tank coating on a tank in the uae

Start off with the right tank coating to prevent costs

Protection-wise, tanks present a series of difficulties. Not only does their exterior need to be protected from the environment, but their interior needs protection too – both from and for the cargo or substance being stored. These substances can be anything from petrochemical to water to beer, and the coating needs to combat the specific adverse conditions that accompany the substance while not contaminating it. To achieve this, tank lining and tank coating is formulated to be chemically resistant, hygienic, resistant to high temperatures, and capable of application over previously damaged substrates.

Starting off with the right coating will save you expensive problems down the line, and re-coating a tank is only 10% of the cost of replacing a tank. Whether you need tank coating for a new project, or need to recoat one that is no longer functioning optimally, there is a coating to match your need. In this article we will outline the many benefits of industrial tank coatings, tank linings and how to choose the right one for your project.


7 questions to help you choose the tank lining that suits your tank

A tank lining needs to match both the substrate and the storage. They form a barrier, protecting the substrate from corrosion, chemicals, and heat, and protecting the contents from contamination.  In order to define the best tank coating for your project, you need to be able to answer these 5 questions:

  1. What is the tank storing?  Chemicals, foodstuffs, water, each store has different needs.
  2. For how long will it be stored? Coatings can be formulated and applied to provide longer protection against constant exposure.
  3. What temperatures will the lining be exposed to? Both the environment and the cargo need to be taken into account.
  4. What is the maximum possible downtime during application? Different coatings have different application and curing times.
  5. What are the local regulations regarding tank linings? The lining needs to comply with local standards.

The requirements for an external tank coating are compatibility with the substrate as well as providing it with appropriate protection in the specified environment. Therefore, the two questions to ask yourself are:

  1. What is the external surface of the tank made of? Concrete, steel (mild, galvanised etc.) and fibreglass all need tank coatings especially made for the substrate.
  2. What are the environmental hazards the tank may be exposed to? temperature fluctuation, corrosion, salt spray etc.

The 3 most common tank coating types

In the UAE the most tanks are used either for storing or transporting a spectrum of substances. Mild steel tanks are the most common but also other materials such as fiberglass and concrete are becoming more and more popular. So, let’s look at the different tanks and the tank linings they require.  The incorrect choice of tank lining may lead to softening, contamination or even failure of the coating.

1. Polyurea tank lining

Applications: Water tank linings (not potable, but excellent for wastewater), steel tank linings, concrete tank linings, chemical tank linings

Description: Polyurea is a hot spray applied coating which dries in seconds to minutes, with the shortest cure time of all the options. It has great strength and flexibility, and the highest tensile strength of the coatings – allowing for stretching with a substrate under temperature extremes. Polyurea is solvent free (no VOC), moisture insensitive (unlike the other two), has a long service life, and is also abrasion resistant.
Disadvantages: Not vapour permeable.

2. Polyurethane tank liner

Applications: Water tank linings, steel tank linings, concrete tank linings, chemical tank linings

Description: Polyurethanes are, like epoxies, a very versatile coating, and they have the benefit of being able to be modified so they are more or less flexible/brittle. They can also be solvent-free, and have faster return-to-service times than epoxy.
Disadvantages: Not vapour permeable (possible blistering), and very moisture sensitive when applied.

3. Epoxy tank coating

Applications: Water tank linings (potable and other), steel tank linings, epoxy coating for concrete water tanks, chemical tank linings, high temperature tank linings, cargo tank linings where protection against chemicals, oils, waste water, high temperature crude oil is needed.

Description: Epoxy is a versatile coating type with many applications. It can be solvent-free to reduce VOC emissions, and protects against corrosion in aggressive and high temperature environments.
Disadvantages: Not a very flexible coating, slow curing, impermeable so water vapour may cause blistering.

As well the polymer coatings, tanks can be reinforced with fibreglass, either in sheets or as strengthening elements in short lengths.

Consider the purpose of the tank before choosing a tank coating

The purpose of your tank will be the shaping influence on which coating you choose. This is particularly important for:

Cargo tank coatings

external tank coating on industrial water tank uae

Cargo and water tanks require a different kind of lining, yet the tank coating is dependent on the purpose of the tank.

For cargo tanks, the storage changes with each new job. Because of this, the lining chosen needs to protect your tank against harmful or corrosive cargoes while also reducing maintenance and ensuring a long service life. A tank lining system should reduce turnaround times between cargoes, allowing a quick switch and eliminating contamination between cargoes. It is important for cargo tanks to have chemical resistance, so common cargoes such as petroleum or oil do not damage it.

Water tank coatings

Tanks for both potable water and other kinds of water (waste, raw, etc.) make up most tank usage in the Emirates. For potable water it is of vital importance that the tank and the coating do not contaminate the water, just as it is important that the coating protects the tanks from corrosion. In the UAE there are regulations for the coatings used for potable water. For wastewater tanks, the coating needs to be highly chemical resistant, as well as preventing the pollution from within the tank seeping into the environment, especially where the tanks are underground.


Industrial tank lining and coating products available in the UAE

For quality assurance and expert application, we advise you to have your tank coating and internal lining coating applied by trained, experienced professionals. The risk of a coating failure due to poor or wrong application is too costly a gamble. We have compiled a sample of the products used by applicators in the UAE, to give an idea of the products available.

PPG Protective coatings

  • Amercoat – for steel and concrete (also available for low temperature applications)
  • Novaguard – for resistance to a wide range of chemicals, solvents and refined fuels and even biofuels.
  • Sigmaguard – for resistance to crude oil up to 60ºC, aliphatic petroleum storage with pit filling properties

Jotun on- and offshore tank linings

  • Tankguard Plus – chemical resistance at high temperatures
  • TG Storage – made for long term storage of chemicals
  • SF – is solvent free.  Film thickness as low as 150µm and up to 500µm
  • Chemflake – is a glass flake reinforced unsaturated vinyl ester coating, fast curing

International (AkzoNobel) tank coatings

  • Ceilcote – for concrete and steel structures
  • Devoe – chemical resistant lining system for multiple substrates
  • Polibrid – for steel and concrete ( excellent for water and wastewater applications)
  • Interline – corrosion protection and reducing cross cargo contamination.

Fortunately, considering the importance of a professional tank coating, the UAE has many companies which specialise in applying tank lining coatings and external tank coatings. If you would like more information about tank lining, or have a tank lining project that requires coating expertise, get in touch! Our experts are here to help, and ready to connect you with one of our coating partners to best complete your project. Just click the “Request a quote” button at the bottom of this article and take advantage of our 100% free quote service.

Tank coating company UAEAddress
Pioneer Watertanks LLCM14 – Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates
Al Bassam Tanks Trading L.L.CMaliha Road, Industrial Area 11 – Sharjah – United Arab Emirates
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