API 650 may not be the most recognizable term but for owners and proprietors of above ground storage tank (AST) units, it is incredibly important. Stainless steel tank manufacturers are obligated to make their AST units under the rules of API 650.
Before getting into API 650, it’s important to establish why AST units are that important to begin with. Simply put, AST units store the materials vital to several industries in the United States (and, really, around the world). They hold materials used in the oil, agriculture, manufacturing, and water industries. Because they’re above ground, AST units provide an accessible and efficient way to store things such as oil, industrial chemicals, liquid fertilizer, and water. Without them, industries would be put in a serious disadvantage.
What exactly are the rules of API 650? There are quite a few of them. The code (which is named after its industry issuing body, the American Petroleum Institute) regulates the construction, repair, and maintenance of AST units. AST units, for example, must be build with a secondary containment area that can hold 100% of the tank’s contents to protect against leaks and spills. This secondary area must also have an additional 10% capacity if it’s in an area that receives precipitation.
In addition, AST units must be built in accordance with the guidelines laid out by two major industry standards, the Weld Procedure Specifications (WPS) and the Procedure Qualification Record (PQR). The units must also be built so that they can withstand powerful natural disasters such as earthquakes.
There are many other standards that come with API 650. Some are quite sophisticated. It is important that storage tank construction companies and AST owners keep the code in mind. The government strictly regulates these units because of the precious (and sometimes dangerous) substances inside. For more information, feel free to leave a comment or question at the bottom.