Articles & Case Studies

Tank maintenance advice from Graphite UK

Posted: Friday 28th July 2006

Graphite offers a range of tank lining and coating systems for both above and below ground storage vessels bunds, interceptors, cesspits and suchlike. Working closely with their resin suppliers they are in a position to offer a coating to suit virtually all cargoes.

Tank Lining

Tank lining is a very practical method of refurbishing existing storage vessels with the minimum of disruption and loss of trade.

Unlike tank replacement, in which the existing tanks have be decommissioned and removed prior to new tanks being installed; if the tanks are being lined this work can be carried out with the tank being left in place.

Because the tanks are lined in their current position this means there is no requirement for extensive excavation and forecourt works and in the majority of installations sites can remain operational

Various internal and external lining systems are available to suit a wide variety of different cargoes. These systems can be supplied with tank integrity monitoring systems if required, these monitoring systems can include both local and remote alarms to ensure if any faults occur they can be responded to appropriately.

Lining tanks can be an environmentally sensitive solution as contaminated waste from the tank farm and the old tanks themselves do not have to be disposed of, as in effect the old tanks are being recycled.

It is a cost effective solution because it is quicker process than installing new tanks. On most installations the site can remain operational and the works carried out in stages to keep site disruption to a minimum. Lining tanks can cost up to 50% less than replacing existing tanks with new ones.

For petrol filling stations Graphite provide three and five layer systems, the three layer system is upgradeable to a five layer system should this be required. The five layer system is supplied with a tank integrity monitoring system; the integrity monitoring system is modular and is also upgradeable at any time should that be a requirement.

The monitoring system is supplied with varying levels of ‘intelligence’, in its most basic form it is supplied with localised alarms, it is capable of providing remote alarm conditions, can link to gauges, pump controllers, points of sale etc., it is capable of sending messages via SMS or e-mail to any designated personnel or authorities to ensure that any alarm conditions are responded to.

The linings systems are provided with up to a ten year warranty and have an expected working life of at least thirty years.

Lining tanks can be a proactive approach in the maintenance of a site and could extend the operational life of the site significantly.

Because it is not possible to ascertain the condition of the tanks without entering them and as such agreeing the works that are to be carried out, before any lining system is applied the tanks are inspected thoroughly and any perforations repaired. If the tank is not in a suitable condition to be lined then the site operator and authorities will be notified and the lining works stopped.

Tank Coatings

Graphite coating systems for above ground tanks, bunds, interceptors etc., will both enhance and protect tanks and their contents whilst at the same time help comply with the Oil Storage Regulations.

Taking a proactive stance and refurbishing your tanks, bunds etc could be a very cost effective solution in the long term with the Environment Agency now enforcing the regulations more vigorously. In a recent case Southern Water spent £200,000 clearing up a spill. Other smaller spills and leakages have resulted in fines between £4,500 and £8,000.

Graphite are also in a position to provide a coating system for LPG tanks that will minimise the risk of explosion in the event of a fire. The coating is designed to protect the tank from the intense heat of a fire giving time for the product inside to vent off safely.

The resin based coating systems are well proven and come with a five year guarantee. Graphite would recommend the use of this type of system in areas of high environmental sensitivity or where corrosion is a problem.

Decommissioning

If refurbishing your tanks is not a viable solution Graphite can offer a cost effective service to decommission your tanks safely.

When decommissioning below ground tanks, pipework, sewer lines and underground cavities Graphite use a product called Neutratank QF 66/22 Foam.

Neutratank is made from an aminoplast resin and is capable of absorbing the whole range of hydrocarbons plus other substances such as acetone, benzene, trichlore ethylene and alcohol isolbutilique to name but a few.

The vessel does not require cleaning prior to the injection of the foam as it will absorb all residuals left in situ and completely fills the vessel leaving no pockets of vapour.

For further information log onto www.graphiteuk.com

Graphite UK, 2 Sherwood House, Aston Fields Industrial Estate, Bromsgrove, Worcester, B60 3DR TEL: 01773 580 555




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