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A Brief Presentation on Storage Tanks


12thNovember2013

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DetailDesign

AStorageTankisastaticequipmentwhichisusedto
storeproducts(liquids)inatmosphericpressure
conditions.StorageTankscanbesplitintotwotypes

SitebuiltTanks
SmallerTanks(transportedtositefullyassembled)

Ingeneralsitebuilttanksaredesignedasvertical

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cylindershoweversmallertanksmaybeeither
vertical/horizontalcylindersorrectangular/squarein
shape.
LargeStorageTanksareconstructedonsite,on
preparedfoundationsastheyaretoolargetotransport.
Toreducesiteworkandtheamountofequipmentrequired,thecomponentpartsofthetankarenormallypre
fabricatedorpreformedpriortodelivery.
Application:

RefineryandPetrochemical
Fertilizer
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OilandGas
Chemical

TypeofStorageTank(Fig.1):
StorageTankscanbedefinedintothreetypes

ConeRoofStorageTank:AConeRoofStorageTankhasverticalsidesandisequippedwithafixedconeshaped
roofthatisweldedtothesidesofthetank.
OpenTopFloatingRoofStorageTank:AnOpenTopFloatingRoofStorageTankissimilartotheconerooftank
inconstructionbutwiththeexceptionthatithasnofixedroof.Apontoontyperooffloatsdirectlyonthe
flammableliquidsurface.

InternalFloatingRoof/CoveredFloatingRoofStorage:AnInternalFloatingRoof/CoveredFloatingRoofStorage
(seereddome)Tankisacombinationofboththeconeroofordomeandtheopentopfloatingrooftank.Thetank
hasaconeroofbutwiththeadditionofaninternalfloatingrooforpanthatfloatsdirectlyonthefuelsurface.

Fig.1:ConeRoofandfloatingRoofStorageTank

LocationofStorageTanks:
StorageTanksaremostlylocatedinsideaTankFarmareainsideabundedarea(Fig.2).
Bundedareaisnecessaryaroundstoragetankwhenthepotentialenvironmentalandeconomicriskoftankspillage
isgreat.Itsfunctionistocontainspillagesothatsubsequentdamagetoadjacenttanksandsurroundingareascan
beminimised.

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Fig.2:TanklocationinsideBundArea

ComponentofStorageTanks:
TypicallyaTankconsistsofthreecomponents(Fig.3).

Shell:Acylindricalportionwhichisrestingonthebottomplateandcoveredbytheroof.
BottomPlate:Aweldedflatbottomplatewhichisplacedbeneaththecylindricalshell.

Roof:Thefixedrooftankismostlyprovidedwithaconicaltoproof.Largerdiameterconicalrooftanksaresupported
byroofstructuresorcolumnsandtheopentoptankismostlyprovidedwithafloatingroof.

Fig.3:ComponentsofaStorageTank

ConstructionofTankShell:
Tankshellisconstructedbybuttweldingsteelplatesofspecifiedlengthandwidthatthereedgesinordertoforma
cylindricalshell.
ConstructionofTankBottom:
Thebottomofatankisconstructedfromflatplates.Platesarearrangedwithrectangularplatesinthecentreand
sketchplates(cuttosuitradius)aroundtheperimeter.

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ConstructionofTankRoof:
Thetopofatankisconstructedfromflatplates.Platesarearrangedwithrectangularplatesinthecentreandsketch
plates(cuttosuitradius)aroundtheperimeter.
TypeofRoofSupportStructures:

FixedConicalorDomerooftanksareprovidedwithinternalraftersortrusses(Fig.4).
SomelargerdiameterConicalorDomerooftanksarealsoprovidedwithcolumnsupports.

Fig.4:VarioustypesofroofSupports

InternationalDesignCodesforSiteBuiltStorageTanks:
Themaindesigncodesforverticalcylindricaltanksare:

BSEN14015:2004VerticalSteelWeldedStorageTankswithButtWeldedShellsforthePetroleumIndustry
API650WeldedSteelTanksforOilStorage
DEP34.51.01.31GenandDEP64.51.01.31Gen

DesignAspectsofTank:
Thedesignaspectsofthetankcanbedividedintothefollowing:

Designstandards:ThetankcanbedesignedbyusingdifferentInternationalstandardsasAPI650andBSEN
14015.
PlateSize:Althoughthephysicalsizeoftheshellplatesisafunctionoftheheightanddiameterofthetank,the
actualsizeisalsodependentuponmaterialavailability,fabricatorsfacilitiesandhandling/logisticissues.A
largeplateisthemoredifficulttoformandtohandle,howeveralargeplaterequireslessweldingduringtank
erection.Theplatesizemustthereforebeconsideredonacasebycasebasistoachievethemosteconomical
design.Forexample,fora10mhightank,themostpracticalandeconomicalplatewidthwouldbe2.5msoasto
achievefourshellcourses.Plates3.33mwidearelargeandnonstandard.
LoadingConditions:

