Plastic tanks, also known as poly tanks, are versatile containers used for bulk storage of a wide range of industrial substances or liquids. The tanks are available in an array of sizes and configurations. They can be vertical or horizontal, rectangular, circular or square shaped. Plastic tanks may store substances from as little as 15 gallons to as large as 20,000 gallons.
Plastic tanks are the preferred choice for many applications--both in large or small scale industrial use--because they hardly react to any liquid it contains. Most of the tanks, especially the bulk storage tanks, feature slots for tying them down, while others have centered and offset self-vented and slosh-proof lids.
Plastic tanks have many applications in various industries. Notably, some containers such as the chemical tanks are used for processing or storing highly reactive materials or substances like acids in large-scale industrial chemical applications. Poly tanks are not limited to only chemical industries. Other industries benefit from the use of these plastic tanks where stainless steel tanks or other material tanks are inapplicable. Other industrial applications include:
- Water treatment and storage
- Sewage treatment and disposal
- Liquid fertilizer storage
- Liquid feed in agricultural applications
- Reverse osmosis systems
- Car wash companies
- Waste and vegetable oil storage
- Petroleum and gas industries use gas tanks
Plastic Tanks – Assmann Corporation of America
Plastic Tanks – Assmann Corporation of America
Plastic Tanks – Assmann Corporation of America
Plastic Tanks – Assmann Corporation of America
History of Plastic Tanks
Water tanks utilized by some manufacturing industries feature translucent tank walls to allow for level viewing and indicators for sidewall gallons. The tanks are also applicable in industries or plants dealing with electroplating, parts washing, recycling among others.
Today, the plastic tank industry, through the evolvement of the storage tanks, has experienced further revolutionary change. Modern ways of rotational plastic molding were developed in in 1960’s. The process allowed manufacturers to create large hollow containers using low-density polyethylene. As improvements were made, better equipment and plastic powder were developed to speed up the process of creation of poly tanks. This caused rotational molding and plastic fabrication to grow rapidly, and the current tanks were born.
Plastic tanks are made from a UV treated high-density polyethylene, which is impact modified and FDA approved to make it safe for home applications like in water storage tanks. There are other tanks also made from plastics like polypropylene (PP), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF). Several design aspects go into the production process to produce water storage tanks, plastic fuel tanks, gas tanks, and others, all which have a wide range of capacities and capabilities.
The decision to make tanks from high-density polyethylene HDPE, which is the most popular for plastic tanks, arose perhaps because the plastic is durable and can withstand the sun for at least 25 years. Also, poly plastic doesn’t readily react with a wide variety of substances or chemicals. This makes it the popular choice for a wide range of applications.
The production process involves rotary molding or plastic fabrication. A plastic tank manufacturer creates a mold from stainless steel, like a large stainless steel canister. This canister is then loaded with plastic powder or granules, sealed and rotated over a heating source for the plastic to melt. After melting, the canister is cooled down, opened and there is a tank. The thickness or the durability of the tank depends on the amount of powder or granules placed in the canister.
Different manufacturers have varied designs, styles, and shapes of tanks with a wide assortment of colors. Majority of the plastic tanks are computer-generated for precision, uniformity, and strength. By far, the strongest engineering aspect put into a tank for strength is the corrugated design.
Some plastic tank manufacturers also offer custom plastic tanks depending on your specifications, the material, and the application. This is beneficial to those who cannot find their preferred tanks anywhere on the market. Custom plastic tanks may be made to look like a conventional tank to complement the environment correctly.
Features of Poly Tanks
High-density polyethylene (HDPE) tanks among other poly tanks are built to suit a wide range of applications, conditions, and particular standards. Some features contribute to the exceptional reputation of these tanks.
Polyethylene material complies with standards of various countries. It is an approved food-grade material, which makes it safe for use as water tanks. The material is also UV-treated for durability, and some have self-supporting features, which makes the use of other support accessories unnecessary. The corrugated and smooth designs are ideal for several applications and above-ground storage tanks for home use.
Plastic tanks are environmentally friendly, they are non-reactive, and most can be recycled. They provide a large volume for liquid gas storage or transport, water storage and treatment among other uses. In some manufacturing and industrial chemical applications, poly tanks have several fittings combined to contain acids and other highly corrosive or volatile material. Double wall tanks used in some industries ensure that no leakages occur during aggressive processes. Hazardous wastes are also stored in some of these plastic storage tanks.
