Exploring Corrosion Prevention for Above-Ground Tanks

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Corrosion is a common and costly problem faced by industries relying on above-ground tanks to store a variety of liquids and materials. Neglected or inadequately maintained storage systems are susceptible to corrosion, which can result in leaks, structural damage, or even tank failure. Among other consequences, corrosion may lead to significant financial losses and environmental concerns. To effectively combat corrosion issues and ensure the longevity of your tanks, a proactive approach to maintenance and corrosion prevention is essential.

In this post, we will explore various strategies for preventing corrosion in above-ground tanks and discuss how partnering with an experienced tank maintenance service provider like ATM Tanks, offering expert tank design, installation, repairs, and maintenance throughout Australia and the Pacific, can help extend the life of your storage systems.

We will delve into the different types of corrosion affecting tanks, including general or localised corrosion, pitting, and galvanic corrosion, and outline methods for their early detection and treatment. Furthermore, we will discuss practices such as periodic tank inspections, professional tank cleaning, and the application of protective coatings, all essential for a robust and long-lasting storage solution.

Equip yourself with vital knowledge about above-ground tank corrosion prevention techniques and learn how the expertise of professional tank maintenance providers like ATM Tanks can help you protect your investment and secure a resilient, efficient storage system for your essential resources.

Identifying Different Types of Corrosion

Effective corrosion prevention starts with identifying the various forms of corrosion affecting above-ground tanks, as each kind requires a specific approach to mitigation and management. Below, we outline common types of corrosion:

1. General or Localized Corrosion: This occurs when the tank’s surface is evenly covered with rust spots or scales or when corrosion is focused on a specific area of the tank, respectively.

2. Pitting Corrosion: Pitting is a highly localised form of corrosion, which results in the formation of small cavities or “pits” in the tank’s metal surface. These pits can penetrate deeply into the metal, causing structural damage.

3. Galvanic Corrosion: This occurs when two dissimilar metals or metal alloys come into contact, leading to accelerated corrosion of the less corrosion-resistant metal.

Experiencing multiple types of corrosion is not uncommon, so it’s essential to conduct thorough inspections to assess their extent and determine the appropriate preventive measures.

Conducting Periodic Tank Inspections

Regular tank inspections are crucial in identifying potential corrosion issues before they escalate into significant problems. Partnering with skilled professionals like ATM Tanks will ensure thorough and effective inspections, including the following:

1. Visual Inspections: Examine the interior and exterior surfaces of the tank for visible signs of corrosion, leaks, rust, and discolouration.

2. Ultrasonic Testing: Utilising ultrasonic thickness gauges, this non-destructive testing method measures the thickness of the tank walls and helps detect thinning due to corrosion.

3. Corrosion Mapping: This technique creates a visual representation of corrosion-prone areas, enabling targeted repair and maintenance.

By scheduling periodic inspections, you can actively monitor potential corrosion issues and address them before they compromise your tank’s structural integrity.

Professional Tank Cleaning and Corrosion Removal

Keeping your tank clean and free of accumulated debris, scale, or contaminants helps minimise the risk of corrosion. Professional tank cleaning services like ATM Tanks can effectively remove rust, scale, sludge, and biofouling without damaging the tank surfaces. Properly cleaned tanks offer the following benefits:

1. Enhanced Corrosion Resistance: A clean tank ensures that no corrosive elements are in direct contact with the tank’s surfaces.

2. Improved Structural Integrity: By removing corrosive substances, the tank’s structural strength and durability are preserved.

3. Optimal Storage Conditions: Periodic tank cleaning eliminates contaminants that deteriorate the stored materials, maintaining the quality of the contents.

Utilising Protective Coatings for Corrosion Prevention

Applying a protective coating to your above-ground tank provides a robust barrier against rust, corrosion, and other surface damage. Protective coatings should be chosen based on the specific requirements of your tank and stored materials. Benefits of protective coatings include the following:

1. Corrosion Resistance: Coatings protect the underlying tank surfaces from moisture, chemical reactions, and other corrosive elements.

2. Improved Aesthetics: A well-maintained tank with a protective coating offers a clean, professional appearance, enhancing your facility’s image.

3. Extended Tank Life: Protective coatings help prolong the lifespan of your tank by mitigating the damaging effects of corrosion.

ATM Tanks can provide expert guidance and application of appropriate protective coatings, ensuring optimal protection and performance for your storage solutions.


Preventing corrosion in above-ground tanks is an essential aspect of tank maintenance that safeguards the structural integrity and longevity of your storage system. By understanding the different types of corrosion, conducting periodic tank inspections, utilising professional tank cleaning services, and applying protective coatings, you can effectively mitigate corrosion risks and maintain a safe and efficient storage environment for your essential resources.

ATM Tanks’s expertise in tank inspections, installation, repairs, and maintenance ensures that you partner with professionals who understand your industry’s unique needs and requirements, providing a seamless approach to corrosion prevention and tank maintenance. Protect your investment and secure a resilient, reliable storage system by trusting the experts at ATM Tanks. Contact us today to learn more!

Aaron James
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About The Author

Aaron James
Aaron has been working at ATM Tanks for the past 5 years. He has completed a wide range of projects across Australia including new tank builds, cleaning and servicing existing tanks and countless tank inspections. However he has excelled recently at project management for ATM Tanks.

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