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Navigating the Choice Between Poly and Steel for Secondary Containment

In our latest article, you will find essential insights on selecting the right spill pallet. Learn about identifying media resistance, discover valuable tips, helpful checklists, and more to make informed decisions for effective spill containment.

Discover valuable tips, checklists, and more in our latest article to guide you in choosing the right spill pallet. DENIOS presents a diverse range, featuring Polyethylene—an adaptable polymer with outstanding resistance to acids and alkalis. Explore its versatility for various spill containment needs. Our Steel spill pallets, known for strength and durability, ensure prolonged effectiveness in spill containment applications.

Exploring the Importance and Benefits of Secondary Spill Containment


The release or leakage of chemicals has the potential to contaminate the environment, negatively impacting the quality of soil, water, and air. Implementing proper containment measures on spill pallets is crucial to confine any unplanned discharge, thereby minimizing the risk of environmental harm.


Chemical spills directly jeopardize the safety and well-being of employees. Employing spill pallets to contain chemicals proves essential in preventing unintentional exposure, inhalation, or skin contact, thereby reducing the likelihood of injuries or health risks.


Chemical spills can inflict harm on equipment, infrastructure, and storage facilities. Utilizing spill pallets enables businesses to protect their assets, mitigating the potential for corrosion, degradation, or contamination of valuable equipment and resources.


Numerous regulatory bodies in Canada enforce stringent guidelines for the containment of hazardous substances to uphold both workplace safety and environmental well-being. Employing spill pallets aligns with these regulatory mandates, and non-compliance may lead to fines, legal repercussions, and damage to one's reputation.

Adherence to stipulated sump volumes is imperative to meet the standards set by Canadian regulatory entities, ensuring compliance with the country's environmental and workplace safety regulations.


Ensuring Effective spill containment is paramount for environmental safety, especially in industries dealing with hazardous substances. The choice of spill containment material is crucial in preventing environmental harm and maintaining regulatory compliance. This section will delve into the significance of selecting the appropriate material for spill containment, focusing on the unique properties of two primary options: Poly and Steel. Ensuring


Spills can have severe environmental consequences, including soil contamination, water pollution, and ecosystem harm. Proper spill containment serves as a frontline defense against these potential disasters. The material chosen for containment solutions dictates how efficiently and safely spills are managed.

Selecting the suitable material is crucial for several reasons:

Chemical Conformity

Materials exhibit different levels of resistance to chemicals. Ensuring the selection of a material compatible with the stored substances is essential for maintaining the long-term effectiveness of the containment solution.

Resilience and Robustness

The material's durability significantly influences its ability to withstand physical stresses and impacts. Opting for a robust material ensures structural integrity, minimizing the risk of leaks and spills.

Ecological Conditions

Spill containment solutions may be deployed in diverse environments with challenges. Temperature, UV exposure, and moisture levels affect the material's performance. Choosing a material well-suited to these conditions enhances both its longevity and effectiveness.

Adherence to Regulations

Strict adherence to industry regulations and standards is crucial. The chosen material should align with regulatory requirements to prevent fines, legal complications, and environmental penalties.

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Versatile Chemical Resistance with Polyethylene (Poly)

Polyethylene, a flexible thermoplastic polymer, is renowned for its exceptional chemical resistance. Key properties include:

  • Chemical Opposition: In contrast to metals, polyethylene remains corrosion-free when exposed to corrosive substances, ensuring enduring performance in demanding environments.
  • Corrosion Resistance: In contrast to metals, polyethylene remains corrosion-free when exposed to corrosive substances, ensuring enduring performance in demanding environments.
  • Flexibility: The adaptability of polyethylene renders it suitable for diverse spill containment applications, ranging from industrial settings to laboratory environments.

Steel: Durable Containment Solutions for Corrosion Resistance and Strength

Explore the Robustness and Durability of Steel, a Resilient Material in Spill Containment. Delve into its Key Features, such as Corrosion Resistance, Structural Integrity, and Versatility, Making Steel an Indispensable Choice for Reliable Spill Containment Solutions Across Diverse Industries.

