The "ABCs" of Polyethylene Tanks

When deciding on choosing a particular industrial polyethylene (PE or poly) processing 'TANK', there are specific and general issues that must be identified to define the actual tank, the configuration of the tank and fittings, and let us not forget the cost. Cost will include the tank, the fittings and factory installation, and DELIVERY. Bulk poly storage tanks are large, and transporting these vessels can be very expensive. Deciding on the proper safe poly processing tank is dependent on the information given to the manufacturer. As always, the more accurately the issues are identified and addressed at the beginning of the process, will assure the proper HDLPE (or XLPE) safe tank will be installed, and at a lesser cost, in time and dollars, and longer life of the poly tank to the end-user. Whether choosing a safe double wall tank, single wall with containment, IBC (tote), or other, information as listed below will help to choose the right poly processing tank for your needs.

A. Chemical Service: The initial issue will always be, “What is the chemical(s) that is going to be stored (or processed) in the vessel, and how much capacity is required?” We will also need to know process chemical temperature. While spiked temperatures are relevant, prolonged operating temperatures are most important. Specific gravity of the chemical must be known to select the proper weight PE resin

  1. Chemical
  2. Gallonage capacity
  3. Operating Temperature
  4. Specific Gravity of Chemical

B. Location of the tank, out-of-doors, or indoors: Factors such as UV, seismic activity, particular regional weather and climatic patterns, shielded wall or roof protection, Etc. all are evaluated to determine tank construction, fitting selection and whether accessories are required.

  1. Out-of-Doors
  2. Indoors
  3. Size Restrictions, tank size, storage area dimensions

C. Tank Configuration, type of vessel: Can the vessel be vertically installed, are there dimensionally restrictive issues that strongly suggest one tank type will or will not work? Is there an existing tank or an existing site that requires a similar type tank? Will the installation include going through doors? Do local codes require containment (a tank within a tank)? If you’re traveling the highways, an Intermediate Bulk Container (UN & DOT approved) may be required.

  1. Double wall tank
  2. Containment
  3. Vertical Upright with closed top (dome)
  4. Vertical Upright with open top (no dome)
  5. Cone bottom with stand
  6. Horizontal or Elliptical
  7. Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs)
  8. Batch Tanks (open or closed top, flat or cone bottom)

D. Extraordinary or Special Considerations: Are the fittings (type & size) known? Tank might be used with different chemicals or temperatures at given times. Tank may be moved throughout its usable life. Are electronic accessories required (heating, level sensor, switches) required? Any additional information known regarding the specific application and processing will be valuable in ascertaining the proper vessel for the end-user.

  1. Fittings, size & location:
  2. Accessories (ladder, switches, tie-downs, level indicators, down or drop pipes, manway, Etc.)
  3. Will tank be required to be manufactured per ASTM standards?
  4. Tank base conditions, any critical issues.
  5. Freight consideration, site location and delivery city to properly estimate freight costs. Type of truck required, LTL possibilities or ‘with other goods’ will all affect overall freight expense.
  6. Other considerations.


Courtesy: Sierra Sales - The Tank People, 215-258-5602

Comments are closed

About Zycon

Zycon is a rapidly growing online industrial directory, engineering resource, and vertical search engine that directly targets buyers and sellers in the industrial, manufacturing, contract manufacturing and distribution sectors worldwide.

Zycon specifically offers a user-focused web site design, reducing the navigational steps required to find the products, companies, distributors and services worldwide that directly meet your needs.

Find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.


Do you prefer Google, Bing, or another search engine?

Show Results