A plastic tank is a storage unit designed to hold large quantities of fluids. It can be vertical or horizontal, below or above ground, and movable or immovable. They can hold several gallons of various substances without experiencing wear and tear, corrosion, weathering, or degradation. They are used in agriculture, oil and gas, waste management, water delivery and storage, medical, scientific, and pharmaceutical industries. Plastic tanks are an economical and versatile alternative to metal tanks and have quickly become the preferred choice.
Tanks can be fabricated from a wide variety of plastic materials. Polyethylene and polypropylene are the most common plastic materials used. Polyethylene is preferred by the two because of its structural and physical benefits. It is a light, chemical-resistant thermoplastic that offers strength and structural variability. The lifespan of a polyethylene tank is 15 to 20 years or longer. The different types of plastic tanks are:
- Bladder Tanks- These are collapsible tanks made of durable fabric or rubber. The capacity of the tanks ranges anywhere from 25 to 25,000 gallons. They can be used for any kind of temporary water storage, including rainwater, drinking water and non-potable water.
- Plastic Water Tank- These are your traditional household tanks. The plastic water tank is ideal for storing small quantities of potable drinking water. They are long term tanks with a capacity varying between 25 to 25,000 gallons. They are ideal for individuals that have limited budgets and require small to medium water storage equipment.
- Underground Plastic Tanks- Underground plastic tanks are engineered differently as they have to be sturdier and longer lasting to withstand the weight and force of the soil under which it is buried. The purpose of burying tanks is to conceal them, thereby allowing the availability of extra space.
- Overhead Water Tanks- The tanks are designed for domestic, commercial and industrial applications. The tanks are well built and durable as they have 3 to 5 layers of plastic and are readily available in varying colours and sizes.
- Silo Tanks- They are conical tanks designed such that their contents can be accessed from the cone-shaped nose present at the bottom of the tank. The tank also has an opening at the top used for loading the contents.
- Loft Tanks- Specially designed for kitchen and household purposes, they are rectangular and can therefore be easily placed inside the house. The capacity of the tanks ranges from 100 to 500 litres.
Plastic tanks can also be classified based on the material used to manufacture them. The materials typically used to manufacture tanks are:
- Linear Polyethylene- It is a high-quality thermoplastic resistant to weathering, abrasion and chemicals. Most polyethylene tanks are made from linear polyethylene and possess superior mechanical properties, exceptional strength and resistance to hazardous environmental conditions.
- Cross-Linked Polyethylene- The durability of the material makes it an excellent solution for producing plastic tanks. It has a significantly high impact resistance, has increased tensile strength and is fracture resistant.
- Polypropylene Plastic Tanks- Another form of thermoplastic made from a combination of propylene monomers. The characteristics of propylene that make it ideal for use is its resistance to chemicals, elasticity, fatigue and toughness.
- Fiberglass Plastic Tanks- Fiberglass plastic is typically used for the manufacture of underground and overhead tanks. The lightweight of the fibreglass plastic tank makes it easier to relocate, install and transport. Despite their lightweights, the tanks are durable, corrosion-resistant and do not deteriorate or weather.
Plastic tanks are a popular and preferred method of water storage. They are lightweight, durable, and available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. In addition, the tanks are low maintenance and economical. The tank is made of food-grade plastic, which ensures the quality of water stored will not change.
The multiple layers of plastic help maintain the water quality, keeping it safe and healthy. Nowadays, all manufacturers employ food-grade plastic to make water tanks. The manufacturing process ensures that a uniform cross-section is designed and each layer is of equal thickness.