An Insight Into Components That Define a Storage Tank

storage tankThe number of options currently available for storage tanks is staggering. However, if you are shopping for a large tank for oil storage, not every tank will meet your needs. That said, the American Petroleum Institute (API) has a set standard for welded tanks used for oil storage.

The API 650 storage tank standard dictates the requirements for bulk oil storage tanks. These tanks are designed for storage of liquids with low pressure but high temperature, unlike other API tanks. Here are the critical components of a tank that meets the API 650 standards:

Weld Strength

The plate strength of your storage tank depends on the quality of the welds that hold it together. That said, an API 650 tank’s welds should match the plate material’s strength, quality, and chemistry. The tank’s welding standards are included in a table, but you should also pay attention to additional design properties. These include corrosion allowance, hardness testing, and overfill protection.

Plate Integrity

The fabrication of your tank might sometimes compromise its integrity. To minimize this risk, you must straighten the plates by rolling, as well as other metal forming techniques that won’t damage the plates. The lubricant, anti-weld splatter, and adhesive compounds used in fabrication should also not contain chloride and sulfur compounds, which affect the integrity of steel.


The conventional materials used for fabricating large oil storage tanks are stainless and carbon steels. Alloys can also be used for tank fabrication, though there are several regulations that alloys should meet. These include maximum and minimum design metal temperature, toughness, and impact resistance ratings.

As an API 650 storage tank buyer, you are allowed to review all documentation that relates to the above conformity aspects. These range from radiography examinations to mill certifications. You can also conduct independent inspections to ensure that your tank’s manufacturer is compliant with the API 650 standards.

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