Adventures in Tank Lining

From JPCL, August 2015

By Peter Bock, Advanced Polymerics, Inc.

The author recounts details of a vinyl ester tank relining project during a sweltering south Texas summer, which was relatively smooth due to collaboration, communication and thorough advance planning between the owner, specifier, inspectors and contractor....

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Tagged categories: Abrasive blasting; Abrasives; Program/Project Management; Tank interiors; Tanks; Vinyl ester

Comment from MC Skinitis, (8/20/2015, 9:16 AM)

Outstanding and well written article... hat's off to you Peter!

Comment from Antonio Leal, (8/24/2015, 1:26 PM)

Rare example where it worked out!

Comment from DIEGO CAVALIERI, (8/25/2015, 9:43 AM)

A job well done since as the author indicates there was the work ethics, the right attitude from all parts and a knowledgeable team of inspectors

Comment from Jeffrey Stewart, (8/25/2015, 4:49 PM)

I'm really glad that the project went well. I am a huge proponent that accurate and well writtten specifications are the foundation of a successful linings projects. It seems the team worked exceptionally well together to carry through from the good start to a well deserved successful outcome. I unfortunately must take exception to some of the information included in the article in regard to vinyl ester linings in general. First is the statement "precisely measured amounts of catalyst chemicals are added to the vinyl ester base to start a chemical crosslinking and heating of the vinyl ester material. In effect, the catalyzed, applied vinyl ester film cures by baking itself hard during the drying process." Vinyl esters cure through polymerization which is a chemical process of turning small molecules (monomers) into larger molcules (polymers)which, due to the larger molecular weight, go through a phase transition from liquid to solid. While temperature is critical to the rate of reaction and not enough heat will result in no reaction, vinyl esters do not bake themselves or have a drying process. Secondly "To reduce shrinkage separation from the substrate during curing, and to increase flexibility of the dried film, vinyl ester lining materials are highly filled with fairly coarse and highly chemical-resistant flake or powder additives." While inert materials like flakes and powders added to the vinyl ester may achieve a slight reduction in the mateiral shrinkage the main reason they are added is to achieve specific enhanced product performance. The reason I bother to point that out is a misbelief that they are there primarily to off-set shrinkage may mislead a potential specifier into not looking at what type of additives are necessary to achieve specific performance characteristics. Third, "Plural component spray pumps have been tried for vinyl ester application and were found to be unsuitable because of the very low catalyst-to-coating ratio and because of the possibility of uneven catalyst distribution." is just plain false. I personally have been involved in the successful application of millions of square feet of vinyl ester based materials going back into the 1980's by plural component spray. The necessary equipmnet is readily available.

Comment from Peter Bock, (8/26/2015, 1:32 PM)

Mr. Jeffrey Stewart makes several very valid points in his comment of 8/25/2015, and his comment illustrates the breadth and diversity of industrial paint contractors’ experience across the United States. As Mr. Stewart states, in many parts of the US there are paint contractors who regularly apply Vinyl Ester linings, for FGD units in coal-fired facilities or similar service, and who use plural-component airless application equipment. No such contractors bid on the GCA project described in the JPCL article. In South Texas, 100% VS 1:1 epoxy is king for petroleum and petrochemical tank lining work, and most contractors in the area do not even have plural equipment which can handle ratios as far from 1:1 as are required for Vinyl Ester application. Similarly, there are many small and mid-sized manufacturers of quality Vinyl Ester lining material with a diverse variety of characteristics, but the lining supplier specified sole-source for this project, one of the world’s largest coating manufacturers, lists only two Vinyl Ester linings – flake filled conductive and grit-filled non-conductive. Data regarding fillers and shrinkage-resist characteristics of Vinyl Ester were taken direct from "Understanding the Basics of Chemical-Resistant Polyesters and Vinyl Esters," Gary Hall, JPCL, November 2013, and "Generic Coating Types – Polyester and Vinyl Ester Coatings," William R. Slama, JPCL, May 1996. Discussion of Vinyl Ester formulation and curing could not be comprehensive because of editorial and space limitations in the current article. The intended emphasis in the article was that despite the use of shrinkage resist fillers, unacceptable variation in substrate temperature during application and cure had to be controlled or compensated for, because otherwise it could have catastrophic negative effects on cure, recoat interval and eventual service life and performance of the applied Vinyl Ester lining.

Comment from William slama, (8/27/2015, 9:33 AM)

The article and comments from Jeffrey Stewart and Peter Brock should be very informative and helpful for those who are not experienced with vinyl ester coatings and linings. Mr. Stewart is correct that the fillers used do not greatly reduce the shrinkage that occurs during cross-linking. However, flake fillers, especially glass flake, are designed to align with the substrate. The primary purpose is to reduce permeability through physical interference (glass flakes are impermeable). But they also materially reduce the shrinkage strain in the plane of the lining and also reduce the thermal coefficient of expansion in that plane which serves to reduce interfacial stresses that result from temperature changes.

Comment from trevor neale, (8/28/2015, 8:33 AM)

I suggest the main take away from the excellent article and the above comments is the complexity involved in the selection ,planning and succesful application of protective coatings should be only be undertaked by true professionals with experience and integrity.

Comment from Evandro Rivera Martin, (1/7/2016, 5:28 AM)

Hello Peter!!! Great article!!! Thank you very much!!! Remember me? Evandro from Brazil!!! My best regards and success!!!

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