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employees. Any material contained in this document which is not
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without the written permission of the Vice President, Engineering
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Chapter : Vessels For additional information on this subject, contact
File Reference: MEX20303 J.H. Thomas on 875-2230
Engineering Encyclopedia
Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards
Evaluating Mechanical
Design of Tank Structures
Engineering Encyclopedia Vessels
Evaluating Mechanical Design of Tank Structures
Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards
MODULE COMPONENT PAGE
INTRODUCTION................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 1
DESIGN FACTORS THAT ARE CONSIDERED
IN THE MECHANICAL DESIGN OF STORAGE TANKS ................................ .................. 2
Metal Temperature ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 2
Pressure ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 3
Specific Gravity of Stored Liquid ................................ ................................ ............................. 3
Corrosion Allowance ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 5
Other Loads ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................... 7
Settlement ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 10
DETERMINING WHETHER CONTRACTOR-SPECIFIED
SHELL THICKNESSES ARE CORRECT ................................ ................................ ............ 16
API-650 Requirements ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 16
One-Foot Method ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 19
Variable-Design-Point Method ................................ ................................ ............................... 25
Hydrostatic Test Case.........................................................................30
Design Case........................................................................................ 35
DETERMINING WHETHER CONTRACTOR-SPECIFIED WIND GIRDER
REQUIREMENTS FOR OPEN-TOP TANKS ARE CORRECT ................................ .......... 39
Pertinent Sections of API-650 ................................ ................................ ................................ . 41
General Wind Girder Requirements ................................ ................................ ........................ 42
Top Wind Girder Design Calculations ................................ ................................ .................... 43
Intermediate Wind Girder Design Calculations ................................ ................................ ....... 48
DETERMINING WHETHER CONTRACTOR-SPECIFIED DETAILS
FOR OPENING DESIGN ARE ACCEPTABLE ................................ ................................ ... 54
General ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 55
Reinforcement and Welding ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 55
Thermal Stress Relief ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 56
Manholes, Nozzles, and Flush-Type Cleanout Fittings ................................ ........................... 57
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DETERMINING WHETHER CONTRACTOR-SPECIFIED
DESIGN DETAILS FOR TANK ROOFS ARE ACCEPTABLE ................................ .......... 63
Cone Roofs ................................ ................................ ................................ .............................. 63
Supported Cone Roof ................................ ................................ ................................ . 63
Self-Supporting Cone Roof ................................ ................................ ........................ 65
Self-Supporting Dome Roof ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 65
Internal Floating Roof ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 66
External Floating Roofs ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 66
Single-Deck Floating Roof ................................ ................................ ........................ 67
Double-Deck Floating Roof ................................ ................................ ....................... 68
Special Considerations for External Floating Roofs ................................ .................. 68
Saudi Aramco and API Design Requirements ................................ ................................ ........ 69
32-SAMSS-005 Requirements ................................ ................................ .................. 71
API-650 Requirements................................ ................................ ............................... 71
Sizing Inlet Diffusers ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 76
DETERMINING WHETHER CONTRACTOR-SPECIFIED
DESIGN DETAILS FOR TANK BOTTOMS ARE ACCEPTABLE ................................ .... 78
Minimum Thickness ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 78
Cone Up or Down ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 78
Annular Ring ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 78
Water Withdrawal ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 81
Saudi Aramco and API Design Requirements ................................ ................................ ........ 81
SUMMARY ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................ 82
WORK AID 1: PROCEDURE FOR DETERMINING WHETHER CONTRACTOR-
SPECIFIED SHELL THICKNESSES ARE CORRECT ........................... 83
Work Aid 1A: Procedures (One-Foot Method) and Additional
Information for Calculating the Required Shell Thickness
for Atmospheric Storage Tanks ................................ ...................... 83
Work Aid 1B: Procedure (Variable-Design-Point Method) and Additional
Information for Calculating the Required Shell Thickness for
Atmospheric Storage Tanks ................................ ............................ 89
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Calculation of Bottom Shell Course Thickness ................................ ...................... 89
Calculation of the Second Shell Course Thickness ................................ ................ 90
Calculation of Third and Higher Shell Course Thicknesses ................................ ... 92
Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 94
WORK AID 2: PROCEDURE FOR DETERMINING WHETHER CONTRACTOR-
SPECIFIED WIND GIRDER REQUIREMENTS FOR OPEN-TOP
API-650 TANKS ARE CORRECT ................................ ............................ 95
Top Wind Girder Evaluation ................................ ................................ ................... 95
Intermediate Wind Girder Evaluation ................................ ................................ .... 105
WORK AID 3: PROCEDURE FOR DETERMINING WHETHER CONTRACTOR-
SPECIFIED DETAILS FOR OPENING DESIGN ARE
ACCEPTABLE ................................ ................................ ......................... 111
Shell Manholes ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 112
Shell Nozzle and Flange ................................ ................................ ........................ 112
Flush-Type Cleanout Fittings ................................ ................................ ................ 117
Flush-Type Shell Connections ................................ ................................ ............... 117
Roof Manholes................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 119
Roof Nozzles ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 119
WORK AID 4: PROCEDURE FOR DETERMINING WHETHER CONTRACTOR-
SPECIFIED DESIGN DETAILS FOR TANK ROOFS ARE
ACCEPTABLE ................................ ................................ ......................... 120
General ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 120
Frangible Fixed Roof ................................ ................................ ............................. 120
General Fixed Roof Tanks ................................ ................................ ..................... 123
Supported Cone Roof Tank ................................ ................................ ................... 124
Self-Supporting Cone Roof ................................ ................................ ................... 125
Self-Supporting Dome Roof ................................ ................................ .................. 126
External Floating Roof ................................ ................................ ........................... 127
Internal Floating Roof ................................ ................................ ............................ 130
WORK AID 5: PROCEDURE FOR DETERMINING WHETHER CONTRACTOR-
SPECIFIED DESIGN DETAILS FOR TANK BOTTOMS ARE
ACCEPTABLE ................................ ................................ ......................... 131
GLOSSARY................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 138
Engineering Encyclopedia Vessels
Evaluating Mechanical Design of Tank Structures
Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards 1
DESIGN Factors THAT ARE Considered in the Mechanical Design of Storage
Tanks
This section discusses the primary factors that are considered in the mechanical design of storage tanks. These
factors are as follows:
• Metal temperature
• Pressure
• Specific gravity of the stored liquid
• Corrosion allowance
• Other loads
• Settlement
Specifically, this section discusses the effect that each of the above-listed design factors could have on tank
reliability if the design factor is not properly considered in the mechanical design of the storage tank.
Metal Temperature
The metal temperature of storage tank components is determined by the operating requirements of the stored
liquid, and by the ambient temperature at the tank location. The operating requirements and operating
conditions of the stored liquid are determined by process engineers. The mechanical design of storage tank
components must consider both the highest and the lowest temperatures to which the tank can be exposed. As
discussed in MEX 203.02, the maximum operating temperature is the highest temperature that must be
considered in the tank design, and the design metal temperature is the lowest temperature that must be
considered in the tank design. Both of these temperatures are specified on either Saudi Aramco Drawing 2696
or the Storage Tank Data Sheet (API-650 Appendix L).
The maximum operating temperature determines the allowable stress that is used for the mechanical design of
storage tank components. The allowable stress of each specific material is constant for all temperatures up to
93°C (200°F); however, the allowable stress of each material decreases for temperatures that are above 93°C
(200°F). API-650 Appendix M contains additional design criteria that must be followed for tanks that have
maximum operating temperatures over 93°C (200°F). The tank could experience a permanent deformation or a
ductile fracture if the design requirements of API-650 Appendix M are not followed.
As discussed in MEX 203.02, the design metal temperature affects the fracture toughness characteristics of the
material and has a significant influence on tank material selection. If the design metal temperature that is
specified is higher than it needs to be, based on the specific tank application, the tank may experience a brittle
fracture. The design metal temperature is based on ambient conditions for most storage tanks. As discussed in
MEX 203.02, SAES-D-100 specifies the appropriate design metal temperatures for Saudi Aramco storage
tanks.
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Pressure
The internal pressure at which a storage tank will operate determines which API standard is to be used for the
mechanical design of the tank and its associated components. API-650, Welded Steel Tanks for Oil Storage, is
the design standard for tanks that operate at internal pressures approximating atmospheric pressure. API-650
may also be used for tanks that operate at internal pressures up to 17 kPa (ga; 2.5 psig); however, additional
design requirements that are contained in API-650 Appendix F must be followed if the internal pressure
exceeds atmospheric pressure. This course will only consider API-650 tanks that operate at atmospheric
pressure.
API-620, Design and Construction of Large, Welded, Low-Pressure Tanks, is the design standard that is used
for tanks that operate at pressures that exceed the pressure limits of API-650 and are less than 103 kPa (ga; 15
psig). When tanks have internal design pressures over 103 kPa (ga; 15 psig), they are designed as pressure
vessels in compliance with Section VIII of the ASME Code. Tanks that are designed in accordance with API-
620, or Section VIII of the ASME Code, are not discussed in this course. Saudi Aramco has a small number of
API-620 tanks, and pressure vessels are discussed in MEX 202.
The internal operating pressure is determined by process engineers based on the operating requirements of the
stored liquid. The internal operating pressure is specified on either Saudi Aramco Drawing 2696 or the Storage
Tank Data Sheet (API-650 Appendix L). If the operating pressure is specified incorrectly, the mechanical
design of the tank will not be correct. For example, if the actual internal pressure for a particular application
exceeds 17 kPa (2.5 psig) but is specified to be less than that, API-650 would be used for the mechanical design
of the tank instead of API-620. The use of API-650 for the mechanical design of the tank would be incorrect in
this case. Depending on the magnitude of the actual pressure, this specification error could result in shell and
roof sections that are too thin or nozzles that are not adequately reinforced for the actual applied pressure. The
consequences of this error could be permanent deformations or a ductile fracture of tank components.
Specific Gravity of Stored Liquid
The specific gravity of the liquid that is being stored, (G), in conjunction with the depth of the liquid,
determines the hydrostatic pressure of the liquid, as illustrated in Figure 1. The total hydrostatic pressure at a
given elevation in a tank must be considered in determining the required thickness of the tank shell. The
specific gravity of the stored liquid must be specified on either Saudi Aramco Form 2696 or the Storage Tank
Data Sheet (API-650 Appendix L).
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Evaluating Mechanical Design of Tank Structures
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Figure 1. Hydrostatic Pressure in a Storage Tank
Storage tanks must be designed for the specific gravity of water (1.0), because the tanks are filled with water for
testing purposes after they are constructed. If the specific gravity of the liquid that is to be stored exceeds 1.0
(water), the tank must be designed for the higher specific gravity. Most Saudi Aramco storage tank applications
store hydrocarbons with specific gravities that are less than 1.0. As discussed later in this module, the required
tank shell thicknesses are calculated separately for the hydrotest case and the design liquid case using different
allowable stresses for each case.
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Evaluating Mechanical Design of Tank Structures
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A later section of this module discusses the procedures that are used to determine the required thickness of the
tank shell. The required shell thickness is directly proportional to the specific gravity of the stored liquid. If
the specific gravity is not correctly specified, the calculated shell thickness will be incorrect. In extreme cases,
the shell can become permanently deformed if it is too thin, and a ductile fracture may occur.
It may be desirable for operational reasons to change the liquid that is being stored after the tank has been in
service for some period of time. In situations where the stored liquid is changed, the tank must be evaluated
based on the specific gravity of the new liquid. MEX 203.08 discusses the evaluation of existing storage tanks.
Corrosion Allowance
As discussed in MEX 203.02, the components of a storage tank may lose metal due to corrosion that is caused
by the stored liquid. To compensate for this metal loss, a "corrosion allowance" (CA) may be added to the
metal thickness that is required for strength, as illustrated in Figure 2. This "corrosion allowance" offsets the
expected deterioration of the tank components while they are in service. When needed, the corrosion allowance
is typically added to the calculated required thicknesses of the shell, internal components, and structural
members that may be used to support a fixed roof. A corrosion allowance is typically not added to the required
thicknesses of the roof itself or the bottom.
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Evaluating Mechanical Design of Tank Structures
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Where:
t = Minimum required shell thickness
CA = Corrosion allowance
T = Total required shell thickness
Figure 2. Corrosion Allowance in Tank Shell
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Corrosion will sometimes occur on the exterior of the tank shell or roof sections. However, this corrosion is
normally caused by factors such as deterioration of the external paint system or poor local drainage. A
corrosion allowance is not added to the metal thickness to account for external corrosion. Periodic maintenance
must be performed to ensure that external corrosion does not become a problem.
As discussed in MEX 203.02, SAES-D-100 specifies the corrosion allowance requirements for Saudi Aramco
storage tanks. In brief, a corrosion allowance is normally not specified for storage tanks that are in crude oil
service; however, a corrosion allowance may be specified by the proponent of the project for tanks that are in
crude oil or hydrocarbon services based on actual experience with other tanks in similar services. Corrosion
allowances are specified for the shell and internal structures of storage tanks that are in water service if there is
no internal cathodic protection system. A corrosion allowance, when required, must be specified on either
Saudi Aramco Drawing 2696 or the Storage Tank Data Sheet (API-650 Appendix L). MEX 203.02 contains a
table that summarizes Saudi Aramco corrosion allowance requirements.
If a storage tank shell corrodes during operation, and a corrosion allowance was not properly specified, the
stresses in the shell will increase and may eventually exceed the allowable stress. In extreme cases, the shell
can become permanently deformed (or hole through) if it becomes too thin, and a ductile fracture may occur.
MEX 203.08 discusses the evaluation of existing storage tanks that have experienced corrosion during
operation.
Other Loads
The mechanical design of a storage tank must also consider loads other than pressure. These other loads
include wind and earthquake, loads that are imposed by connected piping systems (and other attachments) on
nozzles, and rainwater accumulation on external floating roofs. Figure 3 illustrates the application of wind and
earthquake loads on a storage tank.
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Where:
F
w
= Base shear force due to wind
M = Overturning moment due to wind or earthquake
Figure 3. Wind and Earthquake Loads
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32-SAMSS-005 does not specify any requirements with respect to other loads. SAES-D-100 specifies the
following loading and analysis requirements for the design of storage tanks:
• All tanks must be designed for a wind velocity of 137 km/h (85 MPH) in accordance with
ANSI A58.1, Exposure C. Tanks must also be checked for stability against overturning
moments that are caused by wind pressure.
A tank shell may become out-of-round if it is not adequately designed for the expected wind
velocity. Excessive shell out-of-roundness could cause binding of floating roofs and/or the
formation of cracks at shell welds.
The overturning moment requirement is most relevant for relatively small diameter storage
tanks, because the tank weight might not be sufficient to resist the wind load. Anchor bolts
might be needed to keep the tank from turning over.
• The minimum required thickness of the tank shell for the design liquid, excluding corrosion
allowance, must be used to determine wind girder requirements for external floating roof
tanks. One or more wind girders are used to prevent tank shell out-of-roundness that could be
caused by wind loads. Wind girder requirements are discussed later in this module.
• Seismic loads are to be considered, and the applicable seismic zone (to be found in SAES-M-
100) must be specified on either Saudi Aramco Drawing 2696 or the Storage Tank Data Sheet
(API-650 Appendix L). A tank rupture can occur if the tank is not designed for the required
seismic loads.
• Nozzles must be designed for the static liquid load and loads that are applied by connected
piping.
Special design considerations are not required to account for the static liquid load as long as
standard API-650 design details are used for the nozzles. Loads that are applied by piping that
is connected to a tank nozzle cause additional local stresses in the nozzle neck, the adjacent
shell, and the associated attachment welds. These additional stresses, if they are too high, can
cause the formation of local weld cracks in the nozzle or shell. Therefore, it must be
confirmed that the loads that are applied by the pipe are not excessive.
• For nozzles with diameters greater than 150 mm (6 in.) that are located in the first shell course
of tanks greater than 20 m (65 ft.) in diameter, a stress analysis of the tank shell-to-piping
intersection must be performed to assure adequacy of the design. The analysis must be
submitted to the Consulting Services Department for review prior to fabrication. This analysis
is done to ensure that the local stresses at the nozzle-to-shell junction are not excessive.
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Settlement
Settlement of the tank bottom or shell is caused by compression or movement of the soil under the tank or the
tank foundation. Settlement can be the result of improper foundation design, unusual flooding or high tides, or
from slowly flowing soil in marshy or swampy locations.
When the foundation settles evenly around the tank periphery, the resulting settlement causes only minor
problems. However, nonuniform settlement causes tank shell out-of-roundness. Excessive shell out-of-
roundness can cause flat spots or buckles on the tank shell and roof of fixed roof tanks, and seal damage,
binding, and/or excessive gaps between the roof and shell in floating roof tanks. Figure 4 illustrates differential
shell settlement.
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Figure 4. Differential Shell Settlement
A tank bottom may also experience differential settlement of several different types, as illustrated in Figures 5
through 7. Settlement, depending on its type and severity, can overstress the bottom plates or bottom-to-shell
junction, or buckle the bottom shell course. This overstress can cause the bottom plate welds to crack and leak.
If the leaks are large enough, portions of the foundation may become unstable. This instability could lead to
the loss of local bottom support, further increase the stress in the bottom plates, and eventually result in a
significant tank failure.
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Figure 5. Center-to-Edge Bottom Settlement
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Figure 6. Bottom Edge Settlement
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Figure 7. Bottom Settlement or Bulges
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Soil samples are typically taken from the area where a tank is to be erected. This sampling is done to determine
the composition of the soil, and whether there are any significant variations in soil composition over the area
upon which the tank will rest. From this soil composition data, civil engineers are then able to determine the
maximum amount of settlement that is expected during the life of the tank, and whether this settlement will be
relatively uniform. If the civil engineers determine that the predicted settlement is excessive, a soils
improvement program is undertaken in order to reduce the amount of predicted settlement, and its
nonuniformity, to acceptable values.
The predicted settlement values are not specified on either Saudi Aramco Drawing 2696 or the Storage Tank
Data Sheet (API-650 Appendix L). The predicted settlement is not directly considered in the mechanical design
of a new storage tank because it is assumed that the tank foundation has been stabilized to the extent that is
necessary to keep settlement within an acceptable limit.
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DETERMINING WHETHER CONTRACTOR-SPECIFIED Shell thicknesses ARE
CORRECT
This section first reviews the requirements that are in API-650 for shell thicknesses of storage tanks. This
section then explains the following methods that are used to calculate shell thicknesses:
• The one-foot method
• The variable-design-point method
The discussion of each calculation method is accompanied by a sample problem that illustrates the application
of the method.
The normal job function of Saudi Aramco engineers is to review the drawings and calculations for storage tank
shells that are provided by tank manufacturers in Contractor Design Packages. For example, the shell plate
thicknesses that are specified by the contractor must be reviewed to determine if they are acceptable. The Saudi
Aramco engineer is not responsible for making the shell thickness calculations himself for the initial tank
design. Situations may arise during the review of Contractor Design Packages when the Saudi Aramco
engineer must do check-calculations himself in order to verify the contractor’s work. The Saudi Aramco
engineer must know how these calculations should be done to be able to verify that the contractor-specified
thicknesses are acceptable, to confirm that the contractor’s calculations are done correctly, and to perform
check-calculations himself as required.
API-650 Requirements
Figure 8 shows the relevant paragraphs of API-650 that specify requirements for tank shell thickness.
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Topic Par agr aph
Shell Design - General
Allowable Stress
Calculation of Thickness by the One-Foot Method
Calculation of Thickness by the Variable-Design-Point Method
Calculation of Thickness by Elastic Analysis
3.6.1
3.6.2
3.6.3
3.6.4
3.6.5
Figure 8. API-650 Tank Shell Thickness Requirements
Work Aid 1 contains the specific procedures to be used to calculate shell thicknesses using either the one-foot
method or the variable-design-point method. Tank shell thicknesses will normally only be calculated by the
tank manufacturer. However, the contractor may make preliminary estimates of the shell course thicknesses
using the one-foot method for tanks that are no more than 61 m (200 ft.) in diameter. The sections that follow
summarize general shell thickness requirements that are contained in API-650 and elaborate on several of the
procedural items that are contained in Work Aid 1. API-650 requires that an elastic stress analysis be done for
tanks that cannot be designed by either of the other two thickness calculation methods. Elastic stress analysis
of storage tank shells is not discussed in this course.
API-650 contains several general requirements that relate to shell thickness. Several of these requirements are
highlighted as follows:
• The required thickness of a storage tank shell must be calculated for two separate cases:
- Case 1 considers the specific gravity of the stored liquid. The shell thickness that results from
this case is the “design shell thickness,” t
d
.
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- Case 2 considers the specific gravity of the water (1.0) which will be used for the hydrostatic
test of the tank. The shell thickness that results from this case is the “hydrostatic test shell thickness,”
t
t
.
• t
d
for a tank is computed on the following basis:
(1) The assumption that the storage tank is filled to its design capacity with a liquid
having a specific gravity specified by the purchaser.
(2) The design allowable stress (discussed in MEX 203.02).
(3) Any corrosion allowance specified by the purchaser.
The shell thickness computed on this basis is for the normal, maximum design loading for the
tank.
• t
t
for a tank is computed on the following basis:
(1) The assumption that the storage tank is filled to its design capacity with water.
(2) The hydrostatic test allowable stress (discussed in MEX 203.02).
(3) No corrosion allowance.
• The tank shell is to be checked for stability against buckling from the design wind velocity as
previously cited from SAES-D-100, (i.e., 137 km/h [85 MPH]). Intermediate wind girders,
increased shell-plate thickness, or both, are to be included in the design in order to stiffen the
shell, if required for stability. The most common approach is to weld circumferential wind
girders to the shell. The use of wind girders will be discussed later in this module.
• The tank manufacturer is to furnish the purchaser with a drawing with the following data for
each shell course:
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- Required shell thicknesses for both the design condition (including corrosion allowance) and
the hydrostatic test condition.
- Nominal thickness used.
- Material specification.
- Allowable stresses.
• Isolated radial loads on the tank shell, such as those caused by heavy loads on platforms and
elevated walkways between tanks, are to be distributed to avoid excessive local shell stresses.
One-Foot Method
The one-foot method is based on limiting the approximate membrane stress to the allowable stress at a location
that is 1 ft. above the bottom of the course being considered. The required shell thickness is then determined
based on that stress. A distance of 1 ft. above the bottom of the course is assumed to be the location of
maximum membrane stress.
A step-by-step procedure for the one-foot method of API-650 for calculation of the required shell thickness for
atmospheric storage tanks is provided in Work Aid 1A. This is the most commonly used method for the
calculation of shell thicknesses because it is the simplest method. The one-foot method is not valid for tanks
that are over 61 m (200 ft.) in diameter.
The following briefly summarizes the overall calculation approach of the one-foot method and several
additional points. Complete procedural details are contained in Work Aid 1A. Use Figure 9 as a reference.
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Figure 9. Tank Shell Courses
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• A tank shell is constructed of individual rows of plates. Each individual plate row is called a
“course” (see Figure 9), and each course is of a specified height. The total height of the tank shell is
the sum of the individual course heights.
• The required thickness of each individual course is calculated separately. The required
thickness considers the depth of liquid (H) measured from the bottom of the course to the maximum
liquid level.
• The hydrostatic pressure that is imposed by the stored liquid is a maximum at the bottom
course and a minimum at the top course. If the same plate material specification is used for all the
courses, the required plate thickness to resist the hydrostatic pressure decreases in going from the
bottom course to the top course.
• Different plate material specifications may be used for different courses. For example, a
higher-strength material specification may be used for the bottom course than is used for the upper
courses. Use of a higher strength material for one or more lower courses minimizes the required plate
thicknesses for the courses that are subjected to the highest hydrostatic pressures.
• The required thickness is calculated for each course for both the design liquid and for water.
The minimum acceptable course thickness based on hydrostatic pressure considerations is the higher of
the two calculated thicknesses (i.e., t
d
or t
t
).
• The actual course thickness that is used for each course must also be greater than minimum
values that are specified in API-650, based on tank diameter. In addition, no course may be thicker
than the course that is under it.
• Sample Problem 1 illustrates the application of the one-foot method.
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Sample Pr oblem 1: Calculation of Shell Thickness Requir ements Using the One-Foot
Method
Figure 10 is an excerpt from a Contractor Design Package for an atmospheric storage tank. Calculate the
required shell thicknesses for this storage tank using the one-foot method.
Tank Size:
Diameter - 100 ft. Total Height - 40 ft.
Shell Cour ses: 5-courses, each 8 ft. high
Maximum Design Liquid Stor age Height: 38 ft.
Liquid Specific Gr avity: 0.85
Cor r osion Allowance: 1/16 in.
Shell Plate Mater ial:
A516 Grade 70 for bottom course
A516 Grade 60 for all other courses
Bottom Plate Mater ial:
Annular Plate: A516 Grade 70
Rest of Bottom: A36
Roof Plate Mater ial: A36
Roof Type: External Floating
Figure 10. Sample Problem 1 Data
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Solution
Work Aid 1A is used to solve this problem.
t
d
·
2.6D H−1
( )
G
S
d
+ CA
t
t
·
2.6D H−1
( )
S
t
• For the first (bottom) shell course (H = 38 ft.):
For the A516, Grade 70 steel, S
d
= 25 300 psi, and S
t
= 28 500 psi (Table 3-2 of API-650).
t
d
·
2.6 100
( )
38− 1
( )
0. 85
( )
25 300
+ 0.0625
t
d
· 0.386 in.