Types of Plastic Tanks
Plastic tanks come in several sizes and types. Some are adaptable to a wide range of uses while others are geared towards a particular use. There are different methods of categorizing plastic tanks, however, the main category involves the type of material store inside, the kind of plastic fabrication that goes into the tank, and the design of the tank. Below are some types.
- Double Wall Tanks – They have strong linings for high-pressure applications. They provide the best protection against leakage or spillage of hazardous wastes or chemicals.
- Cone Bottom Tanks – As the name suggests, these tanks have bottoms that are angled to converge to a point, just like a cone. These tanks are necessary when there is a need for complete drainage or emptying of substances, materials or liquids inside the tank.
- Chemical Tanks – They are used for chemical processing or storage of highly reactive substances like sulphuric acid. They have fittings and interiors ideal for resistance to corrosion or reaction unlike other types of tanks, such as stainless steel tanks.
- Plastic Fuel Tanks – These tanks are commonly used for the transportation of flammable substances. In other cases, they are used with liquid hydrogen and other gases. They are also used to gauge the level of the material in the tank, venting as well as anticipating potential harm.
- Polyethylene Tanks – These types of containers are versatile for non-pressure, or atmospheric storage of a broad range of substances like liquids and chemicals.
- Polypropylene Tanks – They are the best choice for reactive elements. They provide high resistance to chemicals and other corrosive materials, they are rigid, strong, and are the easiest in plastic fabrications or in wielding with hot air or with other equipment. They are popular in stainless steel processing plants.
- Water Tanks – Water tanks are simply designed from food-grade plastic for the storage of water for home use. Some of these plastic water tanks are used to store water for fire extinguishing purposes.
- Plastic Oil Tanks – The most common plastic for these types of tanks is fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) and molded polyethylene. They are the ideal choice for transportation, storage or holding oil.
- Septic Tanks – Most sewage treatment and disposal industries use septic tanks. They are large plastic tanks used to store waste materials in treatment systems.
Advantages of Plastic Tanks
Perhaps the most notable advantage of plastic tanks is the lightweight nature. What this means is that the less weight saves on cost, and allow easy transportation or installation in various spaces. Handling and installation is also quick. The plastics are also less likely to react with the contents they hold. Because some of them are FDA-approved, they make suitable containers for use with drinking water and other food substances.
Plastic tanks are also inexpensive compared to metallic and a few other types. Their durability can also rival and exceed the lifespan of other tanks. They require virtually no maintenance cost. They are also available in a wide range of sizes, colors, and shapes. The tanks are also available with double walls for reinforcements in case strength is what you seek.
Accessories Used with Plastic Tanks
Plastic tanks may not require many accessories, but depending on the industrial use, there are several fittings ideal to be used to complete installation or adapt them to a particular function. In water storage tanks, valves are used to control the flow. Other popular necessities include hoses for draining or feeding the tanks with various kinds of materials.
Other accessories include vents, manways or lids, restraints, pumps, siphon tubes, tie down kits for holding tanks firmly, float valves, rainwater collection adapters, and precision gauges. All the accessories are specific to the application of the tank. Strainer baskets are popular for keeping unwanted substances at bay.
How to Install Plastic Tanks
The installation of plastic tanks depends on the site, the platform, or whether it needs to be installed above ground or below ground. Whichever the case, you should ensure that the tank is in a safe position. Also, ensure that the tanks can be easily accessed, depending on the purpose.
Prepare the tank base or platform. Many stations include the use of concrete or compact material. This is especially the case with tanks which do not require much mobility like water storage tanks and some industrial stainless steel gas tanks. While handling the tank, always ensure that it is safe. Use the appropriate tools to avoid distortion.
Tanks will come with instructions on how to install or mount them on platforms with necessary fittings and accessories. If the process is too much for you to follow, some professionals will help. It is also important to consult the factory for installation details for above ground in tanks designed to be buried and vice versa.
Tighten all screws, continually support the platform, check bulkhead drain to ensure they are secure, connect them with the proper pipe sizing if necessary, by referring to the manufacturer, and ensure that access caps have breather valves whenever necessary.
