Tote Talk Blog

Five Advantages of Using Stainless Steel IBCs for Paints and Coatings

IBC for PaintsStoring and transporting paints and coatings can be challenging.  Not many materials can withstand the harsh solvents often used in coatings, and transporting the chemicals requires DOT approved containers.  Ensuring product quality and consistency adds additional challenges to paint storage.  Another complication is that once the container has been used, it needs to be disposed of properly.  Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs) address all these issues, making our stainless steel totes the ideal storage solution for paints and coatings.  Let's examine 5 reasons why stainless steel IBCs are perfect for this industry.

Demand is expected to continue growing

IBC for coatingsA growing economy correlates with an increased demand for coatings.  A 2017 analysis of the paints and coatings industry conducted by IHS Markit found that, “Generally, coatings grow in tandem with the economy”.  Demand for coatings is expected to experience steady growth for at least the next several years.  The analysis conducted by IHS Markit further concluded that, “The coatings industry in the United States, Western Europe, and Japan is mature and generally correlates with the health of the economy, especially housing, construction, and transportation. Overall demand from 2016 to 2021 will increase at average annual rates of 3% in the United States”.  An increase in demand means more paints and coatings will need to be stored and transported.  Stainless steel totes are an excellent, DOT approved, option for transporting and storing these chemicals.   Our rental program makes it easy to expand storage capabilities without a large, upfront, capital investment in storage equipment.  Metano offers multiple standard rental capacities, with the 350-gallon tote tanks being the most popular solution.  

Ability to handle harsh solvents

Not many packaging materials can handle the solvents used in coatings.  The IHS Markit report found that, “The coatings industry is one of the larger consumers of solvents, which are mostly derived from petrochemical feedstocks and refinery operations”.  Stainless steel is an excellent choice for the storage of paints and coatings, as it is compatible with many of the chemicals used in the industry.  Even though stainless steel is often a great option, it is still important to check to make sure stainless steel will work in your operation.  Use the Cole-Parmer chemical compatibility database as a reference when ensuring stainless steel suits your operational needs.   


Electric-powered-mixer.gifPaints and coatings is one of the few industries that really benefits from tote accessories such as mixing systems.  We offer several mixing systems, including air powered mixers and electric mixers that can be fitted inside a stainless steel tote tank.  Mixers are a safe and effective tool for maintaining even product consistency inside the tote tank.

Nearly complete drainage

Totes have a couple of design features to encourage easy and complete drainage.  All totes are built with sloped bottoms so that virtually no product is left sitting at the bottom of the IBC.  There is savings in eliminating the residual.  A 2" outlet valve on the bottom of the tote makes draining it easy.  This allows for utilizing the simple force of gravity to empty the tote.   


With proper cleaning, any product can be entirely washed out, and the tote will be restored to “like new” condition.  Pigments used to color paints do not easily adhere to stainless steel, allowing totes to be completely washed and sanitized.  Professionally cleaned totes can be reused with a different product, with no fear of cross contamination.  With proper container maintenance, totes can last dozens of years.
If sealed correctly, product can be stored in an IBC for an extended period of time.  Proper drum cover installation, especially the installation of the gasket, will go a long way in determining how long a product can stay fresh inside of a tote.  Follow the procedures in our lid installation guide, and watch the videos on our website for more information on how to correctly install the lid and gasket.  When securing a lid, all openings, including filling and vent holes, must be tightly closed per 49 CFR.

To get all your intermediate bulk container questions answered, send us an email, or give us a call at 1-800-634-4128 .

ibc rental

Topics: stainless steel totes, industry spotlight

We welcome your comments


Subscribe to Email Updates