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Plastic tanks or commonly known as poly tanks are used by all types of industries for many purposes. When compared to other tank materials, plastic tanks, which are made of polyethylene and are commonly referred to as poly tanks, have a number of advantages.
They are significantly less expensive than tanks made with other materials, such as fiberglass, stainless, and mild steel. Furthermore, they are corrosion resistant and are compatible with a number of materials including most liquid fertilizers and crop protectants. Poly tanks that are manufactured for fertilizer and pesticide use should not be used for gasoline or diesel fuel since they will soften the plastic, eventually causing the tank to fail.
The tanks are available in various sizes and shapes and can be used for storage, transportation, and application. They have relatively good impact resistance, which is particularly important when they are used for transportation and application tanks.
However, like any other product, poly tanks need to be properly used and cared for to ensure maximum life and safety. Like many plastics, polyethylene is degraded by the ultraviolet (UV) radiation in sunshine. Through the use of UV inhibitors and new manufacturing techniques, plastics now hold up much better when exposed to sunlight.
Suitable For Storage
Poly tanks are made of either high density linear polyethylene (HDLPE) or high density cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE). Tanks made of either material are suitable to store and haul most pesticides and fertilizers. Of the two materials, XLPE is more chemical resistant and durable, although it is more expensive. When purchasing a poly tank, it is important to select a tank material that is compatible with the material that it will be used to store or haul.
The strength of a poly tank or its ability to hold various liquid materials is rated by specific gravity. The specific gravity of water is 1.0 and the specific gravity of other liquids is relative to the weight or specific gravity of water.
For example, the weight of water is 8.334 pounds per gallon and a poly tank specifically designed to store water would have a specific gravity rating of at least 1.0. Of course, that same tank could be used to store or haul liquids with a specific gravity of less than 1.0 safely.
The weight of most liquid fertilizers is 10 to 12 pounds per gallon, which is significantly higher than that of water, and a heavier tank is required for storage or hauling. For example, 10-34-00 liquid fertilizer weighs 11.67 pounds per gallon, which gives it a specific gravity of 1.4. Therefore, a tank that is used to store or haul 10-34-00 should have a specific gravity rating of at least 1.4.
Generally, it is a good rule of thumb to select a tank with a specific gravity rating of one increment higher that the product you are going to put in it. The 10-34-00 fertilizer should have a tank with a specific gravity rating of 1.4, but a tank with a specific gravity rating of 1.5 would provide a margin of safety