substances.

Understanding the critical functionality of tank linings makes it easier to protect storage vessels against specific corrosion, chemical reactions, and contamination. All because tank liners contribute significantly to maintaining safety standards and preserving product integrity.

Types of Chemical Tank Lining Systems

Each protective lining has unique features and applications. In today’s blog, we’ll delve into three types of chemical tank lining systems.

  1. Epoxy Coating
  2. Polyurethane Protective Coating
  3. Vinyl Ester Coating

1. Epoxy Coatings

Epoxies are widely used for tank linings due to their excellent versatility (barring no movement), adhesion properties, and chemical exposure and abrasion resistance. These coatings provide a smooth and durable surface that can withstand harsh conditions giving it high chemical resistance.

As a tank liner, epoxy gets used on steel or concrete structures for potable water storage. The advancements in epoxy technology have made it a stable and affordable choice for many municipalities.

2. Polyurethane Protective Coating

When it comes to polyurethane coatings, the versatility of these coatings is limited only by the storage material and vessel substrate that it protects. For example, polyurethane can get used internally or externally on steel, casting, and concrete substrates. Often it’s applied for below-ground storage containers for oil and gas, or for use in oil and water separator vessels.

Polyurethane offers good flexibility with high impact resistance and excellent curing properties. Furthermore, polyurethane protects marine equipment subjected to salt water, which makes it highly tolerant against cathodic disbondment.

3. Vinyl Ester Coating

Vinyl ester coatings combine the benefits of epoxy resins with enhanced resistance to caustic agents or corrosive substances, such as acids, alkali metals, and solvents. These linings are ideal for tanks exposed to aggressive chemical attacks.

Other Tank Liner Forms

With the sheer number of protective coating systems on the market today, owners and operators need to be well-versed in all forms of tank linings available. After all, these liners play a crucial role in protecting the integrity inside a tank while preventing leaks, corrosion, and contamination.

Polypropylene Tank Liners

Polypropylene is another type of tank liner widely considered safe in above-ground drinking water storage tanks. These liners are made from a high-quality complex form of plastic, free of Bisphenol A (BPA)—commonly found in polycarbonate plastics.

Polypropylene liners provide a protective barrier between the drinking water and the tank itself, preventing any water contamination or corrosive degradation to the tank structure, which helps extend the tank’s lifespan and reduce maintenance costs.

Polyurea Tank Coatings

Polyurea is not to be confused with polyurethane coatings. Although characteristically similar in flexibility with very little porosity once cured, there are distinct differences that make polyurea noteworthy.

The compound itself cures much quicker than polyurethane, reaching a gel-like state in a matter of seconds after mixing in a catalyst. Once activated, polyurea is an excellent tank liner against chemical attacks.

Enhance Tank Performance and Longevity with Suitable Tank Linings

If you’re looking for a reliable coating contractor, contact the coating experts at Cunningham Inc. Their team possesses the product knowledge and application skills to fulfill your protective coating requirements. As a leading provider in the industry, Cunningham is a trusted name you can rely on. Contact Cunningham Inc. today to obtain a contract bid or talk with one of the coating technicians by calling (620) 848-3030.