Using the right weight of pad for the right job ticks a few boxes – it helps you keep to budget, prevents unnecessary waste by using less material (which in turn helps protect the environment) and also takes up less space (great for shipping, great for storage).
But firstly, let’s take a look at what oil and fuel absorbent pads actually are. Also known as oil-only or hydrocarbon pads, these absorbent sheets of poly are manufactured to only absorb oils and fuels – anything that’s hydrocarbon-based.
They repel water, which means they’re great for:
- sopping up spills where oils may be mixed with water,
- dealing with spills in the rain, or wet areas such as ponds, sumps, canals etc. Oil and fuel absorbent pads are designed to float on top of water bodies making them easier to retrieve.
Given they will only absorb the hydrocarbon component of a spill, you’ll get a lot more absorbency power out of them – you’re not capturing other liquids at the same time which may dilute your spill clean-up efforts.
So, now to the big difference between standard duty pads and heavy duty pads. No surprises, heavy duty pads are thicker than the standard ones and will absorb more liquid per pad. Does that make them better in all cases? Not necessarily.
The case for standard duty:
If you’re in a warehouse, workshop or light automotive area, a standard duty pad is likely to be sufficient for your day-to-day spills and general maintenance. Standard duty oil and fuel pads are suitable for incidental spills and are brilliant for wiping down tools and machinery. The lighter weight makes them more flexible and makes them a great alternative to rags, which don’t actually absorb much at all. Standard duty pads are a true absorbent, cut down to a manageable handy size, perfect for a small drip, leak or spill.
The case for heavy duty:
Heavy duty oil and fuel absorbent pads on the other hand are made for the remarkable messes we find in heavy industrial environments. Think lubricant or fuel storage and dispensing areas, or big users of hydraulic equipment. Their thickness makes them stronger, which also makes heavy duty oil and fuel pads great on the ground in wet areas or high foot traffic thoroughfares to pick up any incidental drips. Of course, they are also best for bigger spills as each pad will absorb twice that of a standard duty one.
So there you go – a quick overview of what oil and fuel pads are and the key differences between the two. The next question now is: which one do you need? Can you save yourself some storage space and pennies in the process?