Cone bottom tanks are plastic tanks that have a cone bottom, meaning that it is angled to come to a point. The primary application of cone bottom tanks is for applications that require the complete drainage of the materials or liquids inside. Because the bottom comes to a point, cone bottom tanks require some sort of stand in order to stay upright. They function both indoors and outside, are measured in gallons and have different degrees of slope, the standard of which is 90º, although 30º, 45º and 60º are available.
Usually white in color, cone bottom tanks are often fabricated out of strong, durable plastic materials such as polypropylene or polyethylene, depending on what they are holding. Specific types of polyethylene that are often used include high density polyethylene (HDPE) and low density polyethylene (LDPE). In addition, cone bottom tanks can hold anywhere from 15 to 13,000 gallons and some of their more common applications include water storage, wine fermentation, biodiesel and fuel holding for industries such as agriculture, automotive, chemical processing, industrial manufacturing and wastewater. Also, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved cone bottom tanks are commonly utilized for food processing and medical applications such as hemodialysis, the decantation of similar liquids, buffer mixing, reverse osmosis and blending.
Like all types of plastic tanks, cone bottom tanks are available in a number of different grades. The three primary grades for this type of plastic tank are often categorized as: industrial, commercial and economy. For cone bottom tanks that are industrial grade, it is important that they are fabricated from heavy-duty, corrosion-resistant plastic materials because they are often used for handling the most aggressive acids and caustics. In addition, the walls of the tank must be fabricated to be thicker than an average tank. Commercial grade cone bottom tanks, on the other hand, are designed for less aggressive materials and chemicals, and are often most used for food processing applications. As a result, commercial grade tanks do not require such stringent standards when it comes to materials, or as thick of walls in the tank. Lastly, economy grade cone bottom tanks are the lightest in weight, and are often much smaller than the other two grades of cone bottom tanks. The stands used for cone bottom tanks vary according to the grade as well as the size and weight of the cone bottom tank. For instance, larger tanks rest on carbon steel or stainless steel piping stands, while lighter and smaller tanks use fiberglass or plastic stands. Cone bottom tanks also have different types of tops, including closed dome, closed flat top, open top with a 90º angle and flanged rim.