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Engineering Encyclopedia

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

DETERMINING REQUIREMENTS FOR


REPAIR OR ALTERATION OF STORAGE TANKS

Note: The source of the technical material in this volume is the Professional
Engineering Development Program (PEDP) of Engineering Services.
Warning: The material contained in this document was developed for Saudi
Aramco and is intended for the exclusive use of Saudi Aramcos employees.
Any material contained in this document which is not already in the public
domain may not be copied, reproduced, sold, given, or disclosed to third
parties, or otherwise used in whole, or in part, without the written permission
of the Vice President, Engineering Services, Saudi Aramco.

Chapter : Mechanical For additional information on this subject, contact


File Reference: MEX-203.08 PEDD Coordinator on 874-6556
Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
Repair or Alteration of Storage Tanks

Section .....................................................................................................................Page

INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................. 7

APPLICATION OF SAES-D-108 AND API-653 TO THE REPAIR or alteration OF


EXISTING STORAGE TANKS ........................................................................................ 8
Scope of SAES-D-108 and API-653........................................................................ 8
SAES-D-108.................................................................................................... 8
API-653 ........................................................................................................... 9
Application of SAES-D-108 and API-653 .............................................................. 10
Suitability for Service..................................................................................... 10
Repairs and Alterations ................................................................................. 12
Dismantling and Reconstruction.................................................................... 13
Hot Tapping................................................................................................... 14

STORAGE TANK INSPECTION INTERVAL REQUIREMENTS ................................... 21


Reasons for Inspection.......................................................................................... 21
SAEP-20 Requirements for Inspection Intervals ................................................... 27
On-Stream Inspection (OSI).......................................................................... 29
Out-of-Service Inspection (T&I)..................................................................... 30
Inspection and History Reports ............................................................................. 31

DETERMINING REPAIR OR ALTERATION REQUIREMENTS FOR STORAGE


TANK SHELLS AND SHELL PENETRATIONS ............................................................ 35
Deterioration of Storage Tank Shells .................................................................... 35
General Corrosion......................................................................................... 36
Pitting Corrosion............................................................................................ 36
Tank Shell Evaluation............................................................................................ 37
Actual Thickness Determination.................................................................... 38
Minimum Thickness Calculation for Welded Tank Shell................................ 38
Minimum Thickness Calculation for Riveted Tank Shell................................ 41
Other Shell Evaluations................................................................................. 44
Repair and Alterations in Tank Shell ..................................................................... 50
Repair of defects in Shell Plate Material........................................................ 50
Minor Defects in Shell Material...................................................................... 51
Major Defects in Shell Material...................................................................... 52
Defective Weld Repairs................................................................................. 53

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
Repair or Alteration of Storage Tanks

Situations Involving Shell Penetrations ......................................................... 54


New Items or Replacement Items ................................................................. 54
Alteration of Existing Penetration .................................................................. 56
Alteration of Shells to Change Height ........................................................... 58

DETERMINING REPAIR OR ALTERATION REQUIREMENTS FOR STORAGE


TANK BOTTOMS .......................................................................................................... 61
Types of Bottom Corrosion.................................................................................... 61
External Corrosion ........................................................................................ 62
Internal Corrosion.......................................................................................... 64
Minimum Thickness for Tank Bottom Plate ........................................................... 65
Minimum Thickness for Annular Plate Ring........................................................... 69
Requirements for Repairs to Bottom ..................................................................... 70
Repair of a Portion of Tank Bottom ............................................................... 70
Replacement of Entire Bottom ...................................................................... 74
Effects of Use of Internal Lining or Cathodic Protection Systems ......................... 76
Internal Lining................................................................................................ 77
Cathodic Protection System .......................................................................... 80

DETERMINING REPAIR OR ALTERATION REQUIREMENTS FOR THE


ROOFS OF FIXED ROOF AND FLOATING ROOF STORAGE TANKS....................... 85
Criteria for Roof Evaluation ................................................................................... 85
Fixed Roofs ................................................................................................... 86
Floating Roofs ............................................................................................... 88
Repair Requirements for Fixed Roofs ................................................................... 90
Repair Requirements for Floating Roofs ............................................................... 91
Criteria for Repair or Replacement of Floating Roof Seals.................................... 92
Repair Considerations for Internal Floating Roofs................................................. 93

DETERMINING REPAIR OR ALTERATION REQUIREMENTS FOR


SITUATIONS THAT INVOLVE TANK SETTLEMENT................................................... 95
Shell Settlement .................................................................................................... 95
Types ............................................................................................................ 95
Evaluation ................................................................................................... 100
Bottom Settlement............................................................................................... 102
Types .......................................................................................................... 102
Evaluation ................................................................................................... 106

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
Repair or Alteration of Storage Tanks

Methods for Correcting Settlement Problems...................................................... 108


Shell Releveling Considerations and Techniques ....................................... 109
Bottom Releveling Considerations and Techniques .................................... 115

HYDROTESTING REQUIREMENTS THAT ARE SPECIFIED IN 32-SAMSS-005


AND API-653............................................................................................................... 119
32-SAMSS-05 REQUIREMENTS ....................................................................... 119
SAES-D-108 REQUIREMENTS.......................................................................... 119

SUMMARY.................................................................................................................. 122

WORK AID 1: PROCEDURE FOR DETERMINING REPAIR OR ALTERATION


REQUIREMENTS FOR SITUATIONS INVOLVING STORAGE TANK SHELLS
AND SHELL PENETRATIONS.................................................................................... 123
Work Aid 1A: Procedural Steps .......................................................................... 123
Work Aid 1B: Inspection Data............................................................................. 124
Tank Shell ................................................................................................... 124
Tank Shell Penetrations .............................................................................. 129
Work Aid 1C: Reference to Pertinent Content From SAES-D-108 ..................... 130
Tank Shells ................................................................................................. 130
Tank Shell Penetrations .............................................................................. 130
Work Aid 1D: Reference to Pertinent Content From API-653............................. 131
Tank Shells ................................................................................................. 131
Tank Shell Penetrations .............................................................................. 138

WORK AID 2: PROCEDURE FOR DETERMINING REPAIR OR ALTERATION


REQUIREMENTS FOR STORAGE TANK BOTTOMS .............................................. 139

WORK AID 3: PROCEDURE FOR DETERMINING REPAIR OR ALTERATION


REQUIREMENTS FOR THE ROOFS OF FIXED ROOF AND FLOATING ROOF
STORAGE TANKS...................................................................................................... 143
Work Aid 3A: Inspection Data............................................................................. 143
Work Aid 3B: Reference to Pertinent Content From SAES-D-108 ..................... 144
Work Aid 3C: Reference to Pertinent Content From API-653............................. 144
Floating Roof............................................................................................... 144

WORK AID 4: PROCEDURE FOR DETERMINING REPAIR OR ALTERATION


REQUIREMENTS FOR SITUATIONS INVOLVING TANK SETTLEMENT ................. 145
Work Aid 4A: Inspection Data............................................................................. 145

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
Repair or Alteration of Storage Tanks

WORK AID 4B: REFERENCE TO PERTINENT CONTENT FROM SAES-D-108...... 148


Work Aid 4C: Reference to Pertinent Content From API-653............................. 148
Shell Settlement Evaluation ........................................................................ 148
Bottom Settlement Evaluation ..................................................................... 149

GLOSSARY ................................................................................................................ 150

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
Repair or Alteration of Storage Tanks

List of Figures

Figure 1. Basic Hot Tap Arrangement ........................................................................... 16


Figure 2. Minimum Shell Thickness for Hot Taps .......................................................... 17
Figure 3a. Inspection Locations and Tank Deterioration ............................................... 23
Figure 3b. Inspection Locations and Tank Deterioration ............................................... 24
Figure 3c. Inspection Locations and Tank Deterioration ............................................... 25
Figure 3d. Inspection Locations and Tank Deterioration ............................................... 26
Figure 4. Components of Inspection and History Report............................................... 33
Figure 5. Inspection and History Report Thickness Measurement Data........................ 34
Figure 6. Localized Shell Corrosion............................................................................... 40
Figure 7. Riveted Shell Construction ............................................................................. 42
Figure 8. Sample Problem 1 Tank................................................................................. 45
Figure 9. Reinforcement Plate Added to Nozzle ........................................................... 57
Figure 10. "Tombstone Type" Reinforcement Plate Added to Nozzle ........................... 57
Figure 11. Raising Nozzle Assembly............................................................................. 60
Figure 12. Oxygen Concentration Cell Corrosion .......................................................... 62
Figure 13. Bottom Plate Corrosion ................................................................................ 67
Figure 14. Elongated Fillet Weld ................................................................................... 72
Figure 15. Temper-Bead Welding ................................................................................. 73
Figure 16. Slotted Shell for New Bottom Installation ..................................................... 75
Figure 17. Typical Sacrificial Anode System ................................................................. 82
Figure 18. Typical Impressed Current System .............................................................. 84
Figure 19. Floating Roof Stiffeners................................................................................ 91
Figure 20. Uniform Shell Settlement.............................................................................. 96
Figure 21. Planar Tilt Settlement ................................................................................... 97
Figure 22. Settlement Readings Showing Differential Shell Settlement ........................ 98
Figure 23. Effects of Differential Shell Settlement ......................................................... 99
Figure 24. Tank Shell Settlement Measurements ....................................................... 100
Figure 25. Localized Bottom Settlement...................................................................... 103
Figure 26. Center-To-Edge Bottom Settlement ........................................................... 104
Figure 27. Combined Bottom and Shell Settlement..................................................... 105
Figure 28. Bottom Settlement Measurement Locations............................................... 107

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
Repair or Alteration of Storage Tanks

Figure 29. Typical Jacking Lugs .................................................................................. 110


Figure 30. Typical Jacking Frame ............................................................................... 112
Figure 31. Typical Jacking Pit .................................................................................... 113
Figure 32. Sample Problem 3 Settlement Data ........................................................... 117
Figure 33. Generally Corroded Area ........................................................................... 125
Figure 34. Shell Thickness at Bottom of Pit................................................................. 127
Figure 35. Sum of Pit Dimensions ............................................................................... 128
Figure 36. Minimum Corner Radius of Shell Insert Plates.......................................... 130
Figure 37. Acceptable Shell Replacement Plate Details ............................................. 137
Figure 38. Graphical Representation of Tank Shell Settlement................................... 146
Figure 39. Bottom Settlement Measurements ............................................................. 147

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
Repair or Alteration of Storage Tanks

INTRODUCTION
All the earlier modules of MEX 203 concentrated on Saudi
Aramco and industry requirements for material selection,
design, fabrication, inspection, testing, vents, and fire-protection
systems that apply to new storage tanks. After a storage tank is
placed into service, the following items must be addressed:
The tank will experience various forms of deterioration that
must be considered. Corrosion is the principal, but not the
only, form of deterioration that must be evaluated.
The tank will need to be inspected and evaluated to confirm
its continued structural integrity based on its current
condition and potential future deterioration.
The tank will probably require some degree of maintenance,
repair, or alteration due to deterioration that has occurred or
because the desired operating conditions for the tank have
changed.
MEX 203.08 discusses the Saudi Aramco and industry
standards that are applied to existing storage tanks and
discusses in broad terms the items that these standards cover.
As a result of this discussion, Participants will know the
application scopes of the relevant standards. The module then
discusses the specific requirements in more detail, and it
applies them to particular situations that are related to the repair
or alteration of existing storage tanks. MEX 203.08 finally covers
the use of inspection results in the evaluation of the shell, shell
penetrations, bottom, roof, and settlement of existing storage
tanks, and it also covers tank hydrotesting requirements.

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
Repair or Alteration of Storage Tanks

APPLICATION OF SAES-D-108 AND API-653 TO THE REPAIR OR


ALTERATION OF EXISTING STORAGE TANKS
Prior modules focused on the Saudi Aramco and industry
requirements that apply to new atmospheric storage tanks. After
a tank has been placed into service, it is treated as an existing
tank rather than as a new tank, and different engineering
standards are applied to its evaluation. Existing storage tanks
may experience various forms of deterioration or changes in
application requirements that could result in the need for repair
or alteration. The primary engineering standards that apply to
existing storage tanks are as follows:
SAES-D-108, Storage Tank Integrity
API-653, Tank Inspection, Repair, Alteration, and
Reconstruction

Scope of SAES-D-108 and API-653


The paragraphs that follow discuss the scopes of SAES-D-108
and API-653.

SAES-D-108

SAES-D-108 is the Saudi Aramco Engineering Standard that


applies to the repair and alteration of existing atmospheric
storage tanks. SAES-D-108 uses API-653 as the base
reference standard, and it then specifies additions and
exceptions to API-653 requirements.
SAES-D-108 modifies API-653 requirements in the following
areas:
Bottom plate thickness measurements and minimum
acceptable thickness
Removal and replacement of shell plate material
Repair of shell penetrations
Repair of tank bottoms
Hot taps
Nondestructive examinations
Hydrostatic testing
Dismantling and reconstruction
Inspection intervals

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
Repair or Alteration of Storage Tanks

Any conflicts between SAES-D-108 and other Saudi Aramco


engineering documents must be resolved by the Saudi Aramco
Manager of the Consulting Services Department at Dhahran.
API-653

API-653 is the industry standard that applies to the repair and


maintenance of existing atmospheric storage tanks. The scope
of API-653 is as follows:
API-653 applies to carbon and low-alloy steel tanks that
were built in compliance with the requirements of API-650,
Welded Steel Tanks for Oil Storage, and its predecessor
API-12C, API Specification for Welded Oil Storage Tanks.
The majority of tanks will be of carbon steel construction.
API-653 provides minimum requirements for maintaining the
integrity of welded or riveted, nonrefrigerated, atmospheric,
aboveground storage tanks after they have been placed into
service.
These tanks are the tank types that are covered by API-650
and/or API-12C, and API-653 is not intended to cover other
tank types. While welded rather than riveted tank
construction is now used, many existing riveted tanks are
still in service, and they must be maintained in acceptable
operating condition.
Note that refrigerated, low-pressure, and/or underground
storage tanks are not within the scope of API-653. However,
many API-653 requirements are general enough to also
apply to these other tank types. Thus, API-653 may be used
as an information resource and guideline to help develop
appropriate inspection and maintenance programs for these
other tank types.
API-653 covers maintenance inspection, repair, alteration,
relocation and reconstruction.
This scope ensures that any work activity which could affect
a tank's suitability for its intended service is included.
API-653 is limited to the foundation, the bottom, the shell,
the structure, the roof, attached appurtenances, and nozzles
up to the face of the first flange, the first threaded joint, or
the first welded-end connection.
These components are the primary components that relate
to the tank's structural integrity and/or could have a
significant environmental impact should their condition be not
acceptable.

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
Repair or Alteration of Storage Tanks

API-653 is intended for use by qualified engineering and


inspection personnel who are experienced in the design,
fabrication, repair, construction, and maintenance of storage
tanks. In cases where API-653 (or API-650 or API-12C) does
not contain appropriate requirements for a specific situation, the
intent is to provide tank integrity that is equivalent to current
API-650 requirements.

Application of SAES-D-108 and API-653


API-653 is divided into several major sections, and SAES-D-108
modifies several of these sections. The following paragraphs
describe the application of several of these sections in general
terms and identify Saudi Aramco modifications to these
sections.

Suitability for Service

Section 2 of API-653 specifies requirements that must be


followed to assess storage tank suitability for service. In other
words, is the current tank integrity acceptable for the intended
operation? In addition, will the integrity still be acceptable during
the entire next period of operation until the tank is taken out of
service again and inspected?
An engineering evaluation must be performed when inspection
results indicate that a change has occurred from the original
physical condition of the tank. Thus, conformance to API-653
requirements means that inspection data cannot just be filed
away and forgotten. Inspection data must be evaluated to
confirm that the tank integrity is still acceptable for continued
service at the intended design conditions. Tank suitability for
service also must be assessed when considering a change in
service, repairs, alterations, dismantling, relocation, or
reconstruction.
A wide variety of factors must be considered when a tank's
suitability for service is assessed. Several of these factors are
as follows:
Internal or external corrosion. For example, has the shell
corroded to the point where it is no longer structurally
sound? Is the bottom in danger of "holing through" and
leaking?
Actual stress levels in comparison to allowable values. Has
the shell corroded to the point where its stresses are higher
than acceptable stresses?

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
Repair or Alteration of Storage Tanks

Properties of the stored liquid, such as its specific gravity,


temperature, and corrosivity. Has there been a change in
service such that the new liquid that is being stored has a
higher specific gravity, is being stored at a temperature that
is over 93C (200F), or is more corrosive than the liquid that
the tank was originally designed to store?
Design metal temperature. Has the tank service changed
such that a lower design metal temperature must be
considered than was used in the original design?
External roof live load, wind, seismic load. Has there been
sufficient deterioration in the tank such that these other
design loads must also be considered in assessing the
tank's structural integrity?
Tank foundation, soil and settlement conditions. Has
excessive settlement occurred? Are there any indications of
concrete ringwall cracking or spalling?
Chemical analysis and mechanical properties of the tank
materials. These items will not change since the tank was
originally constructed, but these items are factors that must
be considered when the structural integrity of the tank is
evaluated.
Distortions in the shell or roof. These distortions might
indicate that there have been problems with excessive
internal or external pressures. Such problems could be
caused by higher than design filling or emptying rates or by
improper vent operation.
Changes in operating conditions, such as filling and
emptying rates or frequency. Such changes might require
that the vent capacities be increased.
The suitability for service of a storage tank is assessed by
evaluating the current condition of the tank's primary structural
components with respect to API-653 acceptance criteria. The
primary structural components that are evaluated are those
structural components that directly affect the tank's capability to
store liquid. These components are as follows:
Roof
Shell
Bottom
Foundation
Para. 2.4 of SAES-D-108 modifies the suitability-for-service
requirements that are contained in API-653 with respect to
assessment of the bottom. Saudi Aramco accepts the other API-
653 suitability-for-service requirements.

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
Repair or Alteration of Storage Tanks

Repairs and
Alterations
Storage tank repairs are required when the structural integrity of
the tank has been reduced to the point where the tank is no
longer suitable for the desired service. Typical examples of
storage tank repairs are as follows:
Removal and replacement of material that is required in
order to maintain tank integrity, such as portions of the shell,
roof, or bottom. This material includes weld metal as well as
base material.
Jacking and re-leveling of the tank shell, bottom, or roof.
Addition of reinforcing plates to existing shell openings.
Repair of flaws, such as gouges or tears, by grinding
followed by welding.
Storage tank alterations are required when the service
requirements for the tank are changed. Typical examples of
storage tank alterations are as follows:
Addition of manways or nozzles that are over 300 mm (12
in.) in nominal size
Increase or decrease in shell height
Section 7 of API-653 specifies requirements for tank repair and
alteration for the following areas:
Removal and replacement of shell plate material
Repair of defects in shell plate material
Change of shell height
Repair of defective welds
Repair of shell penetrations
Addition, replacement, or alteration of shell penetrations
Tank bottom repair
Fixed roof repair
Floating roof repair, including repair or replacement of
perimeter seals
Hot taps

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
Repair or Alteration of Storage Tanks

Section 7 of SAES-D-108 modifies the repair and alteration


requirements that are contained in API-653 in the following
areas:
Removal and replacement of shell plate material
Repair of shell penetrations
Tank bottom repair
Floating roof repair
Hot taps
Section 9 and Section 10 of API-653 contain welding and
inspection requirements, respectively, that must be followed for
tank repairs and alterations.
Section 10 of SAES-D-108 modifies API-653 inspection
requirements by requiring that completed fillet weld repairs be
examined by magnetic particle or liquid penetrant methods
inspection over their full length.

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Dismantling and
Reconstruction

There are sometimes situations when it might be advantageous


to dismantle an existing storage tank and to reconstruct it in
another location. For example, an existing storage tank might be
in the way of a planned new process unit, but the tank capacity
is still needed. Therefore, it might be less expensive to
dismantle the existing tank and to relocate it, rather than
construct a new tank.

A great deal of cutting and rewelding is required to dismantle


and to reconstruct an existing storage tank. The reconstructed
tank must have acceptable mechanical integrity for the service
conditions, especially with respect to brittle fracture resistance.
Fracture toughness and brittle fracture were discussed in MEX
203.02.
It is especially difficult to confirm acceptable mechanical
integrity if the tank to be reconstructed is more than about 25
years old. The materials that were used to construct old tanks
will not meet current fracture toughness requirements, and thus
these old tanks are more prone to failure due to brittle fracture.
In addition, if the construction material is unknown, it must be
assumed that the material would not meet current fracture

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
Repair or Alteration of Storage Tanks

toughness requirements. The cutting and rewelding that are


required to dismantle and to reconstruct a tank that was
constructed with material that does not meet current fracture
toughness requirements increases the risk of brittle fracture still
further.
One of the prime factors that initiated the preparation of API-653
was a catastrophic brittle fracture of a fuel oil storage tank that
occurred in the late 1980's in the U.S. This failure occurred the
first time that the tank was filled after it had been reconstructed,
and it resulted in a major fuel oil discharge into a nearby river.
Therefore, the reconstruction requirements that are contained in
Sections 5, 6, and 8 of API-653 are conservative, especially
those requirements that relate to the reuse of existing material.
hese requirements cover:
Original material requirements
Design considerations
Dismantling and reconstruction methods
SAES-D-108 does not permit dismantling and reconstruction of
a tank without a thorough design and fabrication evaluation
prepared by the Design Contractor and reviewed by the Saudi
Aramco Engineer.

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Hot Tapping

A "hot tap" or "hot tapping" refers to the procedure that is used


to add a new nozzle to a storage tank, pipe, or pressure vessel
without taking the storage tank, pipe, or pressure vessel out of
service. Adding a nozzle by hot tapping is sometimes
advantageous because of operational considerations. Adding
nozzles by hot tapping is not an uncommon practice, especially
in piping systems. However, since there are inherent risks
associated with adding nozzles while a storage tank or pipe is
still in service, this procedure should only be used where it is
impractical to take the tank or pipe out of service.
A hot tap is performed by:
Welding a suitably sized and reinforced nozzle to the tank.
This nozzle has a flanged end.
Pressure-testing the nozzle connection.

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
Repair or Alteration of Storage Tanks

Bolting a full-port valve to the flanged nozzle, and bolting a


hot tap machine to the valve.
Opening the valve and using the hot tap machine cutter to
cut an opening in the tank and to hold the cut piece.
Extracting the cut piece of plate, called the "coupon," through
the valve and into the cutting machine housing.
Closing the valve and removing the hot tap machine.
Figure 1 illustrates the basic arrangement for making a hot tap.
A new pipe section, instrument, or equipment item can then be
bolted onto the flanged valve as required.

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
Repair or Alteration of Storage Tanks

Figure 1. Basic Hot Tap Arrangement

API-653 Requirements - API-653 contains hot tap


requirements in Para. 7.13. Several of these requirements are
summarized in the paragraphs that follow. Course Participants
are referred to API-653 for additional information.
API-653 contains requirements for radial nozzle installation,
which is the most common orientation. If a nonradial nozzle
must be installed by hot tapping, additional requirements
must be developed. These additional requirements may
entail items such as:
Additional engineering calculations to ensure that the
shell thickness is adequate
Further inspection
Installation limitations of the hot tap machine
Minimum permitted nozzle angle
Hot taps are not permitted on:
The roof or within the tank vapor space. A flammable
mixture may form in this area, and it may be ignited by
the heat from the hot tap cutting or welding operations.
Tanks where the heat of welding can cause
environmental cracking, such as caustic cracking or
stress corrosion cracking.

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
Repair or Alteration of Storage Tanks

Tanks that require postweld heat treatment (PWHT).


PWHT cannot be done with the tank in service.
Laminated or badly pitted shell plate. This restriction
ensures that the hot tap will be made only into a sound
area of the tank shell. Sufficient visual, pit gauge, and
ultrasonic inspection measurements must be made to
ensure that the tank shell thickness and integrity are
adequate for the hot tap. The hot tap must be relocated
as needed to a sound area on the tank.
Connection size and shell plate thickness limitations are as
provided in Figure 2:

Minimum Required Shell


Connection Size, NPS Plate Thickness
mm in. mm in.
200 8 6.35 1/4
355 14 9.5 3/8
460 18 12.7 1/2

Figure 2. Minimum Shell Thickness for Hot Taps

In order to ensure that the shell thickness meets these


minimum limits, ultrasonic thickness measurements must be
made of the tank shell plate where both the nozzle and
reinforcing pad welds will be made. If the shell is too thin, the
hot tap should be relocated to a thicker area. These
minimum shell thicknesses only consider hot tap
requirements, and they are based on the thickness that is
required to prevent burning through the plate while the
nozzle is welded to the shell. These thicknesses are not
necessarily sufficient for the hydrostatic head or other design
loads that are imposed on the tank. The shell thickness must
be checked separately for these other loads.
API-653 requires that shell plate thickness measurements be
taken in at least four places along the circumference of the
proposed nozzle location. Four locations are adequate for
relatively small diameter nozzles in tanks where localized
corrosion is not expected. However, more measurements
may be required for larger diameter nozzles or in locations
where localized corrosion may be a consideration.

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
Repair or Alteration of Storage Tanks

By implication, the largest nozzle size that may be hot


tapped is 460 mm (18 in.).
The minimum spacing in any direction between the hot tap
and adjacent nozzles shall be at least Rt where "R" is the
tank radius and "t" is the tank shell plate thickness. The Rt
spacing is measured toe-to-toe between the welds. This
minimum spacing requirement is to avoid excessive localized
stresses that might develop due to the proximity of geometric
discontinuities.
Only steels that are of known acceptable fracture toughness
may be hot tapped. One measure of meeting this
requirement is if it is known that the steel met current API
fracture toughness requirements. Meeting current API
fracture toughness requirements means either that the steel
was exempt from impact testing, or that it was impact-tested
at the design metal temperature.
Steels that are of unknown fracture toughness may be hot
tapped if the minimum shell metal temperature during the hot
tap meets or exceeds the exemption curve in Figure 7-5 of
API-653 based on the plate thickness where the hot tap is
being done. In this case, the steel is known to have fracture
toughness that is sufficient to not have a brittle fracture while
the hot tap is being done.
Welding shall be done using low hydrogen electrodes.
API-653 requires that a hot tap procedure be developed and
documented. The procedure must be specific to the particular
hot tap that is to be done. API-653 also requires that the hot tap
procedure include practices that are given in API Publication
2201, Procedure for Welding or Hot Tapping on Equipment
Containing Flammables. Several of these practices are noted in
the paragraphs that follow. Course Participants are referred to
API-2201 for additional information.
Metallurgical considerations, such as low minimum design
metal temperatures or small, shop-fabricated tanks that have
been stress-relieved (e.g., for caustic or amine services),
must be accounted for.
Service fluid characteristics that would make hot tapping
unsafe must be considered. These fluid characteristics
include the following:
Chemicals that are likely to decompose or become
hazardous from the heat of welding (such as acids,
chlorides, or peroxides).
Vapor/air or vapor/oxygen mixtures that are within the
flammable or explosive ranges.

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Determining Requirements for
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Certain unsaturated hydrocarbons, such as ethylene, that


may undergo an exothermic decomposition reaction due
to the welding or cutting heat that occurs during hot
tapping.
Appropriate plans and procedures must be prepared. These
plans and procedures must include appropriate design,
welding, inspection, and safety requirements.
Tank operations must be stopped during the hot tapping. For
example:
Pumping into or out of the tank must be stopped.
All valves on liquid lines must be closed, tagged, locked,
or otherwise rendered inoperable.
All mixer operations must be stopped.
Operations that are associated with gas-blanketing
valves or with other valves that could cause venting from
the tank must be avoided.
Turn off all heating coils during hot tapping. Turning off the
coils will help to dissipate the heat that is generated by the
cutting and welding operations.
Maintain a liquid level of at least 1 m (3 ft.) above the hot
work area when welding or cutting is being done. This liquid
level will help to dissipate the heat that is generated, and it
will help to keep the hot tapping sufficiently below the vapor
space.
In general, hot work should not be done on either the deck or
pontoons of a floating roof tank due to the likelihood that a
flammable mixture will be present under the deck.
Owner companies such as Saudi Aramco typically have their
own detailed hot tap procedures and restrictions that build upon
the API-653 and API-2201 requirements. Saudi Aramco
requirements are highlighted in the section that follows.

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SAES-D-108 Requirements - SAES-D-108 refers to Saudi


Aramco Engineering Procedure SAEP-311, Installation of Hot
Tapped Connections, for requirements that are related to
installation procedures, organizational responsibilities for
various phases of the work, and safety considerations. The
detailed emphasis of SAEP-311 is on hot taps that are made
into piping systems because these comprise the vast majority of
all of the hot taps that are made. However, the overall safety
and procedural requirements that are contained in it apply to
storage tank hot taps as well. The paragraphs that follow
highlight the primary organizational responsibilities for hot taps.
Participants are referred to SAEP-311 for detailed information.

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A Saudi Aramco area maintenance or construction organization


will typically initiate a request for a hot tap by providing general
descriptive information of the requirements on Form A-7627.
The initiating engineer will generally serve in a coordination and
follow-up role among the appropriate operations, inspection,
engineering, and maintenance organizations throughout the hot
tap procedural process. The maintenance or construction
organization is responsible for performing the physical work that
is required for the hot tap.
Operations is responsible for specifying the design conditions
and for meeting the appropriate safety, work permit, and
operating procedure requirements.
Engineering is responsible for the following:
Development of the required design details and drawings for
the hot tap connection and reinforcement
Design calculations
Specifying hydrotest pressure
Installation and weld procedures
Inspection is responsible for the following:
Inspection for the thickness and condition of the tank shell
plate in the area where the welding will be done.
Welding procedure approval.
Inspecting the connection before and during the installation
for compliance with the specifications.
Witnessing and approving the hydrotests of the hot tap valve
and the installed nozzle.

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
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STORAGE TANK INSPECTION INTERVAL REQUIREMENTS


Storage tank components will deteriorate to some extent after
they have been exposed to the operating conditions. This
deterioration must be identified before it affects the structural
integrity of the tank so that appropriate repairs and maintenance
are done on a planned basis rather than on an unscheduled
basis.
Storage tanks must be inspected by qualified inspectors at
reasonable intervals in order to determine the current condition
of the storage tanks and to permit assessment of their suitability
for continued service. Tank integrity assessments cannot be
made unless tanks are inspected at regular intervals. The
sections that follow discuss the primary reasons for inspecting a
storage tank, the SAEP-20 requirements for inspection intervals,
and the Inspection and History Report that is used to document
the tank's condition as determined from inspections that have
been done.

Reasons for Inspection


In order to determine their physical condition and the type, rate,
and causes of deterioration that may have occurred, storage
tanks are inspected after they have been placed into operation.
The information that is obtained from each inspection must be
recorded to permit both current evaluation and future reference.
Periodic inspection is necessary to determine whether the
structural integrity of the tank is still acceptable and whether the
tank remains safe for continued operation. Before the condition
has deteriorated to the point where leakage of hazardous fluid
or other failures occur, trends in tank condition can be identified
and appropriate corrective action can be taken. Such leakage or
tank failure would cause an unplanned shutdown with
consequent disruption in operational plans.
Periodic inspection permits the development and execution of a
planned maintenance and repair schedule. Corrosion rates and
remaining corrosion allowances can be predicted based on the
inspection results. This corrosion rate and remaining corrosion
allowance information is then used to identify and plan for the
necessary materials, labor, time, and costs that are required to
keep the storage tank in acceptable operating condition.

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Determining Requirements for
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External inspections may be made visually or with other


nondestructive techniques while the tank is in operation and still
closed. These operational inspections may identify problems
such as the following:
Leaks
Shell distortion
Obvious shell settlement or foundation damage
Obvious signs of corrosion
Condition of paint, coatings, and appurtenances
Early identification of problems such as those listed above and
their causes can help in the development of appropriate
corrective action, it can prevent more extensive damage, and it
can direct the planning efforts for later internal inspections and
maintenance activities.
Periodic internal inspection of the tank is also required to
identify potential problems that are not visible from the outside
of the tank. The following are several reasons for doing an
internal tank inspection:
To identify any severe corrosion or leakage of the bottom.
To gather sufficient data to perform shell and bottom plate
minimum thickness assessments that are part of the
required suitability for service evaluation.
To identify locally corroded areas of the shell that were not
identified by any external inspection that was done.
To identify any bottom settlement that has occurred.
Figure 3 (in four parts) illustrates typical locations on a tank that
must be inspected periodically, and notes many of the types of
deterioration that must be considered.

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Determining Requirements for
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Figure 3a. Inspection Locations and Tank Deterioration

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Determining Requirements for
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Rafter and
Roof plate support
Paint or
corrosion structure
Frangible joint insulation
corrosion
fillet weld condition deterioration
Weld
and size corrosion

Curb angle
Girders or corrosion
trusses
Support
column
Lack of corrosion
verticality
Bottom
column
Column guides

Grade

Lack of support
due to settlement

Figure 3b. Inspection Locations and Tank Deterioration

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Determining Requirements for
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Figure 3c. Inspection Locations and Tank Deterioration

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Figure 3d. Inspection Locations and Tank Deterioration

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SAEP-20 Requirements for Inspection Intervals


Section 4 of API-653 specifies tank inspection interval
requirements for external inspection with the tank in-service and
internal inspection intervals with the tank out-of-service. Saudi
Aramco terminology for these inspections, as defined in
SAEP-20, Equipment Inspection Schedule, are as follows:
On-Stream Inspection (OSI) for the in-service inspection
Test and Inspection (T&I) for the out-of-service inspection
Saudi Aramco sets tank inspection intervals based on SAEP-20
requirements rather than based on API-653 requirements.
API-653 also divides external inspection into routine in-service
inspection and scheduled inspection. This concept of dividing
the external inspection and the general considerations that are
contained in API-653 still apply with SAEP-20 inspection interval
requirements.
Several factors that must be considered in the determination of
suitable inspection intervals are as follows:
Nature of the stored liquid. What is its expected corrosivity?
Results of visual maintenance checks. Are there obvious
areas of concern? Are there visible leaks?
Corrosion allowances and corrosion rates. What was
anticipated as part of the original design, and what has been
the actual experience?
Corrosion prevention systems. Is there an internal lining or
cathodic protection system installed?
Conditions at previous inspections. What deterioration was
already identified and where was it?
Methods and materials of construction and repair. Do the
materials and repair methods that were used meet current
requirements?
Tank location. Is the tank relatively isolated, or is it in a high-
risk area where leakage could have significant
consequences?
Potential risk of air or water pollution. Is the tank near a
major body of water or residential area?
Is a leak detection system installed?

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Determining Requirements for
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Changes in operation. Have there been changes in the filling


and emptying frequency that would affect the reliability of
tank components? For example, is a floating roof being
landed more frequently? Has the stored liquid been changed
to one that is more corrosive?
Local jurisdictional requirements. Do local governmental
authorities require specific inspection frequencies?
As stated earlier, storage tanks must be inspected at
reasonable intervals to determine their current condition and to
permit assessment of their suitability for continued service.
Saudi Aramco develops tank inspection interval requirements
based on procedures that are contained in SAEP-20. SAEP-20
also contains procedures that must be followed to extend or to
deviate from the inspection intervals that were originally
established, and it assigns implementation responsibilities to
specific Saudi Aramco organizational functions.
SAEP-20 requires that inspection intervals be specified for both
On-Stream Inspection (OSI) and Test and Inspection (T&I). In
both cases, initial inspection intervals (I-OSI and I-T&I) and
subsequent inspection intervals must be specified.

04/01/97

SAEP-20 contains procedures that classify fixed equipment,


including storage tanks, with respect to Corrosion Service
Classes. Table II of SAEP-20 defines four Corrosion Service
Classes based on corrosion rate (or special problems). The
maximum OSI and T&I inspection intervals are then determined,
primarily based on these Corrosion Service Classes, and on
other factors that are stated in SAEP-20.

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
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On-Stream Inspection
(OSI)

The tank's external condition should be monitored by close


visual inspection from the ground on a routine basis by
personnel who are familiar with storage tanks but who are not
necessarily qualified inspectors. For example, these routine
visual inspections may be done by operations or maintenance
personnel who must be in the area as part of their primary job
function. The intent of the routine inspections is to identify
questionable items that should be examined in more detail by
qualified inspectors.
Formal external inspections must be made by qualified
inspection personnel on a scheduled basis. The OSI interval is
determined by criteria that are contained in SAEP-20. The
required OSI interval is determined based on the anticipated or
measured corrosion rates, past experience, and any findings
that are obtained from the routine in-service inspections that
were made. Ultrasonic thickness measurements of the shell are
a part of this inspection.
External nondestructive examination (NDE) that is done as part
of the OSI provides information that may be used to adjust T&I
intervals that were initially specified, if appropriate, based on
actual inspection results. OSI can be done at any time.
However, based on Table II of SAEP-20, the maximum interval
for the initial OSI for tanks will be in the range of 12 to 24
months, based on the Corrosion Service Class of the tank.
There is some flexibility in setting this initial OSI interval, and the
Area Operations Inspection Unit should be consulted to finalize
the initial OSI interval based on the general factors that were
previously noted.
Subsequent OSI intervals are determined using one of the
following methods (based on Para. 3.5.7.2 of SAEP-20):
Annual OSI scheduling for logistical purposes.
Calculated based on the remaining tank life using the results
of prior inspections. The maximum subsequent OSI interval
that is determined on this basis should be no more than the
smaller of one-fourth of the remaining life, or five years.

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Out-of-Service
Inspection (T&I)
Internal inspection intervals (i.e., T&I intervals) are determined,
based on prior corrosion rate experience with other tanks in
similar service and experience with the particular tank that is
being evaluated if prior inspection data is available. This T&I
interval is determined by criteria that are contained in SAEP-20.
In most cases, internal inspection intervals are determined
based on bottom corrosion rates. The time interval for internal
inspection must be set to ensure that the bottom does not thin
below values that are specified in API-653 before the next
internal inspection. The intent is to prevent a hole in the bottom
that would permit even a small leak of liquid from the tank.
Bottom leaks can continue for a long time before any visible
evidence of them appears outside of the tank.
The T&I is done with the tank out-of-service, and it permits
complete assessment of the inside surfaces of the shell, the
bottom, and the roof, plus an assessment of all internal
components. The initial T&I (I-T&I) is required to determine if
there are any unforeseen problems and to obtain more data to
help to set or to adjust subsequent T&I intervals. Saudi Aramco
has a great deal of operating experience with most tank
services and company locations. Therefore, storage tanks can
be considered as "standard equipment" for the purposes of
using SAEP-20 to set an I-T&I. The I-T&I interval would then be
set at 24 months for all Corrosion Service Classes based on
Table I of SAEP-20.
The subsequent T&I intervals are based on equipment and
service conditions or operating experience, and they are
determined by application of the following factors:
Remaining Life. The subsequent T&I interval can be no more
than the smaller of half the calculated remaining tank life or
ten years. The remaining life is based on the existing (i.e.,
remaining) corrosion allowance divided by the maximum
corrosion rate that is determined by inspection data that
were obtained from the OSI or from prior experience.
Service Criteria. The subsequent T&I interval can be no
more than that determined from Table I of SAEP-20 based
on the Corrosion Service Class. This subsequent T&I interval
will range between 30 and 120 months.
T&I interval for atmospheric storage tanks per 32-SAMSS-005
is 10 years according to para. 3.5.9 of SAEP-20.

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
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Inspection and History Reports


Historical inspection records are important because they form
the basis for developing a scheduled tank inspection and
maintenance program. Section II of API-653 requires that the
owner/operator maintain a complete record file for each tank.
The record file must include information on construction details,
calculations, inspection history, and repair/alteration history.
This information helps to determine appropriate inspection
intervals based on actual experience, and it identifies any
changes that were made to the tank that could affect its
structural integrity. In situations where records do not exist for a
particular tank, judgments must be made based on experience
with similar tanks that are in the same service. However, record
keeping should begin currently even if earlier information is not
available.
An Inspection and History Report documents the results of a
storage tank inspection that is done during a T&I, and it forms
the basis of the tank's historical records. A typical storage tank
Inspection and History Report will include at least the following
sections:
Identification and Documentation Information. This section
includes items such as the tank identification number and
name, tank location, tank service, date of inspection, and
inspector's name.
Scope and History. This section specifies the scope of the
current inspection as well as the inspection methods that
were used (such as visual observations and ultrasonic
measurements). The use of any special inspection
techniques should be documented.
This section also summarizes the tank's history, such as
when it was placed into service, when the last T&I was done,
and any significant inspection findings or repairs that were
made during the last T&I. The Equipment Inspection
Schedule (EIS), with the associated On-Stream Inspection
(OSI) and Test & Inspection (T&I) intervals, are not a part of
the Inspection and History Report, but these items may be
referred to if required as part of the evaluation.

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The inspector should have reviewed the operating history of


the tank, and he should have identified any operating
difficulties that occurred during the last period of operation
prior to the T&I. Anything unusual in the operating history
should be documented in the report because an operations
factor might have contributed to problems that are noted
during the inspection. This tank history review should also
include whether any problems were found on similar tanks
during their T&Is that affected how the current inspection
was conducted.
Observations and Recommendations. This section provides
the results of the inspection, and it is divided into
subsections based on the main tank components (such as
shell sections, roof, bottom, nozzles, and foundation). The
visual observations of the inspector are recorded for each
component, as are the results of any measurements (such
as thickness readings) that are made. One or more sketches
of the tank will normally be included in order to identify the
locations of the thickness measurements or other
observations that are made. Locating the observations and
measurements in this manner helps to identify the potential
causes of problems, and it highlights areas to inspect during
subsequent T&Is. Inspection of the same locations during
T&Is helps to establish trends in tank deterioration,
especially corrosion.
The complete information file for the tank will include the Tank
Data Sheet-Layout of Appurtenances (Form 2696), the Safety
Instruction Sheet (Form 2693), the contractor's tank data
specification sheet, fabrication drawings, and the mechanical
design calculations. It may be necessary to refer to this
additional information in order to evaluate the current inspection
data. However, this additional information is not part of the
Inspection and History Report.
Figures 4 and 5 provide overall formats that summarize the
primary sections and information that are combined in an
Inspection and History Report.

