One of the biggest decisions you’ll make about a new storage tank is what material you choose to use in its construction. There are benefits to traditional materials, such as steel or concrete, as well as upsides to using the durable, lightweight alternative of fiberglass reinforced plastic. When you require a pressure tank to store your materials onsite, are fiberglass pressure tanks better than steel?
The Steel Tank
It’s first important to understand the benefits and shortcomings of a steel pressure tank. Steel is a traditional material used for storage tanks on a global industry scale, from hazardous storage to potable water, because of its inherent strength and resistance to heat. Did you know steel is one of the most commonly used building materials on the planet and also one of the most recycled? The benefits of steel are:
- Repairs are simple
- Can be built in a variety of sizes
- Resistant to fire
- Very strong
They come with many advantages, but steel pressure tanks come with their disadvantages. Here’s what you need to know about the disadvantages of steel:
- Not durable or resilient
- Prone to rust
- Labour intensive to construct
- Steel is heavy
The Fiberglass Tank
Fiberglass reinforced plastic tanks have been on the market for many years and have been a trusted part of the oil and gas industry for decades. They’re not as useful for potable water storage given that they’re more prone to algae growth than steel, but fiberglass has many upsides when used as a pressure tank. What you need to know about the benefits of fiberglass are:
- Lightweight and easy to install
- Rust resistant
- High tensile strength
- Corrosion resistant
There are plenty of reasons to choose a fiberglass tank for a pressure tank, but do keep in mind that they can have some drawbacks. Here’s what to keep in mind about the cons of fiberglass pressure tanks:
- Time-consuming construction process
- Rigid and prone to cracking on pressure points
- Must be properly lined
- Additional coatings for both the inside and outside of the tank may be required
Is Fiberglass Better than Steel for Pressure Tanks?
Both have advantages as materials for long-lasting and strong pressure tank options, but are fiberglass pressure tanks better than steel? It all depends on what you’re storing. There are some substances and circumstances that better suit fiberglass pressure tanks, such as corrosive materials in harsh environments, whereas steel may be better suited for water storage, particularly for potable water. What you’re storing, where you’re storing it and the job you need your pressure tank to accomplish all need to be taken into consideration when deciding on a pressure tank option.
It comes down to your budget and what you need the tank to do for you, but both fiberglass and steel are leading options in the pressure tank storage market. If you’re looking for more information on fiberglass tanks, you can take a look at our standard products or get in touch with us to discuss what you’re looking for.