External/Internal:Externalloadsonatankmayresultfromadjoiningpipingorstructures.Theseloadsmaybe
duetoforexampletheirstaticweightorasaresultofthermalgrowth.Duetotheuseofrelativelythinandtherefore
flexiblesteelplates,tankshaveapoorabilitytoresistexternalloadsandthereforemeasuresshouldbetakento
minimizeallexternalloads.MethodstoanalyzeexternalpipeloadscanbefoundinAPI650.
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Wind/Earthquake:Windandearthquakeloadsdependgreatlyontheenvironmentalconditionsoftheproposed
site.Guidanceonhowtoanalyzewindandearthquakeloadscanbefoundintheappropriatedesigncodeshowever
particularattentionshouldalsobegiventotheriskofwindandearthquakesduringtankerectionwherethefull
stabilityofthetankisnotyetavailableandtemporaryfacilitieshavetobedeployed.
Pressure/Vacuum:Althoughthemaximumexternaldesignpressureoftanksisverylow(6mbar),itshouldbe
notedthattanksareinherentlyverypooratresistingpartialvacuums.Caremustbetakentoensurethatvacuum
breakervalvesarecorrectlysizedtopreventapartialvacuumformingduringforexampleliquiddrawoff/draining.
Seebelowslideforanexamplephotographofatankcollapseduetovacuum.

Foundations:Althoughafabricatedtankisrelativelylightforitsphysicalsize,duetothestaticheadfromthe
liquidcontentstheoverallloadontothefoundationscanbeconsiderable.Thedesignofthefoundationsis
especiallyimportantwherethegroundconditionsaresoftorinconsistentwhichcouldresultintheriskof
sinkingorunevensettlementwhichcouldcausefailureofthetank.Topreventthisproblemoccurringitis
importantthatasoilsurveyoftheproposedsiteisperformedearlyintheprojectandthefoundationsdesignedto
suit.Thisanalysismaybeperformedbyacivilengineeringcontractor.

Ontankswherethereisapotentialforupliftcausedbyforexamplewindloading,thebaseofthetankshouldbe
anchoredtothegroundusingfoundationbolts.Thisisnormallydonebyprovidingaconcreteringbeamaroundthe
perimeterofthetank.Onsmallertankstheentirefoundationmaybemadefromreinforcedconcretehoweverdueto
thecost,aringbeamismoreeconomical.Upliftcanalsoresultfrominternalpressurebowingthefloorwhenempty
andhighpressuretanksshouldalwaysbeprovidedwithfoundationbolts.Theareaunderthetankflooristypically
compactedgroundcoveredwithalayerofbitumencoatedsandwhichhelpsbeddinginofthefloorplatesandasa
meansofcorrosionprotection.

Layout:Layoutoftanksdependsuponanumberofparameterssuchasnumberoftanks,groundconditions,
processdutyetc

Exampleofvacuumcollapse(Fig.5):
Thiscollapseoccurredfollowingaccidentaldrainingofthecontentswhilstthevacuumvalvewasblockedbyplastic
tapeduringpaintrefurbishment.

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Fig.5:ExampleofVacuumCollapse

MaterialofConstruction:

Carbonsteel
StainlessSteel
DuplexStainlesssteel

TypicalMethodofTankErection:
Therearefourmainmethodsoftankerection:

Progressive
CompleteAssembly
Jacking
Flotation

Progressiveassemblyandwelding:Intheprogressiveassemblymethod,thebottomplatesareassembledand
weldedfirst.Thereaftertheshellplatesareerected,heldinplace,tackedandcompletelywelded.Thisshallbedone
coursebycourse,workingupwardstothetopcurbangle.Nocourseshallbeaddedaslongasthepreviouscoursehas
notbeenentirelywelded.Theerectionandcompletionoftheroofframingandroofplatesthenfollow.
Completeassemblyfollowedbyweldingofhorizontalseams:Inthecompleteassemblymethod,thebottom
platesareassembledandweldedfirst.Thereaftertheshellplatesareerected,heldinplace,tackedandonlythe
verticalseamscompletelywelded,leavingthehorizontalseamsunwelded.Thisshallbedonecoursebycourse,
workingupwardstothetopcurbangle.Nocourseshallbeaddedaslongastheverticalseamsofthepreviouscourse
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havenotbeenentirelywelded.Theerectionandcompletionoftheroofframingandroofplatesthenfollow.Finally
thehorizontalseamsarewelded,workingupwardsfromthebottomcourseordownwardsfromthetopcurbangle.
Jackingupmethod:Somecontractorsemployasystemoferectioninwhichthebottomplatesarecompleted,The
topcourseiserectedonthebottomplates,theroofframingandsheetingarecompletedandanumberofjacksare
thenassembledaroundthestructure.Bymeansofthesejacks,thecompletedtopcoursetogetherwiththeroof
framingandsheetingisliftedtoaheightsufficienttoinsertthenextlowercourse.Thejackingmethodandthe
supportingofthepartlyerectedshellshallhavenoadverseeffectontheroundnessoftheshell.Theweldingis
completedateachstageofliftuntilallcoursesoftheshellplateshavebeeninsertedandthefinishedheightis
reached.Thefinaloperationistheweldingofthebottomcoursetothebottomplates.
Flotationmethod:Theflotationmethodisusedforfloatingrooftanks.Afterthecompletionofthebottomplating
anderectionandweldingofthetwolowercoursesofthetank,thefloatingroofisassembledonthetankbottomand
completed.Thetankisthenfilledwithwaterand,usingthefloatingroofasaworkingplatform,thethirdand
subsequentcoursesareerectedandwelded,waterbeingpumpedinaseachcourseiscompleted.Regularcheckson
theverticalalignmentandroundnessarerequired.Thismethodmayonlybeusedatlocationswheresoilsettlement
isverylimitedandwiththeagreementofthePrincipal.Thepredictedsoilsettlementsofthesoilinvestigationreport
shallbetakenintoaccount.Asmallcraneisusuallyerectedonthefloatingroofforhoistingtheshellplatesinto
position.
TankFoundations(Fig.6):
Tanksareusuallysupportedonconcreteringwallfoundationorpadtypefoundation.

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Fig.6:TankFoundations

Venting:
Ventingisveryimportantduetothelowdesignpressureoftanks.Theymustconsider:

In/outflowoftank
Thermalventing
Numberofindependentbreathervalves
Birds/blockage
RoofProfile

Floatingrooftankshaveminimumventlosses
Considerationmustbegiventothemaximuminflowintothetank(causingoverpressurisation)andalsothe
maximumoutflow(causingpartialvacuum).Thesemayresultfromtheactionofpumpsand/orprocessupsetssuch
asgasblowbyfromavessel.
Thetypeandselectionofthereliefvalvesalsodependsuponifthereisavapourblanketwithinthetank.Forexample
thismaybenitrogenorfuelgas.Fuelgasshouldnotbeventedtotheatmosphereandwherepracticalshouldinstead
berecovered.

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Tanksarealsoprovidedwithsimpleemergencyvents(blowoutcovers),thepurposeofwhichistopreventtank
damageintheeventofforexampleaprocessupsetcondition.
Tankroofsareinherentlydesignedtobeweakerthantheshellsothatintheeventofoverpressurisationandthe
failureoftheventingsystem,theroofwillfailandtheshellwillremainintactthuspreventingspillage/lossofthe
contents.

SmallTanks
SmallerTanks,definedhere,asthosetransportedtositefullyassembledmaybecylindricalorrectangularinshape.
Theyareusedformanypurposessuchas:

Waterstorage
Fuelstorage
Settlingorseparationoffluids(e.g.oilywatertreatment)
Lubricationoilstorage
Chemicalstorage
Drainstanks

Smalltankscanbesuppliedasindividualitemstositeormorecommonlytheyaresuppliedonpackagedskids.
Tanksmayalsobefabricatedfromconcrete.
RectangularTanks
Theseareverycommononpackagedskidsastheyofferthegreatestvolumewithinaconfinedpackagespace
envelope.
Forexample:

Lubricationoiltanksonpump/compressorskids
Chemicalstorageonchemicalinjectionskids

Thereisnodefinitivedesignstandardforrectangulartanksandtheyareusuallydesignedfromfirstprinciplesor
goodengineeringpractice.
Rectangulartanksmaybemadefromflatorcorrugatedplates.Dependingonthetankssize,flatplatesarenormally
providedwithinternalorexternalstiffenerstopreventplatedeflection.
Rectangulartanksareoftenprovidedwithinternalpartitionplatessothattwoormoreseparatestoragevolumesare
providedwithinacompactarrangement.

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This article has 1 comment

Hashim
Friday14November2014,12:28am
Verymuchinformative
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