Storage of liquid manure and slurry can be cost-intensive and is often seen as an undesired part of farming. Read here why now is the time to think of your slurry and manure storage concept. Stainless steel or concrete: which material is more convincing?
Comparing the costs for investment, stainless steel tanks seem to be more expensive. However, in course of time the higher assembly and material costs pay off because the follow-up costs of concrete tanks are often higher.
High follow-up costs for concrete
Many times, concrete is less resistant than stainless steel. Every concrete tank has small cracks which can enlarge over time. The cracks usually have to be fixed in order to prevent from corrosion causing costly maintenance. Additionally to the maintenance costs there are the disposal costs at the end of the lifetime of such a manure tank. Concrete cannot be reused but is special waste that needs to be disposed at the operators expenses.
Stainless steel is durable
In contrast stainless steel tanks from Stallkamp are very corrosion resistant which leads to a long lifecycle. It is based on a simple chemical reaction: Due to its chrome content, a razor-thin, chemically resistant passive layer is formed at the surface in connection with the oxygen in the air or water. If the passive layer is damaged due to external influences, it re-builds itself from the matrix of the stainless steel.
First stainless steel slurry tank from 1985 still operates
The durablity of stainless steel tanks is revealed by the first Stallkamp manure tank: constructed in 1985, the steel tank is still in good conditions although the owners never spend one penny on maintenance costs. The investment was definitely worth it - for the next generation as well. Referring to the environmental aspect, the stainless steel tank has a strong advantage since it can be fully recycled. Compared to other materials, it can be completely reused afterwards. This does not hold for the base of the tank, as it is made from concrete as well and needs to be disposed.
Stainless steel is flexible
To contrast the materials in terms of flexibility, it can be shown that concrete is less flexible with regard adjusting the liquid manure tank to changes on the farm. Once constructed, it is not possible to place it somewhere else or increase the volume of the tank. In this point the stainless steel tanks from Stallkamp are outstanding due to its segment-like design. They can be reassembled on another farm or change its position on the same farm. Moreover, the Stallkamp liquid manure tanks can be extended after several years of operation. Thus, it is possible to generate new storage capacity without investing in new pump and mixing technology which is another positive impact on the balance of stainless steel tanks.
To sum up: Stainless steel is worth it!
Summing up the pros and cons, stainless steel pays off due to minimal maintenance costs, high flexibility, durability and sustainability.