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obelisk 03-05-2017 07:49 AM

Best Epoxy Paint for Black Iron Fuel Tanks
Hi all. I have removed my fuel tanks for refurbishing. They are black iron (mild steel) and in excellent condition for 35 years old. I am having two new 3/8" FNPT threads welded onto each for a fuel polishing system I am building and having them sandblasted. I have settled on epoxy paint over powdercoating but there are so many choices. Anything I should know before committing to one brand's primer and topcoat? Paint will not be submerged and coating white metal. Any thoughts are much appreciated.

albrazzi 03-05-2017 08:55 AM

Re: Best Epoxy Paint for Black Iron Fuel Tanks
Do you have an inspection plate, I would assume so if you are sure of the condition. If not the added openings would be a good opportunity to do so. Also if not already considered the polisher should pick up one end and return the other end preferably picking up by the supply and lower to scavenge. The new polyurethanes will not yellow like epoxy and go right on bare blasted metal no primer maybe not better than you are planning but simpler. Consider siphon protection as well, best way to do that is with the pump and filters at or slightly above the fuel level.

svselkie02 03-12-2017 12:13 AM

Re: Best Epoxy Paint for Black Iron Fuel Tanks
Consider POR 15, a black, one part primer sold at autobody suppliers. Used to paint car frames, it's extremely durable and a lot cheaper than 2-part. I've had it on an MGA frame for about 10 years and it's bulletproof. Use gloves if you go with it--you'll never get the paint off your hands.

obelisk 03-12-2017 08:27 AM

Re: Best Epoxy Paint for Black Iron Fuel Tanks

yes, inspection ports and the tanks are in fine condition inside. pickup and returns will be set apart 18" but space limitations mean that they cannot be on opposite ends of the tank.


i read up on POR a bit and, as the tans will be sandblasted prior to painting, decided that is not the proper product. i kept coming across this statement: "Do NOT remove it all as the rust will activate the paint. This paint does not really like new smooth clean paintwork and works best on the surface rust to bind to it." seems strange but enough to make me pass on POR.

These tanks are not low in the bilge and (should) never sitting in water but, since they won't be back out for a long time, I want a finish I can feel good about. I have a connection but have read poor reviews for Pettit Easypoxy, anyone here have experience with this product, good or bad?

RichH 03-13-2017 12:49 AM

Re: Best Epoxy Paint for Black Iron Fuel Tanks
For epoxy, etc. coating to be 'integral' you really need to do 'spark testing', etc. to validate that the coating system is 'protective'. Without such validation, you risk the acceleration of corrosion between the steel and the coating adjacent to any 'interstices' (holes, thin spots, 'holidays', etc.) in the coating system as well as to insure a specific thickness of the coating to prevent water permeability and water migration 'through' the coating system, etc.

Ive been away from such corrosion coatings for over 20 years. However, Id recommend that If you're in close proximity to any large chemical process plant, contact them (chemical engineering dept.) and simply ask to visit to find out what is the 'current state-of-the-art' being employed to protect 'black iron' tanks. Suggest you first contact with their 'public relations' department. ;-)

Edit/FWIW- Before you do the actual coating, you might want to consider to do some ultrasound analysis to ensure that the tank has enough thickness remaining. Just about any Home oil heating service can do the ultrasound testing for you ... and at quite a reasonable cost. They do this ultrasound testing as a routine for household fuel oil tanks.

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