In recent years, glass lined bolted steel tanks have become more frequent despite the higher initial cost. The arguments for a glass lined tank are simple: glass coating is non-porous and very rigid. Therefore, the theory is that liquids cannot reach the steel and cause corrosion, which could destroy the tank.
Unfortunately, there are a few details which impact performance of glass lined bolted steel tanks in real life. First, great care must be taken when shipping, unloading and installing steel staves to not crack the glass overlay as cracks will allow water and liquids to penetrate the enamel coating. A particular area of susceptibility is the edge of steel staves as the hard and brittle glass coating is vulnerable to impact. Even minor damage to the edge can result in a catastrophic failure of the enamel coating system. Once the glass lining has been compromised, the steel will begin to corrode under the glass coating, resulting in the coating delaminating. As the glass lining of the tank is fused to the steel at very high temperatures at the factory, this process cannot be replicated in the field. The only way to attempt to correct damage is by covering the area with mastic putty. Not only is this unattractive, but the putty mastic can peel off over time, re-exposing the damage underneath.