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Identification and Documentation Information


Scope and History
Observations and Recommendations
Item Observations/Recommendations
Shell
Wind Girder
Roof
Bottom
Coating
Nozzles and Flanges
Foundation
Paint System
Insulation System
Ladders, Stairways, Platforms
Auxiliary Equipment (Gage
connections, alarms, vents, etc.)
Grounding Connections
Cathodic Protection System

Figure 4. Components of Inspection and History Report

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Sketch of Tank Shell or Bottom


With Thickness Measurement Points Indicated

Prepared By Inspector

Thickness Data

Point Original Minimum Measured Thickness


Numbe Nominal Required
r Thickness Thickness

Figure 5. Inspection and History Report Thickness Measurement Data

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
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DETERMINING REPAIR OR ALTERATION REQUIREMENTS FOR


STORAGE TANK SHELLS AND SHELL PENETRATIONS
This section discusses the evaluation of storage tank shells and
shell penetrations of existing storage tanks. In each case, the
existing condition of the storage tank is considered together with
the tank design requirements in order to determine an
appropriate course of action.
Work Aid 1 contains procedures and criteria for making these
determinations.

Deterioration of Storage Tank Shells


Flaws in the base metal or welds, distortion, corrosion, or other
deterioration may occur in the tank shell during operation. In
order to determine the continued suitability of the tank shell for
the intended service, the condition of the tank shell must be
quantified by inspection, and it must be evaluated by
experienced engineering personnel. The possibility that the tank
condition will deteriorate further during the next period of
operation must be considered in performing this evaluation. For
example, if corrosion has occurred, further corrosion during the
next period of operation must be considered. Thus, the current
tank condition may be acceptable for the design loads, but
future corrosion may make the tank condition unacceptable at
some point during the next period of operation.
Corrosion is the most common tank shell deterioration that must
be dealt with. In most cases, the hydrostatic head that is
imposed by the stored liquid is the governing design load.
Therefore, most of the discussion that follows focuses on
assessing the suitability of a corroded tank shell for the
hydrostatic head. Other situations will be discussed briefly in
later paragraphs.
Shell corrosion may be classified as either general corrosion or
pitting corrosion. This distinction must be made because a
different evaluation approach is used for each type of corrosion.

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General Corrosion

A corrosion site will be classified as general corrosion when the


material has thinned in a relatively uniform manner over the
area. At a general corrosion site, the main concern is how much
thickness has been lost. If too much thickness is removed, the
corroded area of the shell can no longer sustain the loads that
are imposed during normal operation, and a shell failure may
result. Recall from MEX 203.03 that the determination of the
required shell thickness is based on both an allowable stress
and the imposed hydrostatic head from the stored liquid.
Therefore, if the shell corrodes too much, the resulting stresses
can exceed the allowable stresses with the original design liquid
fill height.

Pitting Corrosion

Pitting corrosion is when the material has been removed in a


very localized area, giving a crater-like appearance to the
surface. Pits can be very deep or shallow and be of varying
diameters. Pitting is not of great concern as a threat towards the
overall integrity of the shell unless the pits are present in close
proximity to each other and unless they are very deep and
extensive. However, pits can result in local leaks if they
progress through the entire shell thickness.

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Tank Shell Evaluation


Evaluation of shell corrosion consists of determining if the
current condition of the shell is adequate for the tank service. If
a change in tank service is being considered, the shell must be
evaluated for the new service conditions. For example, if the
stored liquid will be changed to one with a higher specific
gravity, the higher specific gravity must be considered in the
evaluation. The evaluation must consider all anticipated loading
conditions and load combinations, not necessarily just the
hydrostatic pressure load. These conditions are the same
conditions that were originally considered when the tank was
designed (refer to MEX 203.03). The evaluation must also
consider any future corrosion that may take place until the next
T&I. Consideration of any future possible corrosion helps ensure
that the tank will be structurally sound during the entire period of
operation until the next T&I.
The possible results of the evaluation can be any one of the
following:
The shell may be adequate without restrictions for the
required service.
The shell may need to be repaired to permit the required
service.
The allowable liquid level may need to be reduced in order to
keep the shell stresses within allowable limits.
The tank may need to be retired.
When the current shell condition is found to be unacceptable,
which option is taken depends on the extent of repairs that are
required, the available time to make the repairs, and the cost of
such repairs.

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Actual Thickness
Determination
Ultrasonic thickness readings are taken for areas in the shell
that obviously have extensive corrosion by means of a grid
pattern that is placed over the area in order to determine the
controlling thickness of each shell course. (Refer to API 653 for
a detailed procedure for determining the average thickness of a
corroded area). The basic concept that is employed here is that
thicker areas in a corroded region serve to reinforce areas that
are more corroded. An analogy is the use of excess metal that
is available in a pipe or pressure vessel shell as reinforcement
of a branch connection. Work Aid 1 contains the procedure that
is used to perform this thickness averaging.
Shell thickness in areas with pitting corrosion can be measured
using a pit gauge. API-653 also permits pitted areas to be
completely ignored if the pits can be considered as "widely
scattered," based on their depth and spacing. Work Aid 1
contains the criteria that must be satisfied for pits to be
considered "widely scattered." The rationale here is that as long
as the pit depth and spacing are within the stated limits, they will
not decrease the structural integrity of the tank shell. If the pits
cannot be considered "widely scattered," they must be
evaluated as general corrosion.

Minimum Thickness
Calculation for
Welded Tank Shell
Once the actual shell thicknesses have been determined, they
must be compared to the minimum required thicknesses in
order to determine if the actual shell thicknesses are
acceptable. Work Aid 1 contains the procedure for calculating
the minimum required thicknesses. The following paragraphs
highlight several considerations with respect to this procedure.
Unlike API-650, API-653 uses a slightly more conservative
allowable stress basis for the bottom and second courses
than for the upper courses. Recall from MEX 203.03 that for
the design of a new tank, the shell plate allowable stress
(design or hydrotest case) is only a function of material
specification and is not based on a consideration of what
shell course the plate is in. This increased conservatism in
API-653 is due to the generally more complex stress
distribution in these lower courses that is not being
accounted for in the evaluation. In spite of this, the API-653
allowable stress basis is slightly more liberal than API-650 in
order not to be overly conservative while still being safe.

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API-653 still permits evaluation of a tank shell even if the


material is unknown. However, in the case of unknown
material, API-653 requires an allowable stress that
corresponds to a relatively weak carbon steel. Thus, if there
is no documentation that a stronger material was actually
used, a significant fill height restriction might be required
even if there has been no corrosion.
The original weld joint efficiency must be used in the
thickness calculation procedure. However, if the original weld
joint efficiency is unknown, a weld joint specified in Table 2-1
of API-653 shall be used. Here again, use of this low weld
joint efficiency could result in a significant fill height
restriction even without corrosion.
API-653 permits making a distinction between areas that are
near welds and those areas that are away from welds with
regard to the use of weld joint efficiency in the shell
evaluation. A weld joint efficiency of 1.0 may be used when
evaluating corroded areas that are far enough away from
welds.
The specific gravity of the stored liquid is used in the
thickness calculation. If it is anticipated that the tank might
have to be hydrotested in the future due to repairs or
alterations, a specific gravity of 1.0 should be used. It is
possible that there could be no fill height restriction for the
normally stored liquid but that there could be a fill height
restriction for the hydrotest water, because of corroded
areas in the shell.
If the relatively simple hand calculation procedures that are
contained in API-653 find that the tank is unacceptable, API-
653 permits the use of the "design by analysis" approach
that is contained in Section VIII, Division 2, Appendix 4 of the
ASME Code. This approach requires detailed computer
calculations and more thickness inspection measurements to
accurately model the corrosion as well as to categorize and
to evaluate the stresses. However, a tank that is found to be
unacceptable by the simple procedures is often found to be
acceptable when the Division 2 procedures are used.

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One common example of where a Division 2 approach often


yields significantly improved results is when localized shell
corrosion (Figure 6) in the bottom-to-shell junction region is
being evaluated. The simplified calculation procedures are
based on a membrane stress evaluation, whereas the local
shell stresses near the bottom are predominantly bending
stresses in nature. Evaluating these local stresses as
membrane stresses is a reasonable approach for new tank
design, but it is excessively conservative when a corroded
tank is being evaluated for continued operation. The Division
2 analysis approach categorizes the calculated stresses into
membrane and bending components, and it permits the
separate evaluation of these stress components. Bending
stresses may safely have a higher allowable stress value
than membrane stresses. Analyses that have been done on
this basis have often found that fairly severe localized
corrosion, which would have required repair based on the
simplified calculation procedures, is acceptable without
repair.

Tank
Tank Shell
Shell
Corroded Area
Water Trapped
Mound Retains Behind Insulation
Rainwater Causes Corrosion

Tank Pad

Figure A Figure B

Figure 6. Localized Shell Corrosion

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
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Minimum Thickness
Calculation for
Riveted Tank Shell

All new tanks that are designed and constructed in accordance


with API-650 are of welded construction. However, there are
few older tanks that are still in service and that are of riveted
construction. In these older tanks, the individual shell plates are
attached to each other by rivets, as illustrated in Figure 7.

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Rivet

Hidden Edge of
Visible Edge of
Shell Plate
Shell Plate

Shell Plates

A A
Section A - A

Lapped Shell Plates

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
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Hidden Edges of
Shell Plate

Edges of
Butt Straps

Shell Plates

B B Butt
Rivet Straps
Section B - B

Shell Plates With Butt Straps

Figure 7. Riveted Shell Construction


As shown in Figure 7, two shell plate attachment details were
used in riveted shell construction. In one detail, the shell plates
are lapped over each other and riveted together. In the second
detail, the shell plates are brought close to each other, butt
straps are placed both inside and outside of the shell such that
the shell plates are located between the butt straps, and the
assembly is riveted together. The butt-strap design is the
stronger of the two. In each case, the size and spacing of the
rivets and the number of rivet rows were determined during
detailed engineering based on the required design loads.
The shell thickness for riveted tanks is evaluated through use of
the same minimum thickness formula that is used for welded
shell construction with the following exceptions:
S = 145 MPa (21 000 psi)
E = 1.0 for shell plate that is 150 mm (6 in.) or more
away from rivets
Table 2-1 of API-653 provides rivet joint efficiencies that may be
used for locations that are within 150 mm (6 in.) of rivets. These
rivet joint efficiencies are based on both whether the joint is a
lap or butt type and the number of rivet rows that are used to
connect the plates. These joint efficiencies are recognized as
being conservative; therefore, as an alternative, API-653 also
permits the use of calculated rivet joint efficiencies. Alternate
allowable stresses that are specified in API-653 must be used if
calculated rivet joint efficiencies are used.

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Determining Requirements for
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CSD should be consulted if repairs are required to a riveted


storage tank for two reasons:
A riveted tank will be old, and the shell plate material will not
meet current fracture toughness requirements. Therefore,
the design details and installation procedures that are used
for any welded repairs or alterations must be carefully
reviewed to ensure that they do not increase the risk of
brittle fracture.
The heat of welding causes differential thermal expansion,
which often leads to the loosening of riveted joints and
leakage from the shell. Therefore, repair and alteration
alternatives must be considered in order to select the
alternative with the least probability of causing or increasing
a leakage problem.

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
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Other Shell
Evaluations

The calculations that have been discussed thus far consider


only liquid loading. Liquid loading is generally the limiting factor
in tank shell evaluations. However, API-653 requires the
evaluation of other loads in accordance with the original
construction standard. These other loads include the following:
Wind-induced buckling
Seismic loads
Operating temperatures that are over 93C (200F)
Vacuum that is caused by external pressure
External loads that are caused by piping; attached
equipment such as mixers; hold down lugs; etc.
Wind-induced overturning moment
Loads that are due to tank settlement
Engineering judgment is required to determine the extent to
which any of these loads are considered in the evaluation.

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Determining Requirements for
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Sample Problem 1: Determine if Shell Repair is Required


The external floating roof tank that is described in Figure 8 has
been in service for 15 years.

100 ft.

64 ft.

tnew = 0.625 in.

tnew = 0.75 in.

tnew = 0.75 in.

8 ft.
(Typical)

Figure 8. Sample Problem 1 Tank

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
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The following additional design data is available:


The design liquid fill height is 61 ft.
The stored hydrocarbon has a specific gravity of 0.85.
The specified minimum tensile strength for the shell steel is
60 000 psi.
The specified minimum yield strength for the shell steel is
35 000 psi.
The original shell weld joint efficiency is 0.85.
An ultrasonic thickness inspection was made of the shell during
a T&I. The following deterioration was found and was noted in
the Inspection and History Report that was prepared:
There is an area of almost uniform corrosion in the bottom
shell course. The thickness readings in this area along the
critical plane are: 0.75 in., 0.70 in., 0.68 in., 0.75 in., and
0.73 in. The bottom of the critical plane begins at an
elevation of 5 ft. above the bottom of the tank. The
thickness readings were made along a length of 28 in.
A single deep pit is located in the third shell course and is 4
ft. below the top of the course. The pit measures 0.5 in.
deep and is approximately 0.5 in. in diameter. There is no
general corrosion in the area of the pit.
You must determine if any repairs are required to the tank shell
in order to maintain the same design liquid fill height. The
following additional information is provided:
It is desired to have a T&I interval of 10 years.
Hydrotest of the tank is not a factor to consider unless a
major repair is required.
Assume that only the stored liquid needs to be considered in
this evaluation (i.e., no other loads) and that there will be no
change in service.

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
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Solution
Work Aid 1 is used to solve this problem.
Evaluate the corroded area in the bottom shell course.
Confirm that the distance that was used for the thickness
measurements is acceptable for averaging.
L = 3.7 Dt 2
D = 100 ft.
t 2 = 0.68 in.
L = 3.7 (100)( 0.68)
= 30.5 in.
Therefore, the maximum permitted value of L is 30.5 in.
Because the measurements were made along a shell length
of 28 in., this measurement length is acceptable.
Determine the minimum average thickness, t1, along the
critical plane.

0.75 + 0.70 + 0.68 + 0.75 + 0.73


t1 =
5
t1 = 0.722 in.

Determine the allowable stress to use. Because this is the


bottom course:
0.8Y = 0.8 x 35 000 = 28 000 psi
0.426T = 0.426 x 60 000 = 25 560 psi
Therefore, S = 25 560 psi
Determine the minimum required thickness at the lowest
elevation of the corroded region, tmin.

2.6D(H 1) G
tmin =
SE

Because the bottom of the critical plane is 5 ft. above the


tank bottom, H = (61-5) = 56 ft.

( 2.6)(100)(56 1 )( 0.85)
t min =
( 25 560)( 0.85)
= 0.56 in.

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
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The t1 value of 0.722 in. is greater than the tmin value of 0.56
in. Therefore, the shell has adequate thickness in this
corroded area today. But what about future corrosion in the
next 10 years until the next T&I?
( 0.75 0.68)
CorrosionRate = = 0.00467in./year
15
CA = 0.00467 10 = 0.0467in.
t min + CA = 0.56 + 0.0467 = 0.607in., < t1 = 0.722in.
0.6t min + CA = 0.6 0.56 + 0.0467 = 0.383in., < t 2 = 0.68in.

Therefore, the corroded area in the bottom course is


acceptable without repair based on the desired T&I interval
of 10 years. It must also be confirmed that this 10 year
interval is no more than half the remaining tank life.
Based on the previous results, it is clear that the
(tmin + CA) criterion is the governing case. First calculate the
remaining corrosion allowance.
CA / remaining = 0.722 0.56 = 0.162 in.
CA remaining 0.162
Remaining Life = =
Corrosion Rate 0.00467
Remaining Life = 34.7 years
Because the 10 year desired T&I interval is less than half of
the remaining life, the 10 year T&I interval is also acceptable
based on that criterion.
Evaluate the deep pit in the third shell course.
Determine the allowable stress to use. Because this is an
upper course:
0.88Y = 0.88 x 35 000 = 30 800 psi
0.472T = 0.472 x 60 000 = 28 320 psi
Therefore, S = 28 320 psi

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
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Because the pit is 4 ft. above the bottom of the third course
and each course is 8 ft. high, H = (61-2 8-4) = 41 ft.
( 2.6)(100)( 41 1)( 0.85)
t min =
( 28320)( 0.85)
= 0.367in.
0.5
The pitting rate was = 0.0333 in. year
15
Pitting Allowance = 0.0333 x 10 = 0.333 in.
The remaining shell thickness at the bottom of the pit, tpit, is
(0.625 - 0.5) = 0.125 in.
Determine the required thickness at the bottom of the pit.
0.5tmin + (Pitting Allowance) = 0.5 0.367 + 0.333 = 0.5165 in.
Because the required shell thickness, 0.5165 in., is greater
than tpit, the pitted area of the shell must be repaired. There
is no reason to also check the pit using the "half remaining
life" criterion because the pitted area has already failed the
first evaluation criterion. Because there is only one isolated
pit, a weld overlay repair is sufficient. A qualified weld
procedure and welder must be used to make this repair.

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
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Repair and Alterations in Tank Shell


Following are the most common repairs and alterations that may
be required in tank shell:
Removal and Replacement of Shell Material
Repair of defects in Shell Plate Material
Alteration of Tank Shells to Change Height
Repair of Weld Defects
Repair of Shell Penetration
Addition or Replacement of Shell Penetrations
Alteration of Existing Shell Penetrations
The paragraphs that follow discuss the philosophy that is used
as a basis for determining the need for repairs or alterations.

Repair of defects in
Shell Plate Material

Defects in a tank shell plate material are commonly categorized


as minor and major and accordingly the need for their repair is
determined as follows:

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
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Minor Defects in Shell


Material

Typical situations that may be considered minor shell defects


include the following:
Isolated pits
Relatively small amounts of localized corrosion
Scars, gouges, tears, isolated cracks
The need to repair minor defects such as those listed above, is
determined on an individual basis. If the defects are located in
areas of the shell where the plate thickness exceeds the
thickness required by the design conditions, grinding the defects
to a smooth contour without further repair is permissible. This
grinding is done in order to minimize localized stress
concentration effects that are due to any abrupt geometric
changes that are associated with the defect. In situations where
grinding thins the plate to an unacceptable level (i.e., thinner
than is required to resist the design loads), weld metal must be
added to repair the defect. A qualified weld procedure must be
used for any welding that is done.

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Determining Requirements for
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Major Defects in Shell


Material

The most common situation where this amount of repair is


required is if there is extensive general corrosion or severe
pitting. Other possible major shell defects include excessive
shell distortions or laminations.
The guiding philosophy that is used to determine specific repair
requirements is that the repairs must restore tank integrity, the
repairs themselves must not make the existing tank integrity
worse, and current SAES-D-108 requirements must be met to
as great an extent possible in making the repairs. The
paragraphs that follow highlight several of the primary
requirements regarding the repair of major shell defects.
The replacement plate material, welding and welder
qualifications, and welding consumables must meet current
API-650 requirements. These requirements ensure that all
new components and welding have the same integrity as in
current new tank construction. The primary concern is to not
increase the risk of experiencing a brittle fracture as a result
of the repairs that are done.
A minimum replacement plate size is specified in order to
avoid having new welds too close to each other. Weld
shrinkage stresses could become excessive and lead to
excessive distortion if the welds are too close together.
Square or rectangular replacement plates must have
rounded corners rather than sharp corners. Rounded
corners reduce local stress concentration effects, and
residual welding stresses, and thus they make it less likely
that cracks would initiate at the plate corners when the tank
is placed back into service.
Minimum distances are specified between the new
replacement plate welds and the existing welds that are in
the shell. Acceptable distances between welds are based on
shell plate thicknesses, and different distances are specified
for each type of shell weld (i.e., vertical, horizontal, shell-to-
bottom, or radial bottom plate welds). The intent of these
minimum distances is to minimize the effect that shrinkage
stresses from the new welds have on existing tank welds.

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Determining Requirements for
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Defective Weld
Repairs

When weld repairs are required, the defective area must be


completely removed, a suitable weld preparation must be made,
and a qualified weld procedure must be used.
It is always important to determine the root cause of any defect
that is found, whether it is at a weld or not. However, a root-
cause assessment is more important for a weld defect because
the cause might be less obvious. The primary questions that
must be answered in doing a root-cause assessment of a weld
defect are as follows:
What type of defect is it? For example, the defect may be a
crack, corrosion, undercut, lack of fusion, or other weld
imperfection. The type of defect influences whether it needs
to be repaired and how the repair should be done.
Is the defect from the original construction or did it occur
during tank operation? For example, a lack of penetration or
weld undercut is an original fabrication defect. A crack could
be an original fabrication defect as well. However, a crack
could also be caused by excessive local loads, such as
loads from a piping system or excessive settlement.
How extensive is the defect and where is it? For example,
cracks will almost always require repair, especially if they
occur at the shell-to-bottom weld. However, a corroded weld
may not need to be repaired as long as the weld is thick
enough for the imposed loads. Less than full penetration at a
weld may also not require repair if the weld is at a high
enough elevation in the tank shell such that the actual weld
thickness is sufficient for the imposed loads. Work Aid 1
contains criteria that is used when repairs to welds are
required.

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Situations Involving
Shell Penetrations

It may be necessary to do the following on existing shell


penetrations:
Repair existing shell penetrations
Add new penetrations to an existing tank
Replace existing penetrations
Alter existing penetrations
Requirements that are associated with shell penetrations on
existing tanks are contained in Work Aid 1. The paragraphs that
follow discuss several of these requirements.

New Items or
Replacement Items

A new shell penetration (or nozzle) may be required due to a


change in tank service, to add a new feature that requires a
nozzle, or to replace a deteriorated nozzle. The following are
several examples of when a new shell penetration is required:
The tank service may change to one that requires heated
storage rather than ambient temperature storage. In this
case, nozzles are required to add either heaters or steam
circulation pipes.
A hydrostatic tank gauging system may be required. In this
case, new nozzles are required to permit installation of the
gauging instruments.
A nozzle neck may be so badly corroded that installation of a
replacement nozzle is more practical than repairing the
existing nozzle.

