One of the key pieces of equipment that we are asked to help protect daily are tanks. Whether it is a processing tank in the food and beverage industry or a storage tank in the oil and gas industry, many have the same issues with heat loss or gain, corrosion, and longevity.

Tanks are the multi-purpose containers that hold everything from milk to chemical dyes to methanol. They come in all shapes and sizes, but all need to be effective and the proper insulation and surface protection technology can help increase their lifespan and keep the product inside at the necessary temperature for optimal performance and delivery.

Let’s take a look at how nanoscience coatings, like Syneffex™ thermal insulation paint for tanks, are revolutionizing tank performance and sustainability.

Tank Materials and Construction | Tank Insulation and Protection Challenges

A majority of tanks that we see are made of galvanized steel, steel or stainless steel. Titanium can be used, but is not seen as often.

Steel tanks have challenges with both heat transfer, due to metal being a very conductive material, and with corrosion. Yes, we even see corrosion happening from time to time on the stainless steel tanks as well.

Traditional insulation, fiberglass or mineral wool, causes corrosion-under-insulation (CUI) due to the moisture being trapped between the insulation and the tank surface. We’ve been called on many times to solve this issue while still offering the same or better quality of thermal insulation protection. 

Case in Point:

12 coats of Heat Shield™ High Heat insulated within

3 degrees of 8 cm of mineral wool

Sinopec, China’s state-owned oil and gas company, did a winter-long study of Syneffex™ High Heat coating over a fuel oil storage tank in one of the harshest of environments, an offshore oil platform. They wanted to solve the issue of CUI on their tanks, which was very costly, and also needed an insulation that would stand up to the salt air and highly moist environment.

Our High Heat Coating was a winner! At 12 coats (just 1200 microns applied wet film thickness), the coating insulated within 3 degrees of the 8 cm of mineral wool with aluminum sheet cover they had been using, PLUS it stopped the corrosion PLUS it lasted much longer and performed better in the salt air environment.

Tank Insulation and Protection

For non-metal tank construction, two common materials used are fiberglass reinforced polyester (FRP) and concrete. Concrete is typically used in the waste water industry on waste water digester tanks and the FRP tanks are usually used for chemical storage to contain chemicals such as potassium hydroxide and other corrosives. A benefit of a non-metal tank of course is that it doesn’t suffer the same corrosion and CUI issues, but insulation is still a big factor and one where heat loss or gain still needs to be contained.

Wrapping a huge waste water digester tank with a blanket type insulation and covering it with a sheet of aluminum for weathering protection is not really a viable option, so a spray-on solution, like our EPX-H20 or Energy Protect™ coating provide an easy and cost effective way to insulate large tanks to save energy and provide surface protection. 

Case in Point:

6 coats of Energy Protect™ increased energy recaptured and earned a rebate for municipality

The City of San Jose, California was looking to capture more energy from their waste water digester process. The heat generated from the process, which was contained in a large concrete tank was used for power regeneration which provided energy for another part of the facility. They also had the opportunity to receive a rebate from their local power company if they could implement this energy saving measure.

Energy Protect™ was coated on the exterior of the tank in a 6-coat application. It was easily sprayed on with a standard paint sprayer by their painting crew and, in addition to helping them recapture more energy and get a rebate from their power company, the protective nature of the coating also prevented moisture/mold/UV degradation of the tank. 

Tank Insulation and Protection

Good Tank Insulation Works In Any Temperature, Humidity, and Weather Condition

When I’m working with plant and facility managers, I find that one of the main reasons they use Syneffex™ coatings for tank insulation is because they’re easy, powerful, versatile, and just plain do the job for any of their tank processes. Hot or cold, indoors or outdoors, our coatings protect their valuable assets and prevent heat loss or heat gain.

Syneffex™ coatings can be used in conditions as low as -40C (-40F) up to 204C (400F). They can be used indoors or outdoors, with no exterior covering needed. They’re tough enough to stand up to the harshest of environments.

Spray is Better Than Wrap

The bottom line is that our tank customers find that a spray-on solution for insulation that bonds with the substrate is much better than a wrap for a wide variety of reasons. The protective benefits also add extra cost savings and maintenance savings.

If you have a tank and would like to know what Syneffex™ coatings could do for you, just send the diameter, height or length, and operating/surface temperature. We’ll send you a recommendation and quote in just 24-48 hours.


Some typical applications:

  • Pulp & Paper Industry: Black liquor tanks, turpentine tanks, hot water tanks
  • Food & Beverage Industry: Cooking kettles, dairy tanks, brewing vats
  • Chemical Industry: Methanol tanks, LNG tanks, chemical reactor columns
  • Oil & Gas Industry: Offshore fuel oil storage tanks, onshore storage tanks, natural gas storage tanks
  • Water/Waste Water Industry: Digester tanks, hot water tanks, cold water tanks
  • Other Industries: Dyeing machine tanks, tire molds, ship diesel fuel oil tanks