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A nevv, method for replacing

corroded bottom plates

of oil storage fanks
Wataru Tsuda
Akira Iseda
Koichi Yamazaki
Nippon Petroleum Refining Co. Ltd.
Niigata Construction Co. Ltd.
Niigata Construction Co. Ltd.
The bottom plates of oil storage tanks sometimes need to be replaced
due to corrosion or rivetted joint leakage.
This replacement work usually involves lifting the tank with hy-
draulic jacks, a costly and time-consuming exercise.
Nippon Petroleum Refining Co. and Niigata Construction Co. have
jointly developed a new non-jacking method that allows the tank
bottom plates to be replaced by supporting the tank with simple jigs.
Engineering analysis and strain gauge measurements prove that
the method does not generate unacceptable stress levels in the tank,
even from earthquake and wind loads, during the work.
The method has been successfully applied to bottom plate replace-
ment of more than 260 tanks, and it has demonstrated remarkable
cost and time savings when compared with the conventional Jack-
up Method.
Reprinted from a paper to be published in the Journal of the Japan Petroleum Institute
1. Introduction
Strict regulations have been enforced in recent years
throughout Japan concerning the acceptable bottom plate
thickness in large storage tanks. These regulations were
one of the results of an oil spillage accident at a Japanese
refinery in 1974 and local government agencies require a
regular and systematic inspection of all tank bottom plates.
The Jack-up Method is conventionally used for bottom
plate replacement work, involving jack mounting attach-
ments to the tank and localized foundation reinforcement
under the jacks. It is labour intensive, ties us costly hy-
draulic jacking equipment, and it takes a long time to
Work Flow Chart
Planning & design analysis
Preparatory work
(covers, enclosures, piping, etc.)
A simpler method was introduced by Nippon Petroleum
Refinery Co. and Niigata Construction Co. in 1977 after
two years of study, and is referred to as the "Support Piece
Method". The particular merits of the Support Piece Method
are a typical 30% reduction of both repair costs and time
when compared with the Jack-up Method. More than 260
storage tanks (of all types and sizes) have been successfully
repaired by the Support Piece Method, including large tanks
in the 100,000 kilolitre range.
2. On-site Procedure
2.1 Reinforcing the shell
A. reinforcing ring is normally installed around the inner
or the outer circumference of the shell plates (Fig. 1). This
prevents any distortion of the shell plates from the residual
stresses which may have accumulated during construction
and service, and retains the correct circular profile during
the rectification work.
2.3 Cutting the shell plates
An opening cut 30 ft (9m) in length is made around the
shell plates (Fig. 3). All shell cutting work needs to be done
accurately and carefully because the cut surfaces become
the new joint faces between the shell and annular plates.
Shell plate
Fig. 1 Installation of the reinforcing ring
Fig. 3 Cutting out the shell and annular plates in
progressive stages

2.2 Marking off

A cutting line is normally marked a nurumum of 1"
(25mm) above the base of the shell plates. This dimension is
governed by the following:
Working space for replacing the annular plates.
Welding and inspection of new annular plate butt joints.
Removing existing weld metal from the shell and
annular plate joint.
The extent of corrosion at the base of the shell plates.
The position of reinforcement for existing nozzles.
The false marker line for the automatic gas/oxygen flame
cutting equipment together with a transient line are marked
at the same time (Fig. 2). Before marking, any paint, rust
and oil which are close to the marking area are thoroughly
removed. An automatic gas cutting machine is then installed
against one of the marker lines, taking care to ensure the
straightness and angle of the cutting plane.
Ma rk cr line for .rut om.u i..
1 1 ~ 1 1 1 1 l ' l"LIt t i 11t-'- l'(! LIi \1111l' 11t
Transient marker line
Cut t im: line
r I r-L- I--...I_----l---l. ----,
Fig. 2 Marking the cutting line, transient marker line
and marker line for the automatic flame
cutting equipment
2.4 Annular plate replacement and temporary supports
The first annular segment of the tank bottom plate
complete with the heel of the shell plate. is then cut ou t
and withdrawn through the side plate aperture, taking care
not to damage the shell plate or tank foundations. A
replacement annular plate, cut precisely to size in the shop,
is next maneuvered through the aperture and tacked into
Shell plate
Fig. 4 Support pieces, other jigs and initial welding of
the annular plates
Fig. 4. shows the temporary tank support measures which
are then taken, starting with the first support pieces and
shoes. These are positioned at appropriate intervals to suit
the weight of the tank. The support pieces are welded to the
tank shell plates and supported via shoes on the replacement
annular plate. These shoes protect the new annular plates
from subsequent gas cutting operations and dist rihu te the
loading stress from the support pieces over the new annular

