Managing Weld and Wall Failure in Molasses Storage Tanks

28 February 2019
 Categories: , Blog


What's the secret ingredient for fertile soils with readily absorbable nutrients? The answer is molasses. Molasses is a peculiar material that brings many benefits to your farm, some of which are not achievable using ordinary fertilisers. For instance, it is a ready source of carbohydrates and carbon energy for soils microorganisms. This enhances their growth and enables your soil to flourish from enhanced natural fertility. If you have a large plantation, molasses tanks will make it readily available for use on your farm. Such an installation requires you to look out for the safety of your workers and loved ones. Here is what you should do to manage weld and wall failure in molasses storage tanks: 

Select the Right Material 

Molasses has typical liquid properties. Its molecules expand rapidly whenever there is an increase in the temperature of the surrounding. When this happens, the pressure rises in the storage tank and three things might happen. These are wall blow out, roof collapse or an explosion. Choosing the right material when building your molasses storage tank will keep any of these from happening. The material should be good at handling fluid pressure when molasses expands or contracts. The best materials for such a purpose are fibreglass, stainless steel and polyethylene. 

Use Protective Coatings

Molasses storage tanks need to withstand aggressive weather elements. Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiation, moisture and frost wear down the tank's material. Fortunately, there are many protective coatings you can use to look out for the wellbeing of your tank. These are: 

  1. Rubberised asphalt- rubberised asphalt is as tough as modern coatings come. The material comprises regular asphalt concrete assorted with crumb rubber. The rubber makes the coating easily workable and ready to bind on your molasses tank. 
  2. Epoxy-phenolic- epoxy phenolic offers excellent resistance to corrosion against corrosive salts, acids and solvents. It is also ideal in places where high temperature is a concern. The process of coating involves baking it over the molasses tank to guarantee long-term protection. 

Tank Wall Thickness and Specific Gravity 

Specific gravity refers to the ratio of a liquid's density to that of a set standard. Water is the set standard with a specific gravity of 1. If a liquid is twice heavier than water, then its specific gravity is 2. Specific gravity is an important consideration when building a molasses storage tank. The thickness of the tank should able to handle the specific gravity of molasses. This will minimise the risk of an explosion. Wall thickness above fifteen inches is acceptable for handling molasses.