Exploring the Materials Used in Water Storage Tanks and Their Benefits

Have you ever considered what goes into making the perfect water storage solution? Water storage tanks are indispensable in various sectors, from residential and commercial to industrial applications. These tanks ensure a reliable supply of clean water, which is crucial for everyday use and emergency situations.

This article explores the different materials used in water storage tanks and their distinct benefits. At FTC Tanks, we pride ourselves on our expertise in providing high-quality fiberglass water tanks. Our fiberglass water tanks offer unmatched durability, free maintenance, and customization options, making them ideal for any need.

Let’s dive into the advantages of each material and see why FTC Tanks leads the industry in innovative water storage solutions.

Which Materials Are Used in Water Storage Tanks?

Steel Water Storage Tanks

Steel water storage tanks are commonly constructed from carbon steel, stainless steel, or galvanized steel. These materials are known for their robustness and resilience, so they are often used where strength and reliability are paramount.

Common in industrial and commercial settings, steel tanks are used for storing water in factories, refineries, and large buildings.


      • Strength and Resilience: Steel tanks are known for their high strength-to-weight ratio, making them durable and reliable for long-term use.

      • Corrosion Protection: Compared to polyethylene, plastic, or concrete, steel offers better durability and resistance to corrosion. It’s perfect for storing water or other corrosive materials because it doesn’t oxidize when exposed to biocides or water.

      • Hygienic: Stainless Steel water storage containers are a more hygienic option, unlike their counterparts, which can harbor mold, bacteria, and chemical leaks. Stainless steel’s stability and inertness ensure cleaner water storage.

      • Fire Resistance: True fire protection is provided by steel water tanks, which, in contrast to polyethylene tanks that melt and bow, retain structural integrity and can contain water even after a fire.


        • Susceptibility to Corrosion: Steel tanks corrode over time, even without exposure to harsh environmental conditions. 

        • Maintenance Requirements: Regular maintenance, along with proper coatings, paintings, or liners, is essential to prevent rust and corrosion.

        • Compromised Integrity: Corrosion can weaken the tank’s structure, reducing its lifespan and reliability.

        • Environmental Sensitivity: Steel tanks are not suitable for all climates without additional protective measures.

        • Higher Long-Term Costs: Ongoing maintenance and potential repairs can increase the overall cost of ownership.

      To mitigate this issue, it’s essential to perform regular maintenance and implement protective measures, such as using polyethylene or PVC liners. These liners act as a barrier, preventing water from coming into direct contact with the steel, thereby extending the tank’s durability and ensuring long-term performance.

      Plastic (Polyethylene) Water Storage Tanks

      Plastic water storage tanks, made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), are lightweight and versatile. They are a popular choice for residential and commercial applications due to their affordability and ease of installation.

      Plastic water storage containers are suitable for residential and commercial uses, especially where mobility and cost-effectiveness are priorities.


          • Cost-Effective: Plastic water tanks have a lower initial investment compared to other materials, making them an affordable option for many users.

          • Lightweight: Easy to transport and install, plastic tanks can be set up quickly without the need for heavy equipment.

          • Versatility: Available in various sizes, plastic tanks are suitable for a wide range of applications and can be customized with different fittings and accessories.


            • Vulnerability to UV Rays: Plastic tanks can degrade over time when exposed to direct sunlight, leading to a shorter lifespan. To mitigate this, they often require UV-resistant coatings or must be placed in shaded areas.

            • Limited Lifespan: Compared to materials like stainless steel or concrete, plastic tanks generally have a shorter operational life. They become brittle and crack over a short period of time, especially when exposed to harsh environmental conditions.

            • Lower Strength: While plastic tanks are durable, they are not as strong as metal or concrete tanks. They can be more susceptible to impact damage and require more frequent replacements.

            • Chemical Leaching: Over time, certain chemicals in the plastic can leach into the stored water, which may affect water quality. This is particularly a concern when storing potable water or other sensitive liquids.

          These drawbacks should be considered alongside the benefits to determine if plastic (polyethylene) water storage tanks are the right choice for your specific needs and environment.

