Storing hazardous chemicals like liquid fertilizers is only as safe as the quality of tanks used. Its structural integrity can be assured if guidelines are followed from construction, repair, and maintenance of steel storage.
Inspection is just as crucial. It makes tank operators practice proactive measures which make them know of risks to watch out for.
These could pertain to corrosion and heating as the main risk factors to storage containers. A simple solution to radiant heating is to paint the tanks with a light-reflective coating. The same recommendation applies in vapor areas where an increased temperature is a concern. Likewise, painting can minimize corrosion, particularly with carbon steel.
Moisture is another risk factor for liquid fertilizer tanks, Heartland Tank Services reports, but which a proper foundation can prevent. Concrete and sand bases with an impressed current make the best choices for preventing soil side corrosion while avoiding gravel bases. A concrete foundation has to be sealed around the tank bottom to the pillar's interface with a flexible sealant. Base materials and debris must not reach the bottom edge of the containers.
Maintaining the built-in insulation systems also help prevent moisture from entering the tanks.
For internal risk factors, the sides of the container exposed to liquid fertilizers are a major concern. Its conditions thus have to be regularly checked, as well as with internally supported roofs and rafters.
Additional inspections may be needed for the soil side of the tank bottom to prevent corrosion. Moreover, sludge and residue have to be removed and the bottom must be clean and dry.
When applying a bladder or a coating, protrusions have to be attached to the soft surfaces of the container. This prevents bladders or coatings from getting defective.
Lastly, compatibility in materials to be used in tank construction and its surroundings has to be observed. Copper and brass are not allowed to be in contact with liquid fertilizer; aluminum is sometimes not compatible with certain fertilizers; and carbon steel tanks for chemicals with Ph below 6.0.
Responsible storage tank owners and operators strictly observe these and other related guidelines. They hold themselves accountable so they never skip the procedures required particularly regular inspection.