November 16, 2015
Bunding is a term used in several application domains, but as we're in the business of describing engineering principles, let's accept that this particular employment of the term is going to relate to a mechanical practice. Defined as a secondary layer of protection, the term relates to a secondary layer of protection around a tank, not some close-knit German alliance, as some dictionary definitions would have us believe.
International authorities handle spill containment scenarios in different ways, using special fire-resistant separating walls and dense construction materials to keep the spillage in check. A "bund" is the generic term used to describe this containment methodology, but a self bunded vessel actually incorporates this spillage redundancy system into the design of the tank, doubling the profile of the vessel. Of note here, this outer layer is designed only to hold the spill or overflow until remedial action can be initiated. Imagine a fuel tank located close to a local community. If the tank is designed without the bund enclosure, then complex external constructs will be needed to meet local legislature. These would include special walls and expensive construction materials, but, at the end of the day, the owner of the petrochemical vessel would have a storage product that came up to code. Still, this expensive option can be eliminated by simply opting for a self bunded storage container, a product that's manufactured with an internal spill containment solution.
A petrochemical facility that has undergone an environmental impact study is a prime candidate for self bunded tanks. The containment ethic applied here ensures an adequate safety mechanism is in place, a physical layer fabricated by the same manufacturer that made the tank. In short, the fabricated unit and its secondary protective layer is guaranteed to meet the exacting standards set in place by the relevant governmental body, which, in the case of Australia, is the AS 1940-2004, among others. The comprehensive guidelines cover our aforementioned local fuel depot example, and extend to cover diesel fuel facilities, aviation fuel stands, and all other facilities where the chemical medium could threaten lives or the environment.
Specialist bunding solutions are dotted around every city and rural district. An oil filled version protects the insulated windings of high-voltage transformers while simultaneously circulating and dissipating the heat produced by the boxy unit. Self bunded products sit in production facilities and food processing plants, each one stopping milk or wine from escaping, but it's still self bunded tanks that draw the bulk of our attention. They stop pollution, act as a fire break, and generally stop pollutants leaking from inside a tank. Indeed, they're a second line of environmental protection, aiding in protecting a local area until a clean-up crew and an engineering team can repair the damage.
Fusion - Weld Engineering Pty Ltd
ABN 98 068 987619
1865 Frankston Flinders Road,
Hastings, VIC 3915
Ph: (03) 5909 8218
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