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The Synergies of Single-Sourcing Tanks and Vessels, Complete with Linings

The use of corrosion-resistant lined storage tanks, process tanks and vessels has continued to expand in the manufacturing sector.  This includes the power generation, steel, corn processing, chemical processing water filtration and metal finishing industries.

For many of them, the purchase and repair of these tanks is a time-consuming process that often requires planning, coordination, added transportation, and scheduling as well as quality issues. Basically, these issues stem from one primary reason: they are having their tanks fabricated and linings applied by two different suppliers.

Although this scenario is common enough in the industry, companies that source custom fabricated, corrosion resistant lined tanks from a single source can save on the purchase price and speed delivery, while assuring that their tanks and liners are designed and built to maintain integrity.

To be sure, the fabrication of tanks or other vessels and the subsequent application of linings are unique specialties, which is why manufacturers typically contract with two separate suppliers.

For tanks that are constructed at the plant (rather than in the field), fabrication entails sophisticated processes and equipment plus the availability of metals containing specific alloys. Fabrication facilities must include extensive lifting capabilities and equipment such as heavy-duty break presses, plate rolls, automated submerged-arc welding, and CNC plasma burning machines.

The formulation and application of coatings for tank linings is also a highly sophisticated business that involves materials such as rubber linings, epoxies, vinyl esters, polyesters, alkyds and specialty coatings. In some cases composite fiberglass lining systems are required applying a fiberglass reinforced resin base coat combined with an abrasion resistant top coat. The application of linings such as rubber membranes to contain highly corrosive acids may require the use of high pressure  steam vulcanizers  in order to cure the rubber lining.

Plus, surface preparation work such as sandblasting, in conjunction with spark testing is required to ensure there are no pinholes or other breaches in the membrane where chemicals could undermine the lining and eventually cause a failure.

Source – Coatings World

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