  • Corrosion Resilience: Certain grades of steel, especially stainless steel, exhibit excellent resistance to corrosion, making them suitable for exposure to corrosive substances.
  • Strength and Durability: The structural integrity of steel withstands physical stresses and impacts, creating a robust barrier against spills.
  • Flexibility: Steel is utilized in diverse spill containment solutions, providing strength and reliability across various industries.

Factors to Consider and Constraints: Informed Decision-Making

As we explore spill containment, a thorough understanding of the considerations and limitations associated with different materials becomes paramount for making well-informed decisions. This section will delve into the factors that play a pivotal role in choosing between Poly and Steel spill pallets. By evaluating material compatibility, considering environmental conditions, and understanding maintenance requirements, readers can navigate the nuances of each option and make informed choices when selecting the most suitable spill containment solution for their specific needs.

Comparing Poly and Steel Spill Pallets

To facilitate decision-making, let's examine a comprehensive table that highlights the critical features of Steel and Poly spill pallets:

Criteria Poly Spill Pallets Steel Spill Pallets
Chemical Resistance Ideal for acids, bases, salts, and organic solvents. Excellent resistance to corrosive substances.
Corrosion Resistance Does not corrode when exposed to corrosive substances. Certain grades, especially stainless steel, resist corrosion effectively.
Strength and Durability Good structural integrity but may not withstand heavy impacts as effectively as steel. Robust structural integrity, capable of withstanding substantial impacts.
Versatility Adaptable to various spill containment applications. Offers versatility across a wide range of spill containment solutions.
Environmental Considerations Resistant to moisture and water absorption. Requires additional finishes and coatings for extended chemical resistance.
Temperature Stability Maintains chemical resistance across a broad temperature range. Suitable for spills involving hot or cold substances.
Material Compatibility Highly resistant to many chemicals but may not be suitable for all substances. Generally resistant to many chemicals, but certain aggressive substances may pose risks.
UV Exposure Susceptible to the effects of UV exposure. Requires additional protective measures against UV exposure.
Maintenance Generally low maintenance; may be affected by UV exposure and certain environmental conditions. Requires regular inspection and maintenance to address signs of corrosion.
Regulatory Compliance Compliant with regulations; compatibility should be verified for specific chemicals. Compliant with regulations; regular inspection ensures continued compliance.
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Enhancing Spill Containment Effectiveness: Best Practices and Recommendations

Navigating Regulatory Compliance and Material Considerations

In compliance with existing US regulations, the outdoor storage of oil and fuel containers mandates the implementation of 'secondary containment' measures, such as spill pallets and drip trays, as outlined in the Canadian Environmental Protection Act's Oil Storage Regulations. This requirement ensures that any leaked material is confined within the spill pallet, with secondary containment items designed to hold 110% of the maximum capacity of the container. Furthermore, spill pallets are obligatory when storing and transferring hazardous substances to mitigate pollution risks to land, surface water, and groundwater. Beyond regulatory adherence, spill pallets fulfill health and safety obligations by minimizing slip and trip risks associated with leaks and spills.

DENIOS, the leading manufacturer and supplier of spill pallets in the US, acknowledges the importance of selecting appropriate storage solutions. DENIOS experts have crafted a guide for choosing spill pallets to assist customers in decision-making. The guide underscores the significance of considering the handled materials, as different substances necessitate specific spill pallets. For example, steel spill pallets, available in galvanized and painted versions, are suitable for storing water-polluting and flammable substances like oils and lacquers. Conversely, aggressive chemicals such as acids and alkalis require stainless steel or plastic spill pallets.

Media Resistance List

Consulting the safety data sheets is recommended when identifying the suitable spill pallet for the materials used. These documents offer comprehensive information on your materials' safe storage and transportation.

To aid in selecting the most appropriate spill pallet, we have compiled a media resistance list covering a diverse range of storage media.

Spill pallets made from steel are suitable for various chemical substances, while corrosive materials such as acids and alkalis require polyethylene or stainless steel spill pallets.