          Concrete Water Storage Tanks

          Concrete water storage tanks are robust structures made from reinforced concrete, known for their exceptional strength and durability. These tanks are constructed using a combination of cement, water, and aggregates, with steel reinforcements to enhance their structural integrity.

          Concrete tanks are ideal for large-scale and underground installations, particularly in municipal and industrial settings. They are often used for irrigation systems and emergency water supplies.

          When used for potable water storage, concrete tanks typically require a lining to prevent water contamination and ensure safety, as unlined concrete can leach harmful substances into the water. Liners such as epoxy, polyurethane, or other NSF-61-certified materials are applied to create a barrier between the concrete and the water, ensuring the stored water remains clean and safe for consumption.


              • Durability: Long-lasting with regular maintenance and upkeep, capable of withstanding harsh environmental conditions.

              • Strength: Suitable for large-scale installations and underground use, supporting heavy loads and resisting seismic activity.

              • Insulation: Provides excellent thermal properties, maintaining water temperature stability and preventing freezing in cold climates.

              • Customizable Sizes: These tanks can be designed to fit specific site requirements, offering flexibility in capacity and layout.

              • Resistance to Fire and Vandalism: Concrete tanks are non-combustible and provide a higher level of security against tampering and damage.


                • Weight: Concrete tanks are very heavy, requiring significant structural support and specialized equipment for installation.

                • Cost: High initial construction costs compared to other materials.

                • Cracking: Susceptible to cracking over time due to environmental stress, ground movement, or freeze-thaw cycles.

                • Maintenance: Requires regular inspection and maintenance to ensure structural integrity and prevent leaks.

                • Installation Time: Longer installation time due to curing of concrete and construction complexity.

                • Non-Mobility: Once installed, they are not easily relocatable.

              Concrete water storage tanks offer great durability but come with challenges such as high cost, maintenance needs, and potential for cracking, which should be considered.

              FRP Hot Pressed Panel Type Tanks

              Fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) water tanks are an advanced solution for water storage, offering a unique combination of strength, durability, and versatility.

              Fiberglass water tanks are constructed from layers of fiberglass fabric and resin, creating a strong and durable storage solution. These tanks are widely used for storing potable water, non-potable water, wastewater, and more.


                  • High Strength-to-Weight Ratio: Despite their lightweight nature, fiberglass tanks are incredibly strong, making them easy to transport and install without compromising on durability.

                  • Corrosion Resistance: Unlike steel tanks, fiberglass tanks are immune to rust and corrosion, which makes them suitable for a wide range of climates and water conditions.

                  • Free Maintenance: These tanks require minimal upkeep, leading to long-term savings. They do not need interior coatings or liners to maintain their integrity.

                  • Durability: Fiberglass tanks are designed to withstand harsh environmental conditions, ensuring a long lifespan and reliable performance.

                  • Ease of Installation: Their lightweight and modular design allows for easy installation, even in confined spaces. They can be assembled on-site, making them a flexible choice for various locations.

                  • Customization: Fiberglass tanks can be tailored to meet specific needs, with various configurations and sizes available to suit different applications.


                    • Limited pH Range: While FTC FRP tanks can withstand non-reactive substances between pH 5-9, their narrow pH compatibility restricts applications. Industries involving more acidic or alkaline chemicals require alternative vessels. Extremely low pH liquids under 5 or high pH solutions over 9 may damage the sealant and panels, risking leaks or tainted output.

                    • Assembly Required: These tanks are not pre-assembled and need to be put together on-site; though even unskilled workers can construct them. 

                    • Temperature Limitation: FTC FRP Tanks have a maximum liquid storage temperature limit of 140°F. This restriction makes them unsuitable for applications involving higher-temperature liquids. 

                    • Atmospheric Pressure Only: These water tanks are designed to operate under atmospheric pressure only, meaning they cannot be used in applications that require pressurization. This limitation restricts their use in various industrial processes where pressurized storage is necessary. 

