tank coating on industrial tanks

Choose the right tank coating and tank lining to save time and money

Protection-wise, tanks present a series of issues. Not only does their exterior need to be protected from the environment with tank coating, but their interior needs protection too – both from and for the cargo or substance being stored with tank lining. These substances can be anything from petrochemical to water to beer, and the coating needs to combat the specific adverse conditions that accompany the substance without contaminating it. To achieve this, tank lining and tank coating are formulated to be chemically resistant, hygienic, resistant to high temperatures, and capable of application over previously damaged substrates.

Starting off with the right coating will save you expensive problems down the line, and recoating a tank is only 10% of the cost of replacing a tank. Whether you need tank coating for a new project, or need to recoat one that is no longer functioning optimally, there is a coating to match your needs. In this article we will outline the many benefits of industrial tank coatings, tank linings and how to choose the right one for your project.

How to define the best tank coatings for your tank

Uses of tanks are many as are the environments where tanks are located; therefore, it is crucial to choose for the most suitable tank coating and lining. To help you out, we advice you to ask yourself the following seven questions. The answers define the essential properties of the tank coatings you need.

External tank coating

tank coating on storage tank

External tank coating protects tanks from the elements.

The requirements for an external tank coating are compatibility with the substrate as well as providing it with appropriate protection in the specified environment. Therefore, the two questions to ask yourself are:

  1. What is the external surface of the tank made of? Concrete, steel (mild, galvanised etc.) and fibreglass all need tank coatings especially made for the substrate.
  2. What are the environmental hazards the tank may be exposed to? temperature fluctuation, corrosion, salt spray etc.

Internal tank lining

A tank lining for its part, needs to match both the substrate and the storage. They form a barrier, protecting the internal substrate from corrosion, chemicals, and heat, and protecting the contents from contamination.  In order to determine the suitable tank lining for your project, you need to be able to answer these 5 questions:

  1. Which substance does the tank store? Chemicals, foodstuffs, water, each store has different needs.
  2. For how long will it be stored? Coatings can be formulated and applied to provide longer protection against constant exposure.
  3. How high (or low) will the storage temperature be? Both the environment and the cargo need to be taken into account.
  4. What is the maximum allowed downtime during the application?  Different coatings have different application and curing times.
  5. What are the local regulations regarding tank linings for your type of tank? The lining needs to comply with local standards.

What you need to know about protecting different tanks

The purpose of your tank will be the shaping influence on which coating you should choose. This is particularly important for:

  • Water tanks
    Tanks for both potable water and other kinds of water (waste, raw, etc.) make up most tank usage in Singapore. For potable water it is of vital importance that the tank and the lining do not contaminate the water, just as it is important that the coating protects the tanks from corrosion. In Singapore there are regulations for the coatings used for potable water. For wastewater tanks, the coating needs to be highly chemical resistant, as well as preventing the pollution from within the tank seeping into the environment, especially where the tanks are underground.
  • Cargo tanks
    For cargo tanks, the storage changes with each new job. Because of this, the lining chosen needs to protect your tank against harmful or corrosive cargoes while also reducing maintenance and ensuring a long service life. A tank lining coating should reduce turnaround times between cargoes, allowing a quick switch and eliminating contamination between cargoes. It is important for cargo tanks to have chemical resistance, so common cargoes such as petroleum or oil do not damage it.

The 3 types of tank coatings to choose from

In Singapore a major part of all tanks is used either for storing or transporting a spectrum of substances. Mild steel tanks are the most common but also other materials such as fibreglass and concrete are becoming more and more popular. So, let’s look at the different tanks and the tank linings they require.  The incorrect choice of tank lining may lead to softening, contamination or even failure of the coating, likely to have severe consequences.

  1. Epoxy tank linings
    Epoxy is a versatile coating type with many applications. It can be solvent-free to reduce VOC emissions, and protects against corrosion in aggressive and high temperature environments.
    Uses: Water tank linings (potable and other), steel tank linings, concrete tank linings, chemical tank linings, high temperature tank linings, cargo tank linings where protection against chemicals, oils, waste water, high temperature crude oil is needed.
    Cons: Not a very flexible coating, slow curing, impermeable so water vapour may cause blistering.
  2. Polyurea tank linings
    Polyurea is a hot spray applied coating which dries in seconds to minutes, with the shortest cure time of all the options. It has great strength and flexibility, and the highest tensile strength of the coatings – allowing for stretching with a substrate under temperature extremes. Polyurea is solvent free (no VOC), moisture insensitive (unlike thlinings
    Cons: Not vapour permeable, not always suitable for food storage – look for proof of approval for direct food contact.
  3. Polyurethane tank linings
    Polyurethanes are, like epoxies, a very versatile coating, and they have the benefit of being able to be modulated so they are more or less flexible/brittle. They can also be solvent-free, and have faster return-to-service times than epoxy.
    Uses: Water tank linings, steel tank linings, concrete tank linings, chemical tank linings
    Cons: Not vapour permeable (possible blistering), and very moisture sensitive when applied.

Tank coating and lining products and specialists in Singapore

For quality assurance and expert application, we advise you to have your tank coating and internal lining coating applied by trained, experienced professionals. The risk of a coating failure due to poor or wrong application is too costly a gamble. We have compiled a sample of the products used by applicators in Singapore, to give an idea of the products available.

Tank coating manufacturerProductUses
International (AkzoNobel)CelicoteConcrete and steel tanks
International (AkzoNobel)Devoechemical resistant tank lining system
International (AkzoNobel)PolibridConcrete and steel tanks, especially
International (AkzoNobel)InterlineCorrosion protection and reduction of cross cargo contamination
PPG AmercoatSteel and concrete tanks, also for low temperature applications
PPGNovaguardTank lining resistant to chemicals, solvents, refined fuels and biofuels
PPGSigmaguardResistance to crude oil up to 60°C, Aliphatic petroleum storage tanks
JotunTankguard PlusTanks that require chemical resistance in high temoperatures
JotunChemflakeGlass flake reinforced unsaturated vinyl ester coating, when fast curing is required

Fortunately, considering the importance of a professional tank coating, Singapore has many companies which specialise in applying tank lining coatings and external tank coatings. If you would like more information about tank lining, or have a tank lining project that requires coating expertise, get in touch! Our experts are here to help, and ready to connect you with one of our coating partners to best complete your project. Just click the “Request a quote” button at the bottom of this article and take advantage of our 100% free quote service.

Tank coating companyAddress
Mapo Marine Pte Ltd.48, Tuas View Square, Singapore 637775
SHS Holdings Ltd.19 Tuas Avenue 20, Singapore 638830
CEL COatings Industries Pte Ltd.23 Neythal Road, #02-02, Singapore 628588

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