by Kathrine Moore
SEI INDUSTRIES LTD. is an industrial fabric products manufacturer whose remote site division focuses on making collapsible tanks at their facility in Delta, BC, Canada. Also known as pillow tanks or bladder tanks they are used for the storage of liquids. A folded pillow tank is significantly smaller than its size when it is filled making it much easier and economic to transport. Pillow tanks are also durable, require almost no site preparation and can last from five to 10 years.
Fuel bladders have to meet with rigorous regulation. The recently released CAN/CSA B-837-14 collapsible fabric storage tanks (bladders) regulation by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) represents the world’s first standard for collapsible bladder fuel storage tanks (or pillow tanks). SEI Industries is the first company in the world to manufacture collapsible fuel bladders that not only meet this new national standard but are also climate-specific and independently-accredited by a third-party.
According to Nancy Argyle, SEI Industries Marketing Coordinator, Paul Reichard, manager of SEI Industries’ Remote Site/Environmental division was a participating member and vice-chair of the CSA standards technical committee that prepared the new standard. Argyle told Resource World that SEI’s participation first began in 2008 when federal environmental regulations in Canada changed – for the worse. “They accidentally excluded collapsible fabric fuel tanks from the regulations, making it difficult for major clients like the Department of National Defense and mineral exploration companies to use bladders.”
Argyle explained that, Environment Canada, when they learned of the mistake, set out to fix the problem by developing a national standard to recognize bladders as a safe, cost effective and environmentally-friendly method of temporary fuel storage in remote sites. The CSA took over the development work with regulators and end users across Canada as well as manufacturers around the world.
“Without regulation, the fuel bladder can get a bad rap,” says Reichard. “Often, companies with inferior manufacturing capabilities or military surplus tanks, that have passed their shelf life, sell tanks to unsuspecting clients. These bladders can leak or rupture and make all bladders look bad.”
SEI manufactures bladders to withstand extreme conditions and works with suppliers to develop proprietary fabrics designed to withstand specific conditions. The company’s proprietary Arctic King™ Fabric is designed to withstand extreme cold and can be deployed in temperatures as low as -50F or -46C. Desert King™ Fabric bladders are engineered to endure climates with high levels of UV exposure and high temperatures. Jungle King™ Fabric bladders can withstand climates with high levels of UV exposure, temperature and humidity. SEI’s King series of tanks – the Arctic King, Desert King and Jungle King – are now all certified by Intertek, to meet the CAN/CSA-B837-14 standard.
Clients can have SEI develop turnkey solutions, “centered around its collapsible tanks, by combining them with its other product lines for the transportation and transferring of fuels, water (potable, grey and black) and chemicals”. The company prides itself on the ability to engineer a system, “specific to any environment, location or material.” A company can set up several fuel bladders, creating a fuel farm, substantially minimizing the need to fly in fuel or water regularly. In some cases, a camp need only resupply once a year representing a considerable savings.
“For the past decade,” said Argyle, “SEI has worked hard to educate its clients and regulators that bladders are a far better option than traditional means of fuel storage. Fortunately, the new CAN/CSA B-837 standard for fuel bladders now sets the stage for greater understanding, awareness and credibility.”
SEI’s products are used in 110 countries with two international offices and seven international repair facilities.