Polyethylene tanks now standard practice

PLASTIC tanks are manufactured by the rotational moulding method from finely-ground polyethylene powder. The industry’s peak body, Association of Rotational Moulders Australasia (ARMA) recommended that when calling for tenders or purchasing polyethylene tanks for water or chemical storage, purchasers should specify that the products must comply with relevant Australian Standards; this ensures that the tanks they have ordered will last the lifetime of their warranty, even in harsh environmental conditions.
Australian/New Zealand Standard 4766:2006 ensures that polyethylene tanks are properly designed and manufactured to be fi t-for-purpose. Certification marks
confirm that a third party has verified that the manufacturer has met all of the conditions of the standard and certification, giving the purchaser the highest level of confidence. However, not every manufacturer chooses to certify products. Regardless of certification, to meet the industry’s best practice requirements companies must comply with all aspects of the standard. ARMA recommended that if it appeared that a tank did not comply with the standards, the client should contact the manufacturer and ask for written confirmation of compliance.
“The standard has comprehensive guidelines for all aspects of the design and manufacture for polyethylene tanks, but some of the important aspects are a guaranteed wall thickness, a finite element analysis on the design of the products, and post-production test results confirming that processing parameters have been met,” ARMA chief executive Leisa Donlan said “Naturally, that may make some manufacturer’s products slightly more expensive but it also ensures quality, which is always cheaper than replacing a failed tank later on.
“While tank makers may claim compliance with several standards, the only really important one in terms of product quality is [AS/NZS] 4766[:2006] for polyethylene.”
ARMA encouraged consumers to take a balanced approach when considering warranty periods because polyethylene was a long lasting material. However,
the association advised consumers to not be distracted by promises of extended warranties.
“The association sometimes sees tender requirements that specify unachievable product life of anywhere from 25 to 50 years,” Ms Donlan said.
“While manufacturers may lodge tenders under these conditions, we would prefer to see tender requirements focus on a more realistic design life of 10 to 15 years and to require certification to recognised standards to ensure the best product possible is supplied.
“The good news is [that] the tank market is competitive and has excess capacity at the moment, so the opportunities to compare quality are plentiful.”

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