Anda di halaman 1dari 28

500 Shell Design

Abstract
This section of the manual addresses the basic design requirements for atmospheric
storage tanks. Company and industry specifications are discussed as well as the data
required before sizing and designing a new tank. Information is provided
concerning the impact of seismic and wind forces on the design of tanks. It also
provides tank construction techniques for keeping the tank within the tolerances of
Company and industry specifications.
Contents

Chevron Corporation

Page

510

Shell Design

500-2

511

Atmospheric Pressure Tanks

512

Internal Pressure Tanks

520

Material Selection

521

Brittle Fracture

522

Steel Selection Method

530

Seismic and Wind Design

531

Seismic Design for Tanks

532

Wind Design

540

Shell Construction

541

Plate Preparation and Shop Inspection

542

Leveling

543

Welding

544

Wind Girders and Preventing Wind Damage During Erection

545

Dimensional Checks During Erection

550

Shell Repairs

500-9

500-12

500-24

500-27

500-1

July 2000

500 Shell Design

Tank Manual

510 Shell Design


This section covers the basic shell design requirements for:

atmospheric pressure and

internal pressure (up to 2.5 psig) tanks.

Use of the Company and Industry Specifications is discussed. Design considerations


for low pressure (up to 15 psig) and fiberglass tanks are covered in Section 1200.

511 Atmospheric Pressure Tanks


Shell design of flat-bottomed storage tanks is discussed, including 1) methods for
calculating shell plate thickness and 2) design of shell openings.

Shell Plate Thickness


The principal calculation for the shell's mechanical design is minimum plate thickness required for each successive shell course. The hydrostatic pressure acting upon
each shell course and the diameter of the tank determine the plate thickness that is
required for the strength of the steel plate being used. Other important aspects of
tank shell design are resistance to buckling under wind loads (see Section 530) and
openings in the shell.
API 650 requires that vertical and horizontal joints between shell plates be butt
welded with full penetration and complete fusion, as shown in Figure 500-1. (Prior
to 1979, horizontal joints for shell plates greater than 3/8 inch thick were permitted
to be double welded with 2/3 penetration.) The weld joint efficiency is taken to be
100% of the allowable design stress of the grade of plate material being used, when
the welding procedure is properly qualified in accordance with Section 7 of
API 650.

Design Calculations for Shell Thickness


API 650 gives two methods for calculating the required plate thickness for each
shell course: the one-foot method, and the variable design point method. This
section discusses these two methods in addition to an optional design for small
tanks.
One-Foot Method. This method (API 650, Paragraph 3.6.3) is the simpler to use.
The thickness calculated for each shell course is based on the hydrostatic pressure
one foot above its lower circumferential seam (i.e., the bottom of the tank or the
circumferential seam with the next lower shell course), as illustrated in Figure 500-2.
This method shall not be used for tanks larger than 200 ft. in diameter. An assumption is made that each shell course is stiffened either by the tank bottom or the thicker
shell course immediately below. Therefore, in effect, each shell course is reinforced
at its lower circumferential seam, and the maximum stress that occurs in a shell
course is shifted above the circumferential seam. The distance that the maximum
stress is shifted is conservatively set at one foot, which gives the design method its
name.

July 2000

500-2

Chevron Corporation

Tank Manual

Fig. 500-1

500 Shell Design

Weld Joints in Cylindrical Tank Shell From API 650, Figures 3.1 and 3.2. Courtesy of the American Petroleum Institute

A) Horizontal (Circumferential)

Fig. 500-2

B) Vertical

Schematic of One-Foot Method for Cylindrical Tank Shell Design

The maximum allowable design stress that can be used with the one-foot method is
2/3 of the yield strength of the steel being used, with the restriction that the design

Chevron Corporation

500-3

July 2000

500 Shell Design

Tank Manual

stress cannot exceed 2/5 of the tensile strength These restrictions shall apply to all
courses. The lower value shall be used. The restrictions based on tensile strength
have the effect of reducing the design stress for each shell course when some steels
with tensile strengths above approximately 60,000 psi are used. An element of
conservatism is thereby introduced into the critical shell-to-bottom joint when tanks
are designed for high stress levels.
Thickness calculations must be made for each shell course for both the specific
gravity of the liquid being stored and the hydrostatic test. The formulas in API 650,
Paragraph 3.6.3.2 should be used. For hydrostatic test conditions, the maximum
allowable design stress that can be used by this method is 3/4 of the yield strength
of the steel being used, with the restriction that the design stress cannot exceed 3/7
of the tensile strength. The lower value shall be used.
Basically, these formulas are for the hoop stress in a cylinder under internal
pressure, where the hydrostatic pressure one foot above the lowest circumferential
seam of a shell course is substituted for the internal pressure. If a tank is being
designed for the storage of several alternate liquids, the design calculations should
be made for the liquid with the highest specific gravity.
The minimum thickness required for each shell course is the greater of that
calculated for 1) the operating conditions and 2) the hydrostatic test conditions. For
operating conditions the corrosion allowance is then added to the calculated
thickness. No corrosion allowance is added to the thickness calculated for
hydrostatic test conditions. Also, a higher stress is allowed for the hydrostatic test
(approximately 10%, see Table 3-2, API 650). The operating conditions usually
determine the shell thicknesses that are required.
Variable Design Point Method. With this method (API 650, Paragraph 3.6.4) the
engineer computes a more exact location for the maximum stress in each shell
course by giving consideration to shearing forces at the circumferential seams and
consequent elastic deflections. This more complex procedure requires first
calculating preliminary shell course thicknesses by use of the one-foot method, to
determine the points of maximum stress in each shell course. Similar to the one-foot
method, thickness calculations must be made independently for both the design and
hydrotest conditions for each shell course, and the greater value is the minimum
thickness required.
Thinner shell courses are normally obtained by designing with the variable design
point method, which reduces materials and construction costs. Furthermore, this
method can permit the design and construction of larger diameter tanks.
The variable design point method has separate design procedures for the first
(bottom), second, and upper shell courses. See Appendix K of API 650, which gives
an example of the use of the variable design point method for the design of a tank.

July 2000

500-4

Chevron Corporation

Tank Manual

500 Shell Design

The thicknesses of the upper shell courses are determined with an iterative
procedure that involves:
1.

calculating preliminary shell thicknesses using the one-foot method

2.

estimating the point of maximum stress in each shell course depending on the
relative plate thicknesses of adjoining shell courses

3.

calculating a new shell thickness on the basis of the hydrostatic pressure at the
estimated point of maximum stress

This sequence of calculations is repeated, substituting the newly calculated shell


thicknesses. This process further refines the estimated point of maximum stress until
there is no significant change in the calculated plate thickness. Three iterations are
usually sufficient. The resulting minimum plate thicknesses for each of the upper
shell courses are usually thinner than those calculated with the one-foot method,
because the more accurately estimated point of maximum stress in each upper shell
course is usually greater than the conservative one-foot assumption.
Optional Design for Small Tanks. Appendix A to API 650 provides a lower cost
alternative for the design of small tanks with shell thicknesses no greater than
inch including corrosion allowance. The design methodology is essentially the
same as the one-foot method, with two significant exceptions: 1) the maximum
allowable design stress that can be used is 21,000 psi; and 2) the joint efficiency for
vertical welds is reduced to 0.85 or 0.70 due to reduced radiographic inspection
requirements.
Appendix J to API 650 contains design requirements similar to Appendix A, except
that it specifically applies to shop fabricated tanks no greater than 20 feet in
diameter, with no restriction on plate thickness. Radiographic inspection can be
eliminated if weld joint efficiency is reduced to 0.70.
API Specification 12D provides for the construction of field welded tanks with a
capacity up to 10,000 bbl for the storage of production liquids. These tanks are
essentially predesigned for standard dimensions up to 55 feet in diameter and 24
feet high. No separate design calculations are required. API Specification 12F is
similar in concept but applies to standardized shop welded tanks with a maximum
size of 15.5 feet in diameter and 24 feet high. The required design and construction
details of these two specifications are minimal, and no radiographic inspection is
required to verify construction quality. Therefore, these specifications should be
used only when the service conditions and location of the tank do not require the
significantly greater assured reliability obtained by using API 650.

Shell Openings
API Standard 650 provides standardized designs for shell openings (API 650,
Paragraph 3.7.5, 3.7.6, and 3.7.7) including manways, nozzles, and flush-type
fittings. Figures 3-4A, 3-5, and 3-7 of API 650 show the major design details for
these openings. All essential dimensions (for reinforcement plates, flanges, and
welds etc.) are tabulated in API 650 for the range of opening sizes in common use.
The shell plates for flush-type fitting assemblies are required to be 1/16 to 1/8 inch
thicker than the adjacent shell plates in the lowest shell course. Other designs for

Chevron Corporation

500-5

July 2000

500 Shell Design

Tank Manual

manways and nozzles are permitted, if they provide equivalent strength and are
agreed to by the tank purchaser. Section 700 discusses the different types of
openings and their uses.
Reinforcement and Weld Details. Reinforcement and the weld details of shell
openings strongly affect tank reliability. The concept for reinforcement is: the crosssectional area of the hole cut in the shell must have an equal area of reinforcement
around the opening. The cross-sectional area of the hole is measured for the
openings vertical diameter, and all of the reinforcement must be within twice the
vertical diameter of the hole in the shell from the centerline of the opening. The
required reinforcement is usually provided by a reinforcing pad, but excess
thickness in the tank shell or neck of the fitting can be included in the calculation of
reinforcement area. Insert-type reinforcement (i.e., thicker plate butt welded into the
shell that provides both the minimum shell thickness and area of reinforcement) can
also be used.
Reinforcement of flush-type fittings is especially important, and additional design
criteria are given in API 650. The bottom reinforcing plate is particularly critical,
because it also serves as the highly stressed shell-to-bottom joint. The required
thickness for the bottom reinforcing plate is shown in Table 3-10 of API 650. For
nozzles not covered in Table 3-10, a special formula is used to calculate the
minimum thickness of the bottom reinforcing plate (see API 650 3.7.7.6). This
formula takes the design fill height of the tank into consideration.
API 650 advises that external loads on connections to shell openings should be
considered when designing the reinforcement of openings. Appendix P of API 650,
Allowable External Load on Tank Shell Openings, can be used to do this. It is
preferable to keep external loads, such as those resulting from piping connections,
as low as practicable. When significant external loads cannot be avoided, Appendix
P requirements should be invoked.
The minimum requirements in API 650 for weld details for shell openings are
illustrated in Figure 3-4B of API 650. Most important is that full penetration welds
are required to attach the connections to the shell, unless insert-type reinforcement
is used. However, reinforcing pads are attached to the shell and fitting neck with
fillet welds. It is also important to adhere to the minimum size requirements for all
of the welds, to be certain that the connections to the openings have sufficient
strength. In addition, the openings should be located such that the periphery of their
reinforcing pads are at least 6 inches from any butt welded seams in the shell, or
greater where required by API 650 Section 3.7.3. All reinforcing pads welded to
plate should be provided with a vent hole for welding.
Small connections should use weld bosses or half couplings per API 650, Figure 3-5.
Thermal Stress Relief. API 650 Section 3.7.4 requires thermal stress relief of

July 2000

All flush-type fittings.

All connections to 12-inch or larger openings in shell plates greater than 1 inch
thick.

500-6

Chevron Corporation

Tank Manual

500 Shell Design

All connections requiring reinforcement to openings in shell plates with tensile


strengths of 65,000 psi and higher.

This requirement is met by prefabricating and then stress-relieving subassemblies


containing the shell connections in a shop and then butt welding them into the tank
shell during construction of the tank. Thermal stress relief significantly reduces the
risk of brittle fracture when service stresses are high and when high strength materials are used for construction.

Shell Joints
Weld joints in the tank shell were shown in Figure 500-1. For discussion of the
shell-to-bottom joint, see Section 220; for roof-to-shell joint, Section 420.

512 Internal Pressure Tanks


Small Internal Pressures (up to 2.5 psi)
Tanks can be designed for small internal pressures up to 2.5 psi by using the
supplemental requirements of Appendix F to API Standard 650. The two major
additional considerations addressed by Appendix F are the uplift of the tank
attributable to the small internal pressure acting on the roof of the tank, and the
strength of the roof-to-shell joint. Figure 500-3 is a schematic of the forces that are
developed by an internal pressure in a cylindrical tank with a fixed roof. The design
formulas used for small internal pressures are based on the forces represented in this
schematic. Calculations are made of the maximum design pressure, the required
area at the roof-to-shell joint, and the failure pressure of the roof-to-shell joint. No
additional design calculations for the thickness of shell plates are required, unless
anchoring of the tank is provided.
Maximum Internal Design Pressure. The primary criterion for establishing the
maximum internal design pressure permitted for a tank is that it cannot cause uplift
at the bottom when the tank is empty (API 650, Appendix F, Paragraph F.4). Uplift
of a tank must be prevented, because it would develop a high stress at the shell-tobottom joint that could cause failure. Therefore, the upward force due to the internal
pressure acting on the roof of the tank may not exceed the combined weight of the
shell and roof. The formula in API 650, Paragraph F.4.2 is an expression of this
criterion and is used to calculate the maximum design pressure for a tank.
The internal design pressure can be permitted to exceed this maximum design
pressure only if anchoring of the tank to the foundation is provided, which also
requires increasing the shell thickness above that calculated for the hydrostatic
pressure at the design liquid height. However, the Company's specification permits
using anchors only with special review of the design and approval.
Roof-to-Shell Joint. Figure F-2 in Appendix F of API 650 illustrates various
construction details of the roof-to-shell joint that are permitted to be used for tanks
with small internal pressures. This joint must withstand the upward force on the roof
developed at the internal design pressure (API 650, Appendix F, Paragraph F.5).
However, the force resulting from the internal pressure is counterbalanced by the

Chevron Corporation

500-7

July 2000

500 Shell Design

Tank Manual

Fig. 500-3

Schematic of Forces Developed by an Internal Pressure in a Cylindrical Tank


with a Fixed Roof

weight of the roof. The joint is designed by calculating the total required area at the
joint for a maximum stress of 20,000 psi. The formula in Paragraph F.5 of Appendix
F, API 650 is used to make this calculation. In the formula A is the total crosssectional area at the joint. It includes the portions of the roof and shell crosshatched
in Figure F-2, in addition to the compression ring.
Failure Pressure. The roof-to-shell joint is required to have a failure pressure lower
than the maximum design pressure (API 650, Appendix F, Paragraph F.6). In this
manner, the roof-to-shell joint will fail before uplift of the tank can occur, and
failure of the shell-to-bottom joint accompanied by release of the tanks contents is
prevented. A roof-to-shell joint meeting this criterion is called a frangible joint.
Failure of the roof-to-shell joint is expected to occur when the stress exceeds the
yield strength of the material. It is assumed that yielding will occur when the stress
in the joint reaches 32,000 psi, which is 60% higher than the stress at the design
pressure. The failure pressure is calculated by the formula in Paragraph F.6 of
Appendix F of API 650.
For large tanks having roofs with shallow slopes, it is recommended that the
maximum design pressure not exceed 80% of the calculated failure pressure.
Emergency venting must be provided if the calculated failure pressure exceeds the
maximum design pressure.
For a discussion of the shell-to-bottom joint, see Section 220.

July 2000

500-8

Chevron Corporation

Tank Manual

500 Shell Design

Low Internal Pressures (up to 15 psi)


Refer to Section 1200 and API 620 for design information on low pressure tanks.

520 Material Selection


The two primary concerns when specifying materials for new tanks are brittle
fracture and corrosion. Welding is addressed by Company specifications and API
codes. It is important to know the type of fluid, operating temperature, design life,
geographic location, and the minimum design metal temperature. The minimum
design metal temperature defines which grade of steel is necessary to prevent brittle
fracture. The other variables influence the corrosion prevention measures needed to
assure a tank meets the design life.
Nearly all tanks are built from carbon steel regardless of the service fluid. Choice of
the grade of carbon steel is based entirely upon the necessary impact toughness
requirements. This section concentrates on how to choose the steel for the shell.
Appurtenances, nozzles, etc., are made of the same grade steel as the shell whenever
possible.

521 Brittle Fracture


Principles
Tanks, like any structures, can fail by brittle or ductile fracture. Brittle fracture
describes a tensile failure with the material showing little deformation or yielding.
Typically, brittle fractures start at a flaw and are associated with catastrophic
failures because the crack grows rapidly and the material has little ability to arrest
crack growth. Additional background on brittle fracture can be found in Section 300
of the Corrosion Prevention and Metallurgy Manual. API 653 Section 3 offers a
procedure for the assessment of existing tanks with respect to brittle facture.
Ductile failures are preceded by a relatively large amount of deformation and
yielding. Ductile fracture is not directly addressed in this section because preventive
measures are already incorporated into codes and specifications.
A tanks susceptibility to fracture is determined by the magnitude of the tensile
stress, the size of the flaw, and the metal's fracture toughness (i.e., the metals ability
to resist fracture). Tank failures can be avoided by carefully controlling each of
these variables.

Avoiding Brittle Fracture in New Tanks


The Company's approach to controlling brittle fractures in new tanks is as follows.

Chevron Corporation

1.

Select the appropriate tank materials. (See Section 522.)

2.

Design tanks according to relevant API Codes (API 650).

3.

Fabricate tanks according to Company specifications, TAM-EG-967 or


TAM-EG-4813 and API codes.

500-9

July 2000

500 Shell Design

Tank Manual

4.

Repair, alter or reconstruct tanks to API 653 requirements.

API 650 and API 653 offer some guidance on material selection for tank plate and
appurtenances. The Companys specifications are more stringent than the API
documents. Additional instruction is given below for choosing a cost-effective tank
material with suitable mechanical properties for the intended service.

Brittle Fracture in Existing Tanks


The Ashland Oil storage tank failure in January 1988 prompted general concern
about the potential for brittle fracture in other tanks. Existing tanks with the highest
risk of brittle fracture include the following:

Tanks built before the early 1960s (before 1955 if built to EG-967)
Tanks operating below the transition temperature of the steel
Tanks that have been repaired or modified

The primary reason why these tanks are most susceptible to brittle fracture is that
the steel used in these tanks may not have adequate toughness. The observed mean
transition temperature for normal practice, pre-1960 steel is approximately 50F.
Tanks constructed to TAM-EG-967 conform to improved materials toughness
requirements. Tanks from the early 1970s were built to API 650, which includes
material toughness requirements.
When repairing or modifying tanks, follow API 653. Most reported brittle fractures
originated at flaws or notches created by a repair or alteration to the bottom shell
course or to the floor in the vicinity of the bottom shell course. For tanks of highest
risk as defined above, it is important to eliminate and avoid notches or cracks where
stress concentrations can be excessive. To achieve this may require inspection of
previous repairs and concentration on good design practice in new repairs. When
API 653 cannot be followed, follow the guidelines for repairs and modifications
listed below.
Manways and Nozzles. Manways and nozzles or other shell penetrations should be
moved up if the slot for a new bottom cuts into the reinforcing plate. Flush-type
clean-outs, flush-type shell connections, and weld spacing requirements should be
according to API 650 and API 653 Section 7. Nozzles and reinforcing plates should
be welded with full penetration welds.
Door Sheets. Door sheets should be cut with corners rounded to a radius equal to 6
times the plate thickness but in no case less than 2 inches. Care should be exercised
to ensure that proper weld gaps are possible during the reweld. Do not repeatedly
cut and weld the same door sheet. Do not lap-weld door sheets. See Specification
TAM-MS-2 for door sheet removal and installation.
Bottom Shell Course Attachments. All clips, brackets, and lugs welded to the
bottom shell course should be welded all the way around. All welds should be full
fillet.
All welds on the bottom course should be of the highest quality and should meet or
exceed API 650 and API 653 requirements.

July 2000

500-10

Chevron Corporation

Tank Manual

500 Shell Design

522 Steel Selection Method


The Companys practice for selecting steel for tank construction is to use a steel
above its ductile-to-brittle transition temperature. This helps ensure that the steel has
adequate toughness for the temperature conditions at the specified geographical
location. A steels toughness is a function of temperature, thickness, and its quality.
For common tank steels, toughness decreases with decreasing temperature and
increasing thickness.
Detailed guidance on brittle fracture prevention is provided in Section 300 of the
Corrosion Prevention and Metallurgy Manual. The basic steps in selecting steel for
constructing tanks and appurtenances are as follows:

Chevron Corporation

1.

Define the minimum design metal temperature. The minimum design metal
temperature is the lowest 1-day, mean ambient temperature in the locality
where the tank is to be installed, plus 15F (per API 650 Section 2.2.9.3). The
15F factor is added by conventional practice and results from recognizing
that it takes a long time for the fluid contents and thus the shell metal
temperature to reach the ambient temperature. Many Company locations have
established standard minimum design metal temperatures, usually found on
vessel safety data sheets. To determine a minimum design metal temperature
for Company locations that do not have one, use API 650, Figure 2-2, which
provides an isothermal map of the lowest 1-day mean temperatures.

2.

Determine which steel grades are acceptable with and without impact tests.
Use API Standard 650, Figure 2-1 (along with API RP 579) for guidance in
selecting steels and establishing minimum design metal temperatures (MDMTs)
for tanks. If the tank material is unknown, then API RP 579 provides some help
in that we can consider the tank safe to use at any temperature for metal
thicknesses less than 0.5". Also, metal temperatures above 60F are safe
regardless of the thickness. For tanks with metal temperatures less than 60F,
and thicknesses greater than 0.5", contact CRTCs Materials and Equipment
Engineering Group (MEE) for help. Also contact MEE for help with
atmospheric or low pressure tanks dealing with a refrigerated product.

3.

Select a steel grade or potential steel grades for the tank and
appurtenances. The Company prefers to use a steel with inherent toughness
(steels on the lower curves of Step 2) rather than attempting to buy a cheaper
steel which then requires impact tests (steels on the upper curve of Step 2). Cost
comparisons favor inherently superior steel. The cost of impact testing is high,
adding a premium of about 10% to the plate cost. Cost ratios of tank steels are
presented in Figure 500-4. In the U.S., the premiums charged for the highest
quality groups (fully killed, fine grain practice and fully killed, fine grain
practice and normalizing) are significant; however, premiums can be lower for
foreign-manufactured steels. When impact tests are required, TAM-EG-967
defines the Companys requirements.

500-11

July 2000

500 Shell Design

Tank Manual

Fig. 500-4

A U.S. Producers April 1988 Prices for Steel Plates by Quality Grouping
ASTM
Specification(1)

Maximum
Thickness, Inch

Cost Relative
to A283C(2)

A-36

1.02

A-283C

1.00

A-131A

0.84

(A-285C)

1.09

A-36

to 1

0.49 to 0.93

A-131B

0.85

A-131C

0.92

(A-516-70)

1.18

Rimmed

Semi-Killed

Fully-Killed, FGP

Normalized

A-131C

1.09

(A-516-70)

1.37

(A-537A,C1)

1.16

(1) ASTM numbers in parenthesis are pressure vessel quality steel. Normally not used for tankage except
where required for toughness.
(2) A283C was chosen as the base case, so its ratio is 1.00. The ratios are from base prices and do not
include many extras, such as odd thickness, tonnage, etc.

In general, unless the fluid to be stored in the tank is highly corrosive, requiring
special materials consideration, tanks should be built from ASTM Grade A283 or
A131 steel plates. If better low temperature impact properties are desired in the tank
materials because of the geographic location, ASTM Grade A516 is a good
candidate steel because of its lower transition temperature.

530 Seismic and Wind Design


This section covers the impact that seismic and wind forces have on a tank and how
to design for those forces.

531 Seismic Design for Tanks


Seismic Forces
Earthquake-induced ground motion causes movement of objects supported on the
ground. For tanks the resulting lateral forces cause the tank contents to slosh, which
creates an overturning moment at the base of the tank. This moment leads to uplift
of one side of an unanchored tank and puts high compressive loads on the opposite
side of the tank. This highly compressive loading in the shell can cause the lower
course of the tank shell (and sometimes the upper courses) to buckle. The
unanchored tank, in effect, tries to tip, uplifting on one side, then returning to rest
and then possibly tipping in the opposite direction.

July 2000

500-12

Chevron Corporation

Tank Manual

500 Shell Design

Resistance to tipping is provided by 1) the shell weight, 2) the weight of the tank
contents next to the shell and 3) the compressing on the opposite side of the shell by
the foundation.
Earthquakes can also damage tanks in these ways:

Sloshing in full or nearly full tanks can cause floating roofs to ride over the
shell resulting in major seal damage; or may damage fixed roofs by impingement of the contents on the roof.

Torsional rotations of floating roofs can damage the gage well and rolling roof
ladder.

The uplifting of a tank may damage nozzles and piping attached to the tank if
sufficient flexibility is not provided in the piping.

Tank Proportioning
Seismic design of tanks starts with tank proportioning. A wider, shorter tank (lower
height-to-diameter ratio) has superior tipping resistance over a tall, narrow tank.
Unanchored tanks will generally be limited to the height-to-diameter ratios in the
different seismic zones as shown earlier in Figure 100-1. The seismic zones are
defined in Appendix E of API 650 (also Section 100 of the Civil and Structural
Manual).
Tanks with greater height-to-diameter ratios than suggested may require substantially thicker shells to compensate for higher loadings or require anchoring. Both of
these options may be impractical to construct.
In addition to proportioning, it is necessary to design a thick enough bottom plate
(or annular ring) to optimize the amount of the tank contents which can resist uplift.
The thicker bottom plate will in turn reduce the high local compressive loads that
can cause buckling. The design procedure is thoroughly covered in Appendix E of
API 650.

Seismic Design Procedure


After a tank is proportioned, the detailed design of the tank and its components is
next. The seismic design will affect the following tank components:

Shell lower course and possibly upper courses


Tank bottom annular ring
Roof columns
Tank attachments

The design procedure is given in Appendix E of API 650. For unanchored tanks the
design procedure in Appendix E will determine whether or not: 1) the tank is stable,
2) the bottom plate is thick enough, and 3) the shell is thick enough. An example of
the procedure is shown below in Figure 500-5.
Appendix E provides the design seismic load for Seismic Zones 1 through 4.

Chevron Corporation

500-13

July 2000

500 Shell Design

Tank Manual

Bottom Plate Thickness. If the tank is not stable, the bottom plate near the tank
shell can be thickened to increase the hold-down weight of the tank contents in
accordance with the restrictions of API 650 E.4.2. Thickening the bottom plate only
near the shell creates an annular ring. The minimum width and thickness of the
annular ring is determined in Paragraph E.4.2.
Shell Thickness. It is Company practice to use the new tank steel weight based on
actual, installed plate thicknesses in calculating the overturning and resisting
moments defined in Paragraphs E.3.1 and E.5.1. The new tank wall thicknesses, less
the corrosion allowance, are used only to check shell compression in accordance
with Paragraph E.5.3. It is generally more economical to change tank proportions
rather than to thicken the tank shell to increase the holddown weight.
Roof column. The roof column design procedure is given in TAM-MS-967.
Fig. 500-5

Seismic Design Example (1 of 4) Derived from API 650, Appendix E. Courtesy of the American Petroleum
Institute

This example follows API 650 Appendix E.


Given:
Tank diameter

40 feet

Tank height

24 feet (three 8-foot courses)

Seismic zone

Soil Type

S3

Tank material

A283 Gr C, Fy = 30 ksi

Cone roof weight

20,000 lbs. (50% supported by shell)

Specific gravity

0.95

Corrosion allowance

0.125 inches

Importance factor

1.0

Site factor/coefficient

1.5

Metal thicknesses:
Shell Course 1 and 2

0.25 inches (includes corrosion allowance)

Shell Course 3

0.1875 inches (includes corrosion allowance)

Bottom

0.25 inches (excludes corrosion allowance)

1. Check height-to-diameter ratio (see Figure 100-1). Because H/D = 0.6, the tank probably will not meet seismic
requirements. Note: The liquid level is assumed to be the same height as the tank shell in this example.
2. Calculate the overturning moment (M) due to seismic forces applied to the bottom of the shell:
M = ZI(C1WsXs + C1WrHt + C1W1X1 + C2W2X2)
(Eq. 500-1)
where:
Z = Zone coefficient

July 2000

= 0.4 for Zone 4

500-14

Chevron Corporation

Tank Manual

Fig. 500-5

500 Shell Design

Seismic Design Example (2 of 4) Derived from API 650, Appendix E. Courtesy of the American Petroleum
Institute
I = Importance factor

= 1.0

C1 = Lateral force coefficient

= 0.60

Ws = Weight of shell

= 28,200 lb

Xs = Height from bottom of shell to center of gravity of shell

= 11.3 ft

Wr = Weight of roof supported by shell + weight at snow load specified by owner

= 10,000 lb

Ht = Total height of shell

= 24 ft

H = Maximum design liquid level

= 24 ft

Wt = Weight of contents

= 1,788,000 lb

W1 = Weight of effective mass of tank contents which


move in unison with tank shell:
For D/H = 1.7, W1/WT = 0.62
W1 = 0.62 WT

= 1,108,560 lb

X1 = Height from bottom of tank shell to centroid of lateral force


applied to W1:
For D/H = 1.7, X1/H = 0.375
X1 = 0.375H

= 9 ft

C2 = Lateral force coefficient:


k = 0.585
T = kD1/2 = 0.585(40)1/2
S = Site factor)
C2 = 0.75 S/T

= 3.70
= 1.5
= 0.304

W2 = Weight of effective mass:


For D/H = 1.7, W2/WT = 0.37
W2 = 0.37WT

= 661,560 lb

X2 = Height from bottom of tank shell to centroid of lateral


force applied by W2:
For D/H = 1.7, X2/H = 0.636
X2 = 0.636 H

= 15.3 ft

Results:
M = 3,817,000 ft-lb using above figures.
3. Calculate resistance to overturning. wL = Maximum weight of the tank contents which can be used to resist
the shell overturning moment.
w L = 7.9 t b F by GH
(Eq. 500-2)
For tb = 0.25 inches
w = 7.9 ( .25 ) ( 30, 000 ) ( 0.95 ) ( 24 )
L
= 1633 lb/ft (see API 650 E.4.1)

Chevron Corporation

500-15

July 2000

500 Shell Design

Fig. 500-5

Tank Manual

Seismic Design Example (3 of 4) Derived from API 650, Appendix E. Courtesy of the American Petroleum
Institute

wLmax = 1.25(.95)(24)(40) = 1140 lb/ft


Since wLmax < wL, wLmax controls. Therefore, WL = 1140 lb/ft.
4. Calculate tank stability.
Find total distributed shell weight. wt = weight of the tank shell and the portion of the fixed roof supported by
the shell.
28, 200lb 10, 000lb
w t = --------------------- + --------------------- = 224 + 80 = 304 lb/ft
( 40ft )
( 40ft )
(Eq. 500-3)
M
3, 817, 000
------------------------------- = ---------------------------------------- = 1.65 > 1.57
2
( 40 ) ( 304 + 1140 )
D ( w t + wL )
(Eq. 500-4)

Tank is unstable. The tank could either be anchored or be proportioned to eliminate the need for anchorage.
(Note the large influence that wL has on tank stability.)
5. Change tank diameter and bottom shell course thickness and recheck stability. Increase diameter such that
H/D = 0.5
24
D = ------ = 48ft
0.5
(Eq. 500-5)
Roof weight changes to 29,000 lb.
Change bottom shell course thickness to 0.3125 inches.
where:
Ws = 36,900 lb
M = 5,067,700 ft/lb
wt = 245 + 96 = 341 lb/ft
wLmax = 1.25(.95)(24)(48) = 1368 lb/ft < 1633 lb/ft
Therefore, wL = 1368 lb/ft
M
5, 067, 700
------------------------------- = ------------------------------------------ = 1.287 < 1.57
2
2
D ( wt + w L )
( 48 ) ( 341 + 1368 )
(Eq. 500-6)
Tank is stable.

July 2000

500-16

Chevron Corporation

Tank Manual

Fig. 500-5

500 Shell Design

Seismic Design Example (4 of 4) Derived from API 650, Appendix E. Courtesy of the American Petroleum
Institute

6. Check compression in shell (see API 650 E.5.1 Figure E-5)


b + wL
------------------- = 3.6
wt + wL
(Eq. 500-7)
Solving for b,
where:
b = Maximum longitudinal compressive force = 4,780 lb/ft
t = .3125 - .125 = .1875 in. = shell thickness for shell stress design
From API 650 E.5.3:
fa = maximum longitudinal compressive stress
2
b
4, 780lb
------- = ---------------------- = 2124 lb/in.
12t
12 ( .1875 )
(Eq. 500-8)
2
2
6
6
GHD
( .95 ) ( 24 ) ( 48 )
-------------- = ----------------------------------- = 1.49 10 > 10
2
2
(.1875)
t
(Eq. 500-9)
Therefore:
6
2
2
10 t
F a = ---------- = 3906 lb/in > 2124 lb/in
D
(Eq. 500-10)
Because fa < Fa, shell thickness is okay.
7. Check next course in accordance with API 650 E.5.4 and the procedure in TAM-MS-967.
8. Check center column in accordance with Section E.8.4 of TAM-MS-967.
9. Check bottom plate thickness to see if annular ring is required. (See API 650 E.4.1) Since this wL (1633 lb/ft) is
greater than the limiting wL (1368 lb/ft) the inch thick bottom is adequate and no annular plate is required.

End of Seismic Design Example

Anchoring Tanks
For small tanks (generally up to 4000-bbl capacity) it may be desirable to anchor the
tank at its base in order to safely increase the height-to-diameter ratio of the tank.
Typically, the tank would be anchored to a concrete ringwall that weighs enough to
develop the force in the anchors. Alternatively, uplift piles may be provided to
develop the anchor resistance.

Chevron Corporation

500-17

July 2000

500 Shell Design

Tank Manual

Anchoring larger tanks (over 4000 bbls) is usually undesirable. The force required
to anchor such tanks is very large, requiring a massive ringwall or a very large
number of uplift piles. The cost for anchoring may exceed the cost of the tank itself.
It may not even be feasible to construct an adequate anchor system. If feasible,
anchoring of large tanks should be done only as a last resort where there is
insufficient room to provide the storage capacity required with a properly
proportioned unanchored tank.
When anchoring a tank, the overturning moment (see API 650 Appendix E for
calculations) must be resisted by all components of the anchoring system: the
anchor bolts, anchor chairs, foundation, and the soil. Proper seismic design should
have sufficient ductility for good performance. The failure mode should be the
component that causes the least threat to safety and the least damage to the
structure. The anchor bolts, therefore, are typically designed to be the weak link
in the anchorage system; the other components being designed for higher loads than
the design forces.
First, so that the bolt yields before the chair or its attachment yields, the chair should
be designed for the bolt yield strength as specified by API 650 E.6.2.1. and shown
in the following equation:
P design = P BY = A BT F Y
(Eq. 500-11)

where:
PBY = bolt yield capacity
ABT = tensile stress area of bolt (in2)
= 0.7854(d-0.9742/N)2
d = nominal bolt diameter (in)
N = number of threads per inch
FY = yield tensile stress of bolt material (33000 psi for A-307 material
or reinforcing steel (psi)
The bolt must also yield well before the bolt pulls out of the concrete. Section 241
and Appendix B in the Civil and Structural Manual presents the requirements for
ductile anchor bolt designs in greater detail.
To reduce the concentrated stresses occurring at anchor locations, use individual
chairs or a continuous ring. Although continuous rings distribute the concentrated
stresses better than individual chairs, they must be continuous around the entire
tank, which is difficult if there are obstructions. Hence individual anchor chairs are
most often used.
Anchor chair and continuous ring designs are covered in AISI E-1, Volume II, Part
VII, which is referenced in API 650 Appendix E. Some recommended changes to
the chair design are as follows:

July 2000

500-18

Chevron Corporation

Tank Manual

500 Shell Design

Allowable shell stress should follow API 650 Chapter 3 instead of the 25ksi
recommended.

The design load is the yield strength of the bolt, as stated earlier.

The minimum eccentricity is increased up to 1 inches + d/2, where d is the


bolt diameter. For post-installed bolts, d is the diameter of the drilled hole. This
will allow for the bolt or drilled hole to miss the tank's bottom plate (the chime)
which usually projects 2 to 3 inches from the tanks shell.

The minimum spacing between vertical stiffeners is increased to the bolt's


diameter plus two inches. This increase allows for welding on the inside of the
vertical stiffeners which is recommended for corrosion control.

The top plate width should be one third of the chair's height, h. For tall chairs,
ignore this recommendation as it is impractical.

Sloshing of Tank Contents


Sometimes it is desirable to provide freeboard height in the tank to minimize or
avoid overflow and damage to the roof due to sloshing of the tank contents. The
estimated height of the sloshing wave may be determined by the following formula:
2
H 12
d = 1.124ZIC 2 T tanh 477 ----

(Eq. 500-12)

where:
C2 = Lateral earthquake coefficient for convective forces, from
API 650 Appendix E, E.3.3.2
d = Height of sloshing wave above mean depth, ft
D = Tank diameter, ft
H = Maximum filling height of tank, ft
I = Essential facilities factor, usually 1.0, should not exceed 1.25
T = Sloshing wave's natural period of first mode
= kD1/2 (see API 650 E.3.3.2)
Z = Seismic zone coefficient

Upgrading Existing Tanks


Although not required by law, upgrading existing tanks to current standards may be
desirable to limit their seismic vulnerability. For tanks which do not meet API 650
criteria, some improvement can usually be made at a nominal cost by increasing the
thickness of the annular plate. This upgrade would normally be done at the time
tank bottom replacement is required because of excessive corrosion. Refer to
Appendix C for guidelines for evaluating and retrofitting tanks for seismic consideration.

Chevron Corporation

500-19

July 2000

500 Shell Design

Tank Manual

Other possible options include but are not limited to: 1) anchoring the tank (for
relatively small tanks), 2) reducing the safe filling height, 3) replacing the bottom
shell course with thicker plate or 4) replacing the tank.
Adding vertical steel stiffeners to the tank shell is not recommended. There has been
no experience with a stiffened tank shell in an earthquake. Even with an unstiffened
shell, the distribution of forces in the shell due to earthquake is not well understood.
Adding stiffeners on a comparatively thin shell may result in high local stress which
could negate any advantage sought by providing the stiffeners.

532 Wind Design


Tank shells must be properly designed to resist the external pressures caused by
strong winds. Strong winds can cause an ovaling at the top of the tank shell and an
inward buckling of the shell below the tank top. On tanks with fixed roofs, the roof
itself provides the normal top-of-shell stiffening, but open top tanks need the shell
stiffened with a stiffening ring (wind girder). Section 3.9 of API 650 requires that all
open top tanks be provided with a stiffening ring. In some cases, the tank shell
below the top stiffening ring (or fixed roof) cannot resist inward buckling due to
wind pressure and requires an intermediate stiffening ring. The design requirements
for wind girders can be found in the following sections of API 650:

For top wind girders, Section 3.9.6

For intermediate wind girders, Section 3.9.7

Design Wind Speed for Tanks


Selection of a proper design wind velocity is very important in checking the wind
stability of tanks. The design wind recommended for use in tank design is the
50-year fastest mile speed measured at 10 meters above ground. This design wind is
the wind associated with an annual probability of exceedance of 2%. It is an
average speed and the gusting effect of the wind is accounted for in the API
design formulas by a 10% velocity factor which corresponds to a 10-second
duration gust. You do not need to design for shorter gusts over the design wind
velocity.
It is usually not economical to design for wind speeds higher than the 50-year return
period wind. For example, increasing the wind speed arbitrarily from 90 mph to 110
mph increases the pressure on the tank by 40% since wind pressure is a function of
the wind velocity squared. Only essential facilities should be designed for higher
winds having lower probability of occurrence, i.e., 100-year return period.
Formulas in API 650 are based on a design wind velocity of 100 mph. It is
important to make a correction for the design wind velocity if velocity at the tank
site differs from 100 mph. Chapter 100 of the Civil and Structural Manual contains
more information on wind design, wind speed design recommendations and wind
speed zone maps.

July 2000

500-20

Chevron Corporation

Tank Manual

500 Shell Design

Top Wind Girder Design Procedure


Section 3.9.6 of API 650 covers the requirements for design of top wind girders for
open top tanks. The equation is based on a wind velocity of 100 mph and should be
adjusted for the design wind speed at the tank site. New material thicknesses
without a reduction for corrosion allowance should be used in design. Model
Specification TAM-MS-967 requires that an open top tank have a wind girder
placed 3 feet below the top of the tank and that the wind girder for tanks over 120
feet in diameter be a minimum of 24 inches wide and have handrails. Also,
Section 790 of this manual gives more details on wind girder access requirements.
Figure 500-6 shows an example of top wind girder design, with Figure 500-7
showing layout of handrails.
Fig. 500-6

Top Wind Girder Design Example (1 of 2) From API 650, Figures 3.9. Courtesy of the American Petroleum
Institute

The following design example follows API 650.


Given:
Tank diameter

130 feet

Tank height

48 feet

Design wind

90 mph

Shell thickness

-inch (top of tank)

1. From Section 3.9.6 of API 650,

Z = 0.0001 D2 H2
where:
D = tank diameter, ft
H2 = height of tank shell, ft

Fig. 500-7

Top Wind Girder and Handrail Layout From API


650, Figures 3.20. Courtesy of the American
Petroleum Institute

Z = required minimum section modulus


Z = 0.0001 (130)2 (48)
= 81.1 in.3

Note The above equation is based on wind velocity off 100 miles per hour. If a wind velocity other than 100 mph
is specified by the purchaser, the minimum section modulus will be represented in this example and the intermediate wind girder design example by Zv . To find Zv , multiply the right side of the equation by (v/100)2 where v=wind
velocity in miles per hour.
2. Correct for wind velocity.
90
Z v = 81.1 --------
100

2
= 65.7in.

3
(Eq. 500-13)

Chevron Corporation

500-21

July 2000

500 Shell Design

Tank Manual

Top Wind Girder Design Example (2 of 2) From API 650, Figures 3.9. Courtesy of the American Petroleum
Institute

Fig. 500-6

From Figure 3-20 detail e of API 650;


For b = 24 in. and t = in., Z = 71.72 in.3 > 65.7 in.3
(Eq. 500-14)
but clear width of wind girder must be 24 inches. Make allowances as shown on Figure 500-7:

3 inches for outer flange and room for painters trolley,

2 inches for handrail post and

3 inches for top angle on tank (see API 650 Section 3.9.3.2.)

Total allowances = 8 inches

use Figure 3-20, detail e with b = 32 inches


Intermediate Wind Girder Design Example (1 of 3) From API 650, Figures 3.9. Courtesy of the American
Petroleum Institute

Fig. 500-8

Given:
Open top tank
Tank diameter

180

Tank height

48 feet

Design wind

102 mph

Height between bottom


and wind girder

44.5 feet

Shell course thickness


No. 1

0.960 inches

No. 2

0.760 inches

No. 3

0.600 inches

No. 4

0.443 inches

No. 5

0.313 inches

No. 6

0.313 inches

Fig. 500-9

Tank Shell Course Dimensions

1. Calculate the maximum height of the unstiffened shell, H1 (see API 650 Section 3.9.7.1):
t
H = 600000t ---
1
D

3
(Eq. 500-15)

where:
t = .313 inches

July 2000

500-22

Chevron Corporation

Tank Manual

Fig. 500-8

500 Shell Design

Intermediate Wind Girder Design Example (2 of 3) From API 650, Figures 3.9. Courtesy of the American
Petroleum Institute
D = 180 feet

0 .313 3
H 1 = 600000 ( 0 .313 ) ------------- = 13.6ft
180
(Eq. 500-16)
2. Correct for wind velocity.
100
H 1 = H 1 --------
V

100
= 13.6 --------
102

2
= 13.1ft
(Eq. 500-17)

3. Calculate the transformed width of each shell course below the top wind girder (see API 650 Section 3.9.7.2a).
.313 5
W tr = 8 --------- = 0.5ft

0.96
1
.313
W tr = 8 ---------

.76
2

.313
= 8 ---------
tr 3
.60

= 0.9ft

= 1.6ft

.313 5
W tr = 8 --------- = 3.3ft

.443
4
.313 5
W tr = 12.5 --------- = 12.5ft
.313
5
(Eq. 500-18)
4. Sum the transformed widths of each course.
Since the height of the transformed shell is greater than the maximum height (H1) of an unstiffened shell, an
intermediate wind girder is required.
5. Determine intermediate wind girder location. For equal shell stability, locate wind girder at the midpoint of the
transformed width (see API 650 Section 3.9.7.3).
Wtr = 9.4 feet. Since this transformed width is less than Wtr5, then the intermediate wind girder would be
located on course No. 5, 9.4 feet below the top wind girder.
6. Determine need for any other wind girders below the intermediate wind girder using the same procedure.
The distance between the top of the intermediate wind girder and the bottom of the shell course to which it
will be attached
= 16 - 3.5 - 9.4 = 3.1 feet.
7. Recalculate transformed widths. Transformed widths remain the same except for Wtr5, which is now 3.1 feet,
The sum of the transformed widths is now 9.4 feet ( of Wtr).

Chevron Corporation

500-23

July 2000

500 Shell Design

Fig. 500-8

Tank Manual

Intermediate Wind Girder Design Example (3 of 3) From API 650, Figures 3.9. Courtesy of the American
Petroleum Institute

8. Compare shell heights.


Since the transformed height is less than the maximum height of the unstiffened shell, no additional wind
girders are required (see API 650 3.9.7.3).
Total transformed width, Wtr = 18.8 feet.

9. Determine section modulus required for intermediate wind girder.


Z = .0001(D2)(H1)
(Eq. 500-19)
Use D = 180 feet and H1 = 9.4 feet
Z = .0001(180)2(9.4)
= 30.5in

10. Correct for wind velocity.


3
3
102 2
Zv = -------- 30.5in = 31.7in
100
Select section with this much section modulus. Figure 3-20 in API 650 will give assistance in selection of a section.
End of Intermediate Wind Girder Design Example

Intermediate Wind Girder Design Procedure


Section 3.9.7 of API 650 covers the requirements for design of intermediate wind
girders. The need for an intermediate wind girder is determined by finding the
maximum height of unstiffened shell. No intermediate wind girder is required if the
calculated unstiffened height is greater than the height of the tank.
The maximum height equation is based on external pressure and internal vacuum. If
the initial check shows an unstiffened height less than the tank height, a more
refined analysis using the actual tank shell thicknesses and the transposed width
method should be used.
The new tank must be designed using the design wind velocity and new shell thicknesses. Specification TAM-MS-967 also requires that the maximum allowable wind
velocity for the corroded condition be determined.
Here is a brief example for intermediate wind girder design for a new tank. Refer to
Figure 500-9.