3. Engineering analysis
Outside diameter : 91,135mm
Height . 15,846mm
W = 827.0ton
2.8 Testing
The new bottom is tested in accordance with the testing
methods specified in API. Std. 650, 5.3. Additionally, a
magnetic particle or liquid penetrant examination is con-
All tanks are checked by an engineering analysis before
starting the work. As an example of this analysis, a tank
with the following specifications was used for both the
calculations and field measurements:
also narrows the unwelded radial gap between adjacent
annular plates and can sometimes cause cracking to the
existing weld bead end. So, before completing the butt weld
between adjacent annular plates, remaking of the groove
and inspection of the existing weld bead end are essential.
The final welding operation is the joint between the annular
plates and the bottom plates. Fig. 5. shows the order of
these individual welding operations.
2.7 Finishing
After the welding work has been completed, all the
support pieces, guide plates and jigs are finally removed and
their temporary weld marks are finished flat by grinding.
(1) Tank Duty
Content CRUDE
Type F. R. T.
Capacity 96,000kl
The stresses induced in the shell plate during this operation
must be lower than the stresses in the support pieces and
must also be at an acceptable level to comply wi th legal
safety standards and codes of practice.
(2) Tank Weight
Shell plate
Fig. 5 Order of welding operations
Guide plates are installed to maintain the correct shape
of the shell plates and to guide them when the tank is later
lowered on to the new annular plates. These guide plates also
prevent any horizontal movement by wind force when all
the bottom plate annular segments have been replaced. As a
final safety precaution, wedges are inserted at regular
intervals into the gap.
This procedure of:
-- cutting and removing the old bottom plate annular
inserting and tacking the new bottom plate segment
into position
installing the support pieces, support plates, guide
plates and wedges
is continued around the circumference of the tank until all
the bottom plate annular segments have been replaced. The
tank is then competely supported on the. new annular
, plates via the support pieces.
2.5 Setting-down the tank
Before lowering the tank, the annular plates are butt-
welded radially over a length of about 12" (300mm)
inwards from the outer circumference and the weld surface
is ground flat as shown in Fig. 4. This gives the finished
surface on which the tank shell plates will sit. A magnetic
particle or liquid penetrant examination is done on this
All the wedges are then removed and controlled lowering
of the tank on to the new annular plates is achieved in small
stages by cutting 3/8" (10mm) out of the support pieces in
a progressive sequence until the cut-back shell plates are
completely supported on the replacement annular plates.
When an internal roof-supporting structure exists, its length
is also adjusted during the setting-down operation.
2.6 Welding
& After the tank has been lowered on to the new annular
_ plates and jigs have been installed for any adjustment to the
curvature of the bottom shell plates, the T-joint between
the shell and annular plates is welded. This welding operation
Earthquake Load (horizontal) 1) 2)
3.1.5 Support Pieces
(1) Load
3.1.2 Wind Load (horizontal) 3) 4)
Pw=C.q.A (l)
A =h . D ' (2)
q = P. (3)
ps : earthquake load
k : earthquake factor
W : tank weight
= 82.7ton
= 0.1
P =- + -- (1)
su N Z
Z = -- (2)
Psu support piece load = 3.31 ton/piece
N : number of support pieces = 284
: overturning moment =2,496ton.m
Z : modulus of support piece section =6,471 m
'Y : tank radius = 45.57m
(2) Buckling load 5)
_c_ =3.3 > 1.5 is maintained
\ _ I. SOCTll
()- /' 1'.Oun
1.'.Ol'lll I /' i
"CU"-Vf L_ __ ;I,,',"
I r .
, I ,t
h -l.ucm
A f
1 + : . 2
K=-- (2)
= - - - - - -
= 315ton
= 91.135m
= 218kg/m
= 0.115kg. sec
wind load
C : wind factor
A : projected wind area
h : tank height
D : tank diameter
q : air pressure
p : air density
V0: design wind speed
: const. height
h' : height from ground
3.1.3 Sliding Resistance
=W . J1
: sliding resistance = 413.5ton
W : tank weight = 827ton
J1 : coefficient of friction =0.5 9)
When R
or P
the tank is safe from horizontal
sliding. (If the opposite case, action must be taken to in-
crease R
3.1.4 Overturning Resistance
Pc : max. compressive load =10.8ton
A : support piece cross-sectional area
f : compressive strength = 3,400ton/ cm
n : constant (safety factor) =
a : Rankine factor = 1/7,500
: support piece length = 20.0cm
K : first moment of area = 0.46cm
t : support piece thickness = 1.6cm
(3) Fillet weld joint strength between shell and support
piece. 6)

