Nozzles for cleaning chemical tanks and vessels

Tank cleaning is a common spray application in many industries but the cleaning of chemical tanks can present some specific challenges.  

Amplified cost of poor cleaning  

If contaminants remain entire batches of chemicals are potentially ruined.  This is true in food processing and other tank cleaning applications but typically the value of a batch is much higher in chemical processing.  Furthermore the levels at which remaining contaminants become problematic can be much lower.  With highly stringent purity regulations and controls even small defects in cleaning can result in large losses.

It is therefore vital to ensure complete, repeatable and measurable cleaning to the standard required. The Orbitor range of rotary solid stream tank cleaning machines provide exactly this.  The system will cope with tanks up to 20 metres in diameter and will clean in a methodical, highly water efficient and thorough way over a set cleaning cycle.   

The problems of glass lined vessels

Glass is highly useful lining material for many chemicals storage and reaction tanks.  A potential issue, however, is the fragile nature of glass.  If a cleaning nozzle were to come loose, fall and crack the lining of a tank the cost could be huge.  Not only is there the cost of repairing the tank, there is the inevitable downtime cost to consider.

One common solution is to deploy PTFE, as opposed to metal, cleaning nozzles such as thebHydroWhirl Poseidon in glass lined tanks.  PTFE is highly alkali and acid resistant and also far kinder on fragile vessels should an accident happen.

Explosion risks

Many tank cleaning systems will involve rotating nozzles.  This motion represents a risk of static build up and  sparking in certain environments.  Some tank cleaning systems will be precluded under ATEX regulations (for example PTFE is not an ATEX approved material), others are exempt e.g. spray balls and spiral tank cleaners that have no moving parts, and others have ATEX approval such as the industry leading rotary flat fan tank cleaner HydroWhirl. 

More details

The last two points are covered in the relevant Chemical Processing Spray challenges section.  The first point about the importance of thorough cleaning is essentially down to choosing the appropriate spray cleaning nozzles, a guide to which can be found in the tank cleaning applications page.

Chemical Processing Key Spray Applications

Chemical Processing Key Spray Challenges: