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9 Things to Consider When Planning to Install Bolted Tanks

[Posted on June 28, 2016 by Gulf Coast Tanks & Construction]

9 Things to Consider When Planning to Install Bolted Tanks

Bolted tanks are an economical and durable alternative to concrete or welded steel tanks, and they offer a number of unique advantages, including quick installation times, long life cycles, simple repairs and the possibility for expansion in the future. They can store many types of materials, including liquids, dry goods and food products, and they can be customized to fit the installation requirements of a particular site.

If you are considering bolted tanks for your facility, there are a number of factors you should consider when planning for their installation:

#1 Type of Materials That Will Be Stored

Bolted steel tanks can be used to store potable water for drinking purposes, non-potable water for agricultural or manufacturing use, wastewater, dry goods like sand or grain, food products and many other materials. The type of materials that will be stored determine the components used in the construction of the tanks. Certain materials, like potable water or food products, may require stainless steel or fiberglass components for health and safety reasons, while materials like wastewater may require special gaskets to prevent leaks. Consider the material to be stored in your bolted tanks and discuss the options with your supplier to determine what types of tanks will be best for your project.

#2 Materials Used to Construct the Tank

Bolted tanks are commonly made from carbon steel sections that feature an epoxy coating, but other materials are available for specific applications, including galvanized steel, stainless steel and fiberglass-reinforced plastic tanks. The type of material used in the construction of the tanks depends on what will be stored inside them, and this will also determine what types of gaskets and fasteners are installed. Available gaskets include EPDM rubber, Buna-N and Vitol gaskets, and the fasteners can be made from carbon steel, galvanized steel or stainless steel, depending on the application. When extra protection from corrosion, leaks or contamination is required, the fasteners can be poly-capped or fully encapsulated.

#3 Tank Sizes and Quantity

When planning the installation of your bolted tanks, you will need to determine the types of materials and the number of tanks required for each material. You will also need to determine the required size of each tank, which should take into account both your current storage needs, and any extra storage that may be needed in the immediate future. Bolted tanks are expandable, in many cases, but it is a good idea to consider your future requirements during the initial installation to minimize costs.

#4 Installation Requirements

You have to determine where the tanks will be installed and what special requirements, if any, are needed for the installation. Ideally, the site should be easily accessible and have plenty of room available for both the tanks and construction access. Bolted tanks, however, are extremely versatile and can easily be customized to meet most installation requirements. If a large capacity is required in a small area, the tank can be made taller to accommodate it. If the height is limited in the installation location, the tank can be made shorter and wider to fit perfectly.

#5 Foundation Requirements

Typically, bolted tanks are built on a foundation of compacted sand and gravel, and a concrete ring wall or a full concrete pad, depending on the installation location and the capacity of the tank. Before installation, a suitable foundation must be constructed, which can be done by a local contractor or, often, by the tank installer. When planning the foundation, it is a good idea to consider future expansion possibilities, which may require a stronger foundation.

#6 Future Expansion

Unlike concrete or welded steel tanks, it is relatively easy to expand bolted tanks if your capacity needs increase in the future, and it requires much less labor and space than installing additional tanks. If your budget only allows enough capacity for your current operations, it is a good idea to consider future expansion options during the tank installation process. By planning carefully, you can be sure that the foundation for the tanks will be strong enough for expansion, and that the installation site has plenty of room for a larger tank in the future. This will reduce the amount of labor and the costs required for future expansion, with minimal expenses added to your budget.

#7 Maintenance Requirements

Bolted tanks have a long life cycle and require minimal amounts of maintenance, but future maintenance requirements should still be considered during the installation process. Make sure that frequently-replaced parts like valves and gauges are easily accessible, and that all critical parts of the tank can be inspected easily during regular maintenance routines. Should a valve fail, or a gasket need to be replaced, bolted steel tanks can easily be disassembled and repaired as needed, with minimal time and labor requirements.

#8 Code Requirements

Be sure to follow all local, state and federal requirements and laws during the preparation of the site and the installation of you bolted tanks. Many municipalities have specific regulations about the types of materials that can be stored, the materials that can be used in the construction of the tanks, and where the tanks can be placed. Failure to follow the applicable codes could result in steep fines or expensive delays, and can easily be avoided through proper planning.

#9 Costs

Consider all the costs of installing bolted tanks carefully. Because bolted tanks are manufactured in a controlled facility off-site, are quick and easy to assemble, not prone to weather delays and require minimal finishing on-site, they are often less expansive to install than concrete or welded steel tanks. Thanks to their modular construction and durable epoxy coating, they also tend to cost less to maintain over their life cycle. Through proper planning, other costs, such as building the foundation, shipping the materials and complying with local laws can also be minimized.

By considering all of these factors during the planning and installation phase of your bolted tanks, you can choose the best options for your particular application and minimize the both the initial costs and the long-term costs for your business. Bolted tanks are a great option for the storage of many types of material, and offer numerous advantages over other styles of tanks.