Cone Bottom Tanks
Cone bottom tanks refer to plastic tanks that feature a bottom that is conical or angled and comes to a point. This distinct feature has a practical function. For applications that require every ounce of liquid to be drained from a tank, tanks with a conical bottom ensure thorough drainage. Cone bottom tanks are available with varying degrees of slope. The standard slope is 90º, but they are also available in 30º, 45º, and 60º. Because of its sloping bottom, cone bottom tanks cannot stand upright on their own. Therefore, stands are available to support the tanks. Various stands are available depending on the weight and size of the tank. Tanks that are heavier and larger in size are supported by stands made from stainless steel or carbon steel piping. Stands made from fiberglass or plastic are better suited for smaller, lighter tanks.
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Applications of Cone Bottom Tanks
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. 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. 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. Although the bottoms of these tanks are all cone-shaped, they can feature different shapes of tops. These shapes include a flanged rim, closed flat top, closed dome, and open top with a 90-degree angle.
Because of the resilience of these materials, cone bottom tanks can function in both outdoor and indoor settings and are used for a wide range of industries. These industries include wastewater, industrial manufacturing, chemical processing, agriculture, and automotive. Applications for cone bottom tanks within these industries include biodiesel and fuel storage, wine fermentation, and water storage. Industries that have no tolerance for contamination, such as medical and food processing, use cone bottom tanks that are specifically approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to carry out processes such as blending, reverse osmosis, buffer mixing, similar liquids, and hemodialysis.
Grades of Cone Bottom Tanks
Like all plastic tanks, cone bottom tanks are available in different grades. The three primary grades of cone bottom tanks are as follows:
- Industrial Grade
- These types of tanks are used for containing highly aggressive caustics and acids and for applications at high altitudes. Therefore, it is essential that they are manufactured from heavy duty and corrosion-resistant materials and that they feature walls that are thicker than those of a typical tank.
- Commercial Grade
- These tanks are built to handle materials that are significantly less aggressive. Because of this, the requirements of fabricating these tanks are much less strict, such as the desired material of the tank or the thickness of the walls. The food processing industry often uses commercial grade tanks.
- Economy Grade
- Out of the three grades, these tanks are the smallest and the lightest in weight. They are designed to store and process substances such as potable water, highly aqueous solutions, and agricultural chemicals.
Cone Bottom Tank Design
Cone bottom tanks are measured in gallons, and they can be built to hold anywhere between 15 to 13,000 gallons. They are typically fabricated out of plastic materials that are durable and strong, such as polyethylene or polypropylene. The most common polyethylene types used are high density polyethylene (HDPE) and low density polyethylene (LDPE).
In addition to plastic, cone bottom tanks can be made from metal and fiberglass. The most common metal that is used to make cone bottom tanks is stainless steel due to its sanitary properties and resistance to elements such as corrosion and rust. Fiberglass has its own set of benefits. It is strong, low-cost, and highly versatile. At first glance, both fiberglass and stainless steel cone bottom tanks may appear just as resilient as those made of plastic, if not more. However, plastic has the most advantageous properties out of the three materials. Unlike stainless steel and fiberglass, plastic is lighter in weight, thus making the tank easier to move and set up. Plastic cone bottom tanks also have thicker side walls, and are the most flexible. On average, the walls of the tanks are half an inch thicker than fiberglass. It may seem insignificant, but this small fraction makes a big difference. Thicker walls allow for plastic cone bottom tanks to absorb greater impacts without becoming damaged. Although stainless steel is resistant to rust, it is not impervious. Stainless steel tanks can feature fittings added via the welding process, not all of which are cleaned and treated after completion. Therefore, the welds may be subject to rusting, which will affect the lifespan of the tank. Fiberglass tanks are not immune to corrosion and will require periodic inspection. However, poly tanks are resistant to all of these harmful elements and eliminate the need for labor intensive inspection. The manufacturing process of metal and fiberglass tanks involves welds and seams, respectively, which may make the tank prone to leakage. The manufacturing of poly tanks is seamless, thus eliminating this risk.
Overall, plastic is the most reliable material for cone bottom tanks. A knowledgeable manufacturer will ensure that you find the type of cone bottom tank suitable for your applications.