t
t
·
2.6 100
( )
38−1
( )
28 500
t
t
· 0.338 in.
The design condition is the governing case for the first course; therefore, the shell must be at least
0.386 in. thick. In practice, the next larger readily available, standard plate thickness will be ordered
by the vendor for each course.
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• For the second shell course (H = 30 ft.):
Note that the shell plate material has changed to A516 Grade 60 for this course and all
higher courses. For A516 Grade 60, S
d
= 21 300 psi and S
t
= 24 000 psi.
t
d
·
2.6 100
( )
30−1
( )
0.85
( )
21300
+ 0.0625
t
d
· 0.363 in.

t
t
·
2.6 100
( )
30−1
( )
24 000
t
t
· 0.314 in.
The design condition is the governing case for the second course; therefore, the shell must be at least
0.363 in. thick.
• For the third shell course (H = 22 ft.):
t
d
·
2.6 100
( )
22− 1
( )
0.85
( )
21300
+ 0.0625
t
d
· 0.28 in.
t
t
·
2.6 100 ( ) 22−1 ( )
24 000
t
t
· 0.23 in.
The design condition is the governing case for the third course. Therefore, the shell must be at least
0.28 in. thick.
If the calculations were continued, they would show that the minimum permissible thickness is the governing
factor for the fourth course; therefore, the shell must be at least 0.25 in. thick.
Since the minimum permissible thickness determined the required thickness of the fourth course, the fifth
course must be at least 0.25 in. thick also.
Engineering Encyclopedia Vessels
Evaluating Mechanical Design of Tank Structures
Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards 24
The required minimum shell thicknesses are summarized as follows:
• First course: 0.386 in.
• Second course: 0.363 in.
• Third course: 0.28 in.
• Fourth course: 0.25 in.
• Fifth course: 0.25 in.
If the Contractor Design Package for this tank included shell course thicknesses, you must confirm that the
contractor-specified thicknesses are at least these minimum values.
Variable-Design-Point Method
Recall from the previous discussion that the one-foot method cannot be used if the tank diameter exceeds 61 m
(200 ft.). The variable-design-point method of API-650 is normally used to calculate the required shell
thicknesses for these larger-diameter tanks.
A step-by-step procedure for calculation of the required shell thickness for atmospheric storage tanks by the
variable-design-point method is provided in Work Aid 1B. The paragraphs that follow describe the overall
approach.
The variable-design-point method calculates the required thickness of each shell course at an elevation that is
closer to the actual point of maximum stress than the one-foot method assumes. The variable-design-point
method may be used when the purchaser does not require use of the one-foot method, and when the following
equation based on tank geometry is satisfied:
SI Units English Units
0.268 Dt
H
≤ 2
6Dt
H
≤ 2
Where: D = Tank diameter, m (ft.)
t = Bottom shell course thickness, mm (in.)
H = Maximum design liquid level, m (ft.)
If this inequality is not satisfied for a particular tank geometry, the shell thicknesses must be calculated by
elastic stress analysis.
Engineering Encyclopedia Vessels
Evaluating Mechanical Design of Tank Structures
Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards 25
The variable-design-point method is an iterative calculation procedure. The calculation is begun by picking a
thickness for the shell course, and by then performing a calculation using that thickness in order to calculate the
required thickness. Normally, the starting thickness for the first iteration is the thickness that is determined by
the one-foot method. The calculation results in a revised required thickness for the shell course. The
calculation is then repeated using the result of the first calculation as the initial estimated thickness. The
procedure continues until the starting and calculated thicknesses converge. Calculations are made for both the
design and hydrotest cases, as in the one-foot method.
The variable-design-point method for calculation of the required tank shell thickness has the following
characteristics:
• It is a more sophisticated design calculation than the one-foot method and usually results in a
thinner tank shell. The reduction in shell thickness is more important for larger diameter tanks
because it results in a greater reduction in the amount of material that is needed to fabricate the
shell. The reduction in shell thickness then results in a greater cost saving for large diameter
tanks.
• It is much more time-consuming than the one-foot method if the calculations are done
manually. However, tank suppliers will typically use a computer program for these
calculations.
• It is a valid method for calculation of tank shell thicknesses for tanks that are over 61 m (200
ft.) in diameter that satisfy the previously stated equation based on tank geometry. This
method may also be used for smaller diameter tanks. However, it normally is not worthwhile
to employ this method for small diameter tanks.
• It cannot be used when the one-foot method is specified by the Purchaser. Saudi Aramco does
not specify the use of one calculation method over another.
Refer to Tables K-1 through K-3 in API-650 Appendix K. These tables summarize the results of shell thickness
calculations based on the variable-design-point method for a variety of tank diameters and shell heights. These
tables may be used to help make an initial assessment of shell thickness results that are provided in a Contractor
Design Package when the variable-design-point method is used. These tables should be used cautiously for the
following reasons:
Engineering Encyclopedia Vessels
Evaluating Mechanical Design of Tank Structures
Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards 26
• The tables are based on the use of just three specific allowable stresses (i.e., the
results are only accurate for the material specifications that correspond to these allowable
stresses). Therefore, their results are not correct for any other allowable material stresses, and
must be adjusted.
• The tables summarize the results for only the hydrostatic test case calculations. Therefore, the
acceptability of the thicknesses for the design case must still be verified.
• The tables assume that all of the shell courses are fabricated using the same material
specification. Therefore, the thicknesses are not correct if more than one material is used in
the fabrication of the shell. It is common for the shell of a large-diameter tank to be fabricated
using at least two material specifications.
• The tables assume that each shell course is 2.4 m (96 in.) high. Therefore, the thicknesses are
not correct if the courses above the first course are not of this height.
• The tables are based on specific tank diameters and shell heights. The thicknesses must be
adjusted for other tank diameters and heights.
Because of the above limitations, Tables K-1 through K-3 should at most be used to make an initial estimate of
the shell thicknesses that are required based on the variable-design-point calculation method. Any final
decision regarding the acceptability of contractor-specified shell thicknesses should be based on the specific
tank geometry and material specifications and must also consider the calculations for the design case.
Engineering Encyclopedia Vessels
Evaluating Mechanical Design of Tank Structures
Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards 27
Sample Pr oblem 2: Calculation of Shell Thickness Requir ements Using the Var iable-
Design-Point Method
Figure 11 is an excerpt from a Contractor Design Package for an atmospheric storage tank. Calculate the
required shell thicknesses for this tank using the variable-design-point method. Work Aid 1B is used to solve
this problem.
Tank Size:
Diameter - 280 ft. Total Height - 64 ft.
Shell Cour ses: 8-courses, each 8 ft. high
Maximum Design Liquid Stor age Height: 64 ft.
Liquid Specific Gr avity: 0.85
Cor r osion Allowance: 0.05 in.
Shell Plate Mater ial:
A573 Grade 70 for all courses
Bottom Plate Mater ial:
Annular Plate: A573 Grade 70
Rest of Bottom: A36
Roof Plate Mater ial: A36
Roof Type: External Floating
Figure 11. Sample Problem 2 Data
Solution:
Since the tank exceeds 61 m (200 ft.) diameter, Work Aid 1B must be used.
For the A573 Grade 70 steel, S
d
= 28 000 psi, S
t
= 30 000 psi.
t
pd
·
2.6D H−1 ( )G
S
d
+ CA
Engineering Encyclopedia Vessels
Evaluating Mechanical Design of Tank Structures
Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards 28
t
pd
·
2.6 280 ( ) 64 −1 ( ) 0.85 ( )
28 000 ( )
+ 0.05
· 1. 442 in.
t
pt
·
2.6D H−1 ( )
S
t
t
pt
·
2.6 280 ( ) 64 −1 ( )
30 000 ( )
· 1.529 in.
Fir st Shell Cour se:
t
1d
· 1.06 −
0. 463D
H
HG
S
d



]
]
]
2.6HDG
S
d



]
]
]
+ CA
t
1d
· 1.06 −
0. 463 280 ( )
64 ( )
64 ( ) 0.85 ( )
28 000
( )



]
]
]
2.6 64 ( ) 280 ( ) 0.85 ( )
28 000
( )



]
]
]
+ 0. 05
· 1.423 in.
t
1t
· 1.06 −
0. 463D
H
H
S
t



]
]
]
2.6HD
S
t



]
]
]
t
1t
· 1.06 −
0. 463 280 ( )
64 ( )
64 ( )
30 000
( )



]
]
]
2. 6 64 ( ) 280 ( )
30 000
( )



]
]
]
· 1. 501 in.
The required bottom shell course thickness is 1.501 in.
Engineering Encyclopedia Vessels
Evaluating Mechanical Design of Tank Structures
Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards 29
Hydrostatic Test Case
The hydrostatic test case calculations will first be done for all remaining courses, then the design condition
calculations will be done.
Second Shell Cour se:
h
1
rt
1
·
12 8 ( ) [ ]
6 280 ( ) 1.501 ( )
· 1.912
Since this is between 1.375 and 2.625, t
2
is calculated by the equation that follows (after calculating t
2a
).
t
2
· t
2a
+ t
1
− t
2a
( ) 2.1−
h
1
1. 25 rt
1



]
]
]
Use the "upper course" procedure to first calculate t
2a
.
t
pt2
·
2.6 280 ( ) 64 − 8 ( ) −1 [ ]
30 000 ( )
· 1. 335 in.= t
u
t
L
= 1.501 in. (from the earlier calculations).
C ·
t
L
t
u
t
L
t
u
−1
|
.

