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A Primer on Rectangular Tanks

By Keith Kachelhofer, Hargrove Engineers + Constructors |

This type of tank is often preferred to cylindrical tanks when space is limited. Follow this guidance to calculate the relevant dimension and ensure safe construction With the increasing age of many chemical process plants, a challenge often arises when it comes time to find suitable “real estate” to erect and install new storage tanks. Throughout the chemical process industries (CPI), storage tanks are most often thought to be cylindrical tanks with flat bottoms and coned roofs, or leg- or lug-supported cylindrical tanks with dished heads. However, rectangular tanks may provide a viable alternative for facilities that need to store a product under atmospheric pressure but have limited space available to erect a traditional cylindrical tank. FIGURE 1. This photo shows a reinforced nozzle on a rectangular tank during onsite construction. Note the weep hole located at the bottom of the reinforcement pad[/caption] While abundant sources of information are available for cylindrical tanks, engineering guidance related to the specification or design of rectangular tanks is less readily available. For most CPI engineers, the biggest challenge associated with rectangular tanks is how to specify them and how to identify the most economical…
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  • Ben Laidlaw

    Great article; extremely easy to understand and follow.
    One question; for the intermediate angle iron stiffner shown in figure 6 (say we are using 60x60x6 angle). Why is the angle placed toe down; ie the 6m edge welded to the plate, and not toe out (ie the 60mm edge welded to the plate)
    At first instance one would think a piece of angle would provide more rigidity to the structure with a much larger contact area. Is it due to the angle providing more resistance to bending in that axis?


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