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UL142 vs UL2085: Knowing your fuel storage approvals

Safety is paramount when it comes to fuel storage. When purchasing a fuel tank, it’s important to stay compliant with approvals and standards and make sure that your tank is safe to use onsite. As market-leading fuel tank manufacturers, we have a strong understanding of the different approvals and we can help you stay clear on what exactly they mean. UL142 and UL2085 are common standards that apply to above ground fuel storage. They can seem similar at first, but there are a handful of key differences to keep in mind. In this blog we’re looking at UL 142 vs UL 2085 fuel tank regulations and what they mean for your job.

UL142 VS UL2085

Both standards are set by UL, who set standards based on a range of factors, such as materials, systems and performance. UL2058 carries similar requirements to UL142, but they are separate regulations. Below we’ll look at each standard individually before exploring the difference between UL142 and UL2085 fuel tanks.

What is UL142?

UL142 is a widely recognised safety standard for aboveground tanks. The UL142  requirements relate to the design and construction of steel atmospherics storage tanks intended to store non-corrosive, stable flammable and combustible liquids, such as diesel & gasoline.  It covers most fuel storage tanks, with only tanks approved by UL’s testing and inspection regime that can be marked accordingly.

The full UL142 requirements cover:

  • The materials used
  • The design of the fuel tank
  • Testing of key requirements, such as strength and leaks
  • The marking of the tank, so the user knows that their tank is compliant.

The UL142 standard was set to minimise the risks associated with storing flammable liquids, protecting your teams as well as your fuel. If your fuel is contaminated, it can reduce its lifespan and you’ll need to purchase more stock sooner rather than later.

What is UL2085?

UL2085 is a safety standard for ‘Protected Aboveground Tanks for Flammable and Combustible Liquids.’ It’s essentially a standard designed for extra protection of a tank and its contents, and, to meet UL2085 requirements, the fuel tank is often bunded. This also means that they’re well-suited for meeting environmental compliance, reducing risks of spills and contamination.

A ‘Protected’ tank is intended to limit the heat transferred to the primary tank during a 2-hour fire and protect the tank from physical damage. Typically, this is achieved by adding an insulating material between the inner and outer tank wall.

UL2085 tanks can be optionally tested for ballistic protection and vehicle impact, and where these tests have been completed, they are marked accordingly. If you’ll be working in difficult circumstances or more remote environments, then a UL2085 tank is what you need.

What is the difference between UL142 and UL2085 tanks?

The main difference between a UL2085 and a UL142 tank is that, essentially, UL2085 fuel tanks offer more protection.  The UL142 acts as the basis for standard fuel tank design, and, to meet UL2085 standards, extra materials and features are added.

A Protected Tank will limit the heat transferred to the inner tank during a fire and is also tested for impact-resistance. The other materials of construction and shop test procedures are broadly aligned between the two standards. However, the addition of insulation material and reinforcement in a UL2085 tank can make the tanks heavy and cumbersome to move if relocation is required.

Why would I as a customer need to consider these approvals?

Compliance can be complex to navigate, but you need to ensure the safety and compliance of your fuel tank installation. Having a good understanding of approvals means a safe, productive and stress-free site. It’s also worth remembering that regulations can change over time, so staying up to date with the latest guidance will prevent any issues later down the line.

Consider what exactly you need fuel for, your working conditions and local regulations.

Depending on the situation, the local authority having jurisdiction will require compliance with recognised fire safety codes such as NFPA30, NFPA30A or the International Fire Code. Helpfully, both UL142 and UL2085 listed storage tanks are recognised by these fire safety codes.

What sorts of situations would I as a customer need one approval over the other?

The correct approval will come down to the specific installation and the authority having jurisdiction. Typically, UL2085 tanks are required where there is a permanent installation that has a higher fire risk. This risk could be dictated by factors such as:

  • The type of site e.g. construction site vs a marine),
  • Setback distances to roads, property lines or buildings
  • The liquid that’s being stored

Customers should consult with their health and safety officer if they are unsure as to which type of tank to choose.

UL2058 and UL142 tank manufacturers

Compliance can be a headache, but it’s an important consideration when purchasing the right fuel tank for your site.

Western Global’s fuel storage tanks meet UL2085 and UL142 requirements, meaning that our products keep your fuel safely contained onsite, providing a constant, reliable fuel source that makes compliance reporting a breeze.

Our market-leading TransCube is the most globally-approved refuelling tank, keeping your fuel safe from contaminants – even in the most dusty environments. As with our other fuel tanks, the TransCube is 110% bunded, ensuring compliance with UL2058 as well as environmental regulations. Cleaning and maintenance are also simplified, and the hatch makes it easy to inspect your tank.

If you’re unsure about compliance for your project, or would like to know more about our fuel tanks, then speak to our expert team today. 

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