Here are a few tips on proper care and maintenance of poly tanks.
- Whenever there is a need for handling of the product, whether in transportation, loading or unloading, ensure that care is taken and the bottom of the tank is continually supported to prevent damage.
- Always place or install the tanks on flat grounds or stable platforms that can withstand lots of pressure from the liquid or substance it carries.
- Install the plastic tanks in spaces or sites free of materials that could fall on them, which could damage its walls during stormy weather or high winds.
- Do not store excessively hot water or other materials in the tanks unless it is adapted for the purpose. Most poly tanks can only withstand temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius unless otherwise stated. Tanks which are laminated or combined with other materials during the manufacturing process may resist temperatures up to a certain level. Always read the specification first. Similarly, plastic tanks should be kept away from fire or other heat sources. They pose a great danger especially for the flammable substance they store.
- Reverse osmosis water filter systems
- Clean the tanks regularly after use.
Standards for Poly Tanks
Standards compliance govern most products to ensure that whatever you are buying is safe, is of high quality and reliable. Although some standards, unless regulated by the government, are voluntary, it is important to verify that the manufacturer does comply with the required standards. The easiest way to know this is by checking if the manufacturing industry you source your tank from is certified.
Most plastic tank standards touch on the correct use, installation and how the container should be maintained. It also specifies the requirement for the design and manufacture of the material used to make the tank. Nevertheless, the standards should detail on the performance and the fittings required for the tank.
Choosing the Right Manufacturer
A manufacturer’s specification that the tank has double walls for strength, is made of a durable plastic, infused with fiberglass, isn’t sufficient enough and isn’t credibility that guarantees quality and high-performance product. Ensure that the manufacturer is certified, has an excellent reputation, and offers the best support for its products. If he or she provides after-sale services like installations, regular inspection and a good warranty, the better. You may want to consider a manufacturer who will provide you with a custom tank if you want a specific container for a particular purpose.
Plastic Tank Types
- Chemical tanks are made of plastic provide superior resistance to harsh chemicals that no other material can match.
tanks in which sediment and other precipitate settle. s
- Cone bottom tanks have a bottom that is angled to come to a point and are used when complete drainage of the materials or liquids inside is necessary.
provide superior protection against spillage of hazardous chemicals.
Double wall tanks are used especially in high-pressure applications.
are tanks in which a thermoplastic lining – consisting of resins,
such as polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride and polyvinylidene fluoride
– is bonded to a fiberglass structure for reinforcement.
- FRP Tanks are manufactured from a combination of resin and
glass and are rust-proof and long-lasting. FRP tanks formed from FDA-accepted
raw materials are acceptable for potable (fit to drink) water.
- Plastic fuel tanks can provide safe storage and transportation of flammable substances or
they can be used to gauge the substance level, venting as well as
possibly feeding the engine and anticipating the potential for harm.
- Plastic oil tanks are used to transport, store and hold oil, and are generally made of industrial grade plastics like fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) and molded polyethylene.
are used as primary or secondary storage for drinking water, water reserves
and fire safety. The use of plastic water tanks is increasing, as the
availability of drinking water to the consumer is decreasing.
are more durable, provide more chemical and corrosion
resistance, require less maintenance and cost less than comparable steel
and fiberglass tanks. Poly tanks are used in the water treatment and
chemical processing industries for such hazardous fluids as sodium hypochlorite,
sulfuric acid, caustic soda and hydrochloric acid.
- Polyethylene tanks are a type of poly tank, provide atmospheric, or non-pressure, storage of a multitude of substances.
provide excellent chemical and corrosion resistance, have a wide operating
temperature, high rigidity and good structural strength and can be easily
fabricated and welded using hot air, extrusion and fusion equipment.
Polypropylene tanks are ideal for a variety of electroplating
applications and are increasingly being used in the demanding environment
of steel process plants.
- are on-site sewage treatment systems that store waste materials in a large plastic tank.
- are plastic containers used to store various substances in industrial settings.
- are plastic storage containers designed to hold water.
Plastic Tank Terms
A substance added to a polymer to increase the effectiveness, but not
the strength, of the polymer. Examples of additives include flame-retardants,
anti-static compounds, pigments and lubricants.
