Bund Containment and Storage

Liquid chemicals are widely used around the world. These chemicals can be difficult to handle and can easily spill, meaning there are strict Australian regulations enforcing safe clean up procedures which are time consuming and costly. Australian regulations also require many chemicals to be stored under specific conditions. A simple solution for liquid chemical spills is a chemical bund.

What is a Chemical Bund?

Chemical bunds are a form of secondary containment used to prevent liquid chemical spills from spreading uncontrollably. They create a barrier designed to contain the liquid and minimise the risk to employees and the environment. By entrapping the liquids within a predetermined area the bunds allow for a fast and efficient clean up process. There are different types available including portable or permanent. Bunds can also be used used for the safe storage of various volumes of liquids from 20L drums to 40,000L tanks.

Why use a Chemical Bund?

In Australia, chemical bunds provide many benefits to businesses. Government regulation and the high cost of labour make chemical spills very expensive, meaning a bund offers an innovative solution to reduce the time and cost of a clean up. Companies can be held liable for environmental damage and waterway contamination as a result of chemical spills. This can easily be avoided by using secondary containment to prevent chemical displacement and allows staff to avoid the spill until the appropriate PPE is acquired. In many applications, chemical bunds can benefit your insurance premium as insurance providers recognise the benefits of safely storing chemicals within bunds.

Another common use is the protection of chemicals from the harsh Australian climate. When storing chemicals outside, many people choose to use chemical bunds that also serve the purpose of protecting chemical containers from exposure to UV light and weather events, which can damage the chemical storage containers and cause spills. Bunds are also regularly used to improve efficiency in the workplace by shortening spill clean up times and reducing the associated costs of extensive labour operations. Furthermore, they protect expensive plant and equipment from being damaged by unnoticed chemical leaks and help prevent contamination of finished products.

Applications

Chemical bunds are used for all applications where users can benefit from reducing the risk that stored chemicals place on the environment, staff and personnel safety. The product mitigates the inherent risk of storing liquid chemicals as containers and tanks can fail at any point, especially when exposed to the harsh Australian climate. Chemical bunds are widely used in the manufacturing, logistics, agriculture and mining industries.

For more information on the applications and uses, see our article Chemical Bunds and Why You Need Them
For more information on the Australian Standards, see the SAI Global Guide. 

Chemical Bund Types:

There are 5 main types each is used for different applications. 

IBC and Drum bunds:

These are portable bunds used for secondary containment around portable chemical storage containers to hold smaller volumes of chemicals. They can easily be moved by hand or using a forklift, and includes bunds for 20L drums, 200L drums and IBC’s (Intermediate Bulk Containers). These bunds are most useful for portable applications, where chemical containers need to be mobile and moved regularly. 

Bund

Pallet Bunds:

Similar to IBC and drum bunds these are designed for the safe storage of smaller containers in a portable manner. The key difference is that pallet bunds are designed to allow the user to put multiple drums on the pallet without needing individual bunds for each of the individual chemical containers. Another key advantage is they can be used to store various different sized chemical containers from 10L jugs to 1000L IBC’s. 

Bund

Floor Bunds:

These are low profile bunds that are set up over a large storage area enabling them to store the necessary volume of liquid. They are often designed to be driven over by vehicles and are installed, meaning they cannot be moved easily. They are most useful in applications where there are large quantities of smaller storage containers and it is costly to have an individual bund on each container. The floor bund is installed around a large area (eg. 50m2) and acts as secondary containment for all chemicals within the floor bund setup.   

Bund

Collapsible bunds: 

This is the most portable type of bund because it can be folded. They are made from soft PVC and are used as a cheap and portable solution to bund requirements. They are designed to be easily folded and are ultra lightweight so they can be quickly moved and reassembled. The walls can be collapsed inwards however, they are resistant to outward pressure which keeps them upright once filled with liquid. 

Tank bunds:

Chemical tanks often range from small 1000L tanks through to a storage capacity of more than 40,000L. Tanks are used as permanent setups for chemical storage and subsequently require permanent bunds installed around them. Bunds are even sometimes used for secondary containment around pipework.

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Material Types:

Plastic:

Bunds are often made from plastic due to having strong chemical resistance properties and durability. There are two main types of plastic used:

  1. PVC is widely used due to its strong chemical resistance 
  2. HDPE due to its high strength to weight ratio, strong chemical resistance and high resistance to UV light. HDPE is great for outdoor applications and long term, cost effective solutions.

Steel:

Fixed or portable steel bunds and are often used where thermoplastics such as HDPE and PVC can not be used due to the temperature of the stored liquid. Steel bunds are mainly used for secondary containment of flammable or explosive liquids. They are often a heavier, more expensive option. 

Concrete:

When permanent solutions are required at a plant or industrial site, concrete bunds provide a long term solution to outlast other solutions. They can be used for all sizes however, they can not be moved. In some cases, concrete is used as an alternative to steel when storing flammable and explosive liquids.

Summary

Chemical bunds are a great solution to minimise the impact of chemical liquid spills on the environment and site personnel. By containing chemical spills, bunds reduce spill clean up time which saves on labour costs and minimises productivity lost. Plastic bunds are the most common type because they are a cost effective solution and have a high strength to weight ratio in comparison to steel and concrete. Plastic is also more suitable for portable bund applications. 

For more information on bunds and their chemical storage capabilities, please contact us via email at [email protected] or call 1300 465 888.

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