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A new or replacement shell penetration will typically be added


during a T&I. Penetrations may also be added by hot tapping, if
they are not flush type connections, as long as the requirements
and restrictions on hot tapping that were discussed earlier are
met. However, hot tapping shell penetrations should always be
considered as a last resort and only if there are significant
economic incentives to hot tap.

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In all cases, new or replacement shell penetrations must meet


SAES-D-108 requirements. This will ensure that the new
penetration itself meets current integrity requirements and will
not adversely affect the structural integrity of the existing tank
shell and associated shell welds. It is especially important to
meet the requirements for minimum distance between new and
existing welds and to meet the nozzle reinforcement
requirements.

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Engineering Encyclopedia Evaluating Storage Tank Design and Installation
Determining Requirements for
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Alteration of Existing
Penetration

An existing shell penetration may require alteration for one of


the following reasons:
It may be necessary to add a reinforcing plate to a
penetration that does not have one already. Reinforcement
plate addition may be necessary to resist the imposed
hydrostatic loads or piping loads.
It may be necessary to add a new tank bottom above the
existing bottom, and existing nozzles that are located in the
bottom course might need to be raised to permit this
addition.
In each case, the modified shell penetrations meet current
SAES-D-108 requirements regarding the minimum permitted
spacing between adjacent welds and the minimum
reinforcement. However, Saudi Aramcos normal practice is not
to mandate that shell penetrations be elevated in order to meet
API-650 reinforcement and elevation requirements. Instead, it is
recommended to analyze each case in order to ensure safe
design and operation while at the same time being cost
effective.
Figures 9 and 10 show conceptual details for the addition of a
new reinforcing plate to an existing nozzle. In each case, the
new reinforcing plate must be split into two pieces in order to fit
over the neck of the existing nozzle, and the plate is then fillet
welded to the tank shell and nozzle neck. Alternatively, the
lower half of the existing reinforcing plate is only replaced with
new reinforcing plate. Each reinforcing plate piece is drilled with
a telltale hole that permits pressure testing the reinforcing plate
welds.
The detail that is shown in Figure 9 is acceptable as long as the
distance between the reinforcing plate weld to the shell and the
shell to bottom weld does not violate the API-650 minimum
spacing requirements between adjacent welds. The tombstone
type reinforcement that is shown in figure 10 is required for
nozzles where the reinforcement plate weld to the shell would
be too close to the shell-to-bottom weld. The tombstone type
reinforcement plate extends down to the tank bottom (or annular
plate) and is welded to both the bottom (or annular plate) and
the shell.

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A
Telltale Hole
Nozzle
Tank
Neck
Shell

Split
Reinforcing
Plate

A Section A-A

Figure 9. Reinforcement Plate Added to Nozzle

A
Telltale Hole
Nozzle
Tank
Neck
Shell

Split
Reinforcing
Plate

A Section A-A

Figure 10. "Tombstone Type" Reinforcement Plate Added to Nozzle

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Alteration of Shells to
Change Height

It is sometimes desirable to increase the existing shell height in


order to increase storage capacity of the tank. Increasing the
shell height is permissible as long as the following items are
considered in the evaluation.
The existing shell course thicknesses must be evaluated for
acceptability based on the increased design liquid level in
the tank that the higher shell permits. Some shell height
increase might be possible in situations where there has not
been significant corrosion or where the originally supplied
plate thicknesses exceeded those that were required.
However, from a practical standpoint, it would be unusual if
much more than a 10-15% height increase was possible.
The increased shell height would effect the tank design for
wind and seismic loads. A higher shell for a floating roof tank
makes the shell more prone to wind-induced buckling.
Therefore, the existing wind girder design must be checked.
A higher shell also increases the maximum tank overturning
moment due to wind or maximum seismic loads.
All design and installation details must meet the same
requirements as for the repair of major shell defects. These
details were previously discussed.

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It may be necessary to add a new bottom above an existing


bottom in cases where the existing bottom has corroded to the
extent that repair is not practical. In this case, the new bottom is
installed approximately 100 mm (4 in.) above the existing
bottom. When a new bottom is installed in this manner, the
spacing between existing welds around penetrations that are
located in the bottom shell course and the shell-to-bottom weld
of the new bottom will probably not meet API-650 minimum weld
spacing requirements. The following three options are possible if
the minimum weld spacing requirements are not met:
The existing reinforcing plate may be trimmed to increase
the space between the welds provided that the modified
reinforcement plate detail meets API-650 requirements. The
trimming must be done carefully in order not to damage the
shell plate. The attachment weld for the portion of the
reinforcement plate that is removed must also be removed
by gouging or grinding.
Most situations cannot be handled in this manner because
there will not be enough reinforcement left after the trimming
is done.
The existing reinforcing plate may be completely removed
and then a new reinforcing plate can be added. The
conceptual details that are used for this option are the same
as for adding a new reinforcement plate as shown in Figures
9 and 10. Again, the shell plate must not be damaged and
the existing reinforcement plate welds must be removed.
This option is acceptable as long as the distance between
the nozzle centerline and the new tank bottom is not less
than what is required for an API-650 "Low-Type" nozzle (see
Table 3-8 of API-650).
The last option that may be considered is to relocate the
existing nozzle to a higher position on the shell in order to
meet the minimum weld spacing requirements. This
relocation is done by cutting the shell section that contains
the nozzle and its reinforcing plate and raising the entire
assembly to the correct elevation. Figure 11 illustrates this
option.
As previously noted, Saudi Aramco normally analyzes each
situation individually in order to determine the most cost
effective approach to use in each case.

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Cut Lines in Shell

Radius

Old Bottom
Top of Proposed
New Bottom

Reinforcing
Plate

Radius

New Bottom

Spacing Per
API-650

Filler Plate Same


Old Bottom Thickness as Shell

Figure 11. Raising Nozzle Assembly

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DETERMINING REPAIR OR ALTERATION REQUIREMENTS FOR


STORAGE TANK BOTTOMS
This section discusses the following topics:
Types of bottom corrosion
Minimum thickness for the tank bottom plate
Minimum thickness for the annular plate ring
Requirements for repairs to the bottom
Effects of using an internal lining or cathodic protection
system
The existing condition of the storage tank bottom is determined
by inspections that are made during a T&I. The bottom condition
is then evaluated using Saudi Aramco and API requirements to
determine if the bottom is acceptable for continued operation.
Work Aid 2 contains the procedures and criteria that are used
for making these determinations.

Types of Bottom Corrosion


Of all tank components, the bottom is the one that is most likely
to suffer corrosion attack to the extent that significant repairs are
required. Corrosion not only affects refinery storage tanks, but
corrosion also affects storage tanks that are in production,
terminal, pipeline, and marketing facilities as well. Both internal
and external surfaces (i.e., topside and underside) of the tank
bottom may be subject to corrosion. Successful, economic
repair or control of bottom corrosion depends first on the
determination of what type of corrosion is involved.

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External Corrosion

External (i.e., underside) bottom corrosion commonly occurs


when moisture is present and a coarse (greater than 19 mm [3/4
in.] size) and poorly meshed aggregate is used in the tank pad
Figure 12 illustrates the corrosive action that may occur around
aggregate. There is a low oxygen content at the points of
contact between the tank bottom and the aggregate, whereas
the adjacent void spaces are relatively oxygen rich. This oxygen
difference between adjacent locations along the bottom
establishes an electrochemical potential and results in pitting-
type corrosion, which is known as oxygen concentration cell
corrosion.

Figure 12. Oxygen Concentration Cell Corrosion

Water acts as an electrolyte in the process of oxygen


concentration cell corrosion. Moisture may be present on the
underside of the bottom plates due to tank settlement, poor tank
pit drainage, and/or deterioration of the ring seal around the
tank perimeter. This settlement, poor drainage, or seal
deterioration permits rising groundwater or rainwater to reach
the tank bottom.

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The resistivity of the soil also affects the rate of corrosion


because the soil is part of the electrical circuit. Treated crushed-
stone foundations, oiled sand, and compact hot asphalt road
mix have high resistivities and also limit the presence of water
on the underside of the tank bottom. However, other foundation
pad materials may have low resistivities. Low resistivities
increase the chance for current flow and accelerate the rate of
corrosion. This oxygen cell pitting corrosion is extremely
aggressive and can hole through a tank bottom in only a few
years.
The underside of the bottom plates may also experience
corrosion if the tank pad materials contain chemical
contaminants that have highly corrosive sulfur compounds. This
situation would occur if chemical wastes or cinders were
previously dumped where the tank is erected. Product that
saturates the soil under the tank as a result of previous tank
leaks may also cause external corrosion. This type of corrosion
frequently takes the form of a general metal thinning. The rate of
corrosion depends on the corrosivity of the materials that are
involved.
Another cause of external tank bottom corrosion is galvanic
action. Galvanic action can occur between double bottoms,
between nearby structures and the tank bottom, or between
active and noble areas of the same tank bottom. Stray electric
currents may also be a source of galvanic corrosion, but
instances of stray electric current problems are rare.

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Internal Corrosion

Internal (i.e., topside) bottom plate corrosion can occur in tanks


that store crude oil, distillates, heating oil, heavy residual fuel
oils, asphalts, and other corrosive liquids. Corrosive attack on
the bottom plates is typically initiated by water that is entrained
in crude oil that contains salts, hydrogen sulfide, and carbon
dioxide. As the water settles out of the oil, the water reacts with
sulfur compounds and produces an acidic condition. The acidic
condition promotes corrosive attack. Water also can accumulate
by condensation from the air, settle down to the bottom, and
contribute to bottom plate corrosion. Water is constantly being
added to storage tanks with each new batch of oil or product
that enters the tank.
Gasoline and other nontreated light products do not normally
contain acidic impurities, such as H2S or CO2; therefore, acid-
induced corrosion is not a problem in these cases. However,
because of the high solubility of oxygen in these light products,
some dissolved oxygen can migrate to the bottom water layer
and induce a small, but overall uniform, corrosion rate of
approximately 0.025 to 0.05 mm/yr. (1 to 2 mil/yr.). The
considerable distance from the vapor space, that is the oxygen
supply, to the bottom brine layer limits the oxygen
concentration. The limited oxygen concentration limits the extent
of corrosion that can occur.
Pitting-type corrosion may result from concentration cell
corrosion that occurs when a surface deposit (e.g., mill scale) or
a crevice exists on the metal surface and creates an area of low
oxygen concentration. The internal side of tank bottoms usually
experiences this corrosion due to deposited wax or other debris.
The accelerated pitting that results may occur at rates of 0.5 to
2 mm/yr. (20 to 80 mils/yr.). Sulfate-reducing bacteria may also
cause rapid pitting, with the pits exhibiting shiny metal surfaces.
Pitting that is caused by sulfate-reducing bacteria is much less
common than concentration cell corrosion.

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In addition, aggressive galvanic pitting corrosion may be caused


by the presence of mill scale, and galvanic "knife edge"
corrosion may occur in the vicinity of welds. Galvanic "knife
edge" corrosion can cause severe metal loss, especially if a
bottom coating that has been applied has failed in the area of
the weld.

Minimum Thickness for Tank Bottom Plate


Leaks from the tank bottom are not acceptable because the
leaking liquid will proceed directly into the foundation and
eventually migrate further away from the tank. If these leaks are
left unattended for an extended period of time, the leaking liquid
could eventually undermine the foundation and lead to a more
serious bottom failure that results in more severe leakage. In
any case, even small hydrocarbon or chemical leaks result in
environmental pollution concerns that cannot be ignored.
Unfortunately, a tank bottom may have been leaking into the
foundation for a very long time before any visible signs of
leakage are detected.

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* SAME Service > 10 yrs No


* Corrosion < 0.05 in.
(previous MFE)

Yes

* Visual Inspection
* Spot UT (Bottom plates
& within 12 in of shell-to-
bottom joint)

* MFE (Overall)
No * UT (Areas not
Tremain < Torig accessible to
MFE scanner).
Yes
Identify Areas
No More Insp. Is
Tremain < 2B Torig
Required

UT
Cut coupons only
outside critical
zone if under side
corrosion

Calculate MRT

Plates No
within Critical MRT < 0.1 in
Zone No
Yes No
Conduct Action
Stress Analysis
Yes

No Within Limits of
* Replace
Repair / Alter * Line
SAES-D-108 * Repeat
* C. P.
Yes
No
Action

Torig = Original Thickness


Tremain = Remaining Thickness

Tank Bottom Evaluation

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Tank bottoms must be assessed for integrity during a T&I.


During this inspection, the entire floor should be visually
examined for holes, cracked welds, and any areas that were
previously repaired. All floor seams and the bottom-to-shell
junction weld should be tested using a vacuum box to identify
leaks that were not apparent during the visual inspection.
Ultrasonic thickness measurements should be made over the
entire floor on a regular pattern to identify thinned areas.
Additional readings should be made near any thinned areas that
are found, or other regions where increased corrosion may be
expected (such as near the sump or shell), to better define the
situation.
As previously discussed and illustrated in Figure 13, bottom
plate corrosion may include general corrosion and pitting
corrosion. In most cases, general corrosion will occur on the
topside while pitting corrosion may occur on both the topside
and underside.

To = Original Plate thickness

Figure 13. Bottom Plate Corrosion

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Bottom plate thickness measurements must be made in


sufficient quantity and accuracy to be able to assess the current
condition of both the topside and underside with respect to
general corrosion and pitting-type corrosion, and to determine
the general corrosion rate and pitting rate. The remaining
bottom thickness must be quantified and compared to allowable
limits that are specified in API-653. The minimum permitted
bottom plate thicknesses are not based on any stress criteria.
The minimum permitted thicknesses are intended to provide a
safety margin before "holing through" the bottom, and assume
that the bottom is still supported uniformly. Any condition of non-
uniform support or settlement, and its impact on required
thickness, must be evaluated separately.
SAES-D-108 includes: (1) procedure to determine the thickness
of tank bottom plates, (2) how to calculate the minimum
remaining bottom plate thickness at the end of the in-service
period of operation until the next T&I. SAES-D-108 specifies an
allowable limit of 2.5mm (0.1 inch) for bottom plate thickness. If
the remaining plate thickness will be less than the allowable limit
at the next T&I, the bottom shall be lined, fiberglassed, repaired,
replaced or cathodically protected in order to achieve the
desired subsequent inspection interval. The minimum permitted
thickness is intended to provide a safety margin before "holing
through" the bottom, and assume that the bottom is still
supported uniformly. Any condition of nonuniform support or
settlement, and its impact on required thickness, must be
evaluated separately.
Work Aid 2 provides the procedures and requirements to follow
when the condition of an existing tank bottom plate must be
evaluated.

04/01/97

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Minimum Thickness for Annular Plate Ring


As discussed in MEX 203.03, butt-welded annular plates are
required for particular situations based on local load and stress
distribution considerations. Examples of where annular plates
are used include the following:
Large diameter tanks
Large settlement situations
Earthquake design considerations
The annular plate is required for local load distribution, and the
stress distribution in this region of the tank is relatively complex.
Therefore, API-653 thickness acceptance criteria are more
conservative for an annular plate than they are for the rest of the
tank bottom. The minimum thickness criteria for annular plates
are based on the following factors:
Product specific gravity
If the product specific gravity is less than 1.0 and the
annular plate was not required for seismic
considerations, its minimum acceptable thickness is the
value that is specified by Table 2-3 of API-653 plus
corrosion allowance. The minimum acceptable annular
plate thickness specified by Table 2-2 is based on the
thickness and stress in the first shell course.
If the product specific gravity is 1.0 or greater, the
minimum acceptable annular plate thickness is the value
that is specified in Table 3-1 of API-650, plus corrosion
allowance.
Seismic considerations. If the annular plate was needed due
to seismic considerations, a new seismic analysis must be
performed based on the actual annular plate thickness that
is measured.
For tanks without annular plate ring, the minimum thickness of
lap-welded bottom plates within 300mm (12 inches) of the shell
shall be evaluated in accordance with Table 2-3 of API 653.

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If the thickness acceptance criteria are not met, SAES-D-108


requires that a detailed stress analysis be performed to confirm
the acceptability of a thinner annular plate for the specific tank.
Such an analysis would be based on the ASME Code Section
VIII, Division 2. A Division 2 stress analysis requires calculation
of the specific stress types (e.g., membrane, bending, local,
general) and has acceptance criteria based on the type of
stress. The analysis must consider the extent and location of the
corrosion, the degree of foundation support, and the applied
loads. A Division 2 analysis might be advantageous if the
API-653 acceptance criteria would require extensive annular
plate replacement.

Requirements for Repairs to Bottom


Bottom plate repair or replacement must be done if the condition
of the bottom does not meet the API-653 acceptance criteria.
The following sections discuss the available options.

Repair of a Portion of
Tank Bottom

Tank bottom repair may consist of one or more of the following


options:
Weld repair of internally corroded or pitted areas.

04/01/97

Lap-welded patch plates over corroded or pitted areas.


Removal of bottom plate sections and replacement by new
lap-welded bottom plates.
Weld repairs to cracked bottom plate lap welds or shell-to-
bottom fillet weld. The root cause of weld cracks should be
determined so that appropriate corrective action can be
taken.

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The specific approach that is used depends on the extent of the


deterioration as well as on cost and time.
Installation of an internal lining or cathodic protection system are
other options that may be considered if general corrosion or
pitting corrosion is excessive. However, these options address
the entire bottom rather than just a portion of it, and are actually
bottom enhancements rather than repairs. These two options
will be discussed in a later section of this module.
Any cracks or leaks that are found in bottom plate lap welds or
in the shell-to-bottom fillet weld must be weld repaired. The
cause of such cracks should be determined and corrected so
that the cracks do not recur. Weld cracks in these areas are
typically caused by settlement, original weld defects, or
undersized welds.
Repairs to corroded and pitted areas of the bottom plate are
made using either weld repair or lap-welded patch plates. The
choice between these two options is based on the depth and
size of the areas that are to be repaired. Weld repair is used for
relatively small and scattered corroded or pitted areas, and
patch plates are used for larger areas.
Bottom plate repairs are required only to the extent that is
necessary to satisfy the API-653 minimum thickness
requirements, as described in Work Aid 2.

04/01/97
API-653 defines the critical zone of a tank bottom as within the
annular plate ring, within 300 mm (12 in.) of the shell, or within
300 mm (12 in.) of the inside edge of the annular plate ring. This
region of the bottom is considered to be critical because the
stresses that occur there are complex in nature. These complex
stresses are due to both bending of the tank shell caused by the
hydrostatic head and differential shell and/or bottom settlement.
Because this area is critical, no welding, welded-on patch
plates, or weld overlays are allowed within the critical zone
except for welding of the following:
Widely scattered pits
Cracks in bottom plates
Shell-to-bottom weld
Welding that is required to replace complete sections of the
bottom or annular plate

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If more extensive repairs are required within the critical zone,


the bottom plate or annular plate under the bottom shell course
must be cut out and a new plate must be installed. This plate
replacement has less detrimental impact on the local stress
distribution than if repairs are done by localized weld repair or
by the patch plate.
As previously noted, a stress analysis may be used in an
attempt to demonstrate that a locally corroded area of the
bottom plate or annular plate near the shell is acceptable
without repair. Stress analysis may be considered as an option
if extensive bottom plate replacement or annular ring
replacement would otherwise be required.
When it is necessary to weld a new annular plate or bottom
plate to an existing shell plate of unknown fracture toughness,
increased attention must be paid to the weld procedures and
inspection procedures that are used. The weld details and weld
procedures must minimize the risk of brittle fracture.
The following should be considered to help minimize the risk of
brittle fracture:
Use an elongated fillet weld shape (illustrated in Figure 14)
to reduce the local stress intensification.
Fillet welds are normally shaped such that their leg lengths
are equal. A fillet weld that has one leg longer than the other
leg (e.g., 2:1 or 3:1) has a lower stress intensification factor,
and thus a lower local stress, than an equal-leg fillet weld. A
brittle fracture will normally initiate at a stress intensification
point. Reducing the local stress reduces the brittle fracture
risk.
Bottom shell course

Elongated
fillet weld

2L
Bottom plate

mex20308.f14

Figure 14. Elongated Fillet Weld

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Use a temper-bead weld technique (illustrated in Figure 15)


to provide some degree of local stress relief and improved
ductility. In this weld technique, weld metal is applied in
overlapping beads and in a specific sequence. The
application sequence ensures that any weld bead that
contacts the tank shell is partially covered by another weld
bead and provides stress relief and improved ductility in the
weld-to-shell fusion zone. Improving the material properties
in this manner decreases the risk of brittle fracture.

Bottom shell course

Weld beads

4 3 3 4 Bottom plate
2 1 1 2

Note: Numbers indicate weld bead sequence.

mex20308.f15

Figure 15. Temper-Bead Welding

Perform careful inspection and testing of the initial and final


welds (e.g., MT and vacuum box leak test) to help ensure
higher weld quality. A brittle fracture can initiate at a weld
defect.
Use of a combination of repair or bottom replacement options is
commonly required to solve a remaining thickness problem. If
the extent of required repairs becomes too large, a completely
new bottom must be installed. The bottom repair versus
replacement decision is made on an individual basis based on
cost comparisons and schedule considerations.

