A key factor in protecting steel potable water storage tanks is choosing the right protective coating.

With so many products available and so many conditions to be considered, the wrong choice could increase the expense of tank maintenance and repairs as well as shorten the life expectancy of these costly containers.

Of the popular 100% solids liner coatings used by many tank maintenance services, continue on to see the difference between epoxies and urethanes as well as why 100% solids elastomeric polyurethane products are an optimal choice.

What Are 100% Solids Steel Coatings?

The simplest definition of a 100% solids steel water storage tank coating is that it is just as thick when it dries (dry film thickness or DFT) as when it’s applied (wet film thickness or WFT).

Many products apply wet at a certain thickness, then dry to a thinner thickness which equates to a thinner coating which usually requires that tank services apply more than one coating to provide adequate protection.

Those that dry to 100% thickness only require one coating and cost less in terms of tank maintenance as a result.

Because liner coating thickness is critical for gauging how effective the coating will be, how long it can be expected to last, and other concerns like shrinkage and peeling, coatings that dry to 100% DFT are preferred.

Epoxy and Urethane - Two Types of 100% Solids

In terms of 100% solids liner coatings for steel water storage tanks, the two preferred formulas are epoxy and urethane coatings.

Both products contain no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which is the main reason why neither formula experiences loss of thickness as they dry.

They both dry in only a few hours so there is less downtime and both can be mixed with fibers to add additional stability to the paint coating.

Additionally, when correctly applied by water tank services to a properly prepped surface, both will adhere better and resist peeling like multiple layers of coating can peel over time.

100% Solids Elastomeric Polyurethane Coatings

Although 100% solids epoxy tank liner coatings seem to be the more popular of the two formulas used by water tank maintenance services, many companies now recommend elastomeric polyurethane liner coatings as the preferred option.

In comparison to epoxy liners, elastomeric polyurethane liners withstand expansion and contraction better due to their preferred qualities that include:

  • An ability to elongate up to 4%.
  • Have enough give to be resistant to abrasions caused by ice formation in the tank.
  • Able to bond to blasted steel better than epoxies.
  • Can create a thicker single layer.
  • Easier to apply due to lower viscosity.

Though 100% solids elastomeric polymer water storage tank liners may cost more initially, this formula is more cost-effective in terms of protection provided, maintenance and repair costs, and overall longevity of the entire tank.

Peak Efficiency From 100%% Solids Steel Water Tank Liner Coatings

Water tank maintenance is costly; however, it is nowhere near as costly as replacing the entire tank, a fact that tank owners should consider.

Dependable and efficient liner coatings that water tank services can apply are 100% solids epoxy or elastomeric polyurethane products that ;create thicker, more durable, and less problematic liners than other products.

When considering the two choices listed above, the more expensive elastomeric polymers do offer optimal protection for the money.

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