Above ground storage tank (AST units) store the materials frequently used by industries across the country. Petroleum, oil, liquid fertilizer, industrial chemicals, and water are just a few of the materials stored in AST units. Without them, thousands of companies, large and small, could not conduct their business, make their products, ship their wears, as efficiently as they do now.
Because AST units are so instrumental to industry, they are tightly controlled by government and industry regulatory agencies alike. The American Petroleum Institute (API), for example, sets out specific guidelines for stainless steel tank manufacturers when they make their products. Though API deals with oil, its standards are applicable to a variety of fields (liquid fertilizer, for example, is stored in AST units and is used for farming).
What do some of API standards require? Well, API 650 for example is the leading requirement for stainless steel storage tank construction. One of its sections stipulates that all welding done on these tanks have to be completed according to the guidelines set out by the Weld Procedure Specifications (WPS) and the Procedure Qualification Record (PQR), two industry standards. Also, AST units must be built with a secondary containment area that can hold the tank’s entire contents in case of leaks or spills. The secondary area must also have a 10% tank’s worth capacity if it’s susceptible to precipitation.
API 650 also requires manufacturers of AST units to build them so they can withstand earthquakes and other natural disasters. There are many other requirements that API 650 mandates, some of which are quite sophisticated. The most important thing to be aware of, however, is this: API and other standards provide stainless steel tank manufacturers with much needed guidance that guarantee the safety of their products and, as a result, guarantees the success of the industries they serve.
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