Corrosion engineers recognize that hurricanes pose a unique danger to fuel storage tanks set up at tank farms in storm-prone areas.
Tank farms are generally located close to shipping ports, which predisposes tanks to a greater need for fuel storage tank maintenance due to the effects of extreme weather.
Keeping these tanks well protected against corrosion requires special attention to these conditions and an understanding of the dangers that fuel storage vessels at tank farms face.
How Are Fuel Storage Tank Farms Affected By Corrosion?
Fuel storage tanks located at tank farms close to shipping ports are at great risk for corrosion problems due to weather and environmental conditions.
Not only are they more likely to suffer damage from hurricanes due to their positioning closer to the ocean, but they are continuously affected by the moist salty ocean air.
Based on these two factors, corrosion engineers focus on the best ways to prevent corrosion in highly reliable ways that can withstand hurricane conditions such as high winds, flying debris, and pelting rain.
Jacket Insulation A Poor Choice for Corrosion Prevention
To protect fuel storage tanks against physical damage and corrosion due to the conditions to which they are exposed at coastal tank farms, they require some type of insulative, protective coating.
Many facilities use metal insulation jackets around their tanks, but corrosion experts find there to be a number of problems with those jackets.
- Primarily, insulation jackets installed over fuel storage tanks can be damaged and blown off by hurricane-force winds, exposing the tank to corrosion once the jacket is no longer protective.
- Secondly, performing fuel storage tank inspections of the tank exterior becomes impossible without disturbing the inner insulation under the jacket.
- Finally, inspections done on tanks that have had the jacket insulation damaged usually reveal a high level of corrosion on the exterior surface of the tank caused by moisture trapped within the insulation and jacket, which is impossible to remove.
Ultimately, while jacket insulation can prevent serious physical damage to the exterior surface of the tank, it does little to prevent corrosion.
Thermal Insulation A Prime Choice for Preventing Corrosion
A better choice for preventing exterior corrosion of fuel storage tanks in hurricane-prone locations close to the water is a thermal insulating coating.
Thermal insulating barrier coatings developed by corrosion engineers are sprayed onto the prepared exterior of metal vessels with an air sprayer, then bonded to the metal.
These slightly-pliable coatings have low thermal conductivity, making them especially suited for tank farms as they protect against high humidity, strong winds, and the most common causes of corrosion at locations in hurricane-prone locations.
The coatings cannot be blown off and remain bonded to the metal, though their efficiency can be reduced if the coating is physically damaged to the extent that the metal surface of the tank is exposed.
Repairs to the coating are easy to make and can be done without additional moisture leaking under the rest of the coating.
Thermal Insulation Coatings for Fuel Storage Tank Farms
When choosing corrosion protection for fuel storage tanks set up at tank farms close to coastal areas, it is essential to consider all of the dangers these tanks are exposed to.
Frequent hurricanes in the vicinity of these port-area facilities stress the importance of durable insulation that can withstand the elements to effectively prevent corrosion.
Corrosion engineers who specialize in these coatings highly recommend thermal insulation coatings for such conditions.
Using thermal insulation coatings applied by qualified fuel storage tank maintenance services, tank farms can achieve greatly reduced corrosion-based problems with their tanks!