`
,

1+
t
L
t
u
|
.

`
,

1.5





]
]
]
]
]
C ·
1.501 ( )
1.335 ( )
1. 501 ( )
1. 335 ( )
− 1



]
]
]
1+
1. 501 ( )
1. 335 ( )



]
]
]
1.5
¹
'
¹
¹
¹
¹
'
¹
¹
¹
· 0. 060
Calculate the maximum stress point, x.
Engineering Encyclopedia Vessels
Evaluating Mechanical Design of Tank Structures
Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards 30
x
1
· 0.61 rt
u
+ 3. 84CH
x
1
· 0.61 6 280
( ) [ ]
1. 335
( )
+ 3.84 0. 060
( )
64 − 8
( )
· 41.79 in.
x
2
· 12CH
x
2
· 12 0.060 ( ) 56 ( ) · 40. 32 in.
x
3
· 1.22 rt
u
x
3
· 1.22 6 280 ( ) 1. 335 ( ) · 57.78 in.
x = 40.32 in.
t
dx
·
2.6D H−
x
12


]
]
S
t
t
2a
·
2.6 280 ( ) 56 ( )−
40. 32
( )
12



]
]
]
30 000
· 1. 277 in.
Since the calculated value of t
2a
differs significantly from the initial value assumed (1.335 in.), repeat the
procedure using t
u
= 1.277 in.
C ·
1. 501
( )
1. 277
( )
1.501
( )
1.277
( )
−1



]
]
]
1+
1.501
( )
1.277
( )



]
]
]
1.5
¹
'
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
'
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
· 0.084
x
1
· 0.61 6 280 ( ) [ ]1.277 ( ) + 3.84 0.084 ( ) 64 −8 ( ) · 46. 24 in.
x
2
· 12 0.084 ( ) 56 ( ) · 56.19 in.
x
3
· 1.22 6 280 ( ) 1. 277 ( ) · 56.51 in.
x = 46. 24 in.
t
2a
·
2.6 280 ( ) 56 ( )−
46.24
( )
12



]
]
]
30 000
· 1.265 in.
This is much closer, but do one more iteration.
Engineering Encyclopedia Vessels
Evaluating Mechanical Design of Tank Structures
Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards 31
C ·
1. 501
( )
1. 265
( )
1. 501
( )
1. 265
( )
−1



]
]
]
1+
1.501
( )
1.265
( )



]
]
]
1.5
¹
'
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
'
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
· 0.089
x
1
· 0.61 6 280 ( ) [ ]1.265 ( ) + 3.84 0.089 ( ) 64− 8 ( ) · 47.18 in.
x
2
· 12 0.089 ( ) 56 ( ) · 59. 57 in.
x
3
· 1.22 6 280 ( ) 1. 265 ( ) · 56.24 in.
x = 47.18 in.
t
2a
·
2.6 280 ( ) 56 ( )−
47.18
( )
12



]
]
]
30 000
· 1.263 in.
Since 1.265 in. and 1.263 in. are very close, no further interations are required. Use the value of 1.263 in. for
t
2a
.
Finish calculation of the second shell course thickness.
t
2
· 1.263 ( )+ 1. 501 ( ) − 1.263 ( ) [ ] 2.1−
12 8 ( )
1.25 6 280 ( ) 1.501 ( )



]
]
]
· 1.399 in.
Engineering Encyclopedia Vessels
Evaluating Mechanical Design of Tank Structures
Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards 32
Thir d Shell Cour se:
t
pt3
·
2.6 280 ( ) 64 −16 ( )− 1 [ ]
30 000 ( )
· 1.141 in.
C ·
1. 399 ( )
1.141 ( )
1. 399 ( )
1.141 ( )
−1



]
]
]
1+
1.399 ( )
1.141 ( )



]
]
]
1.5
¹
'
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
'
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
· 0.106
x
1
· 0.61 6 280 ( )
[ ]1.141 ( ) + 3.84 0.106 ( ) 64 −16 ( ) · 46.25 in.
x
2
· 12 0.106 ( ) 48 ( ) · 61.06 in.
x
3
· 1.22 6 280 ( ) 1.141 ( ) · 53.41 in.
x = 46. 25 in.
t
t3
·
2. 6 280 ( ) 48 ( )−
46. 25
( )
12



]
]
]
30 000 ( )
· 1.071 in.
Iterate again.
C ·
1. 399 ( )
1. 071 ( )
1. 399 ( )
1.071 ( )
−1



]
]
]
1+
1.399 ( )
1.071 ( )



]
]
]
1.5
¹
'
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
'
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
· 0.140
x
1
· 0.61 6 280 ( )
[ ]1.071 ( ) + 3.84 0.140 ( ) 64− 16 ( ) · 51.68 in.
x
2
· 12 0.140 ( ) 48 ( ) · 80.64 in.
x
3
· 1.22 6 280 ( ) 1. 071 ( ) · 51.75 in.
x = 51. 68 in.
t
t3
·
2. 6 280 ( ) 48 ( )−
51.68 ( )
12



]
]
]
30 000 ( )
· 1.060 in.
Engineering Encyclopedia Vessels
Evaluating Mechanical Design of Tank Structures
Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards 33
Iterate one last time.
C ·
1. 399
( )
1. 060
( )
1. 399
( )
1.060
( )
−1



]
]
]
1+
1.399
( )
1.060
( )



]
]
]
1.5
¹
'
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
'
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
· 0.146
x
1
· 0.61 6 280 ( ) [ ]1.060 ( ) + 3.84 0.146 ( ) 64− 16 ( ) · 52.65 in.
x
2
· 12 0.146 ( ) 48 ( ) · 84.10 in.
x
3
· 1.22 6 280 ( ) 1. 060 ( ) · 51.48 in.
x = 51. 48 in.
t
t3
·
2. 6 280 ( ) 48 ( )−
51. 48
( )
12



]
]
]
30 000 ( )
· 1. 061 in.
Since 1.060 in. and 1.061 in. are very close, no further iterations are required. Use 1.061 in. for the thickness of
the third shell course.
The minimum acceptable shell thickness for a 280 ft. diameter tank is 0.375 in. Therefore, calculation of the
fourth course thickness is required. The calculations that are required for the fourth and higher courses use the
same procedure as was used for the third course. Therefore, only the final values for the intermediate
parameters and course thicknesses are shown in the following table:
Engineering Encyclopedia Vessels
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Cour se
Number C x
1
x
2
x
3
x t
t
4 0.0864 36.96 41.47 47.39 36.96 0.896
5 0.126 36.46 48.50 41.96 36.46 0.703
6 0.162 32.93 46.73 35.96 32.93 0.516
7 0.237 28.94 45.5 28.77 28.77 0.330
(0.375)
*
8 - - - - - 0.375
*
* Minimum permitted thickness is 0.375 in. for a 280 ft. diameter tank.
Proceed with the calculations for the design condition.
Design Case
The design case calculations will now be done. Again, only the final iteration is shown through the third shell
course, and only the final values are shown for the higher courses.
Second Shell Cour se:
t
L
= 1.423 in.
Assume t
u
= 1.203 in.
Note that the corrosion allowance is first subtracted from the values of t
L
and t
u
that are used in the following
intermediate calculations, and then the corrosion allowance is added back in for the final thickness calculation.
Engineering Encyclopedia Vessels
Evaluating Mechanical Design of Tank Structures
Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards 35
C ·
1. 423− 0. 05
( )
1. 203− 0. 05
( )
1.423 − 0.05
( )
1.203 −0.05
( )
− 1



]
]
]
1+
1. 423− 0. 05
( )
1. 203− 0. 05
( )



]
]
]
1.5
¹
'
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
'
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
· 0. 0902
x
1
· 0.61 6 280 ( ) [ ]1.203 −0.05 ( ) + 3.84 0. 0866 ( ) 56 ( ) · 46. 25 in.
x
2
· 12 0.0902 ( ) 56 ( ) · 58.2 in.
x
3
· 1.22 6 280 ( ) 1. 203− 0. 05 ( ) · 53.7 in.
x = 46. 25 in.
t
2a
·
2.6 280 ( ) 56 −
46.25 ( )
12



]
]
]
0.85 ( )
28 000
· 1.152 in.
Since (1.203 - 0.05) = 1.153 in. checks, no further iterations are needed.
t
2
· t
2a
+ t
1
− t
2a
( ) 2.1−
h
1
1.25 rt
1



]
]
]
+ CA
Note that the value for t
1
that is used in this equation is the bottom shell course thickness that was calculated for
the design case minus corrosion allowance.
t
2
· 1.152 ( )+ 1.423− 0.05 ( )− 1.152 ( ) [ ] 2.1−
12 8 ( )
1.25 6 280 ( ) 1.423 − 0.05 ( )



]
]
]
+ 0.05
· 1. 312 in.
Thir d Shell Cour se:
t
L
= 1.312
Assume t
u
= 1.02
Engineering Encyclopedia Vessels
Evaluating Mechanical Design of Tank Structures
Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards 36
C ·
1. 312− 0. 05
( )
1.02 − 0.05
( )
1.312 − 0.05
( )
1. 02− 0.05
( )
− 1



]
]
]
1+
1. 312− 0. 05
( )
1.02 − 0.05
( )



]
]
]
1.5
¹
'
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
'
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
· 0.139
x
1
· 0.61 6 280 ( ) [ ]1.02 − 0. 05 ( ) + 3. 84 0.12 ( ) 48 ( ) · 50.18 in.
x
2
· 12 0.12 ( ) 48 ( ) · 79.86 in.
x
3
· 1.22 6 280 ( ) 1. 02− 0.05 ( ) ·~ 49.25 in.
x = 49. 25 in.
t
d3
·
2. 6 280 ( ) 48 ( ) −
49. 25
( )
12



