Storage tanks and process tanks are general purpose industrial containers. Storage tanks and process tanks can have many configurations depending upon dimensions, orientation, placement, and wall configuration.
Storage tanks and process tanks are used in a number of applications including short term storage, long term storage, mixing, blending, metering and dispensing. Materials of construction will dictate the application that is suitable for the tank.
Common industries and applications that use storage tanks and process tanks include:
Food and beverage processing
Oil and fuel processing
Paper and pulp processing
Video Credit: Xerxes Corporation
The most important parameters to consider when specifying storage tanks and process tanks are their capacity and dimensions. The capacity of the storage tank or process tank is the internal volume available for the storage of materials. The diameter of the tank is typically expressed in feet units. The length of the tank is measured in feet.
The orientation of the tank can be vertical or horizontal. Vertical tanks stand vertically and typically have access ports on the bottom. Horizontal tanks are often mounted on stands or saddles and can have access ports on the bottom or top. The placement of tanks is typically either above ground or underground, depending on the construction. Portable tanks can be moved from one place to another, via wheels or other moving device.
The wall construction of the tank may dictate the application that the tank is suitable for. Single wall tanks are common for various applications. Double wall tanks are used in applications where higher-pressure considerations are necessary.
Materials of Construction
Storage tanks and process tanks can be constructed from a variety of materials.
Fiberglass reinforced polyester (FRP) is made of a series of long glass fibers embedded in a resin. It can be formed into almost any shape before curing. Once cured it is light in weight, very strong material that has excellent corrosion resistant properties. In some cases, fiberglass is used along with the plastic in the body material of the tank.
Galvanized steel is cold rolled steel that has been surface treated with a layer of zinc.
Stainless steel is a type of metal that resists corrosion.
Steel is a ferrous-based metal having a variety of physical properties depending on composition. Steel used in tank applications is typically rolled sheet steel.
Titanium is a lightweight, very strong metal used in applications where there are temperature extremes or extraordinary stresses.
Storage tanks and process tanks with special linings are constructed of special materials for corrosive or other special processes. Considerations might also include glass lined or special coatings.
A-A-52600 - Tank, liquid storage, metal: fuel-oil, horizontal
AFI 32-7044 - Storage tank environmental compliance
API PUBL 327 - Aboveground storage tank standards: a tutorial
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