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Worlds First Double Skinned Hydrochloric Acid Storage Tank


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Abfad have applied their Fuelvac double skin system for terminal operator Simon Storage on a 14.8 metre diameter by 13 metre high tank used to store hydrochloric acid at its site in Seal Sands, Teesside.

The planning process begin in 2011 when Abfad was first approached by Simon Storage, who needed a lining system for storing hydrochloric acid. Abfad discussed two potential coatings that would offer suitable protection and samples were made and immersed in the acid to test the resistance. These tests were carried out over a two year period, after which time all parties agreed that the chosen coating was successfully resistant to the acid.

Abfad reviewed and formulated all project and engineering aspects to be able to double skin the tank floor areas and importantly up to the top of the wall sections. The weight of the double skin materials needed to be considered and a method was developed to ensure that the 13 metre high wall sections would be fully secure during installation as well as after the system was fully installed.

Once all planning and research was completed, installation began, with the tank being emptied, cleaned, de-gassed and the structural integrity of the tank was established through Non Destructive Testing. Scaffolding was erected in the tank in order to gain access to blast the underside of the tank lid. Abfad then blasted clean all areas of the tank and applied an initial single skin coating, once this was signed off, application of the double skin materials could begin.

To allow for more precise monitoring,the tank was sectioned off into six separate double skinned zones, each with its own vacuum monitoring instrument gauge. To enable each zone to act as a separate entity, Abfad overlapped there double skin system, this meant each zone could be independently monitored. The floor section was split into two zones and the wall sectioned off into four, all overlapping onto the previous zones double skin.

Due to the highly corrosive nature of the hydrochloric acid all pipe connections to the tank were protected and the tank hatch was internally coated to ensure there was no area of the tank that could potentially be a leak path due to any corrosion of the steel.
Abfad believe that this is the first tank which stores hydrochloric acid in the UK, if not the World, to be double skin lined.

The tank came into use and began storing product in August 2014. With no problems reported and all zones monitored within specifications the project was a complete success, with both Abfad and Simon Storage delighted with the outcome. This has enabled hydrochloric acid to be stored safely in the North East for the first time.

For more information visit call 0191 543 7166 or email

Published in: Engineering
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Worlds First Double Skinned Hydrochloric Acid Storage Tank

  2. 2. Tank view looking up / finish coat
  3. 3. Vacuum Monitoring Entry port installation 1 of 6 instrument gauges