Tanks that transport and hold chemicals of any kind are typically constructed of metal with a polymer coating. This coating helps to reduce corrosion and wear on the metal due to the acidic or caustic nature of the chemicals the tanks contain.
Polymer coatings do a great job of protecting the metal tanks, until there's a scratch or gouge in the coating. The problem, of course, is that scratches and gouges are common when a tank is being loaded, unloaded and cleaned frequently. Once the coating has been damaged, air and moisture as well as the chemical contained in the tank can make contact with the metal and begin to corrode it.
Enter a new material used for tank coating: ceramic. Chemically Bonded Phosphate Ceramics (CBPCs) are inert like polymers and won't react with the chemicals in the tanks.
Benefits of Ceramic Tank Coatings
CBPCs are different from traditional polymer tank coatings because they don't just sit on top of the metal. Instead, they actually chemically bond with the top layer of metal molecules to form an alloy layer. Air and moisture can't get behind the ceramic coating layer easily, like they can with polymer coatings and paints. The alloy doesn't react with air and water like most metals do, so it is less susceptible to corrosion.
Ceramic materials are also beneficial because they have a much higher melting point than most coating materials, so a tank that is coated with CBPCs can safely be used to hold liquids at high temperatures. In addition, CBPCs have what's called low porosity, so there are no small holes or pores that would allow chemicals and water to stand stagnant for any length of time.
Finally, CBPCs are usually available as a powder that you mix with water to activate, much like cement. This makes transportation easier and the product itself is less expensive than other types of coating options.
Applications for Ceramic Tank Coatings
Just about any tank that holds liquid and needs a protective layer between the tank itself and its contents can use a CBPC coating. They're beginning to see use in tanker trucks and rail cars as well as standing tanks.
Because the ceramic material resists flaking and chipping, it's also desirable for use in wastewater tanks or haulers or vacuum trucks where unknown materials may come into contact with the tank.
CBPCs are also useful for holding petroleum products and other oily or greasy substances. Because of their low porosity, oil will not be absorbed by the coating and is much less likely to sustain damage from it.
While many types of tank coatings are suitable for short-term use, if your goal is to greatly reduce corrosion and prevent damage to your tank, the use of CBPCs as interior tank coatings may be a good long-term solution. Contact a company like RSR Industrial Coatings Inc for more information.