What Is The Average Weight For A 5 Year Old Plastic Molded Tanks – What Kind Of Life Expectancy Do They Have?

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Plastic Molded Tanks – What Kind Of Life Expectancy Do They Have?

General rotational molded polyethylene tank sizes:

There are many sizes available for vertical single-wall tanks, ranging from 5 gallons to 15,000 gallons, as well as hundreds of sizes for horizontal, rectangular and conical bottom configurations. There are generally two styles of double wall containment systems ranging in size from 15 to 10,500 gallons.

Polyethylene tanks are excellent for storage applications of a very wide variety of liquids up to 120 degrees F. Polyethylene tanks can handle temperatures below freezing, but temperatures above 120 F will begin to soften the tank walls and expand. Long-term exposure to high temperatures can lead to stress cracking. Tanks with fiberglass reinforced walls can handle higher temperatures.

Polyethylene tanks are also known as – Poly Tanks | Plastic tanks | PE tanks

Life expectancy of plastic tanks:

There is no proven way to determine the life of a polyethylene tank. Many variables can have an effect on the tank such as:

  • Are there mixed chemicals in the tank?
  • Are chemicals reacting or mixing in the tank?
  • What is the temperature of the chemical?
  • What is the weight of the chemical? Some chemicals are more aggressive in the tank than others, such as sodium hypochlorite and some surfactants.
  • How many process components are installed in the tank and how large are the components?
  • What other features or accessories are attached to the tank walls and properly supported?
  • Is there mechanical agitation in the tank?
  • Is there external loading or mechanical vibration on the tank or nozzles?
  • Is the tank used temporarily in one location and then moved frequently? The more often a tank is moved, the more physical stress it is exposed to from lifting, loading and strapping to a truck, etc. and this physical stress can also affect the integrity of the tank.
  • Is the tank used indoors or outdoors?
  • If the tank is outdoors, 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 resins used in the molding of chemical storage tanks have UV inhibitors, UV rays will have a detrimental effect on the life of any polyethylene tank.
  • Is the tank used strictly for stationary storage or for transport? Each of these factors will have an effect on the life of the polyethylene tank.

Rotational molded plastic tanks have been on the market for almost 40 years. So we got a good general idea of ​​what the average life of a rotationally molded polyethylene tank will be. This is just an overall average observation due to many unknown factors unique to each application as described above. Many applications are very “tank friendly” and therefore tanks have unusually long lifetimes. Other applications are particularly demanding and as a result the tanks have a very short lifespan. We’ve seen tanks fail in less than two years, and we’ve seen another 20-plus years.

While no guarantee can be given as to how long a polyethylene tank will actually last, we know from experience that the average plastic storage tank will last anywhere from 10 to 20 years, depending on the type of chemicals contained in the tank and the conditions present. exceptions to this, such as 12-1/2% sodium hypochlorite, which generally causes tanks to age prematurely after only 5 to 7 years. This happens in all linear HD 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 unique conditions, it is impossible to make a general statement about how long you can expect a given tank to last in a given application unless we know all the specifics of that application. Even then, the best one can reasonably offer is a general expectation, based on available information. There have been cases where a tank was purchased for a particular chemical at a specified concentration and later, the concentration was increased or the tank was redeveloped for a completely different chemical and operating condition. In these cases, we obviously cannot predict what effects these changes may have on the life of the tank.

General Tank Warranties:

There are standard warranties on tanks if used in approved applications. This type of warranty is 3 years for normal weight tanks and 5 years for heavy duty tanks. The warranty covers the repair or replacement of a tank that fails due to defects in materials and workmanship. Most tanks that fail due to a manufacturing defect will do so within the first few months after the tank is placed in service. If the tank survives beyond the warranty period, it will likely last for 10-15 years or more.

If a tank is several years old, how do you determine if it is still safe to use?

If a plastic tank is starting to show its age, you will be able to see fine cracks or hairline cracks referred to as crazing. Look for craziness in the canopy of a vertical tank in the area where sunlight is most intense or around nozzles on the side wall of the tank, especially where mechanical loading from pipe and valves is connected. The top of a transfer tank, which is allowed to stay outside year-round, is also a good place to see. These fine cracks will become more pronounced and visible as time passes and become stress cracks. Shining a light inside the tank can be helpful in visual examinations because any stress cracks will be easier to spot with the internal light source in place. The durability of a good tank will be obvious. A tank past its life expectancy will sound dull when tapped and could crack as a result. It is best to check regularly and early to be safe against the loss of valuable chemicals and cleanup costs from an unchecked tank that fails. Regular (at least annual) documented tank inspections should be a regular part of the facility’s safety and maintenance program. When a tank shows signs of wear or is otherwise deemed unsafe, it is best to replace it.

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