]
]
]
0.85 ( )
28 000 ( )
+ 0.05 ( ) · 1.02 in.
Since the calculated and assumed thicknesses match, no further interations are needed. Use 1.02 in. as the
thickness for the design case of the third shell course.
The minimum acceptable shell thickness for a 280 ft. diameter tank is 0.375 in. Therefore, calculation of the
fourth course shell thickness is required. The calculations that are required for the fourth and higher courses
use the same procedure as was used for the third course. Therefore, only the final values for the intermediate
parameters and course thicknesses are shown in the following table for courses four through eight:
Cour se
Number
C x
1
x
2
x
3
x t
d
4 0.0875 36.075 42.011 45.262 36.075 0.868
5 0.126 35.53 48.41 40.09 35.53 0.692
6 0.157 31.70 45.11 34.53 31.70 0.522
7 0.237 28.30 45.44 27.52 27.52 0.353
(0.375)
*
8 - - - - - 0.375
*
* Minimum permitted thickness is 0.375 in. for a 280 ft. diameter tank.
Engineering Encyclopedia Vessels
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Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards 37
Figure 12 summarizes the results of both sets of calculations (i.e., hydrostatic test case and design case) and the
resulting minimum thickness that is required for each shell course.
SHELL
COURSE
HYDROSTATIC
TEST
THICKNESS, in.
DESIGN
THICKNESS, in.
MINIMUM
REQUIRED
THICKNESS, in.
1 1.501 1.423 1.501
2 1.399 1.312 1.399
3 1.061 1.020 1.061
4 0.896 0.868 0.896
5 0.703 0.692 0.703
6 0.516 0.522 0.522
7 0.375 0.375 0.375
8 0.375 0.375 0.375
Figure 12. Required Shell Thicknesses
Note from this summary that the hydrostatic test condition governs some course thicknesses, and that the
design condition governs other course thicknesses. No shell course has a thickness greater than the shell course
beneath it. If the Contractor Design Package for this tank included shell course thicknesses, you must confirm
that the contractor-specified thicknesses are at least these minimum values.
Engineering Encyclopedia Vessels
Evaluating Mechanical Design of Tank Structures
Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards 38
DETERMINING WHETHER CONTRACTOR-SPECIFIED Wind Girder
Requirements for Open-Top Tanks ARE CORRECT
This section discusses the wind girder requirements for open-top tanks, and demonstrates how wind girders are
designed.
An open-top tank is essentially a vertical cylinder that is open at the top and closed at the bottom. As Figure 13
illustrates, this cylinder can be forced out-of-round by wind pressure that acts against it, unless adequate
stiffness against deformation is provided by the shell alone or by other means. If excessive, shell out-of-
roundness could prevent free vertical travel of the floating roof, or could cause the formation of cracks in shell
welds.
Figure 13. Shell Out-of-Roundness Caused By Wind
Engineering Encyclopedia Vessels
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Theoretically, there are two ways to provide adequate stiffness:
• The tank shell can be made sufficiently thick to provide all the needed stiffness, or
• Some additional method of stiffening the shell can be provided.
In most cases, it is not economical to make the shell thick enough to provide all of the necessary stiffness.
Therefore, additional stiffness to resist shell deformation is provided by welding circumferential stiffening rings
around the outside of the tank. These stiffening rings are referred to as wind girders. Figure 14 shows several
typical configurations for wind girders, and Figure 15 illustrates the general placement of both a top and an
intermediate wind girder on a tank shell.
Figure 14. Typical Wind Girders
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Figure 15. Wind Girder Placement on Tank Shell
Pertinent Sections of API-650
All API-650 requirements that are related to the top and intermediate wind girders are contained in Para. 3.9.
Several of the specific paragraph references that are in that section and their general content are as follows:
• Para. 3.9.3 - Restrictions on Stiffening Rings. Basic minimum size requirements.
• Para. 3.9.4 - Stiffening Rings As Walkways. Size and location requirements if a stiffening
ring is used as a walkway.
• Para. 3.9.5 - Supports for Stiffening Rings. Criteria for determination of the need and the
size of stiffening ring supports.
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• Para. 3.9.6 - Top Wind Girder. Sizing requirements for a top wind girder.
• Para. 3.9.7 - Intermediate Wind Girder. Criteria for determination of the need, location, and
size of intermediate wind girders.
The sections that follow discuss several of the general wind girder requirements, along with the design
calculations that are required for top and intermediate wind girders. Participants are referred, for other wind
girder requirements, to API-650.
General Wind Girder Requirements
API-650 requires that all open-top tanks be provided with stiffening rings (i.e., wind girders), that the stiffening
rings be located at or near the top of the top course, and that they preferably be located on the outside of the
tank shell. Stiffening rings will typically be made of standard structural sections, or will be formed from plate
sections that are welded together and then welded to the shell.
The general approach to wind girder design consists of determining the following:
• The minimum required section modulus for the top wind girder.
• Whether a second, intermediate wind girder must also be provided at some lower elevation on
the shell.
• The location of the intermediate wind girder (if one is needed).
• The minimum required section modulus of the intermediate wind girder
(if an intermediate wind girder is needed).
Wind girder design calculations will be discussed shortly.
API-650 contains additional general requirements for wind girders that cover the following topics:
• Minimum sizes are specified for angles that are used as stiffening ring components or as a top
curb angle. The minimum plate thickness that may be used for built-up stiffening rings is 6.35
mm (1/4 in.). The minimum angle sizes that are specified will provide a basic level of
structural rigidity to the tank. The minimum angle sizes are specified separately from the top
and intermediate wind girder evaluations.
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• Wind girders must have drain holes to remove trapped liquid. Trapped liquid could cause
accelerated corrosion of both the wind girder and the adjacent portion of the tank shell.
• Size, location, and design details are specified for wind girders that are regularly used as
walkways. These details ensure that personnel safety is considered in wind girder design.
• Wind girder support requirements are specified. These requirements include criteria for
designs where support is needed, along with maximum spacing limits between wind girder
supports.
• Design details are specified for the region of a wind girder where the tank stairway passes
through the wind girder. The opening through the wind girder that is required to permit
stairway access locally weakens the wind girder. Stiffening requirements are specified to
reinforce this area.
Top Wind Girder Design Calculations
As previously stated, API-650 requires that all open-top tanks be provided with a stiffening ring that is located
at or near the top of the tank. This stiffening ring is the top wind girder. The purpose of the top wind girder is
to ensure that the top section of the tank shell is stiff enough to prevent deformation which may be caused by
the design wind velocity blowing across the entire tank shell.
The top wind girder must be sized to have a large enough section modulus to provide adequate shell stiffening.
Top wind girder design calculations consist of determining the minimum required section modulus, and then
selecting a large enough wind girder section to provide this section modulus. API-650 contains an equation to
calculate the minimum required top wind girder section modulus. The required top wind girder section
modulus is based on the tank diameter and shell height. API-650 also contains a table which summarizes the
section module of various structural shapes and attachment configurations to the tank shell. API-650 permits
the inclusion of a portion of the tank shell in the wind girder section modulus. This inclusion is accounted for
in the section modulus table.
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Saudi Aramco has simplified top wind girder selection by developing several standard wind girder designs
which meet API-650 requirements. These standard designs are contained on Standard Drawing AD-036211.
The easiest approach to take is to use a standard API-650 or standard Saudi Aramco top wind girder detail that
has at least the required section modulus. However, nonstandard wind girder details may be used in certain
situations. For example:
• The tank contractor may decide to use a nonstandard detail due to cost or schedule
considerations.
• The standard details include a portion of the tank shell in determining their section modulus,
as permitted by API-650. However, the shell corrosion allowance is not considered in the
section modulus determination for the standard details. Saudi Aramco requires that shell
corrosion allowance be considered in the wind girder calculations. Therefore, if the tank has a
corrosion allowance and a standard wind girder detail is specified, the section modulus must
be calculated, based on the corroded shell thickness, to confirm that the standard wind girder
is still acceptable.
Work Aid 2 contains a procedure for designing or evaluating the top wind girder, in accordance with Saudi
Aramco and API-650 requirements. Work Aid 2 also contains a procedure that may be used to calculate the
actual wind girder section modulus, using its specified geometry.
Sample Pr oblem 3: Calculation of Top Wind Gir der Size
Calculate the top wind girder size for the atmospheric storage tank that was used in Sample Problem 1. Figure
16 is an excerpt from the Contractor Design Package for this tank. The shell course thicknesses for Courses 1
through 3 are slightly higher than the minimum values that were calculated in Sample Problem 1 because these
are now the as-ordered plate thicknesses. Work Aid 2 is used to solve this problem.
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Tank Size:
Diameter - 100 ft. Total Height - 40 ft.
Shell Cour ses: 5-courses, each 8 ft. high
Maximum Design Liquid Stor age Height: 38 ft.
Liquid Specific Gr avity: 0.85
Cor r osion Allowance: 1/16 in.
Shell Plate Mater ial/Thickness:
Cour se
Mater ial Thickness, in.
1
A516 Grade 70 7/16
2
A516 Grade 60 3/8
3
A516 Grade 60 5/16
4
A516 Grade 60 1/4
5
A516 Grade 60 1/4
Bottom Plate Mater ial:
Annular Plate: A516 Grade 70
Rest of Bottom: A36
Roof Plate Mater ial: A36
Roof Type: External Floating
Figure 16. Sample Problem 3 Data
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Solution
Z
T
· 0.0001D
2
H
2
V
100
|
.
`
,
2
Z
T
· 0.0001100 ( )
2
40 ( )
85
100
|
.
`
,
2
Z
T
· 28. 9 in.
3
Detail 3 of Drawing AD-036211 with a dimension "A" of 20 in. should be considered first, based on the 100 ft.
diameter of this tank. The section modulus of Detail 3 must now be checked even though it is a standard Saudi
Aramco design, because the shell corrosion allowance must be considered. Work Aid 2 contains the procedure
for calculating the wind girder section modulus.
The following summarizes the information that is needed for making the section modulus calculation for the
selected wind girder:
Corroded Top Shell Course Thickness, T
s
0.1875 in.
Wind Girder Thickness, T
w
0.25 in.
Wind Girder Extension, A 20 in.
Wind Girder Height, H
w
6 in.
Wind Girder Lip, L
w
2.5 in.
The results of the intermediate calculations are summarized in Figure 17:
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Section Ar ea, A x Ax d I Ad
2
1 1.172 0.094 0.110 11.116 0.003 144.82
2 5.000 10.188 50.94 1.022 166.667 5.22
3 1.500 20.063 30.094 -8.853 0.008 117.56
4 0.625 18.938 11.836 -7.728 0.326 37.33
∑ A ∑(Ax) ∑I ∑(Ad
2
)
Totals 8.297 92.979 167.003 304.93
Figure 17. Sample Problem 3 Intermediate Calculations
Determine the location of the centroid of the combined area including the wind girder itself and the portion of
the shell that acts with the girder.
x = ∑(Ax)/∑A
x = 92.979/8.297 = 11.21 in.
Determine the moment of inertia of the combined area.
I
o
= ∑(Ad
2
) + ∑I
I
o
= 304.93 + 167.003 = 471.933 in.
4
Determine the maximum distance to the outermost fiber of the combined area as the greater of c
1
or c
2
.
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c
1
= (0.1875 + 20 - 11.21) = 8.978 in.
c
2
= x = 11.21 in.
Therefore, c = 11.21 in.
Determine the section modulus of the combined area.
Z = I
o
/c
Z = 471.993/11.21 = 42.1 in.
3
Since the actual section modulus of the combined area exceeds the required area modulus (i.e., 42.1 in.
3
> 28.9
in.
3
), the wind girder detail that was initially selected is acceptable.
Intermediate Wind Girder Design Calculations
Situations exist where just a top wind girder alone will not provide enough shell stiffness for a given
combination of tank height, tank diameter, and tank shell course thicknesses. Put in simple terms, the distance
between the top wind girder and the tank bottom is too large, in these situations, to resist wind-induced shell
deformation. Installation of an intermediate wind girder at a location between the top wind girder and the tank
bottom reduces the unstiffened length of the shell, and is required in order to prevent shell deformation in these
cases.
Intermediate wind girder design calculations in accordance with API-650 requirements consist of the following
general steps:
• Determine if an intermediate wind girder is needed, based on design wind velocity, tank
diameter, and shell course thicknesses.
• Locate the intermediate wind girder.
• Calculate the minimum required section modulus of the intermediate wind girder and select a
standard structural shape that provides this section modulus.
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The ideal location of the intermediate wind girder is such that the portions of the tank shell between the
intermediate wind girder and the top wind girder, and between the intermediate wind girder and the bottom of
the tank, have approximately the same stiffnesses. It would be incorrect, however, to locate the intermediate
wind girder at the mid-height between the top wind girder and the tank bottom. As we've seen from the earlier
shell thickness calculations, the tank shell thickness decreases in going from the bottom to the top course.
Because the lower courses are thicker than the upper courses, the lower portion of the tank shell is inherently
stiffer than the upper portion of the tank shell. Therefore, if the intermediate wind girder was located at the
mid-height of the shell, the upper portion of the tank shell would not be stiffened enough.
The API-650 procedure for locating the intermediate wind girder considers the variation in shell course
thickness. As illustrated in Figure 18, the API-650 procedure mathematically converts the actual tank shell
height to a "transformed shell" height. As detailed in Work Aid 2, the shell transformation is done by
accounting for the actual individual course thicknesses. The transformed shell then has the same stiffness
throughout its height. Locating the intermediate wind girder at the mid-height of the transformed shell results
in equal shell stiffness both above and below the intermediate wind girder. The intermediate wind girder is then
located on the actual tank shell in the same course and in the same relative position within that course as it is
on the transformed shell. Using this approach, the intermediate wind girder is located much higher than the
mid-height on the actual tank shell.
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Figure 18. Transformed Shell and Intermediate Wind Girder
Work Aid 2 contains a procedure for determining the need for an intermediate wind girder, locating it, and
sizing it, in accordance with Saudi Aramco and API-650 requirements.
Sample Pr oblem 4: Need, Location, and Size of Inter mediate Wind Gir der
For the same tank as in Sample Problem 3, determine if an intermediate wind girder is needed. If an
intermediate wind girder is needed, determine its required section modulus and locate it on the tank shell.
Reference Figure 16 for the necessary tank data. Work Aid 2 is used to solve this problem.
H
1
· 6(100t )
100t
D
|
.
`
,
3
100
V
|
.
`
,
2
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H
1
· 6 100 0.25 − 0.0625 ( ) [ ]
100 0.25 − 0. 0625 ( )
100



]
]
]
3
100
85
|
.
`
,
2
H
1
· 12.6 ft.
The results of the transformed shell calculation are summarized in Figure 19.
Cour se W
W
tr
· W
t
uniform
t
actual
|
.

