Trailer Talk

What's inside that tanker? A polyurethane coating

March 28, 2012

During a stroll through the trailer areas at last week's Louisville truck show, I turned a corner and encountered a chemical tanker. Its rear access cover was open, and people were pausing to peek inside. "What's in there?" I wondered.



Nothing in the way of cargo, but I found that the steel tank was lined with what appeared to be a cream-colored paint. It was more than that, explained Jerry Johnson, vice president of Somerset, Pa.-based J&J Truck Bodies & Trailers, who was in the booth.

It's actually a polyurethane coating designed for the tanker's mission of carrying water and fluids, often those used in gas-well drilling, he said after some research.

Tanker makers like J&J are enjoying healthy orders brought on by the boom in natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Dakota and elsewhere. It's a fast-action spot in the vocational segment of vehicle building that has been slow since the Great Recession, though it's begun reviving.

The coating in this trailer is called CorroCote II PW, from Madison Chemical Industries. It's "a two-component, instant setting, 100% solids polyurethane developed to protect potable water, fuel and chemical storage tanks from internal corrosion and abrasion," the company says in a technical data handout.

"CorroCote II PW cures to form a tough, durable non-toxic polyurethane solid that will not impart any taste to the contents of the tank, even at elevated temperatures," the handout says. It's sprayed on the interior surfaces in any ambient temperature and in any desired thickness. House paint should be so unfussy.

There was a lot to see in and on trailers at the Mid-America Trucking Show, and we'll present some of what we found it in HDT's May issue. Watch for it.