Polyurea Has Become The Most Used Secondary Containment Application

Two EPA requirements are now in full effect for secondary containment in underground storage tanks, and another to cover aboveground tanks. The Code of Federal Regulations 40, Protection of the Environment requires that all hazardous components or wastes are completely kept in a sealed container. A polymer membrane that is able to meet the new standards can be described as the polyurea spray elastomer technique.

The Code of Federal Regulations 40, Protection of the Environment requires that all toxic wastes or constituents be contained in a positive manner. In 1987 The Environmental Protection Agency passed a regulation under CFR 40 requiring a secondary method to contain spilled materials that contain dangerous chemicals but the regulation is being enforced.

  • Single-wall corrosion-proofed USTs and piping with small diameters must be equipped with secondary containment when in contact with soil.
  • Field-erected ASTs with a single wall need to be equipped with secondary containment underneath the tank. Single-wall bulk product pipes that is in contact with soil must be protected by secondary containment unless deferred by an API 570 Integrity Assessment.

In both instances both containments must be in place. secondary containment must function effectively for a period of time enough to allow for the proper cleanup of spills without causing any harm to the environment.

Many aboveground and underground storage tanks are constructed of concrete. The regulations states the fact that concrete is porous and the most secure method for secondary containment on concrete is using a liquid-applied monolithic polymer membrane. A polymer membrane that can meet the new regulations are polyurea spray elastomer technique.

Polyurea Spray Technology

Polyurea spray technology can be described as a fast-set, plural-component elastomeric membrane that provides an unidirectional, waterproof layer of protection. Many formulated systems meet the numerous requirements associated with secondary containment and adhesion to various substrates commonly found in containment zones. For containment zones that do not have solid substrates in use, geomembranes could be applied using the applied layer of an polyurea system that has characteristics with low shrinkage that are specifically designed to be suitable for the location.

The short setting time that is a feature of polyurea spray technology permits an immediate return to the service zone in a variety weather conditions, such as cold weather. The polyurea systems are also able to flex in low temperatures, thereby the absence of cracking problems that are common on other liquid-applied coatings and sheet-good membranes.

A variety of piping and tanks are susceptible to leaks. However it has been found that the majority of leaks found in these areas are caused by overfilling the storage tanks, which may result due to faulty equipment or an operator mistake.

This polyurea spray elastomer technique has been tested under the Florida Department of Environmental Quality standards regarding secondary containment liner system. The technology passed the test and is considered to be suitable secondary containment lining material.

For containment areas that do not have solid substrates available, geomembranes may be employed together with the applied layer of an polyurea system. Photo by GlasCraft, Inc.

Polyurea Installations

Being aware of the imminent environmental regulations The U.S. military has used the polyurea technology to successfully lining different storage areas for fuel containment areas. The technology is currently being developed by engineering contract companies working in conjunction with both the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy. The work includes applications for Patrick Air Force Base, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, AUTEC U.S. Navy Base and numerous storage facilities for fuel at airports with municipal status (see the right-hand sidebar). The majority of these locations are covered by an epoxy paint method applied on the concrete. The epoxy has cracked due to the movement of concrete over time and has caused cracks to the containment area , and a possibility of environmental problems. Since it is it is an elastomeric system it is polyurea technology can bridge those cracks, and provides a better containment lining material.

To cover the existing asphalt, earthen berms, and gravel containment areas for gravel containment areas, the polyurea method is applied over the geotextile membrane as previously mentioned. The polyurea system is bonded with the membrane the tanks, pipe penetrations and sump zones and allows seamless installation without the need for mechanical fastening, which is the case with sheet-good material. A number of these applications were completed at large oil, fuel, oil, and chemical storage facilities. The polyurea systems utilized in these applications are specially designed to offer a minimal cure shrinkage when applied over the geotextile membrane. Recently completed work across North America includes projects in the 300,000-450,000 feet2 (28,000 up to 42,000 square meters) size range. The vast projects are generally completed in a month with trained installation crews.

In the wake of the revival of oil and exploration for gas across the U.S., containment areas for the fractionation fluid must be provided at each drilling location. A planned containment space is created for this purpose, then support walls made of metal are built as well as a polyurea spray technique is applied over an edging material. The polyurea system is bonded to the wall space and the geotextile fabric to create an unbroken, leak-free space. Tanks for storage are placed within the space and piped the same day as liner installation.

A Compliant Solution

For all organizations or companies dealing with dangerous materials and hazardous substances, the new secondary containment regulations are already ahead. Thanks to polyurea spray elastomer technique businesses can comply with the new rules by using a long-lasting coating solution without requiring excessive downtime.

The author’s notes: Many thanks for Steve DeReu at GlasCraft, Inc. ( for his help with this article.

Case Study: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) is the East Coast space launch facility of the U.S. Department of Defense. It is located in Cape Canaveral, Brevard County in Florida It is part of Patrick Air Force Base, which is home to the 45th Space Wing, and is situated near the John F. Kennedy Space Center.

The 11,000 sq ft2 fuel truck pad needed the improvement of the liner system. The previous concrete pad was suffering from massive cracks, and there was concern about possible spills of fuel that could seep through the groundwater. CCAFS decided to go with the polyurea method (PV 350, manufactured by PolyVers International) due to its outstanding performance record with the same application areas, its flexibility as well as its toughness in high traffic and the speed of installation.

The installation of polyurea spray elastomer technique was completed in December of 2007. The formulated concrete was a 3D profile CSP 4 – 5, that will ensure a strong bonds to lines of the applied liner technology. It was concrete surface was pressure washed with the hot water solution that contained BioSolve(r) (supplied from The Westford Chemical Corp.) to get rid of any contaminants. Then, it was rinsed.

The complete area was primed with a proprietary polyurethane primer system for adhesion enhancement and reduction/elimination of outgassing in the concrete area. This PV 350 polyurea system was applied with a minimum thickness of 100 millimeters (2.5 millimeters). A 1/4-inch (6.35 millimeters) saw-cut joint was utilized to aid in completing an PV 350-based system in the perimeter. The area was prepped over the course of a day. It was then primed as well as applied for the PV 350 process over the following days. A texture for the finish was applied to aid in slip resistance.

It was applied with an GUSMER(r) H-25/25 unit that is fitted with an GlasCraft(r) Probler(r) P2 spray gun that has an “02” chamber and tip that provides an output that is controlled and a spray pattern with a of 2000 PSI (138 bar) processing pressure.

Case Study: BBL Falcon Industries

Many companies have taken maximum advantage of the revival of oil drilling activity across Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. Fieldwork is where secondary containment areas are constructed prior to the installation for condensate tanks. These containment areas, which are typically 24 56x 2.3 feet, are built on site. ArmorLiner polyurea system made by ArmorThane USA Inc. is applied over the geotextile, and on the walls around it unlike sheet-good liner systems which are sewed and can leak. This ArmorLiner system is applied at the minimum of 80 millimeters (2 millimeters) on the 12 oz geotextile fabric.

ArmorThane’s specialized containment applicator has a patent-pending procedure for the rehabilitation of existing drilling sites for tank construction as well as new installation sites. The areas that are designed have been cleaned, leveled, and sanded, the steel perimeter is put in place and the geotextile material laid. This is applied upwards and then onto the geotextile, and the border wall area. After the material is in its place and sprayed with the ArmorLiner inside the tanks and piping.

This system applied by using the PMC PHX-40 proportioning device that is fitted with a PMC Extreme spray gun. A “02” chamber is utilized along with the “01” tips for inserting that allows for a precise flow and spray pattern with a 2500 psi (138 bar) processing pressure.

Contact ArmorThane for more info on secondary containment and polyurea coating products.


The future of batteries is here: lithium-ion batteries that never go dead

In our future supercharged world, the demand for battery storage is expected to be immense, reaching upwards of 2 to 10 terawatt-hours (TWh) of annual battery production by 2030, from less than 0.5 TWh today. However, concerns are mounting as to whether key raw materials will meet this future demand. The lithium-ion r battery – the dominant technology for the foreseeable future – has a component made of cobalt and nickel, and those two metals face critical supply shortages on the global market.

After several years of research, a specialized Berkeley Lab has made significant progress in developing battery cathodes using a new class of materials that provide batteries with the same if not higher energy density than conventional lithium-ion batteries but can be made of inexpensive and abundant metals. Known as DRX, which stands for disordered rock salts with excess lithium, this novel family of materials was created less than ten years ago and allowed cathodes to be made without nickel or cobalt.



In our future amazed world, the demand for battery storage is projected to be enormous, reaching to upwards of 2 to 10 terawatt-hours (TWh) of annual battery production by 2030, from less than 0.5 TWh today. Nevertheless, issues are growing regarding whether crucial basic materials will be adequate to meet this future need. The lithium-ion battery – the dominant technology for the foreseeable future – has actually a component made from cobalt and nickel, and those two metals deal with severe supply constraints on the international market.

Now, after numerous years of research led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), scientists have made considerable progress in establishing battery cathodes using a new class of products that supply batteries with the same if not higher energy density than standard lithium-ion batteries but can be made from low-cost and abundant metals. Called DRX, which means disordered rocksalts with excess lithium, this unique family of products was developed less than 10 years back and enables cathodes to be made without nickel or cobalt.

The classic lithium-ion battery has served us well, but as we consider future needs for energy storage, its dependence on particular important minerals exposes us not only to supply-chain risks, but also environmental and social concerns. This provides lithium batteries the possibility to be the structure for sustainable battery technologies for the future.

The cathode is among the two electrodes in a battery and represent more than one-third of the expense of a battery. Presently the cathode in lithium-ion batteries uses a class of products referred to as NMC, with nickel, manganese, and cobalt as the key ingredients.

