Bunded Steel Tanks in Cold Weather

Water Tanks for 1950's Film Set

Huge storage tanks are required by many businesses across a number of industries – many of which needing different uses from their equipment. During the winter months, the oil, gas and diesel fuel in stored within industrial steel tanks can change and this isn’t always for the better.  Your biggest asset protection during the next few months will always be bunded steel tanks.

What is a Bunded Tank?

A bunded steel tank is a tank that is protected from the elements by providing an extra layer, known as the bund layer. This is not only extremely helpful when it comes to storing your fuel safely, but it also helps protect it against extreme weather conditions.

Besides protecting the contents of a tank against external damage, the extra layer also prevents accidents and spillages since it can hold up to 110% of the contents of the inner tank. In other words, if the inner tank ruptures during cold weather conditions, the outer layer can keep the contents from being lost. This is especially important for businesses where fuel us a huge overhead cost.

Why do we need Bunded Tanks?

The cold can present two problems for single layer tanks. Oil tanks, for instance, have to be kept at a working temperature for storage, transportation and maintenance work. These ideal conditions cannot be maintained during extremely cold weather, as it reacts with the contents and makes them change their form.

Diesel fuel, for instance, can turn into a gel during colder weather as it contains wax which has a high cetane value important for the diesel’s composition. This, in turn, reduces its viscosity and it moves much slower through pipes thus compromising production and productivity.  Eventually, this backs up fuel lines which can cause the tank to rupture.

While the gel can be fixed with a fuel gel that fuel distributors offer, it can be an additional expense that will add up in the long-term.

Besides getting cold to the touch, icicles are not uncommon in single wall steel tanks during harsh winter months especially those that contain water. Similarly, frozen fuel can damage the tank, fuel lines that transport it and engines where it is used besides compromising the quality of the fuel.

What makes tanks freeze?

Even though single skin tanks are cost effective, they merely provide a short-term solution for a long-term problem. Limited protection against the elements will also limit the locations where you can keep your tanks, without compromising their contents.

On the other hand, bunded steel tanks have a secondary wall which not only prevents the tank from freezing over, it also helps protect the contents against other external forces and subsequent damage.

A better, long-term alternative solution would be to invest in bunded steel tanks which can protect the fuel against the cold and prevent it from firming up during the colder months.

So if you want to prevent your expensive fuel from freezing or firming up during the cold weather, then invest in bunded steel tanks. For more information, please contact us on 01889 567700.

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