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Plastic Molded Tanks – What Kind Of Life Expectancy Do They Have?
General roll polyethylene tank sizes:
There are many sizes available for single vertical tanks, from 5 gallons to 15,000 gallons, as well as hundreds of sizes for horizontal, rectangular and conical configurations. There are generally two styles of double wall storage systems with sizes ranging from 15 to 10,500 gallons.
Polyethylene tanks are excellent for applications that store a variety of liquids up to 120 degrees F. Polyethylene tanks can handle temperatures below zero, but temperatures above 120 F are the walls of the tank will begin to soften and they will swell. Prolonged exposure to heat over a long period of time can cause seizures. Tanks with fiber reinforced walls can withstand higher temperatures.
Polyethylene tanks are also known as – Poly Tanks | Plastic tanks | PE Tanks
The life of the plastic tank:
There is no proven way to determine the lifespan of a polyethylene tank. There are many changes that can affect the tank such as:
- Are there chemicals mixed in the tank?
- Are the chemicals reacting or mixing in the tank?
- What is the temperature of the chemical?
- What is the chemical weight? Some chemicals are more aggressive to the tank than others, such as sodium hypochlorite and some surfactants.
- How many fittings are installed in the tank and how many devices?
- What other features or accessories are attached to the tank wall and are they properly supported?
- Are there any mechanical disturbances in the tank?
- Are there external loads or mechanical vibrations in the tank or nozzle?
- Is the tank used for a short time in one place and then moved frequently? The more often the tank is moved, the more physical stress it takes to lift, attach and tie to the truck, etc.
- Is the tank used indoors or outdoors?
- If the tank is abroad, in what part of the country is it located? Tanks used outdoors in Arizona or Florida are exposed to more intense sunlight than in Minnesota for example. Although the polyethylene resin used in the design of chemical storage tanks has an Ultra-Violet inhibitor, UV rays will have a negative effect on the life of the polyethylene tank.
- Are the tanks used for bulk storage or transportation? Each of these factors will affect the life of the polyethylene tank.
Plastic rolling stock has been on the market for almost 40 years. So we got a good overall view of the average life of a rotationally manufactured polyethylene tank. This is only a general observation on average, due to many unknown factors unique to each application as described above. Many applications are very “tank friendly” and therefore tanks have a long service life. Other applications are particularly demanding and tanks have a very short life as a result. We have seen tanks fail in less than two years and others more than 20 years.
Although we cannot guarantee the longevity of polyethylene tanks, we know from experience that plastic storage tanks will generally last 10 to 20 years, depending on the type of chemicals contained. tank and tank conditions. Their environment. There are exceptions to this, such as 12-1/2% sodium hypochlorite, which often causes the tank to age prematurely after only 5 to 7 years. This happens to all HD Linear Polyethylene Tanks, regardless of manufacturer (it happens more quickly in cross-linked polyethylene tanks) due to the chemical nature of sodium hypochlorite. Since each application has its own requirements, it is not possible to make general statements about how long you can expect a tank to last in a particular application, unless we know the specifics of that particular application. However, the best one can reasonably offer is a general expectation, based on the available information. There was a time when tanks were purchased for a specific chemical of a specified concentration and later the concentration was increased or the tank was reconditioned for other chemical conditions and services. In these cases, of course, we cannot predict how these changes will affect the life of the tank.
General Tank Warranty:
There is a standard warranty on the tank if it is used in approved applications. This type of warranty is 3 years for standard tanks and 5 years for heavy tanks. The warranty covers the repair or replacement of the tank that failed due to defective materials and workmanship. Most tanks that fail due to poor production will do so within a few months of the vehicle being installed. If the tank lives beyond the warranty period, it can last 10-15 years or more.
If a tank is several years old, how do you determine if it is still serviceable?
If the plastic tank is starting to show its age, you will see fine fissures or hairline cracks called crazing. Look for rust on the top of the vertical tank in the most exposed areas of the sun or around the nozzles on the tank wall, especially where there are mechanical connections from the pipes and the valve. The top of the transport tank, which is left to sit outside of the year, is also a good place to look. These fine cracks will become harder and more visible over time and become stress cracks. Shining a light inside the lamp holder can help with visual inspection, as it will be easier to see any cracks where the light source is located inside. The longevity of a good tank will be evident. A tank that is beyond its lifespan will fatigue when hit and may crack as a result. It is better to check regularly and in advance to make sure that you do not lose valuable chemicals and cleaning costs from an untested tank that has failed. Regular inspections (at least annually) should be a regular part of your company’s safety and maintenance program. If a tank has a leak mark or is determined to be unsafe, it is best to replace it.
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