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Replacement of
Entire Bottom

An entire tank bottom may require replacement if corrosion is so


extensive that the bottom cannot be repaired economically. A
second bottom may also be required if a tank is being modified
in order to add secondary containment and leak detection
capability. The following summarizes API-653 requirements and
additional information for installing a replacement bottom over
an existing bottom.
Any voids in the foundation that are below the old bottom
must be filled with material such as sand, grout, concrete or
crushed limestone. The old bottom will still provide weight
support for the tank and its contents, and the old bottom
must be supported by the underlying tank foundation.
A cushion of noncorrosive material as described in
Work Aid 2 must be used between the old and new bottoms
(illustrated in Figure 16) to reduce the likelihood of underside
corrosion. This cushion will typically be 75-100 mm (3 - 4 in.)
thick. This cushion provides uniform support of the new
bottom and transmits the applied weight loads to the original
bottom and underlying foundation pad.

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A uniform slot is cut in the shell parallel to the tank bottom as


shown in Figure 16. The cut edges of the shell are to be
ground, and the new bottom or annular ring plates are
passed through this slot and outside the shell. The new
plates are then welded to the bottom shell course. All
dimensional, welding details, and weld spacing requirements
must meet API-650 requirements.
From a practical standpoint, the complete slot cannot be
made around the entire shell at once. The shell will typically
be cut such that uniformly spaced, relatively short sections of
the shell remain uncut to provide support for the upper shell.
The remaining uncut shell sections are cut after adjacent
new bottom sections are installed.

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Tank Shell

New Bottom Plate


or Annular Ring

Slot Cut
Through
Shell Liner
75 - 100 mm
(3 - 4 in.)

Ribbon Anodes for


Existing Bottom Plate Cathodic Protection

Bottom Support Fill Clean


Dry Sand, Crushed Stone,
Gravel or Concrete

Figure 16. Slotted Shell for New Bottom Installation

The potential for galvanic corrosion should be addressed by


removing the old tank bottom or by the installation of a
cathodic protection system (noted in Figure 16). If the old
bottom is left in place, install a liner on it prior to installing the
fill material in order to prevent galvanic coupling between the
two bottoms.

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04/01/97
Existing shell penetrations might have to be raised if the
elevation of the new bottom cuts through their reinforcing
plates (which will often be the case) or if the Raising existing
shell penetrations because of a new bottom installation was
previously discussed.
If the tank has a floating roof, the new bottom profile must
keep the roof level when it is resting on its support legs in
the down position. This requirement is identical to what is
required for a new tank.
New bearing plates for floating roof support legs and for
fixed roof support columns must be installed. Again, this
requirement is no different from the requirements for a new
tank.

Effects of Use of Internal Lining or Cathodic Protection Systems


Installation of an internal lining or cathodic protection (CP)
system may be used as a means to lessen future corrosion
problems in an existing storage tank. A lining or CP system may
be installed as part of the original installation of a new storage
tank or as part of a maintenance program when excessive
corrosion is found in an existing tank.
A properly designed, installed, and maintained internal lining will
prevent any future internal corrosion or pitting. Therefore, when
calculating the minimum remaining bottom plate thicknesses in
an API-653 evaluation, the internal corrosion rate and pitting
rate parameters will be zero. Eliminating future corrosion or
pitting in this manner reduces the extent of repairs that are
required to make the bottom acceptable.
A properly designed, installed, and maintained cathodic
protection system prevents any future underside pitting of the
bottom when this pitting was caused by galvanic action.
Therefore, when calculating the minimum remaining bottom
plate thicknesses in an API-653 evaluation, the underside pitting
rate will be zero. Here again, eliminating underside pitting in this
manner reduces the extent of repairs that are required to make
the bottom acceptable.
The sections that follow briefly discuss internal linings and
cathodic protection systems.

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Internal Lining

A glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) lining is the type that is most


commonly used to protect tank bottoms from internal corrosion.
A GRP lining is an effective and economical method for
reinforcing and corrosion-proofing new and deteriorated tank
bottoms. This versatile repair method is adaptable to both
welded and riveted construction, and it offers important
advantages over in-kind replacement of corroded steel. These
advantages include:
Greater ease and speed of installation
Superior corrosion resistance
Elimination of hot work (i.e., no welding is required)
Generally lower cost
These factors, coupled with the ruggedness and durability of a
GRP lining, make this method an acceptable tank bottom repair
and enhancement technique.
GRP lining involves the application of either a glass-reinforced
epoxy resin or glass-reinforced polyester resin directly over the
existing bottom. The term GRP is sometimes used
interchangeably with FRP (fiber reinforced plastic). The
reinforcement or filler material may be any one of the following:
Fiberglas cloth, which is woven material or fabric
Fiberglas mat, which is similar to cloth, but made from fibers
that are distributed randomly, rather than woven
Chopped roving, which is bunches of rope-like strands
Glass flakes
Refurbishing a tank bottom by the installation of a GRP lining is
the most practical alternative to installation of new steel bottoms
when significant internal corrosion or pitting is a problem. This
alternative should be considered when a tank bottom has
corroded and/or pitted to the point where its minimum remaining
thickness is at the API-653 limit, or will reach that limit before
the next T&I, and internal corrosion or internal pitting is a major
factor that has caused that bottom deterioration.
While a GRP lining is an attractive bottom repair option, it is not
appropriate under the following circumstances:

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GRP linings are not suitable in situations where serious


structural weakening due to general corrosion loss has
damaged the mechanical integrity of the tank bottom.
Although properly designed and installed GRP linings can
have sufficient structural integrity to "bridge" relatively large
diameter holes (50 mm [2 in.] to 125 mm [5 in.] in diameter),
GRP linings cannot be expected to replace the steel tank
bottom.

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GRP linings must not be used for heated tankage that


requires elevated storage temperatures. The maximum
permissible storage temperature limits for linings that utilize
conventional polyesters and epoxies are 60C (140F) and
82C (180F), respectively. Asphalt and heavy fuel oil
storage tanks normally require storage temperatures that
exceed the safe limits of GRP linings.
GRP linings cannot be used in applications where the linings
may be subject to concentrated chemical attack by strong
acids or aromatic solvents. However, the application of a
suitable gel coating over the lining would protect the GRP
lining as long as the gel coating that is used is resistant to
attack by the stored liquid. In most conventional refinery
tankage where only trace amounts of acids or aromatic
solvents are present, a GRP lining will exhibit good
resistance and may be used.
GRP lining applications and repairs should only be
undertaken if a qualified contractor with demonstrated
experience and expertise in GRP lining technology is
available.
GRP linings must not be used without first installing new
steel reinforcing plates in critical locations on the tank
bottom, such as the bearing plates located directly below
roof support legs. In addition, patch plates must be installed
to repair large holes prior to installing a GRP lining. If a large
number of patch plates is required, installation of a new
bottom may become more economical than GRP lining
repairs. In general, holes that are greater than 25 mm (1 in.)
in diameter or areas with clusters of smaller holes should be
repaired with 6.35 mm (1/4 in.) thick steel patch plates prior
to installing the lining.
While GRP linings are useful for tank bottom repairs, the
linings are not suitable to deter soil-side corrosion. If
aggressive soil-side corrosion is a problem, a cathodic
protection system should be installed to supplement the
lining.
SAES-H-101, Aramco Paints and Coatings Systems, provides
specifications for acceptable coating systems, as well as
installation and inspection requirements for these coatings.

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Cathodic Protection
System

Cathodic protection is a technique that is used to reduce


electrochemical corrosion. The goal of a cathodic protection
(CP) system is to force sufficient electric current onto a structure
to halt or reverse any discharge of corrosion current from the
structure. CP systems for aboveground storage tanks are
installed to protect the sketch plate or annular plate and the
bottom from soil-side corrosion. These CP systems are
generally effective and are relatively low in cost when compared
to tank bottom repair or replacement. CP should be considered
when a tank bottom has corroded to the point where its
minimum remaining thickness is at the API-653 limit, or will
reach that limit before the next T&I, and external corrosion or
pitting is a major factor.
Design and installation of CP systems is complex and should
follow the requirements that are specified in SAES-X-500,
Cathodic Protection Tank and Vessel Internals, and SAES-X-
600, Cathodic Protection In-Plant Facilities. Although the design
and installation of CP systems will be contracted to outside
firms, some knowledge of CP is required to evaluate proposed
designs and assure correct maintenance. The two most
common causes for failed CP systems are poor electric current
distribution (which relates to system design), and lack of proper
maintenance.
There are two types of CP systems: sacrificial anode and
impressed current. The following material briefly discusses
these two types. When either of the two types are installed on
double-bottom tanks or tanks that have impermeable plastic
membranes, special considerations are involved. Double
bottoms or impermeable membranes will shield the protective
current from the tank bottom that is to be protected, and CP will
not be provided.
Sacrificial Anode - Sacrificial anode systems are based on the
electrical potential difference between two dissimilar metals
when exposed in soil or water. When the two metals are
electrically connected, the more anodic material is allowed to
corrode or is "sacrificed," and the protective electric current
flows to the more cathodic material (structure to be protected).

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Sacrificial anode systems are usually less costly for smaller


diameter tanks and have lower maintenance needs than
impressed current systems. However, the electric current
availability of sacrificial anode systems is limited by the electrical
potential difference that naturally occurs between the tank
bottom metal and the sacrificial anode material. Sacrificial
anodes are generally alloy metals of magnesium, zinc, or
aluminum that limit the electrical potential difference to between
0.5 and 1.0 volt for carbon steel tank bottoms.
Placement of the sacrificial anodes near the tank is critical to
electric current distribution and corrosion protection. The
anodes should be geometrically placed around the tank that is
to be protected. An example of such an arrangement is shown
in Figure 17. As a rule, sacrificial anode systems do not produce
sufficient corrosion protection for tanks that are larger than 10 m
(30 ft.) in diameter.

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Figure 17. Typical Sacrificial Anode System

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Impressed Current - An impressed current system uses an


external DC power source, usually a rectifier, to artificially
impress anodes with electric current that then flows to the tank
bottom. An impressed current system has the advantages of
being able to produce the large driving electrical potential and
high electric current output that are needed to satisfactorily
protect large diameter tank bottoms. Electric current can also be
increased or decreased as any variation in need occurs.
Impressed current systems generally require a higher capital
investment and maintenance level than sacrificial anode
systems for small tanks, but cost less for larger tanks. Several
different designs of impressed current systems are possible.
The particular design that is selected often depends on the soil
profile and the surrounding structures.
Impressed current anode materials range from scrap iron to
impregnated graphite, platinized titanium, niobium, and
tantalum. These materials vary in cost and expected design life.
Anode material selection often depends upon what material is
best suited for the soil and water conditions in which they will be
buried.
SAES-X-600 requires that aboveground storage tanks be
protected with a distributed, impressed current anode system in
accordance with Saudi Aramco Standard Drawing AA-036355.
SAES-X-600 requires that the anodes be no more the 20 m (60
ft.) apart center-to-center, and that the anodes be between
5 m (15 ft.) and 10 m (30 ft.) from the tank wall. SAES-X-600
also requires that tanks that are 10 m (30 ft.) in diameter and
greater have reference electrodes buried under their bottom
plates. The required number and location of the reference
electrodes are specified based on tank diameter. Figure 18 is an
outline drawing of a typical distributed impressed current
system.

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Figure 18. Typical Impressed Current System

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DETERMINING REPAIR OR ALTERATION REQUIREMENTS FOR THE


ROOFS OF FIXED ROOF AND FLOATING ROOF STORAGE TANKS
This section discusses the following topics:
Criteria for the evaluation of fixed and floating roofs
Repair requirements for fixed and floating roofs
Criteria for repair or replacement of floating roof seals
Criteria for Roof Evaluation
Deteriorated tank roofs and deteriorated floating roof seals can
affect air quality by permitting hydrocarbon leakage from the
tank. These deteriorated conditions can also decrease overall
tank safety by making the tank more prone to a fire that is
caused by a lightening strike. If deterioration is allowed to
progress to an extreme state, the roof could experience a
significant structural failure that is caused by the applied loads.
Work Aid 3 provides procedures that may be used to evaluate
the condition of existing tank roofs. The paragraphs that follow
provide additional background information and guidance.
The primary factor that must be considered in all tank roof
evaluations is corrosion. The condition of the perimeter seal
must also be considered for floating roofs.
External corrosion on roof surfaces is usually most severe at
depressions in the roof where water can collect. If the tank
stores hydrocarbons that produce corrosive vapors, corrosion
will also tend to be severe near roof openings where the
corrosive vapor can flow out of the tank (e.g., at holes, pressure
vents, and floating-roof seals).
Inspection for corrosion on the outside of a roof is similar to
inspection for corrosion on the outside of the tank shell.
However, additional safety precautions are required to ensure
that inspection personnel are not injured while working around
deteriorated areas of the roof. For example, the following safety
precautions should be followed:
It may be necessary to place support members across
rafters if the roof plate is badly corroded. In this manner,
inspection personnel do not need to step directly on severely
corroded roof plates.
Gas tests should be made before inspection is begun,
especially for floating roofs. Respirators should be worn or
be readily available, depending on the test results.
One man should remain off the roof as a safety watch to get
help, if needed.

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Fixed Roofs

Corrosion is the principal cause of deterioration of fixed roofs.


Tanks that store "sour" crudes are especially vulnerable to
internal corrosion on the underside of the roof. Tanks that are
located in humid climates and industrial areas may experience
rapid external roof corrosion. Corrosion of fixed roofs is
generally due to three phenomena:
Internal corrosion from condensed vapor
External corrosion from atmospheric conditions
External corrosion under insulation
Regular inspections can also avert or minimize problems with
corroded or distorted support columns, rafters, girders, plugged
pressure-vacuum vents, and defective welds.
Causes and Rates of Internal Corrosion - Corrosion on the
underside of fixed roofs results from the condensation of vapors
that are contained in the tank. This type of attack can appear as
general corrosion or pitting corrosion. Internal roof corrosion has
only been observed in tanks that store "sour" crudes or
distillates that contain free H2S. The corrosivity on the underside
of a tank roof is generally low in the absence of both air and H2S
in the vapor space. However, internal roof corrosion becomes
considerable when both H2S and air are present in the vapor.
The roofs of tanks in "sour" crude service can have a life of
about 2 to 12 years before small holes may develop from
internal corrosion. The long-term corrosion rates correspond to
about 0.5 to 3 mm/yr. (20 - 120 mils/yr.). The corrosion rate is
not necessarily a function of the total sulfur content in the crude,
but rather of the concentration of free H2S in the crude oil or
distillate. Cases have been reported where severe vapor space
corrosion occurred in tanks with crude oils having a total sulfur
content as low as from 0.02% to 3.0%.

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Causes and Rates of External Corrosion - Atmospheric


corrosion is common on fixed roofs but is generally not severe.
Tanks that are located near marine environments might
experience substantial metal loss due to atmospheric corrosion
caused by chlorides that are naturally present in their
environment.
Thickness Measurements - When the tank is in-service, visual
checks should be made for external corrosion of the roof plates.

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Condition of seal and/or adhesion of insulation at the tank
roof
Condition of seal around vents or other openings
Indications of ultraviolet degradation of the jacket
Visual in-service checks for corrosion should be supplemented
by ultrasonic thickness checks of the roof plate. Specific
experience will dictate the number and location of roof thickness
measurement points.
When the tank is out-of-service, detailed external and internal
visual inspections will indicate if there are any areas of
significant corrosion that require closer investigation. If internal
scaffolding will not be used, it may be necessary to cut
inspection openings in the roof plates in order to inspect the roof
support structure.
Evaluation of Fixed Roof Corrosion - Work Aid 3 contains a
procedure that may be used to evaluate corrosion in fixed roofs.
If significant corrosion has occurred in roof support structural
members, stress calculations must be made to confirm that the
support structure still meets API-650 allowable stress limits.

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Floating Roofs

Causes and Rates of Corrosion - Inasmuch as the roof of a


floating roof tank rests on the liquid that is stored in the tank,
underside corrosion of the roof is usually slight. Metal loss at
corrosion rates of 0.3 mm/yr. (12 mils/yr.) or less are typical on
the underside of floating roofs that are in gasoline blending, light
naphtha, and virgin naphtha services, especially on pontoon rim
plates that extend to the liquid level. Use of mechanical mixers
or jet mixers in such cases increases the liquid circulation
velocity and can accelerate corrosion of the steel that is in
contact with the liquid. In isolated cases, severe corrosion has
occurred on the underside of the roof plate lap joints where
moisture and other corrodants can accumulate in the crevices
that are formed by the lap joints.
Atmospheric corrosion on the topside of external floating roofs is
common because the relatively horizontal roof surface tends to
collect particulate contamination from the air, and the rainwater
run-off is too slow to effectively remove the contamination.
Depressions or irregularities in the roof surface will retain
moisture, and then the moisture can penetrate any coating that
is installed on the roof (e.g., paint) and establish corrosion cells.
As the moisture finally evaporates, its mineral content is left on
the roof to further contaminate the surface. Scale and rust that
is scraped from the shell inside surface during roof movement
and subsequently deposited on the roof may also contribute to
the corrosion process.
For tanks that are located in marine environments or in locations
that use recirculating salt water cooling towers, rapid
atmospheric corrosion of tank roofs can occur. In most other
areas, however, external corrosion of floating roofs is not
severe.

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Inspection for Roof Corrosion - Visual in-service checks will


locate areas of especially severe corrosion, such as at
depressions in the roof surface, areas around roof support
sleeves, near roof drains and vents, and similar locations where
water can accumulate. Badly corroded areas of the roof should
be examined for evidence of leaks. The condition of the paint on
the roof will provide a good indication of any potential roof
corrosion problem. Tank roofs generally require more frequent
repainting than tank shells because weathering of the paint
system is more severe on the roof due to its exposure to
sunlight and the presence of pools of water.
When the tank is out-of-service, the underside of the roof should
be checked for corrosion. Ultrasonic thickness measurements
should then be made to determine the rate of corrosion. The
external face of the pontoon in the region of the liquid level
should be inspected for grooving, pitting, and corrosion because
this area is prone to corrosion due to the liquid-vapor interface.
The interior of the pontoons on double deck roofs is another
location that should be inspected for corrosion.
Recommended retirement thicknesses for floating roof deck
plates and pontoons are dictated by structural requirements.
Work Aid 3 contains a procedure that may be used to evaluate
corrosion in floating roofs.
Pontoon rim thickness requirements are generally governed by
buckling stability or stress considerations based on the design
rainwater load. These considerations are a function of tank
diameter. If corrosion significantly reduces the rim thickness, a
buckling and stress analysis may be required, and CSD should
be contacted.

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Repair Requirements for Fixed Roofs


The primary concern with roof plate thinning is to ensure that
there is still adequate vapor tightness and structural load
bearing capability for both environmental loads (e.g., rainwater)
and maintenance loads. Corrosion and holing through of roof
plates increase the risk of explosions and fire due to direct
lightning strikes on the roof. Roof plate buckling can cause
"ponding" of rainwater. This ponding can cause tank roof
collapse from excessive amounts of rainwater and locally high
corrosion.
Excessively thin, holed through, or buckled areas of the roof
plate are typically repaired by lap-welded patch plates.
Depending on the extent of the deteriorated area, these patch
plates may be welded over the existing roof plates, or the
existing roof plates may be removed and replaced by new
plates. Repairs or alterations to the roof support system must
meet API-653 requirements.
Roof plate welds that have corroded excessively or are cracked
are repaired by rewelding. Special attention should be paid to
any repairs that are made in the area of the roof-to-shell
junction. If a frangible joint is required, any repairs that are
made must ensure that the frangible joint requirements are still
met. Specifically, too large a repair weld violates the frangible
joint requirements.
If significant deterioration has occurred within an unexpectedly
short period of time, the root cause should be determined before
the repair requirements are finalized. For example:
If severe roof underside or support corrosion occurred,
should the replacement plates and structural members be
made thicker?
If severe topside corrosion occurred, was this corrosion due
to inadequate inspection and maintenance procedures?
Has the tank service been changed to one where internal
corrosion is a more significant factor than it was in the
previous service?

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Repair Requirements for Floating Roofs


Deteriorated floating roofs must be repaired for the same
reasons as fixed roofs. However, additional considerations apply
to floating roofs. Cracks or punctures in the floating roof deck or
pontoons permit stored liquid to get on the deck or into the
pontoons. Pontoon damage can also permit rainwater to get into
the pontoon. This pontoon damage reduces the floatation
capability of the roof and must be repaired.
External floating roofs of large diameter tanks are sometimes
prone to rippling when wind blows across the deck. Large
diameter tank roofs are also prone to pontoon buckling due to
excessive rainwater accumulation on the center deck. The wind
rippling can crack the center deck welds and/or make the roof
prone to sinking by rocking the roof to the point where some
stored liquid gets on top of the deck. Pontoon buckling can
reduce the roof stability and flotation capability, and make the
roof prone to sinking as well. If these problems are encountered,
it may be necessary to add circumferential stiffening rings to the
deck or pontoon to provide additional stiffening. Floating roof
stiffeners are illustrated in Figure 19.

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Pontoon

Pontoon Stiffener

Deck

Deck Stiffeners

Figure 19. Floating Roof Stiffeners


Any repair that will restore the roof to a condition that allows it to
perform its function is acceptable. Such repairs might include
replacement or patching of corroded or excessively deformed
deck plates, repairs to corroded or excessively deformed deck
plates, or repairs to corroded or cracked deck plate lap welds.