540 Shell Construction


Building a tank shell round and plumb is of critical importance for all floating roof
tanks and for those fixed roof tanks that might have internal floating roofs installed
in the future. A round and plumb shell minimizes the annular space variation

July 2000

500-24

Chevron Corporation

Tank Manual

500 Shell Design

between the shell and floating roof and, therefore, gives better sealing and less
maintenance of the seal. The key to constructing a truly round and plumb tank is to
ensure that the top edges of the shell courses are level, especially the edge of the
first course.

541 Plate Preparation and Shop Inspection


Tank erectors have fabrication shops where tank plate is processed and tank
appurtenances are fabricated. Plate processing includes:

Cutting each plate square to size


Beveling edges for field welds
Forming plate to required curvatures
Abrasive blasting and priming the plate

A Company representative should inspect work done at the shop. A checklist for
shop inspectors is included in Section 1000.

542 Leveling
Leveling the top of the first course is critical for shell roundness. The smaller the
degree of variation from level, the more perfectly round the tank will be, and the
remainder of the shell will be easier to erect. The shell level should be checked after
the plate is tack welded or dogged in place. The level of the top of the first course
may be corrected by wedges placed between the tank steel bottom and foundation.
The level of the remainder of the courses should also be checked. Squared plates
will reduce out-of-level problems.

543 Welding
Peaking and Banding
API 650, paragraphs 5.5.4. and 5.5.5, cover peaking and banding. These terms
refer to the distortion or dimpling of shell plate and seams inward or outward.
Ideally, the welding of shell horizontal and vertical seams should be done with
alternating weld bead inside and outside to avoid peaking and banding. The weld
joint should be closely checked by use of a straight edge on horizontal seams and by
a board cut to the exact tank radius on the vertical seams. If peaking or banding is
detected, no further welding should be done on that seam until a procedure is
developed that will not worsen the condition.
Improper shop forming of the shell plates and inadequate cribbing of the rolled
plates during shipping and storage can also contribute to peaking and banding.

Welding and Welder Qualification


Section 7 of API 650 covers welding procedure and welder qualifications. In
addition, most operating companies have extensive welding specifications and
welder qualification documents.

Chevron Corporation

500-25

July 2000

500 Shell Design

Tank Manual

Weld Quality Control


Onsite weld quality control by a knowledgeable and experienced welding inspector
is strongly recommended. Most major operating organizations have their own
welding inspection capability. Smaller organizations that do not should either
arrange for that service from a nearby Company organization or contract the service.

544 Wind Girders and Preventing Wind Damage During Erection


All open-top tanks over 50 feet in diameter have wind girders to stabilize the shell.
Wind girders are covered in API 650, Section 3.9. All plate-to-plate junctures
should be seal welded to prevent corrosion from breaking welds.

Preventing Wind Damage


Before the fixed roof is installed (and for open-top tanks, before the wind girder is
installed), failure to protect the shell from wind-caused buckling can result in major
damage and delay in tank erection.

Protection against buckling should begin with the erection of the third course.

Protection can be in the form of temporary clips installed at the top of the shell
and connected by steel cables to ground anchors.

On floating roof and open-top tanks, the wind girder can be raised and
temporarily attached to each shell course as the shell is erected. It then can act
as not only protection against wind damage, but as a work platform and
walkway.

545 Dimensional Checks During Erection


Shell Plate
As mentioned earlier, the level of each shell plate and course should be checked
during erection. The level of each plate should be checked as it is set in place with
corrections made by adjusting the thickness of the wedges placed between plates on
the horizontal seam. Plate surfaces should be flush with lower and upper plates on
the stockside.

Tank Diameter
The tank diameter is checked by measuring the tank circumference as each course is
erected. Hourglass or barrel shaped shells are not an unusual occurrence. This
problem is prevented by adhering stringently to the gap specification between
plates, checking individual plate lengths, and using scribed points for lineup at the
top edge of the shell course plate being installed. Often the last plate on a course
being installed is designated to be trimmed to fit in the field to adjust for errors. At
other times weld spacing is used.

July 2000

500-26

Chevron Corporation

Tank Manual

500 Shell Design

Peaking and Banding Checks


These checks should be made during the placing and weld up of each shell plate.
The checks are made using a long straight edge (held vertically on the stockside
surface) or a board cut to the exact shell radius (held horizontally across the vertical
weld seam).

550 Shell Repairs


Shell replacement is generally not economical because replacing a shell also
requires roof replacement. However, shells can be repaired within limitations and
with certain risks. Shell repair alternatives are listed below. Section 630 covers
rerating and retiring of shells.
Replacement of Individual Plates. Individual plates are replaced usually to repair
corrosion or mechanical damage or to replace multiple shell nozzles or other
openings.
Bottom Course Replacement. This repair typically corrects for corrosion losses,
and is completed one plate at a time.
Upper Shell Course Replacement. This repair is usually used to correct internal
vapor space corrosion. It is more suitable for fixed roof tanks. It may or may not
include roof replacement. Keeping the shell in round and maintaining the tolerances
required for a floating roof are very difficult. However, it has been accomplished
when done with care.
Upgrading Shells Earthquake Resistance. You can make the shell resistant to
seismic-caused buckling by replacing the bottom shell course with thicker plate, one
plate at a time. These repairs may be included with installation of a new annular
ring under the shell. Tanks built to API 650 revisions after 1979 should not require
such a repair method. See Section 530 for more details on seismic design. Consult
CRTCs Civil and Structural Team or a structural engineer when considering this
design. Note the first option cannot be used to change safe oil height.
Reduction in Buckles (bumps and dents). This can be done by installing a
structural member rolled to the proper radius and installed with the aid of a clip and
winch. The buckle in the area of the repair will be reduced, but smaller buckles can
be expected on either side of the repair. On a floating roof tank this repair may
enable the seal system to work properly. An alternative method is to replace the area
of the buckle with new plate rolled and sized to the opening cut.
Door Sheets. These are cut into a shell to permit entry of mechanical equipment and
to complete major repairs or rebuilding of the tank. Qualified welding procedures
must be used for the material involved, and corners of the replacement plates
rounded to a radius equal to 6 times the plate thickness to reduce stress
concentrations but in no case less than 2 inches. (See Specification TAM-MS-2,
Doorsheet Removal and Reinstallation.)
Vertical Riveted Seam Repair. The joint efficiency of a lap riveted vertical shell
seam is usually about 0.64 but may actually vary from0.45 to 0.90+. This joint effi-

Chevron Corporation

500-27

July 2000

500 Shell Design

Tank Manual

ciency can be increased to 0.75 by full fillet lap welding both sides of the lapped
seam plus seal welding of the rivets. This is a difficult, costly procedure and
normally not justifiable unless the alternative is to retire the tank.
Sealing of Riveted Seams. Sometimes leaking seams are repaired by applying a
sealant. This repair, which will not upgrade joint efficiency, is covered in
Specification TAM-MS-7.

July 2000

500-28

Chevron Corporation