Stopping the Damage to a Chemical Storage Tank

restored steel tank

Similarities aside, iron and steel are two very different materials. Iron is the most abundant of all metals and is found throughout the universe, including the sun. Steel, on the other hand, is an alloy of iron and carbon. Both are two very common materials used in construction and manufacturing.

Both can be damaged by corrosion

Corrosion of steel is not much of a concern when it is protected by the proper finish coating. But an unsuitable coating or the application of the coating, environmental conditions, or chemical or physical damage to the coating, even the age of the coating, can cause it to fail.

Protective coating failure

Take these 25 X 12 ft. steel construction chemical storage tanks for example. The protective coating of the steel exhibited a full failure. Our NACE 2 certified coatings inspector recommended remediating the issue before further damage to the steel occurred.

Blackwell’s, Inc. associates were tasked with removing the damaged exterior coating and replacing it with a chemical and UV resistant resinous coating system.

Blackwell’s, Inc. took these steps:

  • A containment area was set up to ensure containment of any material waste created during the blasting process.
  • An 80 ft. aerial boom lift was used so our aerial lift and fall protection trained/certified associates were able to reach the elevated surfaces of the tanks
  • An EQ2 dustless vapor blaster was used to remove the failed coating and prepared the steel substrate to SSPC-SP6 level for a new resinous coating system
  • Applied a new a chemical and UV resistant resinous coating system per the manufacturer’s specifications.

“You missed a spot”

A bane of any resinous coating specialist is to complete a job and then hear the words, “You missed a spot!” So, to ensure the absence of “holidays”, or where cracks and pen holes in the surface remains uncoated, the base coat of epoxy was tinted grey while the two topcoats of chemical and UV resistant urethane were tinted white. The resinous coatings were inspected after each coat was applied. If grey showed through, then it was coated again.

By the way, the term “holiday”, as it’s used here, is a nautical term from the 1700s. The early use of “holiday” in the “you missed a spot” sense, was in reference to crew members sealing the decks and hull of a wooden ship with tar or pitch. It wasn’t a pleasant job!

In their zeal to get the job over and done with, if a ship’s crew member missed a spot, he was accused of taking a “holiday”.

corrosion of storage tank
Environmental corrosion of steel storage tank
restored steel tank
Chemical and UV resistant coating after remediation

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