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Criteria for Repair or Replacement of Floating Roof Seals


Floating roof seals will deteriorate with time due to abrasion with
the tank shell, ambient conditions, and attack by the stored
liquid. When repair or replacement alternatives are being
considered, the selection of the seal material that is used must
take into consideration the liquid that is being stored. If the
stored liquid has changed since the original tank construction, it
may be necessary to change the seal material or seal design in
order to achieve adequate service life.
Rim-mounted primary mechanical shoe seals and toroidal seals
can often be repaired or replaced with the tank in service. No
more than one quarter of the seal should be removed from an
in-service tank at one time. This limitation minimizes
evaporation losses and reduces the danger to workers.
Temporary spacers must be used to keep the roof centered
during seal replacement.
Primary seal systems that are mounted partly or fully below the
rim usually cannot be removed with the tank in-service. In-
service repairs must normally be limited to replacing the primary
seal fabric in these cases.
Rim-mounted or shoe-mounted secondary seals and weather
shields may be installed, repaired or replaced with the tank in
service because they are above the primary seal.
The cause of any seal damage or deterioration must be
determined so that appropriate action can be taken. The
following requirements must be met:
Buckled parts of the seal must be replaced, not straightened.
A straightened part can never be returned to like-new
condition and will be more prone to buckling again during
tank operation.
Torn seal fabric must be replaced and not repaired.
Repaired fabric is more prone to subsequent tearing than
new fabric.
Determine if a change in seal material is required due to
deterioration that has occurred. Confirm that the seal
material is compatible with the stored liquid, especially if
there has been a change in tank service since the original
construction.
Any seal repairs or replacements must ensure that the required
seal-to-shell gap requirements are met. Meeting the gap

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requirements is especially important if the replacement seal is


different from the original design. There are variations among
different seal designs with respect to their ability to
accommodate the actual roof-to-shell rim space. One or more of
the following options may be required, depending on the
situation:
Adjust the hanger system on primary shoe seals.
Add foam filler in toroidal seals.
Increase the length of rim-mounted secondary seals in the
problem area.
Replace all or part of the primary seal system, along with
possible installation of a rim extension for a secondary seal.

Repair Considerations for Internal Floating Roofs


Inspection and repair considerations for internal floating roofs
are similar to those that are used for external floating roofs.
Because the internal floating roof is protected from the ambient
environment, factors that can cause deterioration of external
floating roofs (e.g., wind and rainwater accumulations) are not
relevant for internal floating roofs.
The following briefly summarizes the primary items on internal
floating roofs that must be inspected and evaluated:
The roof deck should be visually checked for any
accumulation of product.
For welded steel decks, such an accumulation would be
due to cracked welds. Any suspect welds should be
vacuum box tested and repaired as needed.
For bolted roof construction, such an accumulation may
be due to loose bolts and clamps. These bolts and
clamps should be tightened as needed.
The pontoons should be checked for tightness to confirm
that the roof flotation capability is maintained.
Roof support legs should be checked for corrosion and
repaired or replaced as needed.
The peripheral roof seal should be checked for wear,
deterioration caused by the stored liquid, and adequate
contact with the shell. Damaged seals must be replaced

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because such seals could permit excessive vapor losses and


cause restrictions in roof travel.
Seals are installed at the floating roof deck around the fixed
roof support columns and around the access ladder that is
located between the fixed roof and the floating roof. These
seals should also be inspected for wear, deterioration, and
adequate contact.

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DETERMINING REPAIR OR ALTERATION REQUIREMENTS FOR


SITUATIONS THAT INVOLVE TANK SETTLEMENT
This section discusses the following topics concerning tank
settlement:
Shell settlement
Bottom settlement
Correcting settlement problems
In spite of all attempts to prevent or minimize settlement during
tank foundation design and construction, tank shell and/or
bottom settlement may still occur over a period of time after the
tank has been placed in service. Therefore, shell and bottom
settlement must be evaluated as part of the periodic tank
maintenance activity to determine if any corrective action is
required. The types of shell and bottom settlement that may
occur must first be understood in order to make these
evaluations. The sections that follow review the principal types
of settlement and describe how they are evaluated.

Shell Settlement
Types
The three types of shell settlement that may occur are as
follows:
Uniform
Planar tilt
Differential
Uniform Shell Settlement - Uniform shell settlement and the
problems that it may cause are illustrated in Figure 20. In
uniform shell settlement the shell remains level as it settles. This
type of settlement does not introduce significant stresses or
distortions in the tank shell or bottom and does not necessarily
require correction. Problems that can be caused by uniform
shell settlement and possible corrective actions are as follows:
Blockage of surface water drainage from the tank pad into
the diked area may result in water retention at the tank shell.
Water retention can be corrected by regrading the tank pit
such that water cannot accumulate near the tank. If this
problem is not corrected, it can cause localized tank
corrosion in the lower portion of the bottom course and
annular plate and sketch plate area.

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Differential settlement between piping supports and the


connecting tank nozzle may cause overstress of the pipe or
tank nozzle. This problem is usually corrected by adjusting
the pipe supports.

Shell settles
but remains level
Pipe

Potential for
Drainage problem overstress of
piping nozzle

mex20308.f21

Figure 20. Uniform Shell Settlement

Planar Tilt Shell Settlement - Planar tilt shell settlement is


when the shell tilts as it settles and the bottom of the shell
remains in a plane. If the shell elevations are plotted on a linear
scale, true planar tilt settlement produces a sine or cosine curve
as illustrated in Figure 21. As the shell tilts, stresses are
introduced that tend to change the shape of the shell. The top of
the shell tends to become elliptical. Shell out-of-roundness can
be determined by checking top diameters and floating roof seal
clearances around the circumference of the tank. Figure 21 also
illustrates the effect that planar tilt settlement can have on a
tank. Typical problems that may be caused by planar tilt are as
follows:
Distortion or support problems in connected pipe
Poor surface drainage near the tank
Malfunction of floating roof seals
Other interference with floating roofs travel
Buckling in flanges or webs of wind girders

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Out of roundness
due to shell tilt

Shell settles
and tilts

y
High point ( = 0)
High point ( = 360)

h Y = 2h COS
2


h
2

Low point ( = 180)

Figure 21. Planar Tilt Settlement

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Differential Shell Settlement - Differential shell settlement is


when the bottom of the shell is no longer in either a level or
tilted plane. API-653 also refers to differential shell settlement
as out-of-plane deflection. With differential settlement, the shell
undergoes different amounts of settlement at different points
around its circumference. This settlement usually does not
damage the tank structure as long as the settlement is minor
and there is adequate support under the shell. The amount of
differential settlement is defined as the deviation between the
actual shell settlements and the sine or cosine curve that
represents true planar tilt.
A plot that describes differential settlement is shown in Figure
22. The inherent stiffness of the shell tends to concentrate shell
support at the points with the least amount of settlement. As
with planar tilt settlement, the top of the shell tends to become
elliptical. Differential settlement can cause the same problems
as planar tilt settlement. In addition, differential settlement may
cause the shell to buckle or cause the shell-to-bottom area to
become over stressed. Figure 23 illustrates the potential
problems that may result from differential shell settlement.

27.30
Elevation readings (m)

27.20 Elevation
readings
Differential
settlement

27.10 Cosine curve

27.00
0 36 72 108 144 180 216 252 288 324 360

mex20308.f23

Figure 22. Settlement Readings Showing Differential Shell Settlement

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Original shape of
tank shell

Deformed shape
of tank shell

Roof
binding

Gaps

Floating
Floating roof seal
roof

Initial
position

Settled position

mex20308.f24

Figure 23. Effects of Differential Shell Settlement

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Evaluation

32-SAMSS-005 requires that shell settlement measurements be


made before, during, and after hydrostatic testing of newly
constructed tanks. The purpose of these measurements is to
determine if the settlement that occurs during the initial filling of
the tank is within acceptable limits. Shell elevation
measurements will then be made periodically during the life of
the tank to determine if any unexpectedly large settlements
occur. The interval between elevation measurements is
determined based on the results of these measurements. If no
settlement problems are indicated, elevation measurements will
typically be made during each T&I. Shorter settlement
measurement intervals are used if initial measurements indicate
that there might be settlement problems. Tank elevation
measurements will not disrupt operations because the
measurements can be made with the tank in service.
The shell settlement readings are made relative to the elevation
of a permanent bench mark (See Figure 24). The bench mark
must be installed in such a manner that it will not be affected by
future ground settlement due to the tankage. This permanent
bench mark permits an accurate measurement of tank shell
settlement over a period of years.

Tank Shell

;;;
Surveying
Instrument
Reference
Point
Bench Mark

;;; 1.5 Tank Diameters


(Minimum)

08.f25

Figure 24. Tank Shell Settlement Measurements

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Reference points are established on the tank shell by welding


nuts or similar steel objects to the tank shell. The reference
points are located 100 mm (4 in.) above the bottom edge of the
bottom shell course at equal distances around the
circumference of the tank. One reference point is located at the
catch basin. The minimum number of reference points depends
upon the diameter of the tank. API-653 requires that at least 8
reference points be used, and that the reference points be
spaced no more than 9.1 m (30 ft.) apart.
The elevation measuring instrument should be set up at least
1-1/2 tank diameters away from the tank shell. The elevation
readings should be accurate to within 2 mm (1/16 in.).
Appendix B of API-653 contains a basis that may be used for
the evaluation of differential shell settlement (i.e., out-of-plane
deflection). The API-653 evaluation basis is contained in Work
Aid 4 and is based on the following parameters:
Arc length between shell elevation measurement points
Tank height
Modulus of Elasticity and yield strength of the tank shell
plate
In order to use the API-653 basis, the shell elevation
measurements that are made must first be converted to out-of-
plane deflections around the tank circumference. This data
conversion is typically done using a computer program and
subtracts the uniform and planar tilt settlement components
from the total settlement measurements.
If the measured differential shell settlement exceeds the API-
653 acceptance basis. Further evaluations are typically made to
determine if the settlement has caused any damage or
operational problems to the tank. Experience has shown that
excessive differential shell settlement will typically cause shell
distortion before any failure will occur. A detailed stress analysis
may also be done to help make a decision. Releveling a tank
can be expensive and could cause more problems than it solves
if it is not done properly.

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Bottom Settlement
Types

The three types of bottom settlement that may occur are as


follows:
Localized
Center-to-edge
Combined bottom and shell
Localized Bottom Settlement - Localized depressions in the
tank bottom are normally due to a soft spot or void in the
foundation. Voids in the foundation may occur when settlement
has occurred and the tank has been jacked for repairs. After the
jacking operation, the foundation must be refilled with a grout
material to fill in the vacant spaces. However, no technique can
guarantee that the vacant spaces are entirely refilled. Therefore,
after jacking operations, it is not unusual for voids to exist in the
foundation. Tunneling under a tank to inspect bottom plates, or
leakage through a bottom plate that softens or disperses pad
material, are other mechanisms that can also cause voids in the
foundation.
The bottom plate is not designed to support the tank contents
without being uniformly supported from underneath by the
foundation. Therefore, a localized weakness in the foundation
soil can cause overstress in the bottom plates and result in a
bottom plate weld failure. If the foundation in the area of the
weld failure is unstable or poorly drained, the resulting leak can
wash out a considerable portion of the foundation and lead to a
major tank bottom failure. Figure 25 illustrates localized bottom
settlements that may result from soft spots or voids in the
foundation.

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Localized depressions
in tank bottom

Figure 25. Localized Bottom Settlement

In addition to localized bottom settlement that can occur away


from the tank shell, localized settlement can occur near the shell
of a tank. Localized bottom settlement that occurs near the tank
shell is normally accompanied by shell settlement, and the two
settlements should be considered together.

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Center-to-Edge Bottom Settlement - Center-to-edge bottom


settlement is illustrated in Figure 26. A relatively large center-to-
edge bottom settlement over the entire bottom may be
accommodated without overstressing the tank bottom because
the bottom plates act as a thin membrane and are flexible.
However, extreme cases can occur when the bottom settlement
takes up all slack in the bottom plate and exerts an inward pull
on the shell, as illustrated in the detail in Figure 26.

Center-to-edge bottom
settlement

Shell may buckle or


bottom plate may
be over stressed

Figure 26. Center-To-Edge Bottom Settlement

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On tanks that are less than about 50 m (150 ft.) in diameter,


excessive bottom settlement is likely to buckle the shell. On
tanks that are over about 50 m (150 ft.) in diameter, frictional
drag is a bigger factor and excessive settlement is more likely to
overstress the bottom plates before noticeable shell buckling
occurs.
In tanks that are built on poor foundations, the failure of a
bottom weld can lead to catastrophic foundation washout.
However, if the tank foundation was preloaded and complies
with Saudi Aramco design requirements, center-to-edge
settlement should not be a problem.
Combined Bottom and Shell Settlement - Bottom settlement
will normally occur in combination with one or more types of
shell settlement. Differential settlement of the shell of a large
diameter tank relative to its bottom can result in significant radial
pull on the bottom plates by the shell. This type of settlement is
illustrated in Figure 27. The difference in settlement between the
shell and bottom must be absorbed over a very short distance in
the bottom plates at the tank edge. The resulting excessive
distortion of the bottom plates, that must accommodate all of the
stretching, may crack a bottom fillet weld in the distorted region.
The cracked fillet weld could lead to a failure of the bottom.

Shell settles more


than tank bottom

Figure 27. Combined Bottom and Shell Settlement

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Evaluation

Although excessive bottom settlement occurs less frequently


than shell settlement, bottom settlement can result in greater
damage and much higher releveling costs. At the same time, it
is more difficult to determine bottom plate settlement patterns
while the tank is under hydrotest or in service.
Because of the greater risks associated with bottom settlement,
bottom elevation patterns are sometimes monitored while the
tank is in service in locations where sub-soil conditions are
doubtful or unsatisfactory. In these situations, important data
points can be checked by dropping a sounding line through roof
openings, such as manholes and support leg openings, before
and during hydrotest and while the tank is in service. Warped
roof plates in a cone roof tank are a strong indication that
excessive bottom settlement may have occurred. In addition,
excessive shell settlement indicates a strong possibility of
excessive bottom settlement as well.
In most situations, bottom elevation measurements to determine
settlement patterns will only be made when the tank is taken out
of service for a T&I. API-653 contains recommended locations
for bottom settlement measurements, as shown in Figure 28.
Closer measurement spacing (75 - 150 mm [3 - 6 in.] apart)
should be used in areas where the bottom elevation changes
rapidly, especially close to the shell.

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Figure 28. Bottom Settlement Measurement Locations

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Appendix B of API-653 contains a basis that may be used for


the evaluation of tank bottom settlement. This basis is included
in Work Aid 4. The API-653 criteria is based on the following
parameters:
Depth of depression (or the height of the bulge) in the tank
bottom. Note that local areas of the bottom may be bulged
up rather than depressed down. Bulges are evaluated using
the same basis as depressions.
Radius of the largest circle that may be inscribed within the
depressed (or bulged) area.
An assumption that the bottom plate lap welds are made
with a single weld pass.
If the measured bottom plate settlement exceeds the API-653
acceptance basis, CSD should be contacted before any action
is taken to repair or relevel the bottom. The API-653 evaluation
basis is relatively conservative, and it may be worthwhile to do a
detailed stress analysis to determine the actual situation if
extensive repair or releveling is required. The API-653 basis is
especially conservative if the bottom plate lap welds are made
with two or more weld passes rather than the one pass that API-
653 assumes.

Methods for Correcting Settlement Problems


If the shell or bottom settlement is excessive, corrective action
must be taken before unacceptable damage and tank leakage
occurs. Because significant time is required to properly plan,
evaluate, and execute settlement corrections, the decision to
relevel cannot be taken lightly. Improper releveling can cause as
much or more damage to the tank than the settlement that it is
meant to correct. The paragraphs that follow describe the
primary considerations and techniques for correcting shell and
bottom settlement.

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Shell Releveling
Considerations and
Techniques

Considerations - Three forms of shell releveling may be


considered: releveling only a part of the shell, releveling the
entire shell, or releveling both the entire shell and the tank
bottom as well. The extent of releveling should be minimized
consistent with fixing current problems and minimizing the
probability of needing future releveling.
In many cases, releveling only part of the shell is necessary. In
these cases, the low points of the shell are jacked by amounts
that range from 50 mm (2 in.) to 175 mm (7 in.). In addition,
when the entire shell must be releveled and settlement is
expected to continue, local overjacking of the shell in areas of
poor soil may be desirable. When overjacking is specified, it
should be done so that the resulting radial displacements of the
shell will not cause floating roof binding or gaps between the
floating roof and shell.

04/01/97

Techniques - The most common technique for releveling a tank


shell is to lift the shell with hydraulic jacks and pack selected
materials beneath the bottom and annular plates. Two basically
different procedures for tank jacking are widely employed:
jacking against the tank shell and jacking from beneath the
bottom or annular plates.
When jacking against the tank shell, jacking lugs or brackets are
welded to the tank shell around its periphery as close to the
bottom or annular plate as possible. Figure 29 illustrates the
details for typical jacking lugs. A compact hydraulic jack (or a
pair of jacks) is placed on a timber footing at each bracket
location, and the tank is gradually lifted to a height that is equal
to the jack stroke (generally 100 mm [4 in.]). Timber beams or
steel shims are then used to temporarily support the tank shell
while the jack is released, and additional timber beams are
placed between the jack and the foundation. The entire process
is repeated until the tank shell is level and at the required
elevation.

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A A

Jacking lug
Sized based
on load
Bottom shell 610 mm (24 in.)
course
Jack bearing
plate

Typical 4.6 m (15 ft.)


maximum spacing
483 mm (19 in.)

View A-A

Bottom plate

mex20308.f30

Figure 29. Typical Jacking Lugs

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Depending on the jacking system, the jack spacing, and the


shell thickness, externally mounted jacks can impose significant
stresses on the tank shell. Therefore, it is important that the
shell stresses be checked and any necessary strengthening
measures carried out before jacking is begun.
The major advantage of jacking against the shell when
compared to jacking from beneath the bottom or annular plates
is that disturbance to the existing foundation is minimal.
Because the jacks are not beneath the shell, placement and
compaction of select backfill is more uniform and results in less
potential for differential shell settlement in the future.
The disadvantage of jacking against the shell when compared to
jacking from beneath the annular plates is the welding that is
required to attach the brackets to the shell and to provide any
necessary shell reinforcement. This welding can also build up
residual stresses in the shell and possibly cause brittle fracture,
particularly in older tanks where steels with poor fracture
toughness were often used. On newer tanks that are
constructed of high strength steel, the weldability of the bracket
to the shell may be a problem.
There are at least two methods for jacking from beneath the
bottom or annular plates: using a jacking frame, or excavating
pits for the placement of hydraulic jacks.
The preferred method for jacking from beneath the bottom
annular plates is to use a jacking frame. A typical jacking frame
is illustrated in Figure 30. The frame is equipped with slender
jacking shoes that are shaped so that they can be easily slipped
beneath the tank shell. The frames are spaced every 3 to 4.5 m
(10 to 15 ft.) around the tank periphery. The tank can be jacked
to a maximum height of 300 mm (12 in.) with this method. No
welding to the tank shell is required, and the jacking frames are
reusable. Due to the size and shape of the jacking shoe, there is
little disturbance to the existing foundation. The disadvantages
of this method are the initial fabrication cost of the frames and
the limited jacking height of 300 mm (12 in.). The frames also
cannot be used to lift and relevel the entire tank bottom;
therefore, this method cannot be used for all tank releveling
needs.

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Tank shell
Shell plate

Lifting frame

Distance
pieces

Tank bottom plate


Jack
Jacking plate

Jacking shoe

Figure 30. Typical Jacking Frame

Figure 31 illustrates pits that may be excavated beneath the


bottom or annular plates to provide space for placing hydraulic
jacks. Jack spacing depends on the size of the tank and the
thickness of the shell. Jacks are typically spaced 6 to 7.5 m (20
to 25 ft.) apart; however, a stress analysis should be made for
the specific tank to be jacked in order to determine the required
jack spacing. After placing the jacks, the tank is lifted to the
desired height by utilizing timber cribbing. The jacking pits are
then backfilled after the tank is lowered onto the newly releveled
foundation pad.

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Localized settlement over the jacking pit areas can cause


additional stresses in the annular plates and shell. Therefore, it
is important to minimize these settlements and resulting
stresses by keeping the size of the jacking pits as small as
possible. Only high quality fill such as crushed stone should be
used, and the fill should be properly compacted by means of
rams and pneumatic compactors. Ideally, single-size crushed
stone will be placed in the pits, because this type of material
experiences the least amount of settlement due to tank loading
after it is compacted.

Bottom of Outer face of


jacking pit shell plate

Plan

Shell plate

Bottom plate

Jacking pit

Section

Figure 31. Typical Jacking Pit

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The actual jacking operation should be accomplished using a


predetermined procedure that considers the following factors:
All tank elevation changes should be gradual to minimize
stresses in the overall tank structure.
Localized sections of differential settlement should first be
jacked to a planar position. The remaining tank shell can
then be jacked to a level position, as required.
Some overjacking may be done when further settlement can
be anticipated and predicted.
Steel bearing plates under the jacks spread the jacking
reaction and minimize the risk that jacks may be tipped over
or kicked out.
When correcting for differential settlement, it is not
imperative to place a jack at every jacking point and lift all
points simultaneously. The releveling can be accomplished
with six to eight jacks operated in sequence. Jacking should
be done in small increments, a few millimeters (inches) at a
time. Lifting should start at the low point, move to the
adjacent jacking point on one side, then to the adjacent
jacking point on the other side, and so on. After the tank is
high enough to slip in steel shims, the first jack can be
removed and repositioned on one side or the other. In this
way, the lifting area can be extended to any point on the tank
circumference.
When simultaneously lifting at multiple locations, all jacks
should be connected to a single hydraulic line and pump.
Hydraulic connections to the jacks should include a safety
system to prevent jack failure in case of a pump or hydraulic
line failure.
During jacking operations, careful attention must be paid to
the bottom plates, especially on floating roof tanks. When
the shell is raised to a certain point, the shell begins to lift the
bottom plates at the first row of roof support legs. If the shell
has to be raised further, it will be necessary to release the
loads from these legs with temporary roof supports.
Removing the load from these legs is accomplished by
welding temporary brackets to the inside of the shell to
support the outer periphery of the pontoon.

