|This article does not cite any references or sources. (January 2009)|
Chemical tanks are storage containers for chemicals. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and are used for static storage, processing, mixing, and transport of both raw materials and finished chemical products.
The Chemical tank represents the first line of control for some of the most aggressive chemicals, control consists of selecting the chemical tank most able to cope with the application parameters and capaable of preventing the negative impact of the chemical finding its way into the environment.
A chemical tank will of necessity be made of a material as resistant to the chemical stored as design and economics allow. The design will further integrate the mechanical parameters (pressure and temperature, erosive and corrosive) of the chemical storage application, within an the applicable design timeline.
Compatibility is critical for chemical tank design. Your Chemical provider has chemical resistance information, which details exactly what tank, gasket and plumbing materials are suitable for your chemical. Chemical tanks/containers may also be impacted by external considerations, heat, cold, vacuum, pressure and the potential aggressive nature (acidic - caustic) These external effects may impact the tank/vessels ability to hold and maintain the viability of both the chemical and the container. (Example: liquid freezing or thickening due to ambient temperature, removes the use of the liquid and the tank.)
There are short term and long term goals associated with the engineering and specification of the correct materials for a chemical tank / container / vessel. While economic considerations are a factor, the design of chemical storage containers and how the chemistry may impact the environment is crucial.
Typically, there will be a chemical profile and information report known as a MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) which is provided by most chemical manufacturers or distributors and should be the starting point for chemical tank design. Chemical tanks should be designed in conjunction with the chemical manufacturer, providing some historic experience regarding tank materials compatibility to the chemical.