C =--
2 . C . 0
Fa = --------
= W . D/ 2 ... (I)
= R, (Pw).H . (2)
H = ..... (3)
M, : overturning moment resistance = 37,684ton.m
H : height above ground of center of gravity
= 7.923rn
When M, M
the tank is safe from overturning.
(If the opposite case, action must be taken to increase
: overturning moment =2,496ton.m
F : combined longitudinal, bending
and shear stress = 0.78toni em
C : throat of fillet weld = 0.56cm
S : fillet weld size = 0.8cm
71 : weld efficiency = 0.85 7)
L : upper width of
support piece = 5.0cm
0 : length of fillet weld = 12.0cm
Tp : permissible shear
stress =950kgjcm
(ASTM A570 Gr. 33) 8)
When Fa < T
' this fillet weld joint is .safe.
3.2 Field measurements
3.2.1 Measured stresses
A three-dimensional finite element analysis program was
used for shell stress calculation. Ideally elastic deformation
and rigid foundations were assumed. In addition, Fig. 6.
shows the measured results with' strain gauges during
reconditioning of a 96,000kl floating roof tank. These re-
sults are for support pieces # 283 and # 284, and for the
shell plates immediately adjacent to them. The support
pieces were cut progressively in numerical order from the
efirst (# I) to the last (#284). The stress level reached a
maximum when the unsupported length was 30 - 40meters.
Although the calculated stress continued to increase in
proportion to this length, in practice minor elastic deforma-
tion of the shell limited the maximum unsupported span to
23meters. Beyond this length, the support pieces were
brought into contact with the annular plate and the stress
level was contained within competely acceptable limits. The
maximum shell stresses were 19.3 (compressive), 13.1
(tensile) and 7.1 (shear) kg/rum? adjacent to support piece
positions #283 and #284 before the support piece was cut
at a circumferential distance of about 45meters round from
these positions. One support piece (#284) was loaded to
beyond its elastic limit without buckling occurring.
Where Pm is the general primary membrane stress
Pb is the primary bending stress
Q is the secondary stress
and Sm is the lesser of 1/3S
(tensile strength)or
(yield strength)
Suand Sy for this shell material (ASTM A 633GrC) are
53 & 36kgjn1m
, respectively. Thus 3 . Sm is 53kgjmm

The maximum measured stress intensity corresponding to

Pm + Pb + Q was 2 x maximum shearing stress (14.1 kg!
mrn") so that a safety factor of 3.8 existed without creat-
ing any distortion or safety hazards.
4. Principal advantages of the new method
1) Simple and repetitive work procedures with minimal
specialized equipment and low manhours. Consequently, a
typical 30% reduction in both costs and ou t-of-service time
is achievable when compared with the Jack-up Method.
2) Gravity does all the tank moving, giving good inherent
safety to the method. Moreover, the tank support measures
taken - support pieces, guide plates and wedges are many,
so that tank stability is maintained throughout the work.
3) Complete replacement of the bottom plates and
reconditioning of certain tank foundations can be done at
the same time
4) The tank dike is not damaged because all work takes
place inside the dike and additional ground reinforcement
is unnecessary.
Unsupported length (Ill)
1) Sub-sect. 19 of Sec. 4, Notification concerning
technical standard for controlling dangerous objects
of the FDB (Japan)
2) 3.1.2 (5), Welded steel tanks for oil storage,
JIS B-850 1 (1979)
3) Sub-sect. 20 of Sec. 4, Notification concerning
technical standard for controlling dangerous objects
of the FDB (Japan)
4) 3.1.2 (6), Welded steel tanks for oil storage,
JIS B-8501 (1979)
5) Rankine's formula
6) K. Enomoto, Yosetsu-Kogaku, Keirin Tosho, 1971,
7) 3.5.2 (1), Welded steel tanks for oil storage,
JIS B-8501 (1979)
8) 3.9.2 (4.1), Welded steel tanks for oil storage,
lIS B-850 1 (1979)
9) Appendix IV, Welded steel tanks for oil storage,
JIS B-850 1 (1979) P120
~ #283 support piCL'C
--\k- ShL'1I adjacent to #283 support piCL'l'
-.- #284 support piccc
-.- Shell adjacent to #284 support piece
Fig. 6 Stresses in the shell plates and support pieces
during operations
' - - - - - , ~ -------...,...--------------'
Wire strain !!all!!CS
were installed
3.2.2 Evaluation of imposed stress intensity
From the measured results, the imposed stress intensity
was evaluated. ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code Section
VIII Division 2 stipulates that (Pm +Pb +Q) shall not exceed
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