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Bottom Releveling
Considerations and
Techniques

Considerations - When the bottom must be releveled, the


following items should be considered as possible options:
If local areas of the bottom are depressed, pump Portland
cement grout underneath the affected area through a hole in
the tank bottom.
Lift the entire tank and relevel the affected area. Coarse
sand or gravel should be used as the filler material.
Remove the bottom plates in the affected area, relevel, and
replace the plates. When releveling, coarse sand or gravel
should be used as the filler material.
Add a second pass to the bottom plate fillet welds in the
affected area. Prior to adding the second pass, the original
fillet welds must be sand blasted and cleaned to ensure that
the fillet welds are free of all scale and oil.
Techniques - The tank bottom may be releveled by pressure
grouting, jacking, or other less commonly used methods.
Selection among any of these releveling techniques, or a
combination of them, should be based on an economic
evaluation.
Pressure grouting of tank bottoms is appropriate for correcting
settlement in localized areas of the bottom plates. In this
technique, grout is injected under pressure between the bottom
plate and the foundation pad, not directly into the pad. Pressure
grouting has proven to be successful at many installations. A
wide variety of grout mixes are offered by contractor specialists.
All of these mixes include various materials and additives that
improve pumpability and flow characteristics. For tank bottom
releveling, a low compressive strength is a desirable
characteristic of the grout, because a low compressive strength
minimizes hard spots that might damage the bottom plates
should further settlement occur.

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Pressure grouting is generally not economical for releveling a


large portion of a tank bottom. For tanks that require more than
local releveling, it is usually more economical to lift the entire
tank off its foundation and relevel and reshape the entire pad.
When this technique is used, the entire tank is jacked up and
cribbed to a height that provides headroom for motorized
dumpers and small bulldozers. Mechanical equipment is then
used to relevel and reshape the entire foundation with sand,
gravel, and crushed stone. The tank is again jacked clear,
cribbing removed, and jacks released to set the tank back on
the new pad. This technique has proven to be successful on
numerous tanks for correcting extensive bottom settlements.
Three other techniques can also be considered for bottom
releveling:
Float the tank on water or air, move the tank to an adjacent
temporary site, repair the original foundation, and refloat the
tank back onto the repaired foundation.
Lift the tank, slide the tank off its foundation using a rail
system, and then return the tank to the foundation after
repairs are made.
Remove the tank bottom plates, reshape the foundation, and
install new bottom plates.
All of these techniques have been successfully used. The
choice of the specific technique to use depends on factors such
as cost, the extent of required repairs, the size and type of tank,
and the experience of the contractor who is engaged to perform
the work.

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Sample Problem 2: Determine the Need for Corrective Action


Based on Tank Settlement Measurements

04/01/97

Shell settlement measurements were made of a 100 ft. diameter


floating roof tank. The shell elevation measurements that were
noted in the Inspection and History Report have been converted
to out-of-plane deflections, and these deflections are shown in
Figure 32. The following information is also available:
There are no visible signs of shell distortion.
The tank shell height is 51 ft.
The yield stress of the shell plate material is 38,000 psi.
The Modulus of Elasticity of the shell plate material is
29,500,000 psi.
Determine what action should be taken.

Reading Number Angular Position, Out-of-Plane


Degrees Deflection, ft.
1 0 0.01
2 30 0.06
3 60 -0.02
4 90 0.02
5 120 -0.02
6 150 0.02
7 180 0.01
8 210 0.02
9 240 -0.02
10 270 0.01
11 300 -0.02
12 330 -0.01

Figure 32. Sample Problem 3 Settlement Data

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Solution
Work Aid 4 is used to solve this problem.
There are more than the minimum required number of
settlement measurement points. Now, confirm that the
settlement measurements were not made too far apart.
D
L=
N
(100 )
L= = 26.2 ft.
12
Because this is less than 30 ft., the spacing between the
measurements is acceptable.
Now determine the maximum permitted out-of-plane deflection.

11 L2 Y
S=
2EH
11 26.22 38 000
S=
2 29 500 000 51
S = 0.095 in.= 0.06 in.
Because the maximum measured out-of-plane deflection is only
0.06 in. and is less than the permitted value of 0.095 in., no
action is required.

10/15/95

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HYDROTESTING REQUIREMENTS THAT ARE SPECIFIED IN


32-SAMSS-005 AND API-653
All new storage tanks are hydrotested as a final means to
demonstrate their structural integrity before the tanks are placed
into service. There are no mandatory requirements for periodic
re-hydrotesting of storage tanks to demonstrate their continued
reliability unless changes have been made that could affect their
structural integrity. API-653 specifies situations when an existing
storage tank must be re-hydrotested and when re-hydrotesting
is not required.

32-SAMSS-05 Requirements
SAES-D-108 refers to 32-SAMSS-005, paragraph 5.3.6, for
additional requirements with regard to hydrotesting existing
atmospheric storage tanks.

SAES-D-108 Requirements
Section 10 of API-653 requires that a full hydrostatic test be
performed on an existing storage tank for the following
situations (unless exempted by other criteria):
A reconstructed tank
Any tank that has undergone "major repairs" or "major
alterations," unless the tank meets specific exemption
requirements that are stated in API-653
The hydrotest must be held for 24 hours.

"Major repairs" and "major alterations" refer to operations that


require cutting, addition, removal, and/or replacement of the
annular plate ring, the shell-to-bottom weld, or a sizable portion
of the shell. Examples of "major" work that would require
rehydrotesting are as follows:

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Installation of any shell penetration beneath the design liquid


level larger than 300 mm (12 in.) nominal size or any bottom
penetration located within 300 mm (12 in.) of the shell.
Installation of nozzles of any size in shell plates greater than
13 mm (0.500 inch) thick that are not exempt from impact
testing in accordance with Figure 3-2 of API-653 where the
shell is subjected to a membrane stress in excess of 5
kg/mm2 (7 ksi).
Removal and replacement of any shell plate at a distance
greater than H below the design liquid level shall be
considered as a major repair.
Where H is calculated as follows:
H = Ct/D
where:
C is a constant: 10 for metric units
or 2730 for English units
H: distance below design liquid level
where shell plate is being removed
and replaced, in meters (feet)
t: thickness of shell plate being
removed and replaced, in mm (inch)
D: tank diameter, m (feet)
Major repair shall include complete or partial removal and
replacement of any vertical weld joining shell plates over
13 mm (0.500 inch) thick if the material is not exempt from
impact testing in accordance with Figure 3-2 of API 653.
However, any repair of the radial welds joining the annular
plate ring sections shall not be considered a major repair
unless there is a significant differential settlement around the
circumference of the tank that would impair the structural
integrity of the shell-to-bottom connection.
Moving or relocating the tank to a new site.
Installation of a new bottom.
Removal and replacement of any part of the shell-to-bottom
attachment weld or to the annular plate ring.
Partial or complete jacking of the tank.
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Re-hydrotesting an existing tank costs additional time and


money. Re-hydrotesting also frequently causes problems with
regard to water disposal if the hydrotest water becomes
contaminated with remnants of the tank contents. Therefore,
Para. 10.3.2 of API-653 indicates that re-hydrotesting after
major repairs or alterations is not required, provided that specific
exemption criteria are met. The exemption criteria are based on
the following factors:
Material fracture toughness
Shell thickness and metal temperature
Details of the repairs or alterations
Welding and inspection details
The intent of the re-hydrotest exemption criteria is to identify
situations where the repairs or alterations that are done are not
likely to increase the risk of a brittle fracture in the tank. A re-
hydrotest is not required for these low-risk situations.
Participants are referred to API-653 for the specific exemption
requirements.

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SUMMARY
This module has discussed Saudi Aramco and industry
standards that apply to the evaluation of existing storage tanks.
These standards are used to determine required tank inspection
intervals and to evaluate the existing condition of storage tanks
to determine their suitability for continued operation. The
module then covered the application of inspection data that is
contained in an Inspection and History Report to the
determination of appropriate repair or alteration procedures for
existing storage tanks. The module has covered the application
of Saudi Aramco and API requirements to situations that involve
the tank shell or shell penetrations, bottom, roof, or settlement.
The Participants are now able to make appropriate
recommendations with respect to these items.

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WORK AID 1: PROCEDURE FOR DETERMINING REPAIR OR


ALTERATION REQUIREMENTS FOR SITUATIONS
INVOLVING STORAGE TANK SHELLS AND SHELL
PENETRATIONS
The procedures that are contained in this Work Aid may be used to determine the
appropriate repair or alteration requirements to be used for storage tank shells or shell
penetrations. The class reference copies of API-653 and SAES-D-108 shall be used
with this Work Aid. These reference documents are contained in Course Handouts 1
and 2, respectively. All needed tank inspection data may be obtained from the
Inspection and History Reports.

Work Aid 1A: Procedural Steps


The general procedure that follows should be used to help determine appropriate repair
or alteration requirements to use for storage tank shells or shell penetrations.
1. Analyze the inspection data that is available from a T&I and that is
documented in an Inspection and History Report to determine the current
condition of the tank shell or shell penetration, prior inspection and repair
history, the extent of the problem (if any), and any alterations that may be
required.
2. Gather the necessary design information for the tank. This information
includes items such as tank or nozzle diameter and wall thickness, materials,
and maximum required fill height. This information may be obtained from the
Contractor Design Package for the tank.
3. Identify potential alternatives for making the repair or alteration.
4. Compare each potential alternative that was determined in Step 3 with the
pertinent requirements that are contained in SAES-D-108 and API-653 to
determine the need for repair, replacement, or alteration.
5. Identify the key parameters that will influence the decision for repair,
replacement, or alteration. Parameters that must be considered are as
follows:
The time that is available to work and the desired time interval until the
next T&I.
Extent, location, and severity of the damage.
Cost of alternatives and the remaining life of the storage tank.
Operational requirements. These requirements affect both the available
time to do the work, as noted above, and the tank alterations that are
required to meet any changed operational needs.
6. Select an alternative for repair, replacement, or alteration.
7. Identify the procedures to be followed for the selected alternative.

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Work Aid 1B: Inspection Data


The condition of the existing tank must be quantified in order to determine the
appropriate repair or alteration requirements. This condition is determined by inspection
personnel during an OSI and/or a T&I, and it is then documented in the Inspection and
History Report. The inspection data is then used to help in the determination of
appropriate repair or alteration requirements.
If the situation involves a tank shell, proceed to Step 1. If the situation involves a tank
shell penetration, proceed to Step 13.

Tank Shell

1. Are there any distortions in the tank shell, such as out-of-roundness, buckled
areas, or flat spots? Quantify their extent and location.
2. Are there any flaws, such as cracks or laminations, in the shell base plate
material? Quantify their extent and location.
3. Have any weld flaws been identified? Weld flaws may include the following:
Cracks
Lack of fusion
Rejectable slag, porosity, or undercut
Arc strikes in or adjacent to the weld
Corrosion or pitting
Document the type, the location, and the extent of the weld flaws.
4. Have any generally corroded or pitted areas been identified? If "Yes,"
proceed to Step 5. If "No," the inspection data collection for tank shell
evaluation is complete.
5. For generally corroded areas, proceed to Step 6. For pitted areas, proceed to
Step 12.
6. For each generally corroded area, determine the minimum shell thickness, t2,
at any point in the corroded area, excluding widely scattered pits. Refer to
Figure 2-1 in the class reference copies of API-653 in Course Handout 1 (see
Figure 33).

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A Tank diameter, D tnom

t2
tavg

Corroded
a b c d e
region

Legend: SECTION A-A


"a" through "e" are Profile along plane with
inspection planes the lowest t1.
selected by inspector.

mex20308.f34

Figure 33. Generally Corroded Area

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7. Use the formula that follows to calculate the critical length, L:


SI Units English Units

L = 33.8 Dt2 L = 3.7 Dt2

Where: L = Maximum vertical length over which hoop stresses are


assumed to "average out" around local discontinuities,
mm (in.)
D = Tank diameter, m (ft.)
t2 = Minimum shell thickness at any point in the corroded
area, exclusive of widely scattered pits, mm (in.).
Determined from inspection data.
If the calculated value of L is greater than 1 m (40 in.),
set the value of L to 1 m (40 in.).
8. Determine which vertical plane(s) in the generally corroded area is likely to be
most affected by corrosion. These vertical planes are the critical planes.
9. Take thickness profile measurements along each critical plane for a distance,
L. Obtain at least five equally spaced measurements over the length L. If the
corroded region is larger than L in the vertical direction, the region must be
divided into multiple sections such that no individual section is larger than L.
Each section must then be evaluated separately.
10. Calculate the average thickness of each critical plane from the thickness
measurements that were made.
11. Determine the lowest average thickness in the corroded region, t1, as the
smallest average thickness considering all of the critical planes. The data
collection required for the evaluation of generally corroded areas of a tank
shell is complete with this step.

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12. For pitted areas, obtain the following information:


Remaining shell thickness at the bottom of the pits, tpit (see Figure 34).
The sum of the pit dimensions along any vertical line that extends across
the pits. Refer to Figure 2-2 in the class reference copy of API-653 in
Course Handout 1 (see Figure 35).
The data collection that is required for the evaluation of pitted areas of a tank
shell is complete with this step.

Tank Shell

tpit

x20308.f35

Figure 34. Shell Thickness at Bottom of Pit

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d1

(8 in.)
200 mm
d2

d3

mex20308.f36

Figure 35. Sum of Pit Dimensions

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Tank Shell Penetrations

13. For existing shell penetrations, obtain the following information:


Type of penetration (i.e., nozzle, manway, cleanout fitting)
Location of penetration with respect to elevation and distance to nearby
shell welds or other openings
Size of penetration
Thickness of nozzle neck
Size, thickness, and type of reinforcement
Deterioration due to corrosion or other defects
14. For the addition of a new shell penetration, obtain the following information:
Size and type of penetration
Desired location (i.e., elevation and circumferential position) and distance
to nearby shell welds or other openings
Thickness and condition of the tank shell in the area where the penetration
and its associated reinforcement will be welded

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Work Aid 1C: Reference to Pertinent Content From SAES-D-108


SAES-D-108 modifies API-653 requirements. This sub-Work Aid contains modifications
that must be followed with respect to tank shells and shell penetrations. All the API-653
requirements must be followed, as provided in Work Aid 1D. Refer to the class
reference copy of SAES-D-108 in Course Handout 2.

Tank Shells

Confirm that rectangular replacement insert plates that do not intersect with weld seams
have rounded corners. The corner radius shall be in accordance with Figure 7-1 of
API-653 (see Figure 36).

Shell Plate Thickness, mm (in.) Minimum Corner Radius, mm (in.)

12.7 (0.5) 150 (6)

> 12.7 (0.5) Greater of 150 (6) or 6t

Figure 36. Minimum Corner Radius of Shell Insert Plates

Tank Shell
Penetrations

1. Any reinforcing plate that is to be added to a shell opening must not be added
inside the tank.
2. Completed repairs to any fillet welds must be examined over their complete
length by means of the Wet Fluorescent Magnetic Particle Method.

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Work Aid 1D: Reference to Pertinent Content From API-653


This sub-Work-Aid contains requirements that are contained in API-653 that must be
followed with respect to tank shells and shell penetrations. Refer to the class reference
copy of API-653 in Course Handout 1.
If the situation involves a tank shell, proceed to Step 1. If the situation involves a tank
shell penetration, proceed to Step 10.

Tank Shells

1. Shell distortion may be considered acceptable if the deviation from uniform


curvature is within both of the following limits:
13 mm (0.5 in.) over a distance of 1 m (36 in.) in a horizontal direction
25 mm (1 in.) over a distance of 1 m (36 in.) in a vertical direction
Contact the Consulting Services Department (CSD) if the distortion
exceeds either of these limits.
2. Weld cracks shall be removed by gouging or grinding to sound metal. The
area must then be prepared for the weld repair.
3. Slag, porosity, lack of fusion, laminations, and weld undercut must be
evaluated by inspection personnel in conjunction with CSD, as appropriate.
Unacceptable defects must be removed, and the weld must be repaired.
4. Arc strikes that are located in or adjacent to welds must be repaired by
grinding and/or welding. Arc strikes that are repaired by welding must be
ground flush with the plate surface.
5. For cracks, gouges, or tears in the shell base plate:
Grind the defect to a smooth contour with the shell plate surface.
Add weld overlay if the resulting shell thickness after grinding is less than
the minimum acceptable thickness. The minimum acceptable thickness is
determined as described for the evaluation of generally corroded areas in
Step 6.
6. Using the procedure that follows, evaluate generally corroded areas in the
shell.
a. Determine the specified minimum tensile strength of the shell plate
material, T, MPa (psi). Obtain from the original design data or API-650. If
the material is unknown, use T = 379 MPa (55 000 psi).
b. Determine the specified minimum yield strength of the shell plate
material, Y, MPa (psi). Obtain the yield strength from the original design
data or API-650. If the material is unknown, use Y = 207 MPa (30 000
psi).

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c. Calculate the maximum allowable stress to be used in the shell


thickness evaluation, S, psi.
For the bottom and second course, S is the lower of 0.80Y or 0.426T.
For all other courses, S is the lower of 0.88Y or 0.472T.

d. Use the formula that follows to calculate the minimum acceptable


thickness for a welded shell that is no more than 61 m (200 ft.) in
diameter. See Step 6g for larger diameter tanks.
SI Units English Units
4.9D( H 0.3) 2.6D( H 1) G
tmin = tmin =
SE SE

Where:
tmin = Minimum acceptable shell thickness, mm (in.)
S = Allowable stress, MPa (psi), determined in Step 6c
D = Tank diameter, m (ft.)
H = Height from the bottom of the length L of the most
severely corroded area in each shell course to the
maximum design liquid level, m (ft.)
G = Highest specific gravity of the tank contents. If future
hydrostatic testing of the tank must be considered, use G
= 1.
E = Weld joint efficiency of the original tank design
E = 0.7, if original weld joint efficiency is unknown
E = 1.0 if the corroded area is away from welds by at least
the greater of 25 mm (1 in.) or twice the plate thickness

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e. The generally corroded area is acceptable if both the equations that


follow are satisfied.
t1 tmin + CA
t2 0.6 tmin + CA
Where:
tmin = Minimum acceptable shell thickness as calculated in
Step 6d, mm (in.).
t1 = Lowest average thickness in the corroded region as
calculated in Step 11 of Work Aid 1B, mm (in.).
t2 = Minimum shell thickness at any point in the corroded
area exclusive of widely scattered pits, mm (in.).
Determined from inspection data.
CA = Corrosion allowance that is required until the next T&I,
mm (in.). Determine from inspection data, maximum
calculated corrosion rate, and the desired interval until
the next T&I.
CA = (Maximum Corrosion Rate) x (Desired T&I interval).

(Original Thickness in Corroded Area t ) 2


Maximum Corrosion Rate =
Years in Service
f. As a final check, it must also be confirmed that the T&I interval is no
greater than half of the remaining tank life (based on the general
corrosion).
(1) Using each equation that is in Step 6e, calculate the remaining
corrosion allowance, CA/remaining, mm (in.).
CA/remaining 1 = tmin t1
CA/remaining 2 = 0.6 tmin t2
CA/remaining = the smaller of CA/remaining 1 or CA/remaining 2
(2) Determine the Remaining Life from the following equation:
CA / remaining
Remaining Life =
Maximum Corrosion Rate
(3) The T&I interval (based on the general corrosion) can be no longer
than half of the Remaining Life.

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g. If the criteria in Step 6e and Step 6f are not satisfied, the following
options are available:
Reduce the fill height, H, until the equations are satisfied.
Repair the corroded area. See Step 9.
Reduce the inspection interval enough so that the CA is reduced to
the point where the equations are satisfied and where the interval is
no more than half the predicted remaining life.
Using the Variable Design Point Method of API-650 to calculate the
minimum required thickness, evaluate the corroded area again. See
Para. 2.3.3.2 of API-653. The Variable-Design-Point Method was
discussed in MEX 203.03.
Using the ASME Code Section VIII, Division 2, "Design By Analysis,"
evaluate the corroded area again. See Para. 2.3.3.5 of API-653.
A combination of two or more of the above options.
h. If the tank is over 61 m (200 ft.) in diameter, use the Variable-Design-
Point Method of API-650 to calculate the minimum required thickness.
The Variable-Design-Point Method was discussed in MEX 203.03. The
variables that are to be used are as defined in Para. 2.3.3.1 of API-650.
Then, proceed as in Steps 6e through 6g.
i. If the shell is riveted rather than welded, refer to Para 2.3.4 of API-653
for requirements for the calculation of tmin.

