21Nov2017Headlines:

Aluminum vs. Steel Tankers

Tanker material has to always be considered before construction of a marine tanker. Critical points like the size and the liquid type it will be carrying must be considered before choosing the type of metal to be used on a marine takers storage tanks. Mostly aluminum vs. steel tankers are the most scrutinized for the job.

With the introduction of stainless steel, which has replaced normal steel in storage container tanks, the problem face in the past of corrosion has greatly reduced. Aluminum on the other hand was revered for this quality. Besides corrosive substances like chemicals liquids like water, milk and other consumable liquids require storage on big containers. The container must preserve the liquid and maintain it quality during the storage time.

Although plastic has also been used by some container manufacturers since it is not corrosive, it is not a suitable material to use on marine tanks due to weakens and size. Most marine tanks are huge in size and cover a huge volume. Mostly specialized tankers require special stainless steel and aluminum tanks but for vessels that carry oil products the inside of the tank is automatically treated by the oil products thus reducing corrosion. For these vessels the majority of corrosion takes place on the outer side of the tank where it is exposed to salt water which is very corrosive to most metals.

Due to corrosion and contamination of the transported cargo, ship builders use different material when construction the tanks. The examination and materials used are intensively researched and test using the same material they will be storing. The data collected is them pt together and the best material is used to build the storage tank on the vessel. Both aluminum and steel have their strengths and weaknesses and all these qualities are considered. Below are some qualities each metal possesses both good and bad.

 

STEEL:

aluminum vs. steel tankers

aluminum vs. steel tankers

Strengths-

  • Good electrical conductor
  • Good heat conductor.
  • Shiny surface
  • Strong
  • Ductile.
  • Malleable
  • High melting point
  • Dense
Weaknesses-

  • Prone to corrosion,
  • Rigid when cool
  • Created sparks when stricken hard.
  • Heavy
aluminum vs. steel tankers

aluminum vs. steel tankers

ALUMINUM

Strengths-

  • Flexible
  • Strong
  • Stark free
  • Shiny surface
  • Malleable

Weaknesses-

  • Low melting point
  • Low density when in thin sheets.
  • Highly corrosive with some chemicals.

 

As you can see with the few points given above aluminum vs. steel tankers both metals would compare differently with one another. Each has its strengths as well as weaknesses. For this reason engineers try to work with the one that shows more resilience during a test since each has its plus points with different cargo.

Simple cargo like grain or edible floor has the ability to create and store warmth when stored in bulk, for this example using an aluminum tank may not be the best idea since its melting point is lower. It may not melt but even losing its shape could be devastation for the ship owner.

For this reason we find that certain ships are designated for certain jobs and they will avoid doing jobs out of their description since one small miscalculation with the type of cargo could land your vessel in trouble at sea.

 

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