Corrosion is a costly problem that affects fuel storage tanks, shortening their lives and rendering them unsafe if not carefully managed.
Considering the high price of these tanks, it is essential that tank owners retain the services of a fuel storage tank service to provide all necessary maintenance to prevent corrosion before it takes over.
Fortunately, through decades of improvements in corrosion engineering, there are a number of options for either preventing or slowing the inevitable corroding process that every fuel tank faces as it ages.
1. Corrosion-Resistant Coatings
The most common corrosion prevention solution used to protect fuel storage tanks are corrosion-resistant coatings that protect the interiors and exteriors of these vessels.
Designed by corrosion engineers, there are different coatings available to protect a variety of metals from the decay caused by oxygenation, exposure to the chemicals held within them, or a combination of both.
When correctly applied, corrosion-resistant coatings keep the metal sealed so it cannot undergo a chemical reaction with whatever it is in contact with.
2. Corrosion-Resistant Tank Materials
Another option for preventing destructive corrosion as well as reducing the need for fuel storage tank services like reapplying coatings is choosing a tank material that will not corrode.
Depending on the liquid being stored, corrosion-resistant materials like stainless steel, fiberglass, polyethylene (PE), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) can be used to store water, fuels, and other chemicals safely without the worry of corrosion.
3. Corrosion Inhibitors
In addition to coatings, fuel storage tanks can also be protected with corrosion inhibitors which perform in a different way than simply covering up the tank metal.
Inhibitors, which are also developed by corrosion engineers, create a chemical reaction that alters the metal’s reactiveness with oxygen and water as well as other agents.
They are either applied to the interior of the tank like a coating or poured into the stored liquid and react in a way that removes oxygen from the liquid so it cannot affect the tank metal and cause decomposition.
4. Inspections and Maintenance
Beyond the three solutions mentioned above, the primary way to prevent corrosion in fuel tanks is regular inspection and maintenance.
Every tank begins new, with the appropriate corrosion-resistant coating or inhibitor or it is chosen for its non-reactive material.
Without regular, thorough inspections by a qualified fuel storage tank service being done to detect the appearance of corrosion, or without regular maintenance and cleaning, however, the initial investment in those solutions will eventually go to waste.
Coatings need reapplication over time and when decay begins, it must be noticed and then repaired to prevent the damage from worsening.
Preventing Fuel Tank Corrosion Is An Ongoing Effort
By its very physical nature, metal corrodes whenever it comes in contact with oxygen, which is everywhere including in the various fuels and fluids stored inside large storage tanks.
Preventing corrosion is an ongoing effort that tank owners must be prepared to do if they wish to keep tanks safe and serviceable for as long as possible.
Beginning with the right coatings and inhibitors created through corrosion engineering and then continuing with regular inspections, cleaning, and other maintenance, it is possible to slow the decay process.
A knowledgeable fuel storage tank service experienced with different coatings and other measures to prevent corrosion is a key player in achieving this!