Stainless Steel Tanks

Tanks are cylindrical, drum-like containers that hold a variety of different substances. One of the most popular materials of tank construction is stainless steel, which is easy to manipulate and keep clean and sterile. Stainless steel tanks have many desirable features, such as durability, good thermal conductivity, a high thermal expansion rate, high corrosion resistance, and extreme temperature resistance. With a list of qualities like this, stainless steel tanks can store nearly everything, from food, beverages, and water, to gas, chemicals, and hazardous materials. Available in both vertical and horizontal orientations, they can hold anywhere between one and several million gallons of material.

While, generally speaking, all stainless steel tanks are used to contain substances or materials, they vary widely in terms of their specific purposes and appearances. Different types of stainless steel tanks include: storage tanks, pressure vessels, and atmospheric tanks. Storage tanks are used in a variety of industries, especially the brewing and agricultural industries.

In these industries, stainless steel storage tanks exist as vats, bins, and silos. The first example, vats, are used by breweries, wineries, and distilleries alike, where they assist in the refinement of beers, wine, and liquors. Silos, on the other hand, are used heavily on farms, where they typically hold animal feed and grains, as well as other liquids, like milk, and solids.

Typically, they are vertical, not horizontal. In addition, stainless steel storage tanks are used in wastewater and sewage management, food and beverage, and medicine, because they can be relied upon to resist corrosion and stay hygienic, provided caretakers clean them routinely. Next, pressure tanks count on the thermal conductivity of stainless steel for insulation purposes.

They may serve a variety of purposes, but one common application they serve is to hold heat or cold for short or long periods of time. They are also used to hold gases and liquids at differential pressures, or at pressures that are significantly different from the ambient pressure. Examples of pressure vessels include: domestic hot water storage tanks, pressurized hydraulic reservoirs, pneumatic reservoirs, compressed air receivers, nuclear reactor vessels, pressure reactors, diving cylinders, distillation towers, recompression chambers, and more. Similar to pressure tanks are atmospheric tanks, which hold liquids at atmospheric pressure.Read More…

Leading Manufacturers


Avon, MA | 508-436-7900

Frain Industries, Inc.

Franklin Park, MI | 630-629-9900

Watson Metal Masters, Inc.

Springfield, IL | 800-441-2654

Holloway America

Springfield, MO | 866-659-0077

Some stainless steel tanks are fabricated to hold specific substances, In the auto industry, for example, specialized stainless steel tanks called gas tanks are used to store fuel. In order to fortify them against cracking, flaking, gasoline diffusion, and corrosion, gas tanks are airtight and coated in zinc or aluminum.

Likewise, stainless steel water tanks are designed specifically to hold large amounts of water. They can be installed either above or below ground, where they hold water for a variety of purposes, such as: irrigation and farming, food preparation, drinking, and fire fighting. Note that, because of the delicate nature of the potability of water, waters tanks must be monitored regularly.

Food grade tanks are another specialty tank; they may be used either to store perishable substances at a controlled temperature or to mix or blend substances together. For the former purpose, tanks must be cleaned regularly so that they can maintain the sterile environment they provide. Food grade tanks designed for the latter application are produced with a motor-powered propeller that helps them blend and mix.

Along these lines, milk tanks are stainless steel tanks used on dairy farms to keep milk fresh. These tanks, also called bulk milk cooling tanks, do so by housing raw milk at a cold temperature until a milk hauler can pick it up. Septic tanks are used in conjunction with larger sewage treatment, or septic, systems.

All stainless steel tanks are fabricated either through welding or hot rolling. These processes both help strengthen the stainless steel, which, while naturally strong, can prove a little vulnerable in this state, because tank walls are so thin. Stainless steel tanks must therefore be carefully handled, particularly during construction, installation, and transportation. Tanks are available in a large number of different heights, diameters, and shapes. Most commonly, they are available in domed, conical, and flat shapes.

Regardless of their shape, however, a universal feature of stainless steel tanks is the manway. Manways are entry points for contents going into tanks; they can be circular, rectangular, or oval, and they may come with clamps, levers, or swivel arms. In addition, manways are always coated in a sealant material, which helps regulate temperature.

To prevent tank leakage, which could threaten tank contents with the invasion of toxins, manufacturers can equip tanks with emergency bilge pumps or submersible pumps. The former combats leakage by pumping out liquids as a leak into a tank. Meanwhile, submersible pumps do the same from inside the tank itself. Usually, pumps like these are installed with tanks that are used to treat groundwater or extract pollutants. Even if they do come with accessories like pumps, the only way operators can be sure that their tanks are working safely and properly is to check them regularly and clean them after every usage.

Stainless Steel Tank Informational Video