Advice Articles

How to Reduce the Impact of UV Rays on Poly Storage Tanks

In the last couple of decades, polyethylene (poly) storage tanks have largely taken over from their steel and cement predecessors. They’re widely available, easy to transport, inexpensive to maintain and won’t rust and leach contaminants into your water or chemicals.

They should be a long-lasting investment but, unfortunately, do have one significant drawback. Polyethylene begins to degrade when exposed to UV rays over a long period, so with many tanks located outdoors without adequate protection, most will undoubtedly leak, or even shatter, prematurely.

The plastics industry has had plenty of time to learn about UV damage, and there are easy steps which you can take to extend the life of your poly storage tank. It just takes a little know-how!

Sunblock For Tanks

The easiest route to a long-lived tank is to choose one of the right colour and material. You may have noticed that black tanks are turning up everywhere? A glossy black tank will have been impregnated with carbon black resin at the time of manufacture. The resin is inexpensive, easy to work with, and has several useful properties; one of which is the capacity to absorb UV light and dissipate it as heat. Think of the resin as sunblock for your tank! A black tank will stand more UV exposure than one of a different colour.

When making your selection, you should also bear in mind that there are a number of different varieties of polyethylene on the market. Tanks made with a high proportion of crosslinked polyethylene (XLPE) are more UV-resistant than old-fashioned linear types.

But what if you’re trying to extend the life of an existing tank, especially if it’s the wrong colour, or made of older, non-cross-linked material? The simplest way to minimise its UV exposure is obvious — keep it out of direct sun. The less light it’s subjected to, the longer it will last.

To find out more about our range of poly tanks, get in touch with one of our expert team on 01264 243116.