The Diesel Storage Debate: Poly versus Steel

how serious are we about fuel economy?

Now may be the time to run through the pros and cons to help in the diesel storage debate: poly versus steel. Around the world, especially throughout Europe, polyethylene tanks dominate steel when it comes to storing 10,000 litres or less of diesel. However, Australia lags behind in its take-up. This is rapidly changing due to some significant and key advantages a poly tank has over steel, especially within the Australian environment.

Polymaster outline some of the advantages that polyethylene diesel storage has over steel:

Doesn’t Rust

Fundamentally, a poly tank doesn’t rust. Stainless steel has the real potential to deteriorate over time and rust, allowing water to enter the tank. Welds are a weak point and become a significant concern as steel tanks have flat roofs. These flat surfaces tend to hold water with no runoff, further encouraging metal degradation. 

A well-designed poly diesel fuel tank is manufactured in Australia for our weather conditions.  It’s UV protected with a domed roof and comes with a 20-plus year tank design life. There is no need to repaint a poly tank like you do steel, its coating is for life.

Strong and Flexible 

There is a myth associated with a poly diesel tank not being as strong as steel. If you have ever seen a truck or a piece of machinery ‘hit’ a steel tank, you know the consequences. It will either pierce the skin of the tank or crease it, which will attract oxidisation of the steel.

A poly fuel tank, on the other hand, will absorb the ‘hit’ and bounce back into shape.

To make bunded diesel tanks even tougher, Polymaster has a range of ‘drag skids with bollards’ available for high traffic areas and manoeuvring around the site.

Easily loaded/unloaded

Poly tanks are much lighter than steel. There is no need for heavy equipment to load/unload a poly diesel tank. Empty, they weigh less than 800kg whereas heavy steel can sit at 4,500kg.

When empty, a forklift with extended tines can easily relocate a tank around a site or load it on the back of the truck. If it is on a skid, the job is even simpler.

Manufacture Quality 

Australia is a pretty harsh environment for equipment. Many importers over the years have become unstuck with how demanding our weather and conditions are and the overwhelming majority of steel tanks are built overseas.

A poly tank is manufactured in ‘one-piece’ whereas a stainless-steel tank has overlapping welds creating potentially vulnerable points where oxidation can take hold.

A Polymaster tank is Australian made, designed for our environment and after 25 years of tank manufacturing, the tanks last.

Condensation build-up

With a steel tank outside on a hot day, condensation builds up on the inside, causing water to form. Water in diesel is extremely harmful and expensive to your engine. A poly tank eliminates this condensation.

Steel is more expensive

Comparing ‘like-for-like’ a steel tank is approximately 30 per cent more expensive than poly. Setting up bulk diesel on-site for the first time you are likely to save up to 25c per litre compared to the service station bowser. With that type of saving a poly diesel fuel tank will pay for itself within the first 6 fills of a 10,000litre tank. The accountant will be happy with that decision.