With the current NMC class, which is limited to simply nickel, cobalt, and an inactive component made of manganese, the timeless lithium-ion battery is at the end of its efficiency curve unless you transfer to brand-new cathode materials, which’s what the DRX program deals. DRX products have enormous compositional versatility – and this is very effective due to the fact that not only can you utilize all sort of abundant metals in a DRX cathode, but you can also use any type of metal to repair any problem that might come up throughout the early stages of developing new batteries. That’s why we’re so fired up.

Cobalt and nickel supply-chain threats

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has made it a top priority to find ways to minimize or get rid of the use of cobalt in batteries. “The battery market is dealing with an enormous resource crunch,” said Ceder. “Even at 2 TWh, the lower range of international demand projections, that would consume almost all of today’s nickel production, and with cobalt we’re not even close. Cobalt production today is just about 150 kilotons, and 2 TWh of battery power would need 2,000 kilotons of nickel and cobalt in some mix.”

What’s more, over two-thirds of the world’s nickel production is presently utilized to make stainless-steel. And majority of the world’s production of cobalt originates from the Democratic Republic of Congo, with Russia, Australia, the Philippines, and Cuba rounding out the leading 5 producers of cobalt.

On the other hand, DRX cathodes can use just about any metal in place of nickel and cobalt. Researchers at Berkeley Lab have actually focused on using manganese and titanium, which are both more plentiful and lower cost than nickel and cobalt.

Manganese oxide and titanium oxide expense less than $1 per kg whereas cobalt expenses about $45 per kg and nickel about $18. With DRX you have the possible to make really low-cost energy storage. At that point lithium-ion becomes unequalled and can be used all over – for lorries, the grid – and we can truly make energy storage abundant and economical.

Ordered vs. disordered

Ceder and his team established DRX materials in 2014. In batteries, the number and speed of lithium ions able to take a trip into the cathode translates into how much energy and power the battery has. In standard cathodes, lithium ions travel through the cathode product along well-defined pathways and organize themselves in between the transition metal atoms (normally cobalt and nickel) in neat, orderly layers.

What Ceder’s group found was that a cathode with a disordered atomic structure might hold more lithium – which suggests more energy – while enabling a larger series of components to function as the shift metal. They likewise found out that within that mayhem, lithium ions can easily hop around.

In 2018, the Vehicle Technologies Office in DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy offered financing for Berkeley Lab to take a “deep dive” into DRX products. In collaboration with researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and UC Santa Barbara, Berkeley Lab groups led by Ceder and Guoying Chen have actually made significant progress in enhancing DRX cathodes in lithium-ion batteries.

For example, the charge rate – or how fast the battery can charge – of these materials was initially extremely low, and its stability was also bad. The research group has actually discovered methods to deal with both of these problems through modeling and experimentation. Research studies on utilizing fluorination to improve stability have been published in Advanced Functional Materials and Advanced Energy Materials; research study on how to allow a high charging rate was recently released in Nature Energy.

Given that DRX can be made with several elements, the researchers have also been dealing with which aspect would be best to utilize, striking the sweet area of being plentiful, low-cost, and providing great efficiency. “DRX has now been manufactured with nearly the entire table of elements,” Ceder stated.

This is science at its finest – basic discoveries that will serve as the bedrock of systems in future houses, lorries, and grids. What has made Berkeley Lab so successful in battery innovation for years now is our combination of breadth and depth of know-how – from essential discovery to characterization, synthesis, and manufacturing, as well as energy markets and policy research. Partnership is crucial – we partner with market and beyond to fix real-world problems, which in turn assists galvanize the world-leading science we do at the Lab.

Quick progress

New battery materials have generally taken 15 to 20 years to commercialize; Ceder believes progress on DRX materials can be accelerated with a larger team. “We’ve made terrific progress in the last three years with the deep dive,” Ceder stated. “We’ve pertained to the conclusion that we’re ready for a bigger group, so we can involve individuals with a more varied set of skills to really refine this.”

An expanded research group could move quickly to deal with the staying concerns, including enhancing the cycle life (or the number of times the battery can be recharged and discharged over its life time) and enhancing the electrolyte, the chemical medium that enables the circulation of electrical charge between the cathode and anode. Given that being established in Ceder’s laboratory, groups in Europe and Japan have also launched big DRX research study programs.

Advances in battery innovations and energy storage will require continued breakthroughs in the essential science of products. Berkeley Lab’s knowledge, distinct facilities, and abilities in sophisticated imaging, calculation, and synthesis allow us to study products at the scale of atoms and electrons. We are well poised to accelerate the development of promising materials like DRX for clean energy.

Are you looking for protective coatings? ArmorThane is our go to company for many materials but more than any other product, polyurea is the greatest product on earth. If you would like to have some questions answered or would like to know how you can become a professional applicator, click here.