6 Diverse Applications of Fuel Bladders

Liquid bladders, known for their flexibility and collapsibility, provide storage for portable fluids such as fuel, water, and other industrial chemicals. Depending on the requirement, storage can be temporary or for a longer duration. These flexible containers, owing to their massive size and collapsible nature, are capable of storing large volumes of several types of transportable liquids. When these tanks attain their maximum capacity, they subsume into a pillow shape, which is why they’re often referred to as pillow tanks.

Applications of Water/Fuel Bladders are diverse across industries. Image Source: flickr.com

A conventional fuel bladder’s size typically stretches anywhere between 380 liters (100 US gallons)* to 300,000 liters (80,000 US gallons)*. You could even customize larger fuel bladders, however, do note that sizes exceeding 190,000 liters (50,000 US gallons)* might be susceptible to causing spillage. The fuel bladders should be ideally housed in secondary containment to avoid any possibility of leakage. Additionally, it is advisable not to use fuel bladders, having no precautionary instructions as they could be risky. Oil spills have severe repercussions on environmental health and cause regulatory agencies such as EPA and OSHA to invoke hefty fines. The EPA has curated a clear set of guidelines for using secondary containment for water/fuel bladders.

Disclaimer: The numbers in * are ballpark numbers independent of technicalities as these numbers are subjective and vary from one manufacturer to the other. They are also dependent on their design composition

Note: nsure secondary containment is used for every fuel storage operations to comply with the EPA as well as the SPCC rules and regulations

Before understanding the diverse applications of these environmentally friendly fuel bladders, here are a few standard benefits of a quality fuel bladder:

  • It has high weather resistance
  • It is hassle-free and requires minimal maintenance
  • These bladders are compact when empty, thus making them flexible
  • It has a comparably lower risk of being prone to the development of bacteria, thus making it innoxious
  • Most of these bladders have low evaporation and rapid installation features

Due to its distinct features, fuel bladders are used across numerous fields, such as military, agricultural business, industrial, and many more. The standard water and fuel tanks are specifically designed for operating on land; however, they could even be applied in marine settings and aviation if given proper support. Given below is a list that deep dives into the myriad applications of these bladders.

Diversified applications of water/fuel bladders

  1. Storage – Fuel bladders, primarily the high-end ones, proffer the stored liquids with a high degree of protection and ensure that they never come in touch with air. This is to avoid any risk of evaporation or any explosions caused due to gas formation. Generally, a natural barrier film is appended to the fuel bladder’s inner side to avoid any liquid contamination.
  2. Safety – The ideal fuel bladders are devised to securely store liquids such as fuel and water in the outlying areas. The manufacturer should always provide users with sustained containment solutions while meeting the supervisory guidelines to avoid any hazmats from befalling in the environment.
  3. Transportation – Premium quality fuel bladders are impervious, provide mechanical assistance, and usually made of first-grade materials such as elastomer fabrics. Fuel bladders are often facilitated with all the necessary components, thus making them portable for fuel transportation using essential conveyances. Resilient fuel or water tanks are generally well fitted with adjustable skirts along with adjustable towage straps devised to provide high resistance to any transport constraint. If a user needs to convert a conventional storage tank into a transportable, flexible tank, the adjustable skirts could be replaced with a strap net.

Did you know: Flexible fuel bladders are hauled by sleds during unique Antarctic expeditions made by various science teams from America, Germany, and Britain

  1. Salience – In situations where an essential infrastructure has been compromised or is non-existent, fuel bladders could be extremely useful. Due to their adaptability, these agile storage tanks could be transported and set up quickly. Additionally, because of their high tolerance to climatic conditions, they make an excellent choice for application in remote zones such as disaster zones and also, wartime desert operations.
  2. Robustness – The pillow tanks are also used as water bladders. The quality fabrics utilized here are robust and capable of circumventing any damage or leakage. Pillow tanks are particularly customized to store water or fuel for crisis conditions. They present a practical solution for effectively storing emergency water or fuel. Premium manufacturers ensure that these bladders are air tested when they leave the manufacturing building to meet or even exceed military standards.
  3. Crashworthy – Ultra-tough crashworthy (ability of a vehicle to withstand a crash) fuel bladders, reinforced with fibers such as Kevlar, are widespread across the motorsports industry. They are deemed as a deciding safety & surety factor, mandated by racing’s prime series such as NASCAR and Formula 1. Expansion of the crashworthy fuel bladder has considerably lessened the number of fires and resulting explosions that are frequently encountered during frantic auto racing crashes. This technology, due to its crashworthiness, has also found its applications in designing vehicles, air, and combatant crafts in the defense sector.
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