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7. Using the procedure that follows, evaluate pitted areas in the shell.
a. Calculate tmin as in Step 6.
b. Widely scattered pits may be ignored if the conditions that follow are
met.
The remaining shell thickness at the bottom of the pit, tpit, must
satisfy the following equation:
tpit 0.5 tmin + (Pitting Allowance)
The Pitting Allowance should be determined based on the maximum
pitting rate and the desired interval to the next T&I.
(Pitting Allowance) = (Maximum Pitting Rate) x (Desired T&I
Interval)
Maximum Pit Depth
Maximum Pitting Rate =
Years in Service

It must also be confirmed that the T&I interval is no greater than half
the remaining tank life (based on the pitting).

Calculate the Remaining Pitting Allowance, mm (in.)


Remaining Pitting Allowance = (tpit 0.5 tmin)

Determine the Remaining Life from the following equation:


Re maining Pitting Allowance
Remaining Life =
Maximum Pitting Rate
The T&I interval (based on the pitting) can be no longer than half
the Remaining Life.
The sum of the pit dimensions along any vertical line that extends
across the pits must not exceed 50 mm (2 in.) in any 200 mm (8 in.)
length (see Figure 35).

c. If the pitted area does not satisfy the requirements in Step 7b, the pits
cannot be ignored. The pitted area must then be evaluated as a
generally corroded region, and the procedure contained in Step 6 must
be used.

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8. Evaluate the acceptability of corroded or pitted regions for loads other than
the hydrostatic head, as appropriate. This evaluation would consider loads
such as from connected piping systems, wind, or temperature over 93C
(200F). Consult CSD as appropriate.
9. Corroded or pitted areas of shell plate that are unacceptable may be repaired
by either weld overlay or by cutting out the corroded section of shell and
replacing the removed section with new material. Use weld overlay only for
relatively small corroded areas. In either case, welding requirements that are
contained in Section 9 of API-653 must be met.
The requirements that follow shall be met when a replacement shell plate is
used for repair.
a. Plate material must meet current API-650 requirements.
b. The minimum plate thickness shall meet the requirements in Para. 7.2.1
of API-653. The replacement plate thickness will typically equal the
thickness of the plate as originally constructed.
c. The replacement plate may be:
Circular
Oblong
Square with rounded corners, or rectangular with rounded corners,
except when an entire shell plate is replaced

d. The minimum dimension of a replacement shell plate shall be the


greater of 300 mm (12 in.) or 12 times the thickness of the replacement
plate.
e. Acceptable replacement plate details are shown in Figure 7-1 of API-653
(see Figure 37).
f. Minimum weld spacing requirements shall meet Figure 7-1 of API-653
(see Figure 37).
g. Shell replacement plates shall be welded with butt-welded joints with
complete penetration and complete fusion.

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R
A
A V

Note 2 Note 2
Greater of
V R or H
V

R
R V
H
Existing Welds
R
Note 2
R
H
Bottom Plate

Weld Joint
B (Annular or B
300 mm
Sketch Plates)
(12 in.) Min.

mex20308.f38

Minimum weld spacing between edges (toes) of welds


for thickness of replacement shell plate, t, mm (in.)

Dimension t 12.7 (0.5) t > 12.7 (0.5)

B 150 (6) Greater of 250 (10) or 8t

H 75 (3) Greater of 250 (10) or 8t

V 150 (6) Greater of 250 (10) or 8t

A 300 (12) Greater of 300 (12) or 12t

Figure 37. Acceptable Shell Replacement Plate Details

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Tank Shell Penetrations


10. For existing shell penetrations, use the available inspection data and take the
following action:
Determine if the installation details conform to the requirements of the
original construction standard. Items to check would include the amount
and type of reinforcement, and the distance to the other welds or to
adjacent penetrations. If the original construction standard is not known or
is unavailable, use the current revision of API-650 as a basis for
comparison. If the details do not conform, contact CSD to determine
appropriate action.
Flaws other than corrosion (such as weld cracks, lack of fusion, gouges)
shall be treated in the same manner as if these flaws were found on the
shell. See Steps 2 through 5.
Evaluate as follows the corroded regions within the nozzle itself, or within
its reinforcement region on the shell:
Compare the amount of corrosion that has taken place with the
originally specified corrosion allowance. If no corrosion allowance was
specified, or if the originally specified corrosion allowance has been
exceeded, refer the situation to CSD for review.
Determine how much of the originally specified corrosion allowance
remains. If the remaining corrosion allowance is at least equal to the
corrosion allowance that is required until the next T&I, the corrosion is
acceptable. If the remaining corrosion allowance is not acceptable,
either the T&I interval must be reduced or the nozzle must be repaired.
11. When existing shell penetrations must be repaired:
All repairs must comply with API-650 requirements. If this repair involves
shell repair also, the requirements that are contained in Step 9 shall be met.
Reinforcing plates that must be added to unreinforced nozzles or to
address a corrosion problem must meet all API-650 dimensional and weld
spacing requirements. See Figures 7-2 and 7-3 of API-653 for acceptable
details and weld size requirements.
12. For new shell penetrations that are added during a T&I, design and
installation details shall meet either API-650 requirements or the
requirements that are contained in Para. 7.7.2 of API-653.
13. For new shell penetrations that are added by hot tapping, design and
installation shall meet SAES-D-108 and API-653 requirements.
14. When existing shell penetrations must be altered:
Details of the alteration must comply with API-650 requirements, including
the minimum reinforcing area and minimum distance between adjacent
welds.
Refer to Para. 7.8.2 of API-653 for alteration requirements that may apply when
a new tank bottom is installed above an existing bottom.

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WORK AID 2: PROCEDURE FOR DETERMINING REPAIR OR


ALTERATION REQUIREMENTS FOR STORAGE
TANK BOTTOMS
The procedures that are contained in this Work Aid may be used to determine the
appropriate repair or alteration requirements to be used for storage tank bottoms. The
class reference copies of API-653 and SAES-D-108 shall be used with this Work Aid.
These reference documents are contained in Course Handouts 1 and 2, respectively.
All needed tank inspection data may be obtained from the Inspection and History
Report.
1. Use the following procedure to determine the minimum bottom plate
thickness.
For tanks that have been in the same continuous service for at least 10
years, and where previous inspection using a Magnetic Flux Examination
(MFE) floor scanner found no more than 1.3 mm (0.05 inch) corrosion, a
visual internal inspection plus spot ultrasonic measurements (UT) shall be
conducted. UT measurements shall be made in 1200 mm by 1200 mm (4
feet by 4 feet) areas of the bottom plates and within 300 mm (12 inches)of
the shell-to-bottom junction in each of the four quadrants selected by the
Saudi Aramco Inspector.
No additional inspection is required if the results indicate that the remaining
thickness is not less than 80% of the original thickness.
If additional inspection is required, or if the tank has not been previously
inspected using a MFE floor scanner, perform thickness scanning of the
bottom plates by using a MFE floor scanner to obtain an overall view of its
condition and identify areas of potential corrosion problems where the
thickness is less than 2/3 of the original plate thickness.
Perform UT measurements of areas of potential corrosion problems
identified by the MFE floor scanner, and areas which are not accessible to
the MFE floor scanner.

04/01/97

If the areas of potential corrosion are primarily due to underside corrosion,


coupons 300 mm (12 inches) square minimum size, shall be cut from the
bottom plates to determine the corrosion mechanism. A minimum of four
coupons from different locations shall be chosen by the Saudi Aramco
Inspector. Cutting shall not be done within the critical zones. The cut-out
areas shall be patched with plates that overlap the bottom plates by at
least 50 mm (2 inches) on each side with rounded corners, 50 mm (2
inches) minimum radius.

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The minimum remaining bottom plate thickness shall be calculated as


follows:

MRT = Tm (To Tm) (Ya / Ys)


where:
MRT = minimum remaining thickness at the end of the in-service
period of operation until the next T&I. In mm (inch)
Tm = minimum measured thickness. In mm (inch)
To = original plate thickness. In mm (inch)
Ya = anticipated number of years of in-service period of
operation until next scheduled T&I. (Refer to SAEP-20)
Ys = number of years bottom plates have been installed
If the minimum remaining bottom plate thickness calculated in accordance
with paragraph 2.4.7.1 of this standard is less than 2.5 mm (0.100 inch),
the bottom shall be lined, fiber-glassed, repaired, replaced, or cathodically
protected in order to achieve the desired subsequent inspection interval.

The internal lining of bottom plates, that are outside the critical zone, may
be considered as an alternative to the replacement of bottom plates
provided that the steel bottom plates are completely supported by the
foundation. Fiber glass lining is primarily intended to contain liquid and
maintain the integrity of the bottom.
Unless a stress analysis is performed, the minimum thickness of lap-
welded bottom plates within 300 mm (12 inches) of the shell shall be
evaluated in accordance with Table 2-3 of API 653.
A stress analysis shall be performed to determine the minimum
acceptable thickness of the annular plate ring when its thickness is less
than that specified in paragraphs 2.4.8.2 or 2.4.8.3 of API 653, as
applicable

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2. If only repairs are required for bottom plates or annular plate rings,
consideration shall be given to the following:
Pitting in bottom plates due to internal corrosion shall be filled with weld
metal or patched with steel plates depending on the extent of corroded
areas. Very extensive pitting shall be coated. The coating system shall
comply with SAES-H-001 and may be applied partially over areas of
localized pitting or to cover a complete tank floor for general pitting.
Where a coating is applied at the periphery of tank floors, the coating
shall be extended up the shell to a height of 600 to 1000 mm (24 to 40
inches) in accordance with SAES-H-001.
Pitting due to internal corrosion in plates within the bottom critical zone
shall be filled by weld metal. Very extensive pitting may require
replacement of corroded plate(s).
Plates or sections of plates with localized external pitting shall be
replaced if required. Extensive external pitting may require the
installation of a complete new bottom.
Welding repairs in the tank bottom critical zone shall be limited to
welding: corrosion pitting, cracks in the bottom plates, the shell-to-
bottom weld, or where the bottom or annular plate is being replaced.
Other repairs shall be evaluated on an individual case basis.
If the entire tank bottom must be replaced, the new bottom must be
installed above the original bottom if this is the first time that the bottom
is being replaced. Subsequent bottom replacements must be made at
the same elevation as the first replacement bottom. The existing
cushioning material that is located between the existing bottom and the
new bottom must be completely replaced by clean, dry, washed sand,
75 to 100 mm (3 to 4 inches) thick. The material specifications and
mixing requirements shall be as follows:
(1) The maximum permissible soil content is 0.1%. Sand shall be dried
to a free-moisture content of not more than 2.0% by weight of dry
soil.
(2) The dry sand must be screened through 6 mm mesh (maximum).
Care must be taken in using clean mixing and handling equipment
to ensure mixture remains free from foreign matter.
(3) The sand shall then be thoroughly mixed with cement in a 10:1 ratio
be weight in a concrete mixer. After laying the mixture shall be
rolled a minimum six times by a 3 ton roller. Vibratory plate tampers
may be used in lieu of rollers for areas where a roller cannot reach
and/or cover.

04/01/97

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In addition, a ribbon anode cathodic protection system shall be installed


between the old and new tank bottom per Standard Drawing AA-036905.
When removing an existing tank bottom, the tank shell shall be separated
from the tank bottom by removing the shell-to-bottom weld by grinding or
gouging of the weld without cutting or damaging the shell base metal.
Removal of the weld shall preserve the original joint design and
dimensions of the shell. Any remaining weld metal on the shell shall be
ground smooth and flush with the shell base metal. After removal of the
old bottom, the exposed surfaces of the shell shall be examined by the
magnetic particle method. Any unacceptable defects shall be repaired
prior to welding the shell to the new bottom.

If cracks or leaks were found in the shell-to-bottom weld or in the bottom


plate lap welds, these defects shall be weld repaired.
All tank bottom weld repairs must meet the welding requirements that are
contained in Section 9 of API-653.
Completed repairs to any fillet welds must be examined over their full
length by the Wet Fluorescent Magnetic Particle Method.
The need for an external and/or internal cathodic protection system for a
tank bottom shall be determined based on the requirements of SAES-X-
500 and SAES-X-600.
Where external corrosion located near the edge of tank bottoms has
occurred due to the ingress of water, the exposed surface of the
foundation shall be reprofiled and a drip ring per 32-SAMSS-005 shall be
installed such that rainwater is drained away from the tank bottom edge.

04/01/97

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WORK AID 3: PROCEDURE FOR DETERMINING REPAIR OR


ALTERATION REQUIREMENTS FOR THE ROOFS OF
FIXED ROOF AND FLOATING ROOF STORAGE
TANKS
The procedures that are contained in this Work Aid may be used to determine the
appropriate repair or alteration requirements to be used for fixed roof and floating roof
storage tanks. The class reference copies of API-653 and SAES-D-108 shall be used
with this Work Aid. These reference documents are contained in Course Handouts 1
and 2, respectively. All needed tank inspection data may be obtained from the
Inspection and History Report.

Work Aid 3A: Inspection Data


The condition of the existing tank roof must be quantified in order to determine the
appropriate repair or alteration requirements. This condition is determined by inspection
personnel during a T&I, and it is then documented in the Inspection and History Report.
The inspection data is then used to help determine appropriate repair or alteration
requirements.
1. Refer to Work Aid 1A for general procedural steps that are also applicable to
the evaluation of tank roofs.
2. Is there any corrosion of roof support structural members on the inside
surface of the roof? If there is, quantify its extent and location.
3. Is there any external corrosion of the roof surface? If yes, quantify its extent
and location.
4. Are any roof welds cracked or have other weld defects been identified? If yes,
quantify their extent and location.
5. Has any distortion or other structural damage been noted in any roof support
members? If yes, quantify its extent and location.

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Work Aid 3B: Reference to Pertinent Content From SAES-D-108


SAES-D-108 modifies API-653. The only modification that may be applied to tank roofs
is that completed repairs that have been made to fillet welds must be examined over
their full length by the Wet Fluorescent Magnetic Particle Method.

Work Aid 3C: Reference to Pertinent Content From API-653


This sub-Work aid contains requirements that are contained in API-653 that must be
followed with respect to tank roofs. Refer to the class reference copy of API-653 in
Course Handout 1.
1. If roof support structural members have corroded, determine if the extent of
corrosion has exceeded the original corrosion allowance or if it will exceed it
before the next T&I. If the corrosion is too much, the structural integrity of the
roof support system must be evaluated. Refer the situation to CSD.

2. Verify that no portion of the roof plates has corroded to an average thickness
that is less than 2.3 mm (0.09 in.) in any 645 cm2 (100 in.2) area. Using lap-
welded patch plates that are at least 4.8 mm (0.188 in.) thick, repair corroded
areas as necessary.

3. If the roof is a fixed roof, the evaluation is complete. If the roof is a floating
roof, proceed to Step 4.

Floating Roof

4. Verify that the roof plates and pontoons do not have cracks or punctures.
Repair or replace sections that have cracks or punctures, as needed.

5. Evaluate areas of the roof that exhibit pitting to determine whether the pitting
will proceed through the roof prior to the next T&I. Repair or replace any
areas that are likely to pit through the roof.

6. Verify that the roof support systems, perimeter seal systems, and
appurtenances (such as roof rolling ladder, anti-rotation devices, water drain
systems, and venting systems) do not require repair or replacement. Repair
or replace, as needed.

7. If corrosion has occurred in the pontoon rims, contact CSD inasmuch as a


stress and/or buckling analysis may be required. If the rim is less than 2.5 mm
(0.1 in.) thick, it must be replaced with at least 4.8 mm (0.188 in.) thick plate.
However, thicker plate may be necessary, depending on the tank size and the
results of the stress and/or buckling analyses.

8. If the perimeter seal requires repair or replacement, this shall be done in


accordance with Para. 7.12 of API-653.

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WORK AID 4: PROCEDURE FOR DETERMINING REPAIR OR


ALTERATION REQUIREMENTS FOR SITUATIONS
INVOLVING TANK SETTLEMENT
The procedures that are contained in this Work Aid may be used to determine the
appropriate repair or alteration requirements to be used for situations that involve tank
settlement. The class reference copies of API-653 and SAES-D-108 shall be used with
this Work Aid. These reference documents are contained in Course Handouts 1 and 2,
respectively. All needed tank inspection data may be obtained from the Inspection and
History Report.

Work Aid 4A: Inspection Data


The condition of the existing tank bottom and shell must be quantified with respect to
settlement. This condition is determined by inspection personnel during a T&I, and then
documented in the Inspection and History Report. The inspection data is then used to
help determine whether shell or bottom releveling is required.
1. Refer to Work Aid 1A for general procedural steps that are also applicable to
the evaluation of shell and bottom settlement.
2. For the shell elevation measurements, confirm the following:

There are at least 8 measurement points around the shell circumference

The maximum distance between the measurement points is 9.1 m (30 ft.)

3. Confirm that the shell elevation measurements have been converted to out-
of-plane deflection readings. This measurement conversion removes the
uniform settlement and rigid body tilt of the tank from consideration in the
settlement evaluation. Reference Figure B-3 of API-653 (see Figure 38).

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U11

U12
U10

U13

Datum line for adjusted settlement


Max. settlement

Datum line for net settlement


Min.
settlement

Plane of rigid tilt Actual edge


represented by optimum settlement
cosine curve

Uniform or minimum settlement

Data points equally spaced

Tank circumference envelope (D)

Si = Out-of-plane deflection for point "i"


Ui = Out-of-plane settlement of point "i"

mex20308.f41

Figure 38. Graphical Representation of Tank Shell Settlement

4. If bottom settlement or bulging has been identified, confirm that the following
information has been obtained:
Location of depression or bulge
Settlement depth or height of bulge compared to the adjacent area of the
bottom, B, see Figure 39
Radius of the largest circle that can be inscribed within the bulged or
depressed area, R, see Figure 39

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A
;;;
;;;
Tank shell

A
Tank shell

;;;
R
R
R R B B

R R

R
R < 2R

Localized depressions
in tank bottom plate

R R
R R
B B
B

Section B-B
Section A-A
Localized Bottom Depressions
Bottom Settlement Near Shell or Bulges Remote from Shell
;
;
R R
;;
;;
Original Original
Tank bottom Tank bottom
Shell position Shell position
;;;;
;;;
;;;
;;; ;
B B

Tank bottom Tank bottom

mex20308.f42

Figure 39. Bottom Settlement Measurements

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WORK AID 4B: REFERENCE TO PERTINENT CONTENT FROM


SAES-D-108
SAES-D-108 modifies API-653. However, in the case of tank shell and bottom
settlement, there are no modifications to API-653. If settlement measurements for a
particular tank exceed the API-653 allowable limits, the Consulting Services Department
(CSD) should be contacted.

Work Aid 4C: Reference to Pertinent Content From API-653


1. If shell settlement is to be evaluated, proceed to Step 2. If bottom settlement
is to be evaluated, proceed to Step 6.

Shell Settlement Evaluation

2. Confirm that at least 8 evenly spaced shell elevation measurement points


were used. If not, more elevation measurement points are required.
3. Confirm that the maximum arc length between shell elevation measurement
points is 9.1 m (30 ft.). If there is a greater distance between points, more
elevation measurement points are required. The arc length between
measurement points may be calculated as follows:

D
L=
N

Where:
L = Arc length between shell elevation measurement
points, m (ft.)
D = Tank diameter, m (ft.)
N = Number of measurement points

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4. Calculate the maximum permitted differential shell settlement (i.e., out-of-


plane deflection) as follows:
SI or English Units

11L2 Y
S=
2EH
Where:
S = Maximum permitted shell deflection (out-of-plane
deflection), m (ft.)
Y = Shell material yield strength, MPa (psi)
E = Young's Modulus of Elasticity for the shell material,
MPa (psi)
H = Tank height, m (ft.)
5. If any out-of-plane deflection measurement is greater than the maximum
permitted value that was calculated in Step 4, the settlement must be referred
to the assigned specialist in the Consulting Services Department (CSD) for
further evaluation. Refer to Figure B-3 in API-653.

Bottom Settlement Evaluation

6. If differential bottom settlement that is adjacent to the shell, or localized


depressed or bulged areas in the tank bottom, do not satisfy the following
equation, the settlement shall be referred to the assigned specialist in CSD
for further evaluation. Refer to Figure B-4 through B-7 in API-653.
SI Units English Units

B 30.83R B 0.37R

Where:
B = Depth of the depression or height of the bulge, mm (in.)
R = Radius of depression or bulge, m (ft.)
7. If the bottom of the tank is below grade, appropriate corrective action must be
taken in order to regrade the pit and avoid rainwater accumulation near the
tank.

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GLOSSARY

alteration Any work on a tank that involves cutting, burning,


welding, or heating operations, if that work changes
the physical dimensions and/or configuration of the
tank.
hot tap A procedure for the installation of a nozzle in the shell
of a tank while the tank is in service.
I T&I interval The initial interval between new or rebuilt equipment
commissioning and the first T&I overhaul.
Performance Alert The service class of equipment that requires more
attention and intense monitoring than the next service
class, Class 1, that is based on corrosion rate only.
reconstruction The work that is necessary to reassemble a tank that
has been dismantled and relocated to a new site.
repair Any work that is necessary to restore a tank to a
condition that is suitable for safe operation.
T&I Test & Inspection. The main purpose of the T&I is to
guarantee the mechanical integrity, operation and
safety of the plant/structure. This is primarily
accomplished by thorough inspection and testing by
plant inspection personnel.
T&I interval The time between scheduled T&I equipment
downtimes.

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