Installing Steel Tanks Used for Bulk Storage

posted in Bulk Storage

Steel tanks are essential components for bulk storage, whether used for water, oil, livestock feed, or any number of other supplies. Having a ready reserve increases a company’s output by decreasing its non-operation times.

Before installing steel tanks, it’s important to plan out the installation. A practical location should been chosen for convenience and accessibility, and the National Fire Protection Association and your local fire marshal should be consulted in case there are any regulations that may depend on factors such as spacing from buildings and public ways.

Specifying a Steel Tank

When planning to add a steel tank, it’s important to consider the atmospheric conditions of its location, so it can be properly treated against the elements to maximize its lifespan.

Another consideration is size: How large of a tank do you need — not just now, but in the near future?

Planning Considerations

Installing steel tanks used for bulk storage is almost as important as the tank manufacturing itself, as an improperly installed tank can endanger personnel, affect the environment, and interrupt workflow.

Relatively small steel tanks should sit on beds of stable material such as crushed stone, fine gravel, or clean sand to enable drainage and the accelerated corrosion that may occur if they sit in water. But for large steel tanks, a ringwall reinforcement may be necessary to accommodate the weight of the tanks when they are full.

A tank located outside may also need a static electricity grounding system to protect it from lightning damage. And if it’s located in areas subject to flooding, hold-down straps must be applied to safeguard it from floatation — although a tank may be heavy, its buoyancy can pull it from its foundation if it’s not properly secured. Imagine a giant metal ball floating amongst the debris in a flood, damaging buildings as well as itself!

Some Assembly Required?

The simplest assembly method for a bulk storage tank is to have it preassembled. This saves the customer the inconvenience of hosting noisy generators to power welding equipment and air compressors for sandblasting and paint application.

But even if a tank is so large that it cannot be moved whole, a steel tank’s custom metal fabricator should assemble it for inspection before it leaves the plant. At Southern Metal Fabricators, we assemble all steel tanks we fabricated to ensure all the components fit, so there are no surprises in the field. We’d rather do the work of putting together an entire tank, then disassembling it for transportation, than have our customers encounter challenges that we could fix more easily at our plant.

Assembling a tank to the fullest extent possible also enables us to keep some components together, thereby reducing assembly time in the field and expediting shipping.

Shipping Steel Tanks

Getting steel tanks designed for bulk storage from our plant to your site requires careful planning. Making the process efficient helps minimize the chance a tank will be dropped, dragged, or rolled, which could damage the tank. Even the loading and unloading process must be precise, as a tank’s weight distribution may be uneven.

Upon delivery, a steel tank should be inspected to guard against damage that may have occurred during shipping or site handling. If any significant scratching has occurred to a protective coating, it can often be easily repaired without much hassle.

Installing Steel Tanks in the Field

When a tank needs to be assembled on-site, one option is bolting the pieces together. This is often the best way when installing steel tanks in remote locations where narrow service roads hinder delivery of preassembled steel tanks. If there is a low risk of fire in rural areas, components can also be welded together for a seamless fit.

One of the advantages of working with a partner like Southern Metal Fabricators is we have the experience and capabilities to create a complete solution for your needs. In addition to standard mountings like skirted bottoms and bolting chairs, we can create structural legs if your tank needs to be elevated for easy discharge into the back of a vehicle.

Our staff loves to apply our decades of experience to the most perplexing challenges. While we’re experts at fabricating tanks to exact specifications, we take great pride in our ability to work with our customers to figure out solutions together.

So if you need a steel tank but haven’t worked out every detail, please contact us at 1-800-989-1330 and we’ll be happy to help you think through the process and find the right solution.