Can anyone describe the internal structure that supports the top of a monolithic (not floating top) petroleum tank like those found in oil company tank farms, such as one with a fairly flat top and 100'+ diameter? Sam
I replied to this but I must have sent it directly to you, Eregon. Sorry. Anyway, 30+ years ago when I sandblasted and painted these things, most of the tops at the Standard Oil tank farms didn't float, maybe things have changed but I know monolithic tanks are still used. They almost all had a 12-16" vent pipe in the center of the top so I figure they had a post as the main support but there must have been more to it, trusses radiating out to the sides, etc. I am also wondering about the thickness of the steel plates used in building the tank. My basis for asking is kind of far-fetched. I am exploring the possibilities of flopping the top upside down in the water and using it as a small island or the possibilities of using the top 10-20' right side up as a building, i.e. house, warehouse, workshop etc. Obviously I have too much time on my hands but would still appreciate any information. Sam
There are several types of roof structures, depending on the size and product in the tank. For smaller tanks (20 to 60 foot diameter), you normally see either a cone shape roof or a curved roof (known as a dome-roof or umbrella roof). The cone roofs have an internal truss structure to support it. It may or may not have additional internal support columns. The dome roof tanks are self supporting (some LPG tanks canl be up to 100 ft. diameter and still use a self-supporting dome roof).
The larger tanks (100+ foot dimeter) are normally floating roofs (yes, they actually float on top of the product fluid and go up and down with the fluid level). If a tank of this size actually has a fixed roof, it is most likely to have an internal truss structure with additional internal support columns.
Im surrounded by those tanks..and have seen them in construction, but dont recall much internal bracing. Ill call a couple local welder buddies of mine and ask.
Ive seen more than a few converted to impromtu shops and garages..but only the water tanks. The oil tanks never get completely clean, even after steam cleaning..and they tend to outgas for years.
The biggest issue..is that they are hot hot hot inside. Even with big doors burned into the sides. There is one not far from here..well..there used to be..that was kept around for a swimming hole by some of the lease operators and their kids. It was warm all year round and in the summer, was almost too hot to swim in. Which is why the drunk drowned in it..and they dozed it. Open topped with a platform welded from deck grid all the way around the inside.
Think of a roast that had been put in a crock pot for 3 days...
"A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences."