What Is Tank Lining and Why is it Important?

Read this blog to discover everything you need to know about tank lining and how it can benefit your business.

Finding the correct tank liner for your storage requirements is crucial for meeting industry standards, satisfying health and safety regulations and maintaining your product quality.

But what is tank lining, and why is it important to your business?

Let’s explore.

What is Tank Lining?

Tank lining can be applied to the interior of water storage tanks as a ‘membrane’ or barrier to protect the integrity of the tank structure alongside ensuring the contents within remains uncontaminated.

The overall aim of lining a tank is to create an impermeable barrier, sealing the tank shell and providing protection from corrosion. In retaining the quality of your stored substances or materials, tank lining aims to protect the interior of your unit from damage and contamination. 

Depending on the purpose of your industrial storage requirements, tank lining options range from spraying epoxy elastomeric products to applying primers with synthetic polymer products, high-density cement mortar linings and prefabricated liners. Tailor-made or prefabricated liners can be made from materials such as Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO) or Polypropylene.  Tank liners come in multiple variations depending on the purpose of your industrial storage tank.

Why is Tank Lining Important?

Tank lining can be an essential requirement for your industrial storage operations by maintaining crucial industry standards while meeting critical health and safety regulations.

Depending on your industry regulations, tank lining will ensure zero contamination to retain your product quality while preventing corrosion and rust from forming inside and outside the structure.

Corrosion is the number one enemy of industrial storage tanks. Chemical reactions cause the tank to become damaged and prevent it from remaining impermeable from contamination.

With steel storage tanks, owners must be aware of the energy imbalance formed in their creation through intense fire and heat. Naturally, when exposed to the elements, this imbalance can reverse to corrode the metal and return it to iron oxide. However, lining your tank with specific protective materials should stop this corrosion.

6 Tank Lining Benefits

To maintain the high quality of your product, here are some general tank lining benefits to consider:

  1. Durability

Tank lining will increase the lifespan of your industrial storage tank. Lining your tank can add 10-15 years of longevity before relining becomes necessary. Tank lining protects against certain elements and chemicals, supporting the extension of your industrial storage tank lifespan.

Synthetic rubbers such as Butyl and EPDM as well as PVC provide excellent resistance to various elements, including abrasive wear, tearing, flex cracking and puncturing. Polyester matting provides an ideal underlay material installed between the tank shell and the foundation for additional protection against puncturing.

While it’s rare, sharp objects can damage tank liners, so installing this underlay matting is a precaution but a measure of responsible tank lining practice.

  1. Adaptability 

Not only are most tank liners durable to external disturbances, but certain materials can also adapt to their environment. For example, EPDM, Butyl rubber and PVC have properties that enable them to adapt and adjust to surface irregularities that can become common inside water storage tanks.

This adaptability can support water tank liners as both EPDM and Butyl rubber materials will sustain their water-retaining properties even when stretched to 300% of their original size.

  1. Prevents Contamination/Corrosion

The main goal of your industrial storage tank should be to avoid corrosion and the subsequent contamination that comes with it. By providing an impermeable barrier inside and out, your tank lining will prevent chemical reactions from damaging your tank and potentially spoiling your product.

For example, water tank liners require drinking water approval to satisfy the UK Water Regulations Advisory Scheme. We recommend using a butyl rubber with B2 6920 accreditation to ensure you pass drinking water requirements with your water tank liner. 

With its dense molecular structure, EPDM sheeting is another solution that creates a waterproofing seal with transmission, liquid and vapour resistance. 

  1. Fast and Effective Installation/Repair 

Most tank liners can be installed with relative ease by tank lining professionals. Some materials are sprayed or painted, such as polyurethane and epoxy.

The speed in lining tanks shouldn’t impede your business operations, as most materials are versatile and work without too many specifications and requirements. In the unlikely scenario that your tank lining becomes damaged, repair work is simple and should cause minimal interference.

As with the fabrication of tank liners, technicians will apply heat and pressure on the concentrated area, which will not affect the overall integrity of your tank liner. Cold repair kits are also available.

  1. Environmentally Friendly

Whether your storage tank is underground or on the surface, another job is to protect the environment around it. So, by increasing the durability of your storage tank, it will not incur any leaks or spillages that can harm the natural environment and wildlife.

Plus. With increased longevity, instead of building new storage tanks that add to waste, you can reline the tank for further use as a sustainable practice.

  1. Weather Resistant

To ensure your storage tank materials remain weather resistant and to avoid evaporation or leaching over time, we suggest using Butyl or EPDM rubber liner that contains no plasticisers or additives.

The elasticity and strength of both rubbers are a go-to for tank lining weather resistance as they remain unchanged after many years of exposure to sunlight, ultraviolet radiation, and ozone effects.

The Different Tank Lining Types

Besides EPDM and Butyl rubber, many of the commercial tank lining materials come from resin. Some of these variations include:

  • Polyurethane
  • Acrylic
  • Polyester
  • Epoxy

Epoxy and polyurethane are effective liners for being incredibly versatile materials. Both can manage exposure to extreme temperatures and corrosive environments.

You’ll often see epoxy used in wastewater management and crude oil applications, whereas polyurethane is adaptable to flexible or dense membranes with excellent abrasion and impact resistance.

Acrylic coating provides superior weather resistance, while polyester is durable with high chemical resistance. Each material is suitable for specific applications with different properties suiting various requirements. 

Discover Your Ideal Tank Lining Solution from an Expert Provider

At Franklin Hodge, we’ve been a leader in liquid storage engineering for the past 50 years.

Regardless of your industry or regulations, all our tank lining solutions cover impermeability, weather resistance, temperature ranges and durability with water treatment and chemical resistance properties.

Get in touch for more information on how we can provide and install the correct lining for your industrial storage tank.

Franklin Hodge