- The process in
which atmospheric force is applied to a laminate using an elastic or woven
- A flaw that forms
between the laminate layers or between the laminate and the gel coat film
of a fiberglass tank.
- The formation of a hollow object, such as plastic tanks, by using air
to expand a hollow tube, called a parison, against the internal walls
of a mold.
- The process in which
a mold is filled with a mixture of resin, fillers and/or fibers to form
the end product, such as plastic tanks.
- A process
in which layers of polymer and reinforcement materials are applied to
a single or open mold, producing one finished cosmetic side.
- A polymer made up
of two monomers in which each repeating unit in the chain consists of
units of both monomers.
- Very thin cracks in
a polymeric material caused by chemicals or other agents, such as ultraviolet
length of the molecular or monomeric units in a polymer chain. The degree
of polymerization determines the properties of the polymer.
- The breakdown
of a polymer to its original monomers or to a polymer of a lower molecular
weight. Depolymerization often occurs when a polymer is exposed to chemicals
or certain environmental conditions, such as high temperatures.
- A piece of equipment,
usually consisting of metal, through which a substance, such as plastic,
is forced in order to provide shape to the substance such as the shape
used in creation of plastic tanks.
- In plastic shaping, the process of softening plastic through the
application of heat and pushing the plastic through a die.
- Typically inert organic
or inorganic material that is added to resins, plastics or gel coats,
in order to change the properties, increase volume or decrease the cost
of the end product.
Also called GFRP (glass fiber reinforced plastic) GRP
(glass reinforced plastic) or RP (reinforced plastic)
it is a durable, rust-proof material that is a combination of glass and
- A surface coat of
colored or clear polyester resin that cosmetically enhances fiberglass
laminate and provides it with good weatherability.
- The process in
which fiberglass and resin layers are built up manually using hand rollers,
spray equipment and brushes.
process of joining two pieces of plastic by blowing heated air or gas
to melt the plastic pieces.
- The process of creating an object, such as a tank, by applying
pressure to molten plastic in order to push the plastic into a mold. The
mold is then cooled to produce the final plastic form.
- A composite formed
by lamination, a process in which thermoset polymers and fiber reinforcement
- A hollow, heat-resistant
container in which liquid substances can be formed into solid shapes by
allowing the fluid to solidify within the mold cavity.
- The most basic polymeric
unit, usually a liquid or a gas, consisting of molecules from the same
- The ability of
liquids and gases to flow through a substance. Low permeability is advantageous
in plastic tank resins.
- A material whose essential ingredient is an organic substance
of large molecular weight and whose end state is solid. Plastics can be
shaped by flow at some stage of the manufacturing process.
- A material added
to a plastic to make it more workable and flexible.
- Two or more monomers
bonded together through a chemical reaction. Each polymer consists of
a chain of repeating monomers.
- Water fit for
human consumption. Typically dispensed form plastic water tanks.
or any hazardous substance stored in an industrial tank. Hazardous substances
are defined in the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation,
and Liability Act (CERCLA).
- Substance added
to a polymer to increase the strength of the plastic. Examples include
clay, mica and glass fibers.
- A class of polymers,
or plastics, chemically different to naturally occurring resins, which
are sticky substances obtained from certain trees and plants. Examples
of resins include polyethylene, polyurethane and acrylics.
- Also called rotomolding it is the formation of
a hollow object, such as a tank, by simultaneously rotating and heating
a mold filled with thermoplastic resin powder. As the mold rotates, the
resin evenly coats the mold walls and is then cooled into the final form,
providing seamless molding at a low manufacturing cost.
- Cracking that
occurs as a result of mechanical stress. In most cases, tiny cracks caused
from exposure of the plastic to chemicals or ultraviolet radiation are
already present, so that when stress is applied to the plastic, the cracks
enlarge and spread, creating a greater fracture.
- Category of
plastics that have the potential to soften and reform when heated, and
harden again during cooling. During the process, the physical makeup of
the plastic does not change.
- Category of plastics
that cannot be reformed upon reheating. Thermosets remain permanently
Plastic tanks system storing a regulated substance, such as petroleum, in which
at least 10% of the plastic tanks, plastic tank piping and other equipment associated with
the tank is located underground.
Plastic Tank Informational Video