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About ISO Tank Containers

Tank Containers, also known as UN portable tanks, ISO tank containers, bulk storage containers, shipping tanks, or intermodal tanks, are used in the transportation and storage of hazardous and non-hazardous chemicals, foodstuffs, and liquified gases.

A tank container is a cylindrical vessel held within a standard sized frame. Being inside a standard sized frame means it can be transported via different modes of transport (Road, Rail, Sea) and itís movement around the world is therefore known as ĎIntermodalí. The dimensions must conform to specifications set by the International Standards Organisation (ISO), hence the name ISO Container. Both hazardous and non-hazardous products can be transported in tank containers. The cylindrical vessel is usually made of stainless steel and surrounded by insulation, further surrounded by a protective layer of GRP, Stainless Steel or aluminium. The frame isd usually:

20´ 8′ 8′6″
6.058m 2.438m 2.591m

Hazardous contents for ISO Tanks

ISO tank containers built to transport hazardous cargo must meet a variety of regulations, including, but not limited to, International Code for the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (IMDG), The European Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR-RID), United States Department of Transport (US DOT) and others. There are a variety of UN Portable tank types, the most common of which is T11 as it is permitted to transport a thousand or more hazardous bulk chemicals.

Loading a UN portable tank.

A standard tank will typically have a manhole at the top and at least one pressure relief valve, which may also function as a vacuum release valve, or the vacuum valve may be separate from the pressure valve. A loading valve may also be on the top, with an outlet at the bottom, usually at the rear. Loading may be done directly through the manhole, although more likely through a valve. Unloading, or discharge, is typically through the bottom valve.

Temperature control in ISO Tanks

The contents of a tank container may have to be kept within a specific temperature range, therefore many tanks are equipped with means of heating/cooling the contents of the tank. Depending on the requirements, the heat/refrigeration may be supplied externally, or, there may be an attached heating/cooling device attached permanently to the frame.

Certification of ISO tank containers

Because ISO tanks are built according to international standards such as IMDG, both the tank and the valves must be inspected regularly, and the tank must have a relevant current certificate of inspection.

Uses for an ISO tank container

Tank Containers are extremely configurable and may be built to safely carry a huge variety of loads, such as:

  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Food Products
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Mining chemicals
  • Nitric Acid
  • Oils
  • Resins
  • Solvents
  • Sulphuric Acid
  • Water
  • Many more

ISO Tank Container Specifications

By varying the dimensions of the vessel inside the frame, a Tank Container can be configured to carry different volumes:

Capacity (nominal) 21,000 litre 24,000 litre 25,000 litre 26,000 litre (baffle)
Design Type UN PT / Hybrid UN PT / Hybrid UN PT / Hybrid UN PT / Hybrid
Discharge Outlet Bottom Bottom Bottom Bottom
Max. Gross Weight 30,480 kg 30,480 kg 30,480 kg 30,480 kg
Tare Weight 3,650 kg 3,900 kg 3,730 kg 4,060 kg
Max. Payload 26,830 kg 26,580 kg 26,750 kg 26,420 kg
Test Pressure 6.00 Bar 6.00 Bar 6.00 Bar 6.00 Bar
Working Pressure 4.00 Bar 4.00 Bar 4.00 Bar 4.00 Bar
Max. Cargo Temp. 120°C 120°C 120°C 120°C
Steam Heating Coil 8 m² 8 m² 8 m² 8 m²