Chemical stored Concentration Steel 1), 4) S-Steel 2) Galvanized-Steel 3) Poly - PE / HDPE 4)
Acetaldehyde ≤ 40 %
Acetaldehyde max. poss
Acetic acid <5%
Aircraft turbine fuel
Ammonium hydroxide ≤ 30 %
Ammonium hydroxide 1.8%
Ammonium nitrate saturated Not recommended
Ammonium solution
Anti-freeze (car)
Battery acid ≤ 78%
Benzoic acid
Bio Diesel
Boric acid ≤ 10% Not recommended
Brake fluid
Butanol max. poss.
Calcium acetate aqueous
Calcium chlorate, aqueous solution ≤ 65%
Calcium hydroxide Not recommended
Calcium hypochlorite saturated Not recommended
Chloroacetic acid ≤ 50%
Chloric acid ≤ 20% Not recommended ✓, 5)
Chromic acid ≤ 20% ✓, 5)
Citric acid ✓, 5) Citric acid
Crude oil
Dichlorethylene max. poss.
Diesel fuel
Ferric (II) sulphate saturated
Ferric (III) chloride saturated
Ferric (III) sulphate saturated
Ethyl acetate
Ethyl chloride
Ethyl glycol
Gearbox oil
Glycolic acid ≤ 70%
Heating oil
Hydrazine ≤ 10%
Hydrazine hydrate aqueous
Hydrochloric acid > 37% ✓, 5) ✓, 5)
Hydrogen peroxide ≤ 95% ✓, 5)
Isobutyl ether
Isobutyl acetate
Isobutyl chloride
Chemical stored Concentration Steel 1), 4) S-Steel2) Galvanized-Steel2) Poly - PE / HDPE 3)
Isopropyl alcohol (Isopropanol)
Magnesium carbonate saturated
Magnesium chloride aqueous Not recommended
Magnesium nitrate saturated
Magnesium sulfate
Menthol solid
Methyl acetate
Methyl acrylate
Methyl chloride
Motor fuel
Nitric acid ≤ 10%
Oleic acid max. poss.
Petroleum max. poss.
Phenol 100%
Phosphoric acid ≤ 95% Not recommended
Potassium carbonate depth of corrosion ≤ 0.050 inches / year
Potassium chlorate
Potassium chloride aqueous 1.8% / 70˚F (21˚C) depth of corrosion ≤ 0.050 inches / year
Potassium chloride ≤ saturated sol. / 70˚F (21˚C) depth of corrosion ≤ 0.050 inches / year
Potassium hydroxide, aqueous sol. 50% Not recommended
Potassium nitrate 50% Not recommended
Potassium nitrate ≤ saturated sol. Not recommended
Potassium phosphate ≤ saturated sol.
Potassium sulphate ≤ saturated sol.
Salicylic acid saturated
Silicic acid
Sodium acetate
Sodium bisulphate
Sodium bisulphide aqueous
Sodium carbonate
Sodium chloride
Sodium hydrogen sulphate ≤ GL
Sodium hydrogen sulphide ≤ GL
Sodium hydroxide
Sodium sulphate
Sodium sulphide ≤ GL
Sodium hypochlorite ✓, 5) ✓, 5)
Spirits of turpentine
Sulphuric acid ≤ 80%
Sulphuric acid 95%
Sulphurous acid saturated
Toluene 70˚F (21˚C)
Uric acid

1) Painted (WN 1.0038) or galvanized (1.0242) steel
2) Stainless steel 1.4301 (V2A)
3) Polyethylene (PE)
4) Galvanized sump pallets are not suitable for the storage of the following liquids: organic and inorganic acids, sodium bicarbonate, caustic potassium carbonate solution, as well as other alkali hydroxides, chlorinated hydrocarbons, amine, nitro compounds, acid chlorides, and other chlorides, phenol, aqueous alkaline solutions, nitrile.

We are happy to advise you!

Tailor-made advice, and service fulfillment. Our advisors walk the additional mile. Take advantage of our phone, mail, or on-premise service offers.

Expert advice 01952 811 991

The specialist information on this page has been compiled carefully and to the best of our knowledge and belief. Nevertheless, DENIOS Ltd cannot assume any warranty or liability of any kind, whether in contract, tort or otherwise, for the topicality, completeness and correctness either towards the reader or towards third parties. The use of the information and content for your own or third party purposes is therefore at your own risk. In any case, please observe the locally and currently applicable legislation.

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