                  Once you understand these materials’ advantages and drawbacks, you can ensure optimal performance and longevity for your water storage containers.

                  Why FTC Tanks is a Leader in Water Storage Solutions

                  Our fiberglass water tanks are renowned for their durability, low maintenance, and adaptability, meeting the highest standards for various applications.

                  Our tanks are constructed using high-quality Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP), which offers several material benefits:

                      • Corrosion Resistance: FRP tanks are highly resistant to corrosion, ensuring a longer lifespan and reducing the need for frequent maintenance.

                      • Lightweight yet Strong: The lightweight nature of FRP makes our tanks easier to transport and install while still providing exceptional strength and durability.

                      • Customizability: FRP allows for versatile size options, enabling us to create tanks to meet specific storage needs.

                      • Thermal Insulation: Our tanks offer excellent thermal insulation properties, which help in maintaining the temperature of the stored water.

                      • Safety and Hygiene: FRP is non-toxic and does not leach chemicals into the water, ensuring safe and hygienic water storage.

                    We also provide an extensive range of reinforcement options, such as externally and internally braced tanks, baffle walls, and partition walls. Our insulation options (non-insulated, 1” insulation, 2” insulation) and steel footing choices (pedestal, single beams, skid, flat on slab) cater to diverse needs.

                    Additionally, we offer tailored solutions for specific requirements. These include, but are not limited to:

                        • Custom Internal Piping: Tailored internal piping systems to meet the specific plumbing needs of the tank.

                        • Handrails: Safety handrails to ensure safe access and maintenance of the tanks.

                        • Ladder Safety Cages: Protective cages around ladders to prevent falls and enhance safety.

                        • Roof Chambers: Enclosed spaces on the tank roof for various purposes, such as housing equipment.

                        • Side Manways: Side entry points for easy access to the tank interior for inspection and maintenance.

                        • External and Internal Bracing: Additional support structures to enhance the tank’s stability and integrity.

                        • Various Insulation Levels: Insulation options to maintain water temperature and prevent freezing or overheating.

                        • Different Types of Steel Footings: Customized footings to provide a stable and secure foundation for the tanks.

                        • Inspection Hatches: Access points for regular inspection and maintenance without needing to empty the tank.

                        • Ventilation Systems: Systems to ensure proper air circulation and prevent condensation inside the tanks.

                        • Overflow Systems: Mechanisms to handle excess water and prevent spillage.

                      From design to installation, we ensure a seamless experience with comprehensive support, ensuring high customer satisfaction.

                      FTC’s Cutting-Edge Water Storage Technology

                      FTC Tanks utilizes advanced technology to deliver superior water storage solutions. Our state-of-the-art manufacturing processes ensure that our tanks are durable, reliable, and efficient. Key technologies include:

                          • Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP): We use advanced materials, including high-quality fiberglass filaments and isophthalic resin, ensuring our fiberglass water tanks are robust, durable, and reliable.

                          • Hot Pressed Panels: FTC FRP panels are pressed under high temperature and pressure to ensure exact panel outcomes and eliminate styrene emissions.

                          • Precision Engineering: Our tanks are designed with precision to meet diverse storage needs, ensuring optimal performance and longevity.

                          • Innovative Insulation: Advanced insulation options help maintain water temperature and prevent energy loss.

                          • Modular Design: Our tanks feature a modular design, allowing for easy installation and scalability.

                        By leveraging these cutting-edge technologies, FTC Tanks provides robust and adaptable water storage solutions tailored to various applications.

                        The Bottom Line!

                        We have already learned that the right material for water storage tanks is essential for ensuring their performance and longevity. Each material—whether it’s the strength of concrete, the resilience of steel, the versatility of plastic, or the low maintenance of fiberglass—offers unique benefits tailored to different needs.

                        At FTC Tanks, we excel at providing top-quality fiberglass water tanks that stand out for their durability and minimal upkeep.

                        Ready to enhance your water storage solutions? Contact FTC Tanks today and discover how our superior fiberglass water tanks can meet your specific needs.

                        Explore our FRP panel-type tanks and get in touch now!

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