Raven Tanks: Mastering Corrosion Control for Above-Ground Storage Tanks

Corrosion in above-ground storage tanks, especially in industrial, chemical, and petroleum sectors, presents a formidable challenge for tank owners and operators. The gradual corrosion of tank materials can result in structural degradation, leading to potential leaks or spills with environmental and safety implications. Effective corrosion control is pivotal for ensuring the longevity, integrity, and safety of above-ground storage tanks. 

In this enlightening blog, we delve into the causes and consequences of corrosion, emphasizing factors contributing to this deleterious process. We explore various corrosion control methods, including protective coatings, cathodic protection systems, and the significance of regular inspections and maintenance. Additionally, we spotlight the role of Raven Tanks, a distinguished provider of tank design, installation, repairs, and maintenance services across Australia and the Pacific, in fortifying corrosion control strategies. Raven Tanks, with its wealth of expertise, stands ready to offer invaluable guidance, products, and services to fortify the integrity, longevity, and safety of storage facilities. 


Causes and Consequences of Storage Tank Corrosion 

Understanding the contributors to corrosion in above-ground storage tanks is instrumental in implementing effective corrosion control strategies. Corrosion typically stems from chemical reactions among tank materials, stored products, and the surrounding environment. This progressive deterioration can jeopardize tank walls, bottom plates, and structural components, posing risks of leaks, spills, and potential tank failures. 

The repercussions of corrosion extend beyond environmental and safety hazards. Corroded tanks entail substantial financial costs, encompassing repairs, replacements, and regulatory penalties. Furthermore, corrosion can compromise the quality and integrity of stored products, resulting in losses and adverse impacts on a business’s reputation. 


Corrosion Control Method 1 – Protective Coatings 

A prevalent and effective approach to controlling corrosion in storage tanks is the application of protective coatings. Robust tank coatings establish a physical barrier, shielding tank materials from the corrosive environment and stored products, thereby impeding or preventing the corrosion process. Advantages of protective coatings include: 


  • Extended Tank Lifespan: Coatings significantly elongate the lifespan of storage tanks, mitigating the need for costly repairs and replacements. 
  • Maintained Product Quality: By shielding tank materials from corrosion, coatings preserve the quality and integrity of stored products, averting contamination and degradation. 
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Protective coatings, often more cost-effective in the long term compared to alternative corrosion control methods, alleviate ongoing maintenance expenses. 


The selection of a coating solution must align with the specific materials and operational conditions of storage tanks to ensure optimal protection and performance. 


Corrosion Control Method 2 – Cathodic Protection 

Another widely embraced corrosion control method for above-ground storage tanks is cathodic protection. This technique entails applying a minimal electrical current to the tank, regulating the potential difference between the sacrificial anode (sacrificial metal) and the cathode (tank material). By modulating this potential difference, tank materials are shielded from the electrochemical corrosion process. Two main types of cathodic protection systems exist: 


  • Galvanic (Sacrificial) Anode Systems: These systems utilize sacrificial anodes, typically composed of zinc, magnesium, or aluminium, which preferentially corrode, safeguarding the storage tank from corrosion. 
  • Impressed Current Systems: These systems employ an external power source to administer a consistent protective current, controlling the electrochemical corrosion process and preserving tank materials. 


Choosing the appropriate cathodic protection system depends on factors such as tank size, materials, and environmental conditions. 


Monitoring and Maintenance – Vital Components of Corrosion Control 

Regular inspections and maintenance procedures are paramount to sustaining the efficacy of corrosion control measures. Key components of a monitoring and maintenance program encompass: 


  • Visual Inspections: Routine visual inspections facilitate the identification of potential issues, such as coating deterioration, signs of corrosion, or leaks. 
  • Ultrasonic Testing (UT): Ultrasonic thickness measurements aid in detecting areas of thinning, signaling potential corrosion concerns. Early detection enables timely repairs or adjustments to corrosion control strategies. 
  • Monitoring Cathodic Protection Systems: Consistent monitoring and adjustment of cathodic protection systems are essential for maintaining optimal performance and protection. 
  • Periodic Coating Repairs and Reapplications: Over time, coatings may degrade, necessitating repairs or reapplications to sustain effective corrosion protection. 


Raven Tanks – Your Ally in Corrosion Control Solutions 

Raven Tanks, a trailblazer in tank design, installation, repairs, and maintenance across Australia and the Pacific, delivers comprehensive corrosion control solutions for above-ground storage tanks. Their expertise ensures tailored advice, products, and services aligned with specific corrosion control needs. 

Corrosion remains an ongoing challenge for businesses managing above-ground storage tanks. Effectively navigating and mitigating corrosion risks is imperative for preserving the structural integrity, longevity, and safety of storage facilities. By comprehending the causes and consequences of corrosion, employing techniques like protective coatings or cathodic protection systems, and embracing regular monitoring and maintenance procedures, businesses can fortify their tanks and ensure the quality of stored products. Collaborating with a trusted and experienced provider like Raven Tanks allows businesses to adopt a customized, all-encompassing corrosion control strategy contributing to overall success and sustainability. Explore our tank liners and tank maintenance solutions today! 

Raven Engineering Group  

1800 770 899  


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