How To Decide Which Container (Plastic or Metal) Can Be Used For Storing Chemica

Posted by Asit Roy on February 3rd, 2019

Chemicals need to be stored with care. While some chemicals are inflammable, others may react with the container walls itself. Still, others need protection from UV rays of the sun, which shouldn't reach them as they would spoil or alter their texture. When it comes to storing of chemicals, plastic and metal containers are the two options that may seem to be feasible and obvious.

Out of these two options, the plastic containers are a better option for storing of chemicals because of their low reactivity, affordability, and compatibility with a wide range of substances including acids and bases. But metal containers are needed when there is a chance of buildup of static electricity, and chemical suppliers may also use them for storing certain chemicals. Here is a comparison in between the plastic and the metallic containers, and how they fare against each other when it comes to storing of chemicals.

Temperature Resistance

Some chemical can be flammable and their exposure to higher degrees of temperature may be a cause of an explosion. Other chemicals may undergo reaction at high temperature and hence they also need to be protected from heat. A good storage container offers greater resistance to temperature and fluctuations in it. Plastic containers are found to offer more resistance to temperature due to insulation, and metal containers are more conducive to heat.

Resistance to Corrosion

Materials including stainless steel are some variants of metals that can resist corrosion better. But even in this area, plastics excel and all of them offer exceptional resistance to corrosion, as they do not rust or undergo oxidation.

Strength and Resistance towards Impact

 Plastics including Teflon, Polyethylene, and others offer good strength and can be shatterproof, unlike the metals. While the metals are sturdy they may not be shatterproof. A metal container is unable to absorb the impact, which may occur due to a fall or because of application of force. Plastics can easily absorb the impact and can keep the stored chemical safe and secure.


 For larger and long-term operations, affordability of the storage container should also be considered. Plastic containers are often a lot cheaper when compared to their metal counterparts. The chemical resins are also manufactured worldwide, and their local production, selling, and use make them affordable whole over the world.

Environmental Friendliness

Plastics may not be that environment-friendly when compared to the metal containers. Still, they are used widely because they are entirely recyclable, and offer tremendous benefits and advantages over their metal counterparts.

Static Electricity

While the aspect of static electricity is not important in all cases, in some cases of chemical storage it can be very vital and need special attention. Static electricity can build between any two surfaces non-conductive in nature, and if not properly dissipated, it may be a cause of the accident. Many of the flammable liquids including toluene, minerals, spirits, and benzene should be only stored in metallic containers as they conduct and dissipate the static electricity. Other solvents that are water-soluble in nature can be safely stored in plastic containers.

As we can see, the plastic containers far outweigh their metallic counterparts in many of the instances. Still, when aspects like static electricity are concerned, it is important to choose metal containers. Therefore it can be safely said that the kind of chemical that is being stored has the highest influence on the container material that is chosen. Fortunately, you can buy all kinds of containers online, and leading supplier chemical company in India provide you the highest quality containers for storing a wide range of chemicals.

Like it? Share it!

Asit Roy

About the Author

Asit Roy
Joined: April 26th, 2016
Articles Posted: 14

More by this author