Finding the best materials for water tanks is a difficult task. There are standards to follow since you are dealing with water. A wrong material can cause leakage, can cost you a lot of money, and in some cases, causes accidents. If you ask what the best stuff to use is, the answer is very complicated. There are a lot of materials to choose from. It also depends on what’s your preference and how much water you are planning to store in the tank.
Plastic is usually made using a process called rotational molding. It means that the size of the actual tank depends on the size of the mold. Plastic tanks are usually seen in rural houses or domestic settings. These tanks can store 50,000 liters of water at maximum capacity. Most homes use at least 200,000 liters of water a year, and if you think of it, plastic tanks are in a little bit of disadvantage. You have to install two plastic tanks to cover your yearly average water consumption. Another drawback of plastic is since you are connecting two tanks, plumbing arrangement can be a little bit complex. The advantage of using a plastic tub is the price. They are a lot cheaper compared to other materials since the size of water tanks increases, the price decreases. Plastic also doesn’t corrode so the maintenance can be a little less expensive. With proper care, plastic can last a lifetime.
One of the most common and the oldest material used in commercial water tanks are galvanized steel. An older version of galvanized tank doesn’t use a liner which affects the taste of the stored water. It is due to the high concentration of zinc in the water inside. The process of applying metal to other metal is called galvanizing. The galvanized water tank is made out of steel, galvanized with zinc. Galvanized steel is not resistant to corrosion, so to avoid corrosion, tanks are lined with a rust-resistant coating. You have to regularly clean the tank to make sure that the insides are not corroded.
One of the most common materials used in water tanks is stainless steel. Most industries that employ storage tanks prefer stainless steel water tanks since it does not corrode or does not suffer from rust. Taste does not change even without rust-resistant linings. However, stainless steel tanks are more expensive than most normal steel tanks. While stainless is corrosive-free, the solder between the joints or in screws and rivets are not. The iron deposit can also affect its integrity since corrosion has a different effect when in contact with stainless steel.
Concrete or cement, water tanks are difficult to handle, not to mention, it weighs a lot heavier compared to other materials. Because of the availability of more lightweight and affordable materials today, concrete or cement tanks are rarely used in a domestic or rural setting. Because some minerals like leach lime can seep into the cracks, concrete tanks tend to have a higher pH of water that’s according to The Concrete Society. The most common problem with concrete or cement is cracking or leaking. Since most cement tanks are underground, leakage can go undetected for many years and can cause water-borne diseases.
Most fiberglass tanks are used in storing chemicals or in food processing industries because it is not affected by corrosion or rust. They are made with a food-grade interior coating. The advantage of using fiberglass in storage tanks is its rigidity and stiffness. It can manage a lot of pressure without breaking. The bad news is since it is rigid, it tends to get brittle and is prone to cracking and leaking. Fiberglass tanks allow light that can cause organisms to grow like algae or molds. To avoid this problem, fiberglass tanks are lined with pigment to absorb or reflect light.
Fire resistant materials
There is no such thing as a fire-proof tank. However, you can use concrete or steel which is a lot better at resisting fire than other materials. Fire exposure can cause iron to turn black and prolonged exposure to extreme heat can destroy welded joints. We all know what happens to plastic if exposed to fire. There is no such thing as fire-proof plastic. In conclusion, It depends on the user’s preference of what materials to use and how much are you willing to pay for a water tank.