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  Material Specifications

We offer a selection of the best materials suited for molded tanks and containers used for storage and containment of aggressive chemicals as well as food products. The following is a brief description of these materials:

POLYETHYLENE                                                                                                                                       Printer friendly PDF
 

A high quality thermoplastic that has outstanding resistance to both physical and chemical attack. The overall general toughness and excellent chemical resistance to a wide array of wet and dry industrial chemicals and food products make polyethylene ideally suited for storage tanks and containers. Polyethylene is translucent and its natural color ranges from slightly off white to creamy yellow, depending on wall thickness and type. Ultraviolet light stabilizers are added for use in outdoor applications. Colors are available on request for a nominal up charge

       a) Linear Polyethylene Linear Polyethylene is available as low, medium and high density. Most products offered in this catalog are molded of linear medium density polyethylene (LMDPE) and linear high density polyethylene (LHDPE). They have superior mechanical properties, high stiffness, excellent low temperature impact strength and excellent environmental stress crack resistance. The linear polyethylene used meets specifications contained in FDA regulation 21CFR177.1520 (c) 3.1 and 3.2 and so may be used as an article or a component of articles intended for use in contact with food, subject to any limitations in the regulations. Maximum operating temperature for linear polyethylene is 140° F.


       b) Crosslinkable Polyethylene
Crosslinkable polyethylene is a high density polyethylene that contains a crosslinking agent which reacts with the polyethylene during molding, forming a crosslinked molecule similiar to a thermoset plastic. This reaction improves toughness and environmental stress crack resistance. Crosslinked Polyethylene (XLPE) is not weldable and does not meet FDA requirement 21CFR177.1520. Maximum operating temperature of crosslinked polyethylene is 150° F.

POLYPROPYLENE

Polypropylene is a rigid plastic that has a higher operating temperature limit than polyethylene: 212° F. It offers good chemical resistance, has a high resistance to stress crack, and is autoclavable. Polypropylene (PP) is not recommended for applications in sub-freezing temperatures or where high impact strength is needed. A rough, irregular interior surface is a common characteristic of molded polypropylene.


CONSIDERATIONS TO MATERIAL SELECTION

Elevated Temperatures
Continued or prolonged service with contents at elevated temperatures can shorten the life of a tank. The effects of the temperature will depend on the chemical content and its specific gravity, tank size and configuration, material of construction, wall thickness and if there are any external supports on the tank.

Exposure to Ultraviolet Light
Unprotected thermoplastics exposed to sunlight for an extended period of time, absorb ultraviolet (UV) light, which can cause discolorations, embrittlement and eventual cracking. Fluorescent lighting has a similiar effect. Elevated
temperatures can accelerate the embrittling process. Chem-tainer Industries products are molded from materials utilizing the latest technology for UV stabilizers which greatly reduce the harmful effects of UV light. For greater protection, keep tanks out of direct sunlight or order dark colored tanks which will further retard the effect of UV light.


Environmental Stress Cracking

Certain surface active materials, although they have no chemical effect on polyethylene, can accelerate its cracking when under stress, such as liquid detergents and ultra pure water - see our chemical resistance chart. Elevated temperatures tend to accelerate the cracking. Although all polyethylenes are subject to stress cracking, some are more resistant to it than others. The degree of stress on the plastic has a direct bearing on its resistance, therefore a tank and system should be designed to minimize stress. Chem-tainer Industries tanks are molded virtually stress free, employing materials that are highly resistant to environmental stress cracking, hence are less prone to cracking than fabricated tanks. Stress cracking agents are surface active materials. Proper care should be taken to reduce stress at fittings, bands, tie down lugs, etc.


GENERAL
CHARACTERISTICS
LINEAR
XLPE
PP
Maximum Service Temperature
140 F (60 C)
150 F (65 C)
212 F (100 C)
Chemical Resistance
Very Good
Very Good
Very Good
Stress Cracking Resistance
Excellent
Excellent
Excellent
General Toughness
Very Good
Very Good
Fair
Impact Resistance
Excellent
Excellent
Poor
Abrasion Resistance
Good
Good
Good
Rigidity
Good
Good
Good
Color
WH Translucent
Off WH Translucent
Off WH Opaque
FDA Compliance
Yes
No
Yes
Outdoor Use
Yes
Yes
No
Weldable
Yes
No
Yes
Recyclable
Yes
No
Yes
PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
(NOMINAL VALUES)
Density (gm/cc) ASTM:D1505
0.937-0.942
0.937-0.942
0.901-0.905
Environmental Stress Cracking (F-50 hrs) ASTM:D1693
>1,000
>1,000
>1,000
Tensile Strength ASTM:D638
Ultimate 2" /Min (PSI) Type IV
2,600
2,600
3,000
Elongation at Break ASTM: D638
2" /Min (%) Type IV
450
450
5
Flexural Modulus (PSI) ASTM:D790
100,000-110,000
100,000-110,000
90,000-100,000
Brittleness Temp
ASTM:D746
<-94 F (-70 C)
-180 F (-118 C)
32 F (0 C)
VICAT Softening Temperature
ASTM:D152B
240 F
240 F
300 F
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