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Vac. Tanker -Stainless or Aluminum??

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  • Vac. Tanker -Stainless or Aluminum??

    My department has been looking at specing a new vacuum tanker... With the posibillities of both negative and positive pressures being placed on the tank, which is better material for the tank, s/s or aluminum? Or, does it even really matter?

  • #2
    I figure it would matter, but I don't know what the answer is!
    “I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.”
    ― Hunter S. Thompson

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    • #3
      I know that an aluminum tank would be lighter, allowing you to haul more water on a given chassis size, and stainless is exactly that... stainless. I dont know if it is any stronger than aluminum tanks or what.... I want an answer thats not biased by a dealer for one or the other...

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      • #4
        I would check the warranties on both tanks to see who has the most confidence in their product. If they are equal, then worry about the metallurgy.

        If it comes to that you will need to know the exact alloy used by each of the builders you are considering. Then, look-up the mechanical properties of each alloy and compare their fatigue ratings. Not all property charts will have this column so you might have to search a while. This rating will most realistically predict which material will last longest in this application. The test repeatedly reverse loads a sample for, if I remember correctly, 10 million cycles. The PSI given is the maximum pressure at which the test samples will survive without cracks.

        Keep in mind that the test uses the same size and shape sample across the board so the thickness of the material used in the tank must be taken into consideration. For example, a 60,000 PSI rated alloy that is .125 thick might not result in a stronger tank than one made with a 40,000 PSI rated alloy that is .375 thick.

        There might be an easier way though. Since the tanks will be pressurized, they might require certification. I have never looked into it so don't have a clue. If they do have to be certified it would be simple to find the plates on various tanks and compare the ratings.

        I hope something here helps.

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        • #5
          It's a sewer sucker truck for gripes sake. Your making it way to complicated. I guess all those thousands of aluminum airplanes, dump trucks, tank trucks, and vacum trucks arn't worth a dang thing. If you want cheap, buy a mild steel version. Milk tankers are stainless for the hygine requirements. They would be mild steel if not for that. Aluminum probably allows a better strength to weight ratio than stainless. That's why its used in airplanes.
          The tank is designed for the application. If you want stainless, buy stainless. It will be more money and can haul less weight.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by donethat View Post
            It's a sewer sucker truck for gripes sake. Your making it way to complicated. I guess all those thousands of aluminum airplanes, dump trucks, tank trucks, and vacum trucks arn't worth a dang thing. If you want cheap, buy a mild steel version. Milk tankers are stainless for the hygine requirements. They would be mild steel if not for that. Aluminum probably allows a better strength to weight ratio than stainless. That's why its used in airplanes.
            The tank is designed for the application. If you want stainless, buy stainless. It will be more money and can haul less weight.
            I guess I did get a little deep into the subject These trucks only have 12 psi applied either as pressure or suction... that wouldn't bee too bad I don't think....

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            • #7
              Originally posted by fatman22 View Post
              I guess I did get a little deep into the subject These trucks only have 12 psi applied either as pressure or suction... that wouldn't bee too bad I don't think....
              On the contrary! You were asking a VERY good question about the materials used to build an expensive peice of equipment.

              Determining what materials are best for your purpose, will last the longest and give you the most trouble free service life is one of the best questions you can ask.

              It's not like they'll give you more money to buy a new one just because you built the first one wrong!
              We do not rise to the occasion. We fall back to our level of training.

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              • #8
                I've NEVER seen a STAINLESS vac truck. i've seen steel ones and Aluminum nut never SS. Not saying the aren't built but SS is somewhat brittle and a PAIN to work with. I'll do a little research and see what I come up with. T.C.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Rescue101 View Post
                  I've NEVER seen a STAINLESS vac truck. i've seen steel ones and Aluminum nut never SS. Not saying the aren't built but SS is somewhat brittle and a PAIN to work with. I'll do a little research and see what I come up with. T.C.
                  Thanks so much... I could have sworn that the salesman said stainless.... He ran so many facts and figures by me in our 30 minute talk that could barely keep up. I guess thats just "typical salesman" for ya.

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                  • #10
                    Well it appears they DO make them in stainless. However the big two in the business Firovac and E-One aren't using it. Firovac used a coated steel or a coated aluminum. E-One(Formerly Watermaster) uses aluminum. From anything I can find out EAM is also using aluminum. So yes, they build 'em in stainless but I don't know WHO is building a Stainless version. T.C.

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