To many people, a storage tank is a storage tank; however, there is an amazing diversity when it comes to storage tank types, which are created for specific storage requirements and to keep materials safe, secure and in great condition for further processing or delivery.
The tank farms you see at oil refineries are largely populated by steel storage tanks, which discourage corrosion from petrol. Steel tanks are also used for chemicals, food, grains, and many other materials. Let’s look at some of the other tank types.
Horizontal and vertical tanks
A tank that is wider than its height is a horizontal tank and tends to be used for smaller storage jobs; conversely, a tank that is taller than its width is a vertical storage tank and tends to be used for larger volumes. This type is seen in the tank farms that store crude oil or finished petrol in a refinery. The larger volume tanks are those storing 100 cubic metres or more.
Vertical tanks must have enhanced stability and be able to resist wind and static pressure. They must also be placed on ground that is geologically suitable, stable, and unlikely to subside once the tank is filled; otherwise, the effect can be a sinking or lop-sided tank.
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In high-wind environments, the decision is sometimes made to go for a larger number of horizontal tanks, as their profile is lower and they are therefore more stable. As they can be installed above or below ground, they can save space.
Tanks with fixed roofs
These are generally used for storing higher-risk materials, such as fuel oil, kerosene and diesel. The roofs come in various forms, such as cones, domes and umbrella shapes. The different shapes are used to prevent clogging of materials when the material in the storage tank is heated by steam coils.
Domed roofs are simple and cheap to make, which means they are widely used in many industries. External floating roof tanks have a roof that rests on the liquid in the tank and greatly reduces evaporation.