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Chemical Storage Tanks: Key Considerations & Pitfalls

Chemical Storage Tanks play a vital role in thousands of UK operations; containing chemicals used in a wide variety of production processes. Any fault or failure could lead to damaging loss of containment and safety hazards which is why any storage tank you chose should be manufactured and maintained to the correct Chemical Storage Tank Standards.

Before starting any project involving purchasing chemical resistant tanks, we’ve listed some key considerations below as well as guidance on pitfalls to avoid.

  • Chemical tank containment issues
    Containment issues can be caused by poor compatibility between the chemical contents and the tank material, leading to cracks, leaks, blockages, and vapour issues. Chemical storage tanks and systems will be designed and manufactured to be compatible with a specific chemical. Whilst repurposing existing or purchasing second hand equipment may be a cheaper option, these routes can lead to costly compatibility and containment issues in the future.
  • Weak foundations
    Chemical storage tanks, even those manufactured in thermoplastic (which is lighter than carbon and stainless steel) are heavy pieces of plant. Every tank also becomes considerably heavier when filled with liquid. So, it is vital that this ‘filled weight’ is correctly calculated and the foundations for the chemical storage tank are built to give appropriate support.
  • Accessibility challenges
    Storage tanks need to provide access for inspection, maintenance and safety, so prior to the installation of a plastic chemical storage tank thorough planning is needed. Nearby pipework, bunds and other tanks all need to be considered to ensure future costly modifications are avoided.
  • Health and safety management
    Safety management is vital when it comes to handling chemicals. Without appropriate safety provisions, signage and PPE you risk the safety of anyone working around your chemical resistant tanks, so plan for what you need right at the start.

Here’s how to avoid issues with plastic chemical storage tanks:

  • Only install equipment fit for purpose
    Ensure the chemical storage tanks you use are suitable for your application in order to prevent any containment If you’re working with a reputable chemical tank manufacturer, as a start point they will need to know the exact specifications of the liquid to be stored – so if your system is for sulphuric acid storage, for example, you need a chemical resistant tank designed for sulphuric acid storage to the correct concentration. This includes any pipework, valves, and pumps, too!
  • Ensure proper site planning, preparation, and installation
    To help the tank remain secure for its entire lifecycle, make sure you have a suitable foundation capable of supporting the filled weight of the chemical resistant tank. Ensure the site has been thoroughly evaluated by an expert installer prior to installation and make sure you have all the appropriate safety provisions.
  • Conduct regular inspections and maintenance
    Manufacturers will adhere to the highest chemical storage tank standards, but maintenance of the tanks is equally important in avoiding future issues. This is why you should always schedule routine chemical tank inspections to ensure your plastic chemical resistant tank is fully operational and to help identify any issues that will disrupt production processes or shorten the tank’s lifespan.
  • Work with a well-respected chemical resistant tank solutions provider
    All of the major issues you may experience with plastic chemical tanks can be avoided by enlisting the help of an industry leading chemical storage provider. One with the experience to set you up with a chemical storage solution that delivers a high level of performance throughout its lifetime. They can also assist with routine inspections and maintenance for your chemical tanks to ensure they continue to be fully operational, giving the maximum return for your investment.

Chem Resist are a market-leading provider of plastic chemical storage tanks, specialising in the use of thermoplastics – designing, fabricating, and installing bespoke chemical storage and transfer systems for customers. We have decades of experience with chemical tank containment challenges involving aggressive and corrosive liquids and manufacture to the highest chemical storage tank standards.

You can learn more about Chem Resist, how we design and manufacture chemical resistant tanks, and our specialism in thermoplastics across almost 60 years. If you have a chemical storage and transfer application you’d like to discuss, please contact our friendly team who are on hand to help you find a solution.

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