`
,

5
1 8
8
1/ 4 −1/ 16
7 / 16 −1/ 16
|
.
`
,
5
= 1.41
2 8
8
1/ 4 −1/ 16
3 / 8 −1/ 16
|
.
`
,
5
= 2.23
3 8
8
1/ 4 −1/ 16
5 / 16 −1/ 16
|
.
`
,
5
= 3.90
4 8
8
1/ 4 − 1/ 16
1/ 4 − 1/ 16
|
.
`
,
5
= 8
5 8
8
1/ 4 − 1/ 16
1/ 4 − 1/ 16
|
.
`
,
5
= 8
8 W
tr −total
23.54 > 12.6 ft.
Figure 19. Sample Problem 4 Transformed Shell
Since the height of the transformed shell is greater than H
1
(i.e., W
tr-total
= 23.54 ft. > 12.6 ft.), an intermediate
wind girder is required.
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23. 54
2
· 11.77 ft. ≤ 12.6 ft.
Since (W
tr-total
/2) ≤ H
1
, only one intermediate wind girder is required.
Locate Inter mediate Wind Gir der - The intermediate wind girder should be located approximately 11.77
ft. down from the top wind girder or up from the bottom of the tank on the transformed shell. The transposed
widths of the top two courses are the same as their actual widths. Therefore, the intermediate wind girder
should be located 11.77 ft. below the top wind girder because the widths of the top two courses are the same on
both the transformed shell and the actual shell (i.e., 16 ft. total width for both courses together). Since the top
wind girder is located at or near the top of the tank, the intermediate wind girder is located approximately 3.77
ft. below the top edge of the fourth course (i.e., 11.77 - 8 = 3.77 ft.). This location is more than 6 in. from the
horizontal joint between the courses and is therefore acceptable.
With the intermediate wind girder placed at 3.77 ft. below the top of the fourth shell course, the transposed
height of the shell between the intermediate wind girder and the top wind girder is 11.77 ft., and the transposed
height of the shell between the intermediate wind girder and the bottom of the tank is 11.77 ft. Therefore, no
segment of the transposed shell exceeds H
1
(i.e., 12.6 ft.).
Size Inter mediate Gir der - The intermediate wind girder is sized by calculating its minimum required
section modulus.
Z
I
· 0. 0001D
2
H
1
V
100
|
.
`
,
2
Z
I
· 0. 0001 100 ( )
2
11.77 ( )
85
100
|
.
`
,
2
· 8. 5 in.
3
The corroded thickness of the fourth course (i.e., where the intermediate wind girder is located) is 3/16 in.
Based on Table 3-22 of API-650, one angle with dimensions of
6 x 4 x 3/8 in. that conforms to Detail C of Figure 3-18 of API-650 is acceptable because its section modulus is
9.02 in.
3
Selection of the required intermediate wind girder in this manner is illustrated in Figure 20, which is
an excerpt from Figure 3-18 of API-650.
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Shell Thickness (inches)
Member Size (inches) 3/16 1/4 5/16 3/8 7/16
One Angle: Figur e 3-18, Detail c
2 1/2 x 2 1/2 x 1/4
2 1/2 x 2 1/2 x 5/16
4 x 3 x 1/4
4 x 3 x 5/16
5 x 3 x 5/16
5 x 3 1/2 x 5/16
5 x 3 1/2 x 3/8
1.68
1.98
3.50
4.14
5.53
6.13
7.02
1.79
2.13
3.73
4.45
5.96
6.60
7.61
1.87
2.23
3.89
4.66
6.25
6.92
8.03
1.93
2.32
4.00
4.82
6.47
7.16
8.33
2.00
2.40
4.10
4.95
6.64
7.35
8.58
6 x 4 x 3/8 9.02 10.56 11.15 11.59 11.93
Figure 20. Sample Problem 4 - Intermediate Wind
Girder Selection
To summarize, a top wind girder that matches Detail 3 with a dimension "A" of 20 in. is required. An
intermediate wind girder is also required. The intermediate wind girder must be located 11.77 ft. below the top
wind girder, and it must have a section modulus of at least 8.5 in.
3
A 6 x 4 x 3/8 in. angle provides the
necessary section modulus for the intermediate wind girder.
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DETERMINING WHETHER CONTRACTOR-SPECIFIED DETAILS FOR opening
Design ARE ACCEPTABLE
The primary purposes that are served by openings into tank shells and roofs are as follows:
• Fill and empty the tank.
• Provide access to the tank interior.
• Permit tank cleanout.
• Provide connections for items such as instrumentation, mixers, heaters, and water drawoffs.
Fill and discharge nozzles are located as low on the tank shell as possible, consistent with maintaining
acceptable spacing between adjacent welds. Locating these nozzles as low as possible maximizes utilization of
the total tank volume.
Manholes are located in the tank roof and shell to provide access to the tank interior for inspection and
maintenance when the tank is taken out of service.
Accumulated dirt and sludge must be periodically cleaned out of the tank interior in order to maintain
maximum possible storage volume, to prevent localized preferential corrosion that could occur under
accumulated deposits, and to avoid possible floating roof damage that can be caused by uneven support when
the roof is landed. Large-size cleanout fittings are typically installed in the tank shell and are designed to be
flush with the tank bottom to facilitate cleanout.
Nozzle connections that are required for instrument connections, heaters, and mixers must meet the same design
requirements as are used for the filling and emptying nozzles.
This section discusses Saudi Aramco and API-650 requirements for shell openings and covers the following
topics:
• General Requirements
• Reinforcement and Welding
• Thermal Stress Relief
• Manholes, Nozzles, and Flush-Type Cleanout Fittings
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DETERMINING WHETHER CONTRACTOR-SPECIFIED DETAILS FOR TANK
OPENING DESIGN ARE ACCEPTABLE, CONT' D
Work Aid 3 provides an overall procedure to use to determine whether contractor-specified design details for
openings meet Saudi Aramco and API requirements. The sections that follow elaborate on several of these
requirements and briefly discuss several other points.
General
Several general API-650 requirements that relate to openings are as follows:
• Attachments must be made by full-penetration welds except for insert-type reinforcement that
meets API-650 details. Full-penetration welds develop the full strength through the thickness
of the attachment and are thus better able to resist any loads that are applied by connected
piping.
• Connections and appurtenances that meet the requirements of API-620 are acceptable. The
opening design procedure that is contained in API-620 is much more detailed than the
procedure that is contained in API-650. Therefore, although acceptable, an API-620 nozzle
design approach is only used in special cases for an API-650 tank.
• Sheared or oxygen cut surfaces on manhole necks, nozzle necks, reinforcing plates, and shell-
plate openings must be uniform and smooth, with rounded corners, except when fully covered
by attachment welds. These surface condition requirements and corner requirements minimize
local stress concentrations that could act as crack-initiation points during operation.
Reinforcement and Welding
API-650 requires that the cross-sectional area of the reinforcement at openings must equal or exceed the
product of the vertical diameter of the opening that is cut in the shell, and the nominal plate thickness.
However, API-650 simplifies the nozzle design process by specifying standard nozzle sizes and locations,
together with associated reinforcing pad sizes and thicknesses, nozzle neck thicknesses, and attachment weld
sizes. These specified nozzle details will satisfy the reinforcement requirements for most nozzle installations.
Typically, design calculations are only required for cases where high loads are applied to a nozzle (such as from
connected piping), an API-650 Appendix F tank (designed for a small internal pressure in addition to
hydrostatic head), or if nonstandard nozzle design details are required.
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API-650 specifies minimum spacing requirements between welds that are made at connections, and other welds
in the tank. These weld spacing requirements are specified to ensure that weld shrinkage stresses at one weld
do not result in unacceptably high residual stresses at another weld. Excessive residual stresses could reduce
weld reliability by making the weld more prone to the formation of cracks upon application of the design loads.
The weld-spacing requirements are based on the size and type of weld, the thickness of the shell plate, and
whether thermal stress relief has been done. Para. 3.7.3 in API-650 specifies weld-spacing requirements.
Thermal Stress Relief
API-650 contains specific stress relief requirements that are not related to weld spacing requirements at
openings. These postweld heat treatment (PWHT) requirements include minimum temperatures and hold times.
API-650 requires PWHT in the cases that follow:
• All flush-type shell connections and flush-type cleanout fittings. The entire nozzle assembly
must be stress-relieved, and the stress relief must include the bottom reinforcing plate (or annular plate)
and the flange-to-neck weld. This stress-relieved assembly is then welded into the shell and bottom.
These flush-type connections and fittings are discussed further in the next section.
Flush-type nozzle assemblies have more reinforcement and welding than other nozzles that are of
compatible size. These assemblies are also installed into the bottom-to-shell junction area of the tank.
This area is critical for tank integrity and is already subject to a complicated combination of loads and
stresses. Therefore, stress-relieving the assembly prior to welding it into the shell eliminates the
introduction of more stresses into this area.
• When the shell material is in Material Group I, II, III, or IIIA, all openings of 305 mm (12 in.)
or larger in diameter in shell plates of 25.4 mm (1 in.) or more in thickness must be prefabricated into
the shell plate and the prefabricated assembly stress-relieved. Flange-to-neck welds and other nozzle-
neck and manway-neck attachments may be excluded if specified conditions are met.
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• When the shell material is Group IV, IVA, V, or VI, all openings that require reinforcement in
shell plates more than 12.7 mm (1/2 in.) thick must be prefabricated into the shell plate and
the prefabricated assembly stress-relieved. Flange-to-neck welds and other nozzle-neck and
manway-neck attachments may be excluded if specified conditions are met.
Manholes, Nozzles, and Flush-Type Cleanout Fittings
Standard-size shell and roof manholes are specified in API-650. Standard shell manholes range in size between
508 mm (20 in.) and 900 mm (36 in.) in diameter. Standard-size roof manholes are typically 508 mm (20 in.)
and 610 mm (24 in.) in diameter. Shell and roof manholes are illustrated in Figures 3-4A and 3-13 respectively
in API-650.
API-650 specifies standard design details for three basic nozzle configurations: "regular-type," "low-type," and
"flush-type." The low-type nozzle is located lower on the tank shell than the regular-type. Any reinforcement
that is required for a low-type nozzle will typically extend to the tank bottom in order to avoid weld spacing
problems with the bottom-to-shell junction weld, and to achieve a more uniform local stress distribution. The
flush-type nozzle is another type of shell connection that is used for filling and emptying large diameter tanks.
In the flush-type nozzle, the bottom of the nozzle is even, or flush, with the tank bottom. This configuration
maximizes tank volume utilization. Shell nozzles are illustrated in Figures 3-5 and 3-11 in API-650. Figure 21
illustrates regular- and low-type nozzles, and Figure 22 illustrates a flush-type nozzle.
In the flush-type cleanout fitting, the bottom of the nozzle is also even, or flush, with the tank bottom. This
configuration simplifies personnel and equipment entry into the tank, and the removal of sludge and debris
which have built up. A standard flush-type cleanout fitting is illustrated in Figure 3-9 in API-650.
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Figure 21. Typical Regular- and Low-Type Nozzle Details
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Figure 22. Typical Flush-Type Nozzle Details
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32-SAMSS-005 requirements supplement those that are contained in API-650. Several of these requirements
are highlighted as follows:
• Reinforcing pads must be welded to the shell for all pipe supports, gauges, and sample lines.
The addition of reinforcement spreads the applied local load over more of the tank shell, and
reduces the probability of excessive local stresses.
• All attachments to the shell must be seal-welded all around. The continuous seal welding
prevents water or dirt from getting between the pad and shell and causing accelerated local
corrosion.
• Reinforcing pads and all other external pads must have rounded corners of at least 50 mm (2
in.) radius. Rounded corners reduce the local stress concentration effects that could result in
local crack initiation.
• Nozzle reinforcing pads and pads that cross shell seams must have a 6.35 mm (1/4 in.) tapped
hole. This hole is used for a compressed air-soapsuds test of the fillet welds attaching the pad
to the shell.
Sample Pr oblem 5: Opening Evaluation
The tank that was used in Sample Problems 1 and 3 requires a flush-type cleanout fitting. Design information
for this tank is contained in Figure 16 that was used for Sample Problem 3. The cleanout fitting size was
specified to be 24 in. high by 24 in. wide.
The contractor's proposal for this cleanout fitting specifies that the opening will be cut in a standard bottom
course plate, and will be reinforced with a reinforcing plate. The cleanout fitting is located away from all shell-
seam welds. The reinforcing plate that was proposed by the contractor is illustrated in Figure 23. The
contractor also specified that the completed assembly will be given PWHT in accordance with API-650.
Determine if the contractor's proposal for this cleanout fitting is acceptable. If the proposal is not acceptable,
state why.
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Figure 23. Reinforcing Plate for Sample Problem 5
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Solution
Work Aid 3 is used to evaluate this proposal
The design is deficient in the following areas:
• The width at the base of the reinforcing plate must be 72 in. instead of
60 in. This width is based on Table 3-11 of API-650. This width would widen the flat length
at the top of the plate to 14 in.
• The thickness of the shell plate that contains the opening must be 1/2 in. instead of the
standard shell thickness for the bottom course of 7/16 in. This thickness is based on Table 3-
13 of API-650.
• The thickness of the reinforcing plate must be 1/2 in. instead of the 1/4 in. that was specified
by the contractor. This thickness is based on Table
3-13 of API-650.
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DETERMINING WHETHER CONTRACTOR-SPECIFIED Design details For Tank
Roofs ARE ACCEPTABLE
The subjects that are discussed in this section are as follows:
• Design considerations for tank roofs based on roof type
• Saudi Aramco and API design requirements
• Sizing inlet diffusers
API-650 provides rules and guidelines to achieve roof designs that are within specified allowable stress and
load limits. API-650 also provides minimum requirements for the fabrication of tank roofs and their connection
to the tank shell. The various types of tank roofs that will be discussed were illustrated in MEX 203.01.
API-650 classifies roofs by their shape, operation, and support as follows:
• Cone roof
- Supported
- Self-supporting
• Self-supporting dome roof
• Internal floating roof
• External floating roof
Cone Roofs
Supported Cone Roof
A supported cone roof gets most of its support either from rafters that are positioned on top of girders and
columns, or from rafters that are positioned on top of trusses (either with or without columns). Rafters are
oriented radially from the tank shell toward the center, and girders are oriented as circumferential chords around
the tank. Columns support the roof structural members from the tank floor. The number and size of the rafters,
girders, and columns are based on the tank size and external loading. Figure 24 illustrates the relationship
among the rafters, girders, and columns.
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Figure 24. Rafters, Girders, and Columns in Cone Roof Tank
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Some special design considerations for supported cone roofs are as follows:
• Lateral bracing may be required for rafters or other roof support members if the support
members are not adequately restrained by the roof or by the inherent stiffness of their design.
• Roof plates are welded to each other and to the tank top angle.
• Roof plates are not attached to the rafters in order not to detract from the design intent of the
frangible joint between the roof and shell. The frangible joint is discussed later in this
module.
• When pipe is used for support columns, the pipe is sealed or is designed such that it may be
drained and vented. This design measure minimizes the likelihood that corrosion will occur
inside the pipe columns.
• Any required roof corrosion allowance must be added to the minimum nominal roof plate
thickness. As previously noted, a corrosion allowance is normally not specified for the roof
plate, but a corrosion allowance may be specified for roof support members.
Requirements are also specified for the slope of the roof, top angle size, and rafter spacing. These requirements
are provided in Work Aid 4.
Self-Supporting Cone Roof
A self-supporting cone roof is formed to the approximate shape of a right circular cone, and is only supported at
its periphery by the tank shell. Requirements are specified for the slope of the roof, roof thickness, and the
minimum area of the roof-to-shell junction region. These requirements are provided in Work Aid 4.
Self-Supporting Dome Roof
A self-supporting dome roof is formed approximately to a spherical shape, and is only supported at its
periphery by the tank shell . API-650 specifies requirements for the roof radius of curvature, roof thickness,
and the minimum area of the roof-to-shell junction region. These requirements are provided in Work Aid 4.
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Internal Floating Roof
Internal floating roofs are often installed inside existing fixed roof tanks for specific product storage
applications in order to minimize vapor losses and/or oxygen entry (e.g., MTBE service). An internal floating
roof has some of the same design considerations as an external floating roof. However, since an internal
floating roof is shielded by a fixed roof, an internal floating roof does not have to resist the same external
environmental conditions (e.g., rainfall).
Since internal floating roofs are not exposed to rainfall, they do not require drain systems and do not have to be
designed for the weight of rainwater. Consequently, the internal floating roof may be made from materials that
would be unsatisfactory for an external floating roof, such as aluminum, stainless steel, or plastic. Although an
internal floating roof that is made from these materials may be less rigid, it will still provide the required
reliability. Also, internal floating roofs do not have to be designed for the 122 kg/m
2
(25 lb./ft.
2
) roof live load
requirement of an external roof. However, the internal floating roof must be able to support a reasonable
personnel and equipment load without damaging the roof or causing product leakage onto the roof. In addition,
the roof supports and attachments must be designed for a uniform live load of 61 kg/m
2
(12.5 lb./ft.
2
) unless
the roof has drains or other means to automatically prevent liquid accumulation.
API-650 Appendix H contains design requirements for internal floating roofs. These requirements focus on the
following general areas:
• Material specifications for the roof itself and the peripheral seal
• Flotation requirements
• Design for the joints between the roof components
• Minimum thickness for roof components based on the material that is used
• Peripheral seals
• Roof penetrations and supports
• Fabrication, erection, welding, inspection, and testing
External Floating Roofs
External floating roofs may be either single-deck type or double-deck type and present special design
challenges. External floating roofs must be free to rise and lower as the liquid level inside the tank changes,
must also resist the same environmental conditions as closed-top tanks, and must provide a reasonably tight
seal at the junction between the roof and shell. Some of the primary design considerations for external floating
roofs are as follows:
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• The roof must float properly under all design load conditions. The design load conditions
must consider the density of the stored liquid, the roof weight, and the external loads that are
applied to the roof. Rainwater accumulation and its associated weight is a major external load
that must be considered in the roof design.
• The roof must not bind as it rises and lowers. Binding could cause the roof to tilt. This tilted
condition would allow stored liquid to get on top of the roof and cause an unbalanced load.
An unbalanced load could damage or sink the roof.
• The liquid cannot push the roof off the top of the tank. There must be enough tank shell
height (freeboard) to permit the liquid level to rise to its maximum design level while keeping
the roof entirely contained within the shell.
• The design must permit the tank to be safely emptied and filled completely.
• Tank appurtenances cannot be damaged as the roof rises and lowers through its entire
movement range. There can be no internal projections that would hamper roof movement or
damage the peripheral seal.
• The roof drain system must work properly and not be damaged as the roof rises and lowers
through its entire movement range. This system must also prevent stored liquid from getting
on top of the roof should the drain hose or pipe become damaged. A check valve is installed
in the drain line and is located inside the roof sump in order to prevent the stored liquid from
getting on top of the roof in case the drain line fails.
Single-Deck Floating Roof
Single-deck floating roofs are equipped with pontoons, as discussed in MEX 203.01. The
pontoons float on the stored liquid and support the floating roof deck plate. The most
common design uses a continuous pontoon structure at the roof periphery, with the roof deck
plate welded to the pontoon structure. Other designs use both the peripheral pontoon and a
central pontoon. The pontoon system is designed as a compartmented structure. With the
compartmented-structure design, a local leak at a cracked weld or at a punctured plate will not
result in complete flooding of the pontoon, and the roof will still maintain some buoyancy.
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Double-Deck Floating Roof
Double-deck floating roofs have both a top and bottom steel deck, as discussed in MEX
203.01. Thus, the entire roof is really a pontoon structure. The area between the two decks is
divided into compartments. The compartment system is designed so that some of the
compartments can fail and the roof will still maintain some buoyancy. The double-deck type
floating roof will typically be used for larger diameter tanks over (90 m [300 ft.]) in order to
provide sufficient buoyancy and stability.
Special Considerations for External Floating Roofs
Appendix C of API-650 contains specific design requirements that apply only to external floating roofs. These
design requirements focus primarily on roof flotation and structural details. The material that follows presents a
general discussion of these areas. Further details are provided in Work Aid 4. 32-SAMSS-005 also contains
requirements that supplement Appendix C of API-650.
Flotation - A floating roof must float on the liquid that is contained within the tank. The lift or buoyancy that
is provided by the liquid is affected by the liquid's density (specific gravity). The buoyancy that is provided by
a liquid increases as its density increases. The tank could store a variety of liquids over its design life.
Therefore, the roof is designed to provide flotation with a reasonably light liquid (Specific Gravity = 0.7) to
ensure that the roof will float on top of any liquid that the tank is likely to store.
The roof can suffer a minor mishap that would damage it and allow liquid to enter its pontoon compartments.
The roof is designed so that a failure of any two adjacent pontoon compartments will not sink the roof. The
roof is also designed so that any penetrations through the roof will not permit the stored liquid to flow on top of
the roof. For example, the support leg sleeves must be long enough so that liquid will not exit through them
when the deck sags under the load due to accumulated rainfall.
External floating roofs are particularly susceptible to damage due to the accumulation of rainwater. If too much
water accumulates on the roof, the roof can be damaged and sink under the weight of the water. External
floating roofs are equipped with sumps and drains to collect rainwater and remove it safely from the roof. The
drain system is designed to operate automatically with the roof at any level. Care is taken in the design of the
drain system to ensure that the drain system is not damaged as the roof rises and lowers while the tank is being
filled or emptied. The drain system is designed to drain the roof under the heaviest anticipated rainfalls for the
tank's location.
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The roof must be designed to float with a reasonable amount of rainwater accumulation on it. This provision
allows for a possible temporary failure of the drainage system, or a reasonable delay in the ability of personnel
to drain the accumulated rainwater off of the roof. The usual design allowance for a pontoon-type roof is for a
rainfall of 254 mm (10 in.) in a 24 hour period. Double-deck type roofs may be designed for a lesser water
volume, if emergency drains are installed to ensure that the rainwater level is kept to a lower design value.
Str uctur al Requir ements - Floating roof tanks are equipped with rolling ladders that provide access from a
platform at the top of the shell to the top of the roof. These ladders must adjust automatically to changes in roof
level and remain functional as the tank fills and empties.
Floating roofs are equipped with support legs that can be adjusted to two positions from the top of the roof.
The low-leg position will hold the roof at a safe height above the bottom when the tank is empty to permit the
entry of personnel. The high-leg position permits the roof to travel lower during operation to maximize tank
volume use, and to keep the roof from traveling below the filling and emptying nozzles, manways, and other
appurtenances that are located below the tank roof. Special attention is given to the points where the legs attach
to the roof to ensure that the stresses induced in the roof when the legs are supporting the roof are properly
distributed, to avoid damaging the roof. Adequate protection must also be provided for the tank bottom to
prevent it from being damaged by the legs with a full weight load. The tank bottom is typically protected by
steel pads that are welded to the bottom at the locations where the legs will rest when the roof is landed.
The tank and roof system is provided with a mechanism to keep the roof centered and prevented from rotation.
If a roof were to move off-center, it could bind on the tank shell while the tank is being filled and emptied.
This binding could damage the tank shell, roof, or roof seal, and cause the roof to sink. If a roof were to rotate,
it could damage the roof access ladder, fire-fighting systems, roof seal, and other appurtenances. Also, when
the roof lands, the roof support legs would not be aligned with their corresponding bottom reinforcing pads, and
the legs could damage the bottom.
Saudi Aramco and API Design Requirements
32-SAMSS-005 supplements the roof design requirements that are contained in API-650, especially for external
floating roofs. Work Aid 4 contains procedures that may be used to determine if contractor-specified roof
requirements are acceptable.
Figure 25 summarizes the locations within 32-SAMSS-005 and API-650 where information that is related to
tank roof design may be found.
Standar d Topic Location
32-SAMSS-005 Seal welding of self-supported roofs
Gauging requirements
Top-angle attachment for self-supporting
roofs
External Floating Roofs
Para. 3.10.2
Para. 3.10.2
Para. 3.10.7
Para. C.3
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API-650 General requirements Para. 3.10.2
Frangible joint Para. 3.10.2.5.1
Allowable stresses Para. 3.10.3
Supported cone roofs Para. 3.10.4
Self-supporting cone roofs Para. 3.10.5
Self-supporting dome and
umbrella roofs
Para. 3.10.6
Top-angle attachment for self-supporting
roofs
Para. 3.10.7
External floating roofs Appendix C
Internal floating roofs Appendix H
Figure 25. Roof Design Requirements
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32-SAMSS-005 Requirements
Roof requirements that are contained in 32-SAMSS-005 relate to the topics that are listed in Figure 25. Refer to
the referenced paragraphs in Figure 25 and Work Aid 4 for specific details.
API-650 Requirements
Gener al - API-650 roof requirements relate to the topics that are listed in Figure 25. Refer to the referenced
paragraphs in Figure 25 and Work Aid 4 for specific details.
Fr angible Roof-to-Shell J oint - A fixed roof atmospheric storage tank may experience a higher than
expected internal pressure during operation or emergency conditions. This high pressure might occur in spite
of all design and operational precautions. If this pressure is high enough, a tank failure could occur. If the
failure occurs at a shell seam that is below the liquid level, a significant and possibly complete loss of the tank
contents could take place. API-650 requires that one of the following two design precautions be taken:
• Tank emergency venting is provided and designed in accordance with API-2000, Venting
Atmospheric and Low-Pressure Storage Tanks. The emergency vents are designed to relieve
the excess pressure, and the tank is then adequate for any internal pressure that can occur.
• A "frangible joint" is provided at the roof-to-shell intersection.
Figure 26 shows typical attachment details between a cone roof and the top angle on the shell. When a high
internal pressure occurs, the pressure will tend to lift the roof up, which in turn pulls the top portion of the shell
inward. The roof-to-shell intersection can be designed to be the "weak link" in the tank structure and fail before
any other shell joint or the shell-to-bottom joint. This preferential failure is achieved by using a relatively small
size fillet weld to attach the roof to the top shell angle, and by limiting the overall strength of the roof-to-shell
junction region so that it cannot resist the inward buckling load that is caused by a high internal pressure. The
roof-to-shell junction is called a "frangible joint" when it is designed as the weak link in the tank structure.
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Figure 26. Cone Roof Attachment to Top Angle
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When the frangible joint fails, a local region of the roof-to-shell junction will buckle inward and a portion of the
roof-to-shell weld will open. This additional opening provides more venting capacity. Thus, the excess
pressure is vented and failure of a lower tank seam is prevented. Since the failure occurs above the liquid level,
the stored liquid will not be released in this situation. The damaged portion of the roof and shell will require
repair, but this repair will typically not be a major job and a significant tank spill is prevented.
Work Aid 4 contains the required evaluation procedure for a frangible joint.
Sample Pr oblem 6: Fr angible J oint for an Atmospher ic Stor age Tank
You are reviewing the design of an atmospheric fixed cone roof storage tank. The contractor has said that the
roof-to-shell junction is a frangible joint and no emergency venting capacity is required. Is he correct?
The roof-to-shell junction details are shown in Figure 27. Additional tank design information is as follows:
Shell and framing weight: 332 777 kg
Corrosion allowance: 1.5 mm
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Figure 27. Sample Problem 6 - Frangible Joint Details
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Solution
Work Aid 4 is used to solve this problem.
It can be immediately stated that the junction is not a frangible joint because the roof attachment fillet weld
exceeds a 4.76 mm size. Therefore the fillet weld size must be reduced to 4.76 mm. However, the other
frangible joint criteria must also be checked to see if any additional changes are needed.
The roof slope cannot exceed 1:6, or tan θ ≤ 0.167. Based on Figure 28, the roof slope is 8°.
tan 8° = 0.141
Therefore the roof slope is acceptable.
A ≤
217 W
30 800tanθ
·
217 × 332777
30 800tan8°
A ≤ 16 682 mm
2
to be frangible
R
c
· 48 800× 0.5 · 24 400 mm
R
2
· R
c
/ sinθ · 24 400 / sin8° · 175 321mm
w
h
· 0.3 R
2
t
h
· 0. 3 175 321× 6. 35 · 316. 5 mm
However w
h
can only be a maximumof 305mm
w
c
· 0. 6 R
c
t
c
· 0.6 24 400× 8 · 265.1mm
A
roof
· t
h
w
h
· 6. 35× 305 · 1 937
A
shell
· t
c
w
c
· 8 × 265.1 · 2 121
A
angle
· 9.5 75 + 75 − 9.5
( )
[ ]
· 1 335
Available area · 5 393 mm
2
Since the available area is less than the maximum permitted area, the junction meets all the requirements for a
frangible joint, except for the fillet weld size. The fillet weld must be reduced to 4.76 mm size in order for this
to be a frangible joint.
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Sizing Inlet Diffusers
Liquid that is being pumped into a tank can damage or sink a floating roof (external or internal), and possibly
force liquid onto the roof if the liquid flow velocity is too high. The possibility of such damage is increased if
water slugs are also present in the inlet flow. The damage is caused when the high velocity liquid stream hits
the relatively thin roof plates and structural members. Therefore, it is common to install a diffuser on the inlet
pipe inside of the tank. Such an inlet diffuser reduces the velocity of the liquid that enters the tank and directs
the inlet flow streams away from the tank roof. Therefore, the diffusers prevent damage and possible liquid
"bubble over" onto the floating roof.
Figure 28 illustrates a typical diffuser installation for a horizontal inlet pipe. Diffusers are designed using pipe
that is the same size as the inlet nozzle, and that has slots cut in its bottom quadrant. These slots are sized so
that the velocity of the liquid entering the tank is approximately 1 m/sec (3 ft./sec). The diffuser is positioned
on a radial line to the center of the tank, and it is supported from the tank bottom.
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Figure 28. Inlet Diffuser
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DETERMINING WHETHER CONTRACTOR-SPECIFIED Design DETAILS FOR
TANK BOTTOMS ARE ACCEPTABLE
This section discusses Saudi Aramco and API requirements for tank bottoms. It covers the following topics:
• Minimum thickness
• Cone up or down
• Annular ring
• Water withdrawal
• Saudi Aramco and API design requirements
For the tanks that are discussed in this course, the bottoms are continuously supported by the ring wall and
foundation pad. Therefore, stress in the bottom plates themselves is not a factor during initial tank design.
Stress is a design consideration for bottom annular rings.
Minimum Thickness
Work Aid 5 provides the minimum thickness and other requirements for storage tank bottoms. Since stress is
not a major factor in the design of a storage tank bottom, minimum thickness requirements are primarily to
ensure that there is adequate allowance for bottom corrosion. The minimum thickness requirements for annular
rings (discussed below) are based on both stress and corrosion considerations.
Cone Up or Down
Tank bottoms may be designed as either cone up or cone down. A cone-up configuration slopes up from the
tank periphery to the center of the tank. A cone-down configuration slopes down from the periphery to the
center of the tank. For flat-bottomed tanks, SAES-D-100 requires that a coned-down bottom with a 1:120
radial slope be used for tanks that are in services where water draw-off is required, unless otherwise stated in
the Tank Data Sheet. Otherwise, 32-SAMSS-005 requires a cone-up bottom with a 1:120 radial slope. A cone-
up bottom permits less foundation grading and provides for future foundation settlement, which will be greater
in the center of the tank.
Annular Ring
The outer ring of bottom plates on which the tank shell rests is called an annular ring when the bottom plates
are joined by butt-welded construction. Otherwise, this region of the bottom is called a sketch plate if normal
lap-welded bottom construction is used in this region. Figure 29 illustrates lap-welded bottom plates under the
tank shell. Work Aid 5 provides the minimum requirements for use of an annular ring.
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Figure 29. Lap-Welded Bottom Plate Under Shell
A butt-welded annular ring is typically required when the stress in the bottom shell course is relatively high,
which is indicative of a high bending moment in the bottom-to-shell junction region. The butt-welded annular
ring provides a more reliable construction to resist a high bending moment than lap-welded sketch plates. API-
650 also specifies the minimum required width and thickness of the annular ring. As the loads in this region
increase, the minimum values for both of these dimensions also increase in order to keep the local stresses in
the bottom-to-shell junction region within acceptable limits.
SAES-D-100 requires that the predicted tank settlement be reviewed by the Consulting Services Department to
determine if additional requirements for tank bottom design or soil improvement are needed. High predicted
tank settlement could be another reason to use an annular ring, or to use an annular ring that is wider or thicker
than API-650 would require.
32-SAMSS-005 requires that a 12 mm (1/2 in.) thick, asphalt-impregnated board be installed on top of the
foundation ring wall under the annular ring, as illustrated in Figure 30. This board helps to minimize the
likelihood of corrosion on the underside of the annular ring. Corrosion of the annular ring would reduce its
effectiveness. The board also helps accommodate foundation imperfections, uneven weld surfaces, and backing
strips.
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Figure 30. Asphalt-Impregnated Board Under Annular Ring
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Water Withdrawal
Water that may be contained in the liquid being stored tends to settle out to the bottom of the tank. The slope
of the tank bottom causes the water to flow to one general location in the tank, where it collects in a sump and
can be periodically withdrawn. Work Aid 5 contains sump and water drawoff pipe requirements for
atmospheric storage tanks.
Saudi Aramco and API Design Requirements
Figure 31 summarizes the primary topics that are related to tank bottom design, and the locations within 32-
SAMSS-005 and API-650 where information that is related to these topics may be found.
Standard Topic Location
32-SAMSS-005 Bottom plates
Annular bottom plates
Para. 3.4
Para. 3.5
API-650 Bottom plates
Annular bottom plates
Para. 3.4
Para. 3.5
Figure 31. Bottom Design Requirements
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Work Aid 1: PROCEDURE FOR DETERMINING WHETHE R CONTRACTOR-
SPECIFIED shell thicknesses ARE CORRECT
This Work Aid is to be used with the copy of API-650 that is in Course Handout 1 and with the copy of 32-
SAMSS-005 that is in Course Handout 2. Work Aid 1A is used when the One-Foot Method is used to
determine the required tank shell thicknesses. Work Aid 1B is used when the Variable-Design-Point Method is
used to determine the required tank shell thicknesses. Shell course thickness information that is contained in
the Contractor Design Package must be verified using the appropriate procedure.
Work Aid 1A: Procedures (One-Foot Method) and Additional Information for Calculating
the Required Shell Thickness for Atmospheric Storage Tanks
Note:
This method is not to be used for tanks that are over 61 m (200 ft.) in diameter. Refer to Work Aid 1B for
larger diameter tanks. This procedure must be modified for application to API-650 Appendix F (small internal
pressure) and Appendix M (elevated temperature) storage tanks. Appendix F and Appendix M tank types are
not discussed in this course.
1. Using the following formula, calculate the required shell thickness for the design case:
SI Units English Units
t
d
·
4. 9D H− 0. 3 ( )G
S
d
+CA t
d
·
2. 6D H−1
( )
G
S
d
+ CA
Where: t
d
= Design shell thickness, mm (in.)
D = Nominal tank diameter, m (ft.)
H = Design liquid level, m (ft.). The design liquid level is the height from the bottom of
the course under consideration to the top of the shell, including the top angle, if
any, or to the bottom of any overflow that limits the tank filling height, or to any
other level specified by the Purchaser, restricted by an internal floating roof, or
controlled to allow for seismic wave action.
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G = Design specific gravity of the liquid to be stored
S
d
= Allowable stress for the design case, MPa (psi). To be obtained from Table 3-
2 of API-650 for the specified course shell plate material. An excerpt from
Table 3-2 is provided in Figure 34.
CA = Corrosion allowance, mm (in.). To be obtained from the Tank Data Sheet or
from other provided information.
A 283
A 285
A 131
A 36
A 131
A 442
A 442
A 573
A 573
A 573
A 516
A 516
A 516
A 516
C
C
A, B, CS
-
EH 36
55
60
58
65
70
55
60
65
70
ASTM
30,000
30,000
34,000
36,000
51,000
30,000
32,000
32,000
35,000
42,000
30,000
32,000
35,000
38,000
Specifications
55,000
55,000
58,000
58,000
71,000
a
55,000
60,000
58,000
65,000
70,000
a
55,000
60,000
65,000
70,000
20,000
20,000
22,700
23,200
28,400
20,000
21,300
21,300
23,300
28,000
20,000
21,300
23,300
25,300
22,500
22,500
24,900
24,900
30,400
22,500
24,000
24,000
26,300
30,000
22,500
24,000
26,300
28,500
Figure 34. API-650 Table 3-2 (Excerpt)
Plate
Specification
Grade
Minimum Yield
Strength
Minimum Tensile
Strength
Product Design
Stress S
d
Hydrostatic
Test Stress S
t
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2. Using the following formula, calculate the required shell thickness for the hydrostatic
test case:
SI Units English Units
t
t
·
4. 9D H− 0. 3 ( )
S
t
t
t
·
2. 6D H−1
( )
S
t
Where: t
t
= Hydrostatic shell thickness, mm (in.)
S
t
= Allowable stress for the hydrostatic test case, MPa (psi). Obtain
from Table 3-2 of API-650 for the specified course plate material.
D and H = As defined in Step 1.
3. The required minimum shell thickness for the course is the greatest of the following:
• The design shell thickness calculated in Step 1.
• The hydrostatic test shell thickness calculated in Step 2.
• The minimum shell thickness value based on the tank diameter given in Figure 35.
NOMINAL TANK DIAMETER MINIMUM PLATE THICKNESS
m ft. mm in.
<15.2 <50 6.35* 1/4*
15.2 to <36.6 50 to <120 6.35 1/4
36.6 to 61 120 to 200 7.94 5/16
>61 >200 9.53 3/8
* Minimum nominal thickness of 6.35 mm (1/4 in.) required by 32-SAMSS-005.
Figure 35. Minimum Tank Shell Plate Thickness
4. Repeat Steps 1 through 3 for each shell course.
5. Verify that no shell course is thicker than the one beneath it.
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Work Aid 1B: Procedure (Variable-Design-Point Method) and Additional Information for
Calculating the Required Shell Thickness for Atmospheric Storage Tanks
Note:
This method may only be used for tanks that satisfy the following equation:
SI Units English Units
0.268 Dt
H
≤ 2
6Dt
H
≤ 2
Where: D = Tank diameter, m (ft.)
t = Bottom course shell thickness, mm (in.)
H = Maximum design liquid level, m (ft.)
Note:
Since the One-Foot Method of Work Aid 1A cannot be used for tanks that are larger than 60 m (200 ft.) in
diameter, the variable-design-point method is the most common design approach that is used for large diameter
tanks. A detailed elastic analysis must be used for tanks that do not satisfy the above equation or for banded
tanks.
Note:
Figure 36 provides an overall flow chart of the variable-design-point method.
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Figure 36. Variable-Design-Point Method Flow Chart
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1. Use Work Aid 1A to calculate a preliminary thickness for the bottom shell course for the
design condition, t
pd
, and for the hydrostatic test condition, t
pt
, using the One-Foot
Method.
Note:
Throughout the rest of this procedure, calculations for both the design case and hydrostatic test case are carried
out independently. Do the calculations for either the design case or for the hydrostatic test case for all shell
courses. Then do the calculations for the other case for all shell courses. In addition, all subsequent equations
are based only on English units of measure because several contain constants that are based on English units.
Calculation of Bottom Shell Course Thickness
2. Use the following formula to calculate the bottom course thickness for the design case:
t
1d
· 1.06 −
0. 463D
H
HG
S
d
|
.

`
,

2. 6HDG
S
d
|
.

`
,

+ CA
Where: t
1d
= Minimum thickness of the bottom shell course for the design condition, in.
D = Tank diameter, ft.
H = Design liquid level, ft.
G = Design specific gravity of the liquid to be stored.
S
d
= Allowable stress for the design condition, psi. Obtain from Table 3-2 of API-650
(Reference Figure 34) for the specified shell course plate material.
CA = Corrosion allowance, in. Obtain from Tank Data Sheet or other provided
information.
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3. Use the following formula to calculate the bottom course thickness for the hydrostatic
test case:
t
1t
· 1. 06 −
0. 463D
H
H
S
t
|
.

`
,

2.6HD
S
t
|
.

`
,

Where: t
1t
= Minimum thickness of the bottom shell course for the hydrostatic test case, in.
S
t
= Allowable stress for the hydrostatic test case, psi. Obtain from Table 3-2 of API-
650 (Reference Figure 34) for the specified course plate material.
H and D = As defined in Step 2.
4. Identify the greater of the shell thicknesses determined in Step 2 or Step 3. The required
bottom shell course thickness is the lesser of this value (i.e., the larger of Step 2 or Step
3) or the shell thickness that was determined by the One-Foot Method in Step 1.
Calculation of the Second Shell Course Thickness
5. Calculate the following ratio.
h
1
rt
1
Where: h
1
= Height of the bottom shell course, in.
r = Nominal tank radius, in.
t
1
= For the design case, actual bottom shell course thickness minus any corrosion
allowance, in.
= For the hydrostatic test case, actual bottom shell course thickness, in.
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6. The procedure that is used to determine the required thickness for the second shell
course depends on the value of the ratio that was calculated in Step 5. Based on the
calculated ratio, select the appropriate choice from the selections that follow:
• If Ratio ≤ 1.375:
Required second shell course thickness is the same as the thickness required for the first shell
course. Proceed with the third shell course thickness calculation at Step 7.
• If Ratio ≥ 2.625:
Required thickness of the second shell course is calculated using the same procedure as for the
third and higher shell courses. Proceed with the second shell course calculation at Step 7.
• 1.375 < Ratio < 2.625:
Required second shell course thickness is calculated using the equation that follows:
t
2
· t
2a
+ t
1
− t
2 a
( ) 2.1−
h
1
1.25 rt
1



]
]
]
+ CA
Where: t
2
= Minimum required thickness of the second shell course for the case being
considered, in.
t
2a
= Minimum thickness for the second shell course calculated using the method that
applies to higher shell courses, in. See Step 7 to calculate this value. Then return
here to complete the calculation of the second shell course thickness. For the
design case, subtract the corrosion allowance first before entering values into this
equation.
t
1
, h
1
and r = As previously defined.
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Calculation of Third and Higher Shell Course Thicknesses
7. Use Work Aid 1A to calculate a preliminary thickness for the case being considered
(i.e., design or test) using the One-Foot Method.
8. Use the following formulas to calculate the three possible values (i.e., x
1
, x
2
, and x
3
) for
the point of maximum stress. The smallest of x
1
, x
2
, or x
3
is the value for x that is used
in Step 9:
C ·
t
L
t
u
t
L
t
u
−1
|
.

`
,

1+
t
L
t
u
|
.

`
,

1.5






]
]
]
]
]
]
x
1
· 0.61 rt
u
+ 3. 84CH
x
2
· 12CH
x
3
· 1. 22 rt
u
Where: C = Constant used in the following expressions.
t
L
= Thickness of the course immediately below the course being considered, in. For
the design case, subtract the corrosion allowance first.
t
u
= Thickness of the shell course being considered at the girth joint, in. Use the
value that was calculated in Step 7 as the initial value for t
u
. For the design case,
subtract the corrosion allowance first.
x
1
, x
2
, x
3
= Three possible points of maximum stress in the shell course being considered,
measured as the distance from the bottom of the shell course, in.
r and H = As previously defined.
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9. Calculate the required shell course thickness for either the design or hydrostatic test
cases (depending on which case is being considered) using the equations that follow:
• Design case calculation:
t
dx
·
2. 6D H−
x
12
|
.
`
,
G
S
d
+ CA
Where: t
dx
= Minimum thickness for the shell course for the design case, in.
x = Smallest of the three values for the possible point of maximum stress as
calculated in Step 8.
D, H, G, S
d and CA
= As previously defined.
• Hydrostatic test case calculation:
t
tx
·
2.6D H−
x
12
|
.
`
,
S
t
Where: t
tx
= Minimum required thickness for the shell course for the hydrostatic test case, in.
D, H, x, and S
t
= As previously defined.
10. Use the value that was calculated for t
x
in Step 9 as the value for t
u
. Repeat the
procedure from Step 8 to this Step until there is little difference between successive
calculated values of t
x
. Two additional times through the calculations are usually
sufficient.
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Wor k Aid 1B: Pr ocedur e (Var iable-Design-Point Method) and Additional
Infor mation for Calculating the Requir ed Shell Thickness for
Atmospher ic Stor age Tanks, cont' d
11. Once the thicknesses for each shell course for one condition (design or hydrostatic test)
have been obtained, repeat Steps 2 through 11 for the other condition. When the
thicknesses for each shell course for both conditions have been obtained, proceed to
Step 12.
Conclusion
12. For each shell course, the minimum required thickness is the greater of the minimum
required thickness for the design condition, or the minimum required thickness for the
hydrostatic test condition, and in no case less than the thickness specified in Figure 35.
13. Verify that no shell course is thicker than the shell course beneath it.
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Work Aid 2: PROCEDURE FOR DETERMINING WHETHER CONTRACTOR-
SPECIFIED wind girder REQUIREMENTS for open-top
API-650 tanks ARE CORRECT
This Work Aid is to be used with the copy of API-650 that is in Course Handout 1, and Saudi Aramco Drawing
AD-036211 that is in Course Handout 3. All needed tank design information should be obtained from the
Contractor Design Package.
Top Wind Girder Evaluation
1. Use the following formula to calculate the minimum required section modulus of the top
wind girder.
SI Units English Units
Z
T
· 0.0578D
2
H
2
V
161
|
.
`
,
2
Z
T
· 0.0001D
2
H
2
V
100
|
.
`
,
2
Where: Z
T
= Required minimum top wind girder section modulus, cm
3
(in.
3
)
D= Nominal tank diameter, m (ft.)
H
2
= Height of tank shell, including any freeboard that is provided above the maximum
filling height, m (ft.)
V = Design wind speed, mph Typically, this is 137 km/h (85 MPH) for Saudi Aramco
applications.
2. Determine the appropriate standard top wind girder design details and dimensions to be
used for the size of tank from Figure 37 and Figure 38. Figure 38 is an excerpt from
Saudi Aramco Drawing AD-036211 that is in Course Handout 3 for reference. Use the
class reference copy of drawing AD-036211 for additional information that is not shown
in Figure 38.
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Figure 38. Saudi Aramco Drawing AD-036211 (Excerpt)
3. If the contractor has not used a standard Saudi Aramco wind girder, refer to Figure 3-18
of API-650 to determine which API-650 standard design was used. Then refer to Table
3-22 of API-650 to determine the section modulus. An excerpt from Table 3-22 is
contained in Figure 39. Note that the corroded shell thickness is to be used to determine
the section modulus from this table.
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Shell Thickness (inches)
Member Size (inches) 3/16 1/4 5/16 3/8 7/16
Cur b Angle: Figur e 3-18, Detail b
2 1/2 x 2 1/2 x 1/4
2 1/2 x 2 1/2 x 5/16
3 x 3 x 1/4
3 x 3 x 3/8
4 x 4 x 1/4
4 x 4 x 3/8
1.61
1.89
2.32
2.78
3.64
4.17
1.72
2.04
2.48
3.35
4.41
5.82
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
One Angle: Figur e 3-18, Detail c
2 1/2 x 2 1/2 x 1/4
2 1/2 x 2 1/2 x 5/16
4 x 3 x 1/4
4 x 3 x 5/16
5 x 3 x 5/16
5 x 3 1/2 x 5/16
5 x 3 1/2 x 3/8
6 x 4 x 3/8
1.68
1.98
3.50
4.14
5.53
6.13
7.02
9.02
1.79
2.13
3.73
4.45
5.96
6.60
7.61
10.56
1.87
2.23
3.89
4.66
6.25
6.92
8.03
11.15
1.93
2.32
4.00
4.82
6.47
7.16
8.33
11.59
2.00
2.40
4.10
4.95
6.64
7.35
8.58
11.93
For med Plate: Figur e 3-18, Detail e
b = 10
b = 12
b = 14
b = 16
b = 18
b = 20
b = 22
b = 24
b = 26
b = 28
b = 30
b = 32
b = 34
b = 36
b = 38
b = 40
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
23.29
29.27
35.49
42.06
48.97
56.21
63.80
71.72
79.99
88.58
97.52
106.78
116.39
126.33
136.60
147.21
24.63
31.07
37.88
45.07
52.62
60.52
68.78
77.39
86.35
95.66
105.31
115.30
125.64
136.32
147.35
158.71
25.61
32.36
39.53
47.10
55.07
63.43
72.18
81.30
90.79
100.65
110.88
121.47
132.42
143.73
155.40
167.42
26.34
33.33
40.78
48.67
56.99
65.73
74.89
84.45
94.41
104.77
115.52
126.66
138.17
150.07
162.34
174.99
Figure 39. Section Moduli for Several Standard Wind Girders
From API-650
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4. Verify that the section modulus for the selected standard API-650 wind girder is equal to
or greater than the required modulus that was calculated in Step 1. If it is not, a stronger
standard design should be used, or a "special" wind girder should be designed. This
latter approach should rarely be required.
5. In some situations, it may be necessary to verify or calculate the section modulus of the
wind girder that is actually used. This necessity may occur if a nonstandard design is
used, or to verify that a standard design is acceptable after shell corrosion allowance is
considered. The following procedure and equations are provided as an example of how
the section modulus is calculated for a wind girder geometry that looks like Detail 3 of
Saudi Aramco Drawing AD-036211. A similar approach is used for other wind girder
geometries. Refer to Figure 40 for the wind girder reference geometry.
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Figure 40. Wind Girder Reference Geometry
Note
• Numbers indicate the separate areas to be combined to obtain section modulus.
• Effective length of shell included in calculation.
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Where:
T
s
=Nominal top shell course thickness minus corrosion allowance, cm (in.)
T
w
=Wind girder thickness, cm (in.)
A =Wind girder width, cm (in.)
H
w
=Wind girder height, cm (in.)
L
w
=Wind girder lip, cm (in.)
a. Calculate the area of each section:
A
1
= (32T
s
+ T
w
) T
s
A
2
= AT
w
A
3
= H
w
T
w
A
4
= L
w
T
w
b. Calculate the distance from the tank inside diameter to the centroid of each
individual area.
x
1
= 0.5 T
s
x
2
= (T
s
+ 0.5 A)
x
3
= (T
s
+ A - 0.5 T
w
)
x
4
= (T
s
+ A - 0.5 L
w
)
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c. Use the results of Steps 5a and 5b and Figure 41 to locate the centroid of the
combined area, x , cm (in.).
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Section A
(Step 5a)
x
(Step 5b)
Ax
1
2
3
4
∑ ∑A ∑ ∑Ax
x ·
Ax

A

Figure 41. Centroid of Combined Area
d. For each section, calculate the distance between the centroid of the combined
area and the centroid of the individual section, d, cm (in.).
e. Calculate the moment of inertia of each area, I, about its centroid, cm
4
(in.
4
).
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I
1
·
32T
s
+ T
w
( )
T
s
3
12
I
2
·
T
w
A
3
12
I
3
·
H
w
T
w
3
12
I
4
·
T
w
L
w
3
12
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f. Use the results of Steps 5a, 5d, and 5e and Figure 42 to calculate the moment
of inertia of the combined areas, I
o
, cm
4
(in.
4
).
Section A
(Step 5a)
d
(Step 5d)
Ad
2
I
(Step 5e)
1
2
3
4
∑ ∑Ad
2
∑ ∑I
I
o
· Ad
2
+ I
∑ ∑
Figure 42. Moment of Inertia of Combined Area
g. Determine the distance from the centroid of the combined area to each edge of
the combined area, c
3
and c
2
, cm (in.).
c
1
· T
s
+ A − x
c
2
· x
h. Determine the maximum of either c, or c
2
determined in Step 5g, c, cm (in.).
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i. Calculate the section modulus of the combined area, Z, cm
3
(in.
3
).
Z ·
I
o
c
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Intermediate Wind Girder Evaluation
6. Use the following formula to calculate the maximum height of the unstiffened shell:
SI Units English Units
H
1
· 72t
12t
D
|
.
`
,
3
161
V
|
.
`
,
2
H
1
· 6 100t ( )
100t
D
|
.
`
,
3
100
V
|
.
`
,
2
Where: H
1
= Vertical distance between the intermediate wind girder and the top angle of the
shell or the top wind girder of an open-top tank, m (ft.)
t = Thickness of the top shell course excluding corrosion allowance, cm (in.)
D and V = As defined in Step 1.
7. Use the following formula to calculate the transposed width of each shell course:
W
tr
· W
course
t
uniform
t
actual
|
.

`
,

5
Where: W
tr
= Transposed width of each shell course, m (ft.)
W
course
= Actual width of each shell course, m (ft.)
t
uniform
= Design thickness of the top shell course, excluding corrosion allowance,
cm (in.)
t
actual
= Design thickness of the shell course for which the transposed width is
being calculated, excluding corrosion allowance, cm (in.)
Add up the transposed widths of all the shell courses that were obtained from these
calculations to determine the height of the transformed shell, W
tr-total
. The conceptual
relationship between the actual shell height and the transformed shell height is illustrated
in Figure 43. The table in Figure 44 may be used to summarize the results of the
transformed shell calculations.
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Figure 43. Actual Shell and Transformed Shell
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Cour se W
W
tr
· W
t
uniform
t
actual
|
.

`
,

5
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
W
tr −total
· W
tr

Figure 44. Transformed Shell Calculation Summary
8. If the height of the transformed shell is less than or equal to H
1
as calculated in Step 6,
no intermediate wind girder is required. If the height of the transformed shell is greater
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than H
1
, an intermediate wind girder is required. If (W
tr-total
/2) >H
1
, a second
intermediate wind girder is needed.
Note that H
1
need only consider the distance between the intermediate wind girder and
the top wind girder (not the top of the shell). Therefore, the top wind girder should be
located first before concluding that a second intermediate wind girder is required. Only
one intermediate wind girder is usually required.
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9. If an intermediate wind girder is required, it should be placed at the mid-height of the
transformed shell. The location of the wind girder on the actual shell should be at the
same course and same relative position as on the transformed shell. See Figure 42. This
location is determined using the thickness relationship that was used in Step 7.
The intermediate wind girder must not be placed within 150 mm (6 in.) of a horizontal
joint of the shell. When the preliminary location of an intermediate wind girder is
within this distance from a horizontal joint, the girder shall preferably be located 150
mm (6 in.) below the joint.
10. Verify that no segment of the transformed shell between any wind girder and another
wind girder or the bottom of the tank exceeds H
1
.
11. Calculate the minimum required section modulus of the intermediate wind girder using
the following formula:
SI Units English Units

Z
I
· 0 . 0577 D
2
H
1
V
161
|
.

`
,

2

Z
I
· 0 . 0001 D
2
H
1
V
100
|
.

`
,

2
Where: Z
I
= Required minimum intermediate wind girder section modulus, cm
3
(in.
3
)
H
1
= Vertical distance between the intermediate wind girder and the top angle of the
shell or the top wind girder of an open-top tank, m (ft.)
D and V=As previously defined.
12. A standard structural steel shape may be used for the intermediate wind girder. Refer to
Table 3-22 of API-650 (excerpted in Figure 39) to select a shape that has a section
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modulus that is at least as large as that calculated in Step 11. In using Table 3-22, use
the corroded thickness of the shell course at which the intermediate wind girder is
located.
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Note that the use of this table will typically be conservative. API-650 permits including
a portion of the tank shell for a distance of
1.47 Dt
above and below the attachment of
the intermediate wind girder to the shell in determining the available section modulus.
Table 3-22 uses a smaller distance along the tank shell.
Section modulus calculations may be made for the geometry of the intermediate wind
girder that is actually used. These calculations may be done in situations where a
nonstandard intermediate wind girder is used, if the corroded shell course thickness
differs from values that are shown in Table 3-22, or if the total permissible portion of the
tank shell is considered. The general calculation approach that is described in Step 5
may be used to make this section modulus calculation.
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Work Aid 3: PROCEDURE FOR DETERMINING WHETHER CONTRACTOR-
SPECIFIED DETAILS FOR Opening design ARE ACCEPTABLE
This Work Aid is to be used with the copies of SAES-D-100 and 32-SAMSS-005 that are in Course Handout 2,
and with the copy of API-650 that is in Course Handout 1. All needed tank design information should be
obtained from the Contractor Design Package.
1. If the opening is not attached to the storage tank by full penetration welding, reject the
design. Failure to meet this requirement is not expected to be a problem for new tank
construction. The only exception to the requirement is that partial penetration welds
may be used for insert-type reinforcement that conforms to API-650 details.
2. If the opening is for a 50 mm (2 in.) or smaller standard weight coupling, no additional
reinforcement is required.
3. Determine which of the following categories matches the opening being reviewed and
proceed accordingly.
• Shell manhole, proceed to Step 4
• Shell nozzle and flange, proceed to Step 5
• Flush-type cleanout fitting, proceed to Step 6
• Flush-type shell connection, proceed to Step 7
• Roof manholes, proceed to Step 21
• Roof nozzles, proceed to Step 22
Except for flush-type openings and connections, the reinforcement must be located
within a distance above and below the centerline of the opening equal to the vertical
dimension of the opening in the tank shell plate. The reinforcement can be provided by
any one or any combination of the following:
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• Attachment flange of the fitting
• Excess plate thickness beyond that required by Work Aid 1
• Portion of the fitting neck that may be considered as reinforcement
• Reinforcing plate
Detailed evaluation of nozzle reinforcement for only hydrostatic loads will normally not
be required as long as the nozzle design details and dimensions conform to a standard
API-650 design.
Shell Manholes
4. Verify that the manhole conforms to API-650, Figures 3-4A and 3-4B, and the
dimensional requirements contained in Tables 3-3 through 3-7 for the specified manhole
size. If no problems are detected, the design is acceptable.
Shell Nozzle and Flange
5. Verify that the nozzle and flange conform to API-650, Figure 3-5 and the dimensional
requirements contained in Tables 3-8 through 3-10 for the specified nozzle size. If no
problems are detected the design is acceptable. Excerpts from these portions of API-650
are contained in Figure 45 through Figure 48.
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Figure 45. Shell Nozzles
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Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 Column 4 Column 5 Column 6 Column 7
c
Column 8
c
Column 9
c
Size of
Nozzle
Outside
Diameter
of Pipe
Nominal
Thickness
of Flanged
Nozzle Pipe
Wall
a
t
n
Diameter of
Hole in
Reinforcing
Plate
D
R
Length of
Side of
Reinforcing
Plateb or
Diameter
L=D
o
Width of
Reinforcing
Plate
W
Minimum
Distance
from Shell
to Flange
Face
J
Minimum Distance from
Bottom of Tank to Center of
Nozzle
Regular Low
Type
d Type
H
N C
Flanged Fittings
48
46
44
42
40
48
46
44
42
40
c
c
c
c
c
48 1/8
46 1/8
44 1/8
42 1/8
40 1/8
96 3/4
92 3/4
88 3/4
84 3/4
80 3/4
117
112
107 1/4
102 1/2
97 3/4
16
16
15
15
15
52
50
48
46
44
48 3/8
46 3/8
44 3/8
42 3/8
40 3/8
24
22
20
18
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
3
2
f
1 1/2
f
24
22
20
18
16
14
12 3/4
10 3/4
8 5/8
6 5/8
4 1/2
3 1/2
2 1/8
1.90
0.50
0.50
0.50
0.50
0.50
0.50
0.50
0.50
0.50
0.432
0.337
0.300
0.218
0.200
24 1/8
22 1/8
20 1/8
18 1/8
16 1/8
14 1/8
12 7/8
10 7/8
8 1/4
6 3/4
4 5/8
3 5/8
2 1/2
2
49 1/2
45 1/2
41 1/2
37 1/2
33 1/2
29 1/2
27
23
19
15 1/4
12
10 1/2
__
__
60
55 1/4
50 1/2
45 1/4
40 1/4
36
33
28 1/4
23 1/4
19 1/2
15 1/4
13 1/2
__
__
12
11
11
10
10
10
9
9
8
8
7
7
6
6
28
26
24
22
20
18
17
15
13
11
9
8
7
6
24 3/4
22 3/4
20 3/4
18 3/4
16 3/4
14 3/4
13 1/2
11 1/2
9 1/2
7 7/8
6
5 1/4
3 1/2
3
Threaded Fittings
3
g
2
f
1 1/2
f
1
f
3/4
f
4.00
2.875
2.200
1.576
1.313
Coupling
Coupling
Coupling
Coupling
Coupling
4 1/8
3
2 1/8
1 11/16
1 7/16
11 1/4
__
__
__
__
14 1/4
__
__
__
__
__
__
__
__
__
9
7
6
5
4
5 3/8
3
3
3
3
Figure 46. Dimensions for Shell Nozzles
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Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 Column 4 Column 5 Column 6
Thickness of
Shell and
Reinforcing
Plate
a
t and T
Minimum Pipe
Wall Thickness
of Flanged
Nozzles
b
t
n
Maximum
Diameter of Hole
in Shell plate (D
p
)
Equals outside
Diameter of Pipe
Plus
Size of
Fillet Weld B
Size of Fillet Weld A
Nozzles 2-, 1 1/2-, 1-,
Larger Than and 1/4 inch
2 Inches Nozzles
3/16
1/4
5/16
3/8
7/16
1/2
9/16
5/8
11/16
3/4
13/16
7/8
15/16
1
1/2
1/2
1/2
1/2
1/2
1/2
1/2
1/2
1/2
1/2
1/2
1/2
1/2
1/2
5/8
5/8
5/8
5/8
5/8
5/8
3/4
3/4
3/4
3/4
3/4
3/4
3/4
3/4
3/16
1/4
5/16
3/8
7/16
1/2
9/16
5/8
11/16
3/4
13/16
7/8
15/16
1
1/4
1/4
1/4
1/4
1/4
1/4
1/4
5/16
5/16
5/16
3/8
3/8
3/8
7/16
1/4
1/4
1/4
1/4
1/4
5/16
5/16
5/16
5/16
5/16
5/16
5/16
5/16
5/16
Figure 47. Dimensions for Shell Nozzles, Pipe, Plate, and Welding Schedules
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Figure 48. Dimensions for Shell Nozzle Flanges
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Flush-Type Cleanout Fittings
6. Verify that the flush-type cleanout fitting and its support conform to API-650, Figures 3-
9 and 3-10. Verify that the dimensions conform to Tables 3-11 through 3-13. Verify
that PWHT in accordance with API-650 paragraph 3.7.4 will be provided on the fitting
assembly. If no problems are detected, the design is acceptable.
Flush-Type Shell Connections
7. Verify that calculations are provided to confirm that the design prohibits shell uplift at
the cylindrical-shell-to-flat-bottom junction.
8. Verify that calculations are provided to confirm that the vertical membrane stress in the
cylindrical shell at the top of the opening for the connection does not exceed one-tenth
of the circumferential design stress in the lowest shell course that contains the opening.
9. Verify that the maximum width of the flush-type connection does not exceed
914 mm (36 in.) and that the maximum height of the opening does not exceed 305 mm
(12 in.).
10. Verify that the thickness of the bottom transition plate in the assembly is at least 13 mm
(0.5 in.).
11. Verify that the shell plate that contains the flush-type shell connection is given PWHT in
accordance with paragraph 3.7.8.3 of API-650.
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12. Verify that the flush-type shell connection conforms to API-650 Figure 3-11 and the
dimensional requirements that are contained in Table 3-14 for the specified opening
size.
13. The cross-sectional area of the reinforcement over the top of the connection must satisfy
the following equation:
A
r

K
1
ht
2
Where: A
r
= Cross-sectional area of reinforcement, mm
2
(in.
2
)
K
1
= Area coefficient based on tank diameter and height, and opening height, from
API-650 Figure 3-8
h = Maximum height of the opening, mm (in.)
t = Thickness of the shell plate that contains the flush-type connection, mm (in.)
14. Verify that the shell plate that contains the flush-type connection is the proper thickness.
Except for 203 mm (8 in.) by 203 mm (8 in.) flush-type connection openings, the shell
plate that contains the flush-type connection must be at least 1.6 mm (1/16 in.) and not
more than 3.2 mm (1/8 in.) thicker than the adjacent plates in the bottom shell course.
For a 203 mm (8 in.) by 203 mm (8 in.) flush-type connection opening, the shell plate
that contains the flush-type connection may be the same thickness as the shell plates in
the remainder of the bottom shell course.
15. Verify that the reinforcing plate is the same thickness as the shell plate that contains the
flush-type connection.
16. Verify that the following equation is satisfied.
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L ≤ 1. 5h
Where: L = Height of the reinforcing plate above the bottom of the opening, mm (in.)
h = Height of the opening, mm (in.)
If L must exceed this limit in order for [(L – h) ≥ 150 mm (6 in.)], only the portion of
reinforcement that is within 1.5h can be considered effective.
17. Verify that the width of the tank bottom reinforcing plate at the opening centerline is at
least 254 mm (10 in.) plus the combined thickness of the shell plate in the connection
assembly and the shell reinforcing plate.
18. Verify that the thickness of the bottom reinforcing plate conforms to the following:
SI Units English Units
t
b
·
h
2
355 600
+ 0. 00584b H t
b
·
h
2
14 000
+
b
310
H
Where: t
b
= Minimum thickness of the bottom reinforcing plate, mm (in.)
h = Maximum height of the opening, mm (in.)
b = Maximum width of the opening, mm (in.)
H = Maximum design liquid level, m (ft.)
In no case shall the thickness of the bottom reinforcing plate be less than:
• 16 mm (5/8 in.) for H = 14.6 m (48 ft.)
• 17.5 mm (11/16 in.) for H = 17 m (56 ft.)
• 19.1 mm (3/4 in.) for H = 19.5 m (64 ft.)
19. Confirm that the minimum thickness of the nozzle neck and transition piece, t
n
, is 16
mm (5/8 in.). Externally applied loads may require this area to be thicker.
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20. If no problems are detected in Steps 7 through 20, the flush-type connection design is
acceptable.
Roof Manholes
21. Verify that the roof manhole conforms to API-650 Figure 3-13 and the dimensional
requirements contained in Table 3-15 for the specified manhole size. If no problems are
detected, the design is acceptable.
Roof Nozzles
22. Verify that flanged roof nozzles conform to API-650 Figure 3-14, and the dimensional
requirements contained in Table 3-16 for the specified nozzle size. Verify that threaded
roof nozzles conform to API-650 Figure 3-15, and the dimensional requirements
contained in Table 3-17 for the specified nozzle size. If no problems are detected, the
design is acceptable.
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Work Aid 4: PROCEDURE FOR DETERMINING WHETHER CONTRACTOR-
SPECIFIED DESIGN DETAILS FOR TANK ROOFS ARE
ACCEPTABLE
This Work Aid is to be used with the class reference copies of SAES-D-100 and
32-SAMSS-005 that are in Course Handout 2, and the copy of API-650 that is in Course Handout 1. All
needed tank design information should be obtained from the Contractor Design Package.
General
1. Verify that the roof plates have a minimum nominal thickness of 4.76 mm
(3/16 in.). Any corrosion allowance should be added to this nominal thickness for
supported roofs.
2. Verify that the roof and its supporting structure are designed for the dead load plus a
uniform live load of 122 kg/m
2
(25 lb./ft.
2
) times the projected area.
3. Verify that all internal and external structural members have a minimum nominal
thickness of 4.3 mm (0.17 in.) plus corrosion allowance.
4. If the roof is a fixed roof and is specified to have a frangible joint, proceed to Step 5. If
the roof is not specified to be frangible and is a fixed roof, proceed to Step 9. If the roof
is an external floating roof, proceed to Step 28. If the roof is an internal floating roof,
proceed to Step 46.
Frangible Fixed Roof
5. Verify that the following formula is satisfied:
SI Units English Units
A ≤
217W
30 800 tanθ
A ≤
0.153W
30 800 tanθ
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Where:
A = Area resisting the compressive force, mm
2
(in.
2
). All members in the region of the
roof-to-shell junction, including insulation rings, are considered to contribute to the
cross-sectional area. Refer to API-650 Figure F-1 for determination of the
contributing areas of the roof, shell, and top angle. An excerpt from Figure F-1 is
contained in Figure 49.
= A
roof
+ A
shell
+ A
angle
A
roof
= Roof contributing area, mm
2
(in.
2
)
= t
h
w
h
w
h
= Smaller of
0.3 R
2
t
h
or 305 mm (12 in.)
A
shell
= Shell contributing area, mm
2
(in.
2
)
= t
c
w
c
w
c
=
0.6 R
c
t
c
A
angle
= Cross sectional area of top angle, mm
2
(in.
2
)
R
2
= Length of normal to the roof, mm (in.)
=
R
c
/ sinθ
R
c
= Inside radius of tank shell, mm (in.)
t
h
= Nominal thickness of roof plate, mm (in.)
t
c
= Nominal thickness of top shell course, mm (in.)
W = Total weight of the shell and any framing, but not the roof plates, that are supported
by the shell and roof, kg (lb.)
θ = Angle between the roof and a horizontal plane at the roof-to-shell junction, degrees
tan θ
= Slope of the roof, expressed as a decimal quantity
If the formula is not satisfied, the joint is not frangible.
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Figure 49. Permissible Compression Ring Details
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6. Verify that the shell-to-roof compression ring details conform to one of the details in
API-650 Figure F-1, details a through d (See Figure 49). If the details do not conform,
the joint is not frangible.
7. Verify that the continuous fillet weld between the roof plates and the top angle does not
exceed 4.76 mm (3/16 in.). If the fillet weld exceeds 4.76 mm (3/16 in.), the joint is not
frangible.
8. Verify that the slope of the roof at the top angle does not exceed 1:6. If the slope of the
roof exceeds 1:6, the joint is not frangible.
General Fixed Roof Tanks
9. For a fixed roof that is not frangible, verify that proper protection against excessive
pressure in accordance with API Standard 2000, Venting Atmospheric and Low-Pressure
Storage Tanks, is provided. If the protection is inadequate, the roof is unsatisfactory.
10. If lateral loads for the roof support columns have been specified, verify that the columns
are designed to satisfy the following formula. If the formula is not satisfied, the roof
support columns are unsatisfactory.
f
a
F
a
+
f
bx
F
bx
+
f
by
F
by
≤ 1
Where: f
a
= Computed axial stress, kPa (psi)
F
a
= Allowable axial stress, if the axial force alone existed, kPa (psi)
f
b
= Computed compressive bending stress at the point under consideration, kPa (psi)
F
b
= Allowable compressive bending stress, if the compressive bending moment alone
existed, kPa (psi)
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x
and
y
= Axis of bending about which the stress applies, kPa (psi)
11. Verify that the seams of the roof plates are welded on the top side with continuous full-
fillet welds. If the seam welds are not continuous full-fillet welds on the top side, the
roof is unsatisfactory.
12. Verify that the roof plates are attached to the top angle of the tank with a continuous
fillet weld on the top side only. The fillet weld size shall be 4.76 mm (3/16 in.) unless a
smaller size is specified. If the roof plates are not attached in the prescribed manner, the
roof is unsatisfactory.
13. For a fixed roof tank with a supported cone roof, proceed to Step 14. For a fixed roof
tank with a self-supported cone roof, proceed to Step 18. For a self-supporting dome
roof proceed to Step 23.
Supported Cone Roof Tank
14. Verify that the slope of the roof is at least 1:16. If the slope is less than 1:16, the roof is
unsatisfactory.
15. Verify that the tank shell is equipped with a top angle that is at least the size given in
Figure 50. If the top angle is too small, the roof is unsatisfactory.
TANK DIAMETER, D MINIMUM TOP ANGLE SIZE
m ft. mm in.
D≤10.7 D≤35 50.8 x 50.8 x 4.76 2 x 2 x 3/16
10.7<D≤18.3 35<D≤60 50.8 x 50.8 x 6.35 2 x 2 x 1/4
D>18.3 D>60 76.2 x 76.2 x 9.53 3 x 3 x 3/8
Figure 50. Minimum Top Angle Size
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16. Verify that the rafters that are located in the outer ring are spaced at no more than 1.91
m (6.28 ft.) center-to-center, and that the rafters in the inner rings are not more than 1.68
m (5-1/2 ft.) center-to-center. If the rafters are spaced too far apart, the roof is
unsatisfactory.
17. If a supported cone roof design has been satisfactory in all steps to this point, the roof is
satisfactory for the purposes of this Work Aid.
Self-Supporting Cone Roof
18. Verify that the top-angle sections are joined by butt welds that have complete
penetration and fusion. If the sections are not joined in the prescribed manner, the roof
is unsatisfactory.
19. Verify that the slope of the roof is at least 2:12 and no more than 9:12. If the slope of
the roof is outside the allowable range, the roof is unsatisfactory.
20. Verify that the roof thickness is at least the thickness that is calculated by the following
formula, but does not exceed 12.7 mm (1/2 in.). If the thickness is outside the specified
range, the roof is unsatisfactory.
SI Units English Units
t
roof
·
0. 208D
sinθ
≥ 4.76 mm t
roof
·
D
400sinθ
≥ 3 / 16 in.
Where: t
roof
= Thickness of the roof, mm (in.)
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D = Nominal diameter of the tank shell, m (ft.)
θ
= Angle of cone elements to the horizontal, degrees
21. Determine the participating area at the roof-to-shell junction, based on API-650 Figure
F-1, and the nominal material thicknesses minus the corrosion allowance. See Step 5 for
calculation of the participating area. Note that the corroded roof and shell plate
thicknesses are used for this calculation. However, the nominal thicknesses are used for
the calculations done in Step 5. The amount of participating area must be at least the
area calculated by the following formula. If the participating area is less than the
amount specified, the roof is unsatisfactory.
SI Units English Units
A
p

2.314D
2
sinθ
A
p

D
2
3 000sinθ
Where: A
p
= Participating area at the roof-to-shell junction, mm
2
(in.
2
)
D = Nominal diameter of tank shell, m (ft.)
θ
= Angle of cone elements to the horizontal, degrees
22. If a self-supporting cone roof has been satisfactory in all steps to this point, the roof is
satisfactory for the purposes of this Work Aid.
Self-Supporting Dome Roof
23. Verify that the top angle sections are joined by butt welds that have complete
penetration and fusion. If the sections are not joined in the prescribed manner, the roof
is unsatisfactory.
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24. Verify that the radius of curvature of the roof satisfies the following formula. If the
radius of curvature does not satisfy the following formula, the roof is unsatisfactory.
0. 8D ≤ r
r
≤ 1. 2D
Where: D = Nominal tank diameter, m (ft.)
r
r
= Roof radius, m (ft.)
25. Verify that the thickness is at least the thickness calculated by the following formula, but
does not exceed 12.7 mm (1/2 in.). If the thickness is outside the specified range, the
roof is unsatisfactory.
SI Units English Units
t
roof
≥ 0. 4166r
r
≥ 4.76 mm
t
roof

r
r
200
≥ 3 / 16 in.
Where: t
roof
= Thickness of roof, in.
r
r
= Radius of roof, ft.
26. Determine the participating area at the roof-to-shell junction, based on API-650 Figure
F-1, and the nominal material thicknesses minus any corrosion allowance. See Step 5
for calculation of the participating area. Note that the corroded roof and shell plate
thicknesses are used for this calculation. However, the nominal thicknesses are used for
the calculations done in Step 5. The amount of participating area must be at least the
area that is calculated by the following formula. If the participating area is less than the
amount specified, the roof is unsatisfactory.
SI Units English Units
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A
p
≥ 4.627Dr
r
A
p

Dr
r
1500
Where: A
p
=Participating area of the roof-to-shell junction, mm
2
(in.
2
)
D =Nominal tank shell diameter, m (ft.)
r
r
=Roof radius, m (ft.)
27. If a self-supporting dome roof has been satisfactory in all steps to this point, the roof is
satisfactory for the purposes of this Work Aid.
External Floating Roof
28. Verify that the top of the roof has a minimum slope of 1:64. If the slope is less than
1:64, the roof is unsatisfactory.
29. Verify that the deck of a pontoon type roof will be in contact with the liquid during
normal operation.
30. Verify that the deck plates are joined by continuous full-fillet welds on the top side.
Confirm that full-fillet welds that are at least 50 mm (2 in.) long on 250 mm (10 in.)
centers are used on the underside of any lap plates that are located within 300 mm (12
in.) of stiffening girders or support legs.
31. Verify that vendor calculations confirm the roof has sufficient buoyancy to remain afloat
when the tank contains a liquid with a specific gravity of 0.7 under the following
conditions:
• 250 mm (10 in.) of rainfall in a 24 hour period, with the roof intact. However, double-deck
roofs with emergency drains that are designed to prevent the stored liquid from flowing onto
the roof may be designed for a lesser rainwater volume as determined by the drain sizing.
• In single-deck pontoon roofs, single-deck and any two adjacent pontoon compartments
punctured with no water or live load.
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• In double-deck pontoon roofs, any two adjacent compartments punctured with no water or live
load.
If sufficient buoyancy does not exist, the roof is unsatisfactory.
32. Verify that vendor calculations confirm that the pontoons of single deck roofs will not
be permanently distorted under the loads that are specified in Step 31. Also confirm that
the roof sag will not permit any stored liquid to get on the roof through any roof
penetrations (e.g., leg sleeves or vents).
33. Verify that each pontoon compartment has a liquid-tight manway. The top edge of the
manway necks must be at an elevation that prevents liquid entry into the compartment
under the conditions specified in Step