There are many storage tanks currently in service that consistently have problems stemming from insulation. Some of these problems outweigh the benefits provided, and tanks end up not being insulated. This can lead to product loss, elevated energy needs, maintenance issues and personnel protection hazards. Fortunately, there is an exciting technology that has industry acceptance and can solve these issues while providing thermal insulation in an easy-to-apply coating.
Mascoat's insulating coatings are not reflective rooftop coatings, which solely reflect ultraviolet rays. Our coatings are acrylic resins filled with ceramics and silica, among other things, creating a true thermal barrier between two environments. A 1- to 5-millimeter coating can effectively insulate and replace conventional insulation in some circumstances. Today, there are countless applications in a wide spectrum of industries around the globe. They are not suitable for every tank application, but they are perfect for many.
Storage tanks are usually exposed to the elements because of their large size. If traditionally insulated, it is likely moisture will make its way into the insulation, creating problems. These include decreased insulation abilities, corrosion under insulation (CUI) and other maintenance concerns. Tanks that hold product more than 320 F (160 C) may seem resistant to CUI, but that is only up to the fill line. Areas above that can be subject to corrosion.
Tank roofs are difficult to insulate properly and many times left without insulation. Roofs have many protrusions that can ruin a perfect seal with traditional panel systems. Another concern is personnel damaging the insulation when accessing the roof for routine inspections.
Since our coatings are applied (just like paint) to the exterior of the tank, they adhere directly to the substrate or primer. This forms a seamless barrier rain and moisture cannot penetrate, effectively negating the possibility of CUI occurring. There aren’t any gaps, like you would have with steel jacketing or panel systems. Their performance is not diminished by regular foot traffic and can also greatly reduce the effects of flash cooling due to a passing rainstorm.
Some facilities are trying to keep heat out of a tank for content stabilization or to combat vapor loss. In older facilities that do not have floating roofs or other vapor recovery technologies, Mascoat’s coatings can greatly reduce product loss. We even produce a highly reflective formulation that combines our innovative insulating technology with a bright white color, a much more effective solution than just using white paint.
Mascoat Industrial –DTI is ideal for personnel protection by preventing burns, slips, falls and more. We are the only insulating coatings manufacturer with a study presented to NACE regarding insulating coatings and ASTM-1055 and ASTM 1057 protection standards. The coating only needs to be applied to areas touched by personnel. In Pasadena, Texas, one company used our product and chose to only insulate along the stairwell and the bottom 7 feet of the tank, allowing the company to reduce installation costs and time, and only insulate what was necessary. Conversely, conventional insulation requires fabrication next to stairways, and anything other than the sides of tanks, to provide adequate protection.
The region in which the tank is located can affect how the coatings will perform and can be the deciding factor on whether or not to use them. Coastal areas that are humid and don’t experience harsh winters are prime locations. With high humidity and elevated temperatures, traditional insulation will hold moisture and corrosion can progress rapidly. In colder areas, individual applications must be carefully scrutinized as thin film coatings can have diminished performance in those areas. There must be an internal heat source, and freeze protection applications are not usually recommended.
All types of thermal insulation have their pros and cons. Though Mascoat has not been around as long as more conventional forms of insulation, it has become fairly clear where we are and are not successful. The benefits yielded on the successful applications make believers out of the most resistant skeptics. By working with an experienced company like Mascoat that can help guide you through best practices using an insulating coating, you are ensuring a sustainable system that will provide a return on your investment.