There are three aspects of accessibility that need to be considered when designing a storage tank and determining where it will be located:
- Building access
Storage Tank Maintenance & Repair
What kind of access do you need to manage the tank itself? Some storage tanks are cleaned out regularly and include manways in the top or side. All plastic tanks, especially those that house particularly aggressive chemicals, should undergo a visual inspection at least once a month. In order to do this, personnel will need to be able to walk around the tank in order to perform a visual inspection.
Signs that can be detected during the visual inspection include the following:
- Crack – like defects
- Leaning/loss of verticality
- Local wetting of external surfaces
- Erosion/corrosion of supporting structures and bases.
In plastic rotationally molded tanks, most likely these stresses would be located around the fittings and the bottom of the tank where the tank wall meets the tank floor. When cracks occur in plastic tanks, the chemical barrier in that area is weakened. While crosslinked rotationally molded tanks cannot be fixed onsite, Houston PolyTank’s exclusive extrusion-wound tanks can.
When you are determining the positioning of your tank, make sure to account for regularly-scheduled maintenance and inspections that may need to be done on your tank.
Storage Tanks And Building Access
Often customers come to us for a storage tank that will be housed in the new facility, and many times, those tanks are of considerable size. Our customers are delighted that we can build extremely large tanks, and they make their plans accordingly. The engineers design the facility around their overall process needs, taking into consideration overall safety precautions and industry best practices. In the development and construction of a facility, it is not uncommon for the tank to be put into place by a crane before the entire structure is even completed. This makes logical sense, as the most efficient way to construct the manufacturing facility is to build it up around a chemical tank or series of storage tanks. Any company in this situation needs to make sure there is a way to replace the tank in the structure.
One of the major advantages of Houston PolyTank over the rotationally molded tank, is the unique rigid construction of the tanks. The sidewall will not bulge (or develop? create? have? elephant feet) while being emptied and filled. This solves the issues of cracks because the sidewall will not bulge or move, especially, in plastic tanks that are filled and emptied frequently.
Who has access to the tank? Personnel access to the tanks is an important consideration, particularly in today’s global environment. Chemical tanks in particular can be explosive and harmful, and any loss of integrity in the tank can close a factory or an entire area. Terrorism seems to be on the rise, so safety and security concerns need to be addressed at the start of such an engineering project.
Overall accessibility of storage tank facilities is of critical importance—from physical access around the tank for ongoing maintenance and regular inspections, to having a pre-planned arrangement for repair and replacement of any tank and finally ensuring that overall safety and security measures are all attended to.
If you’d like help thinking through your next liquid or chemical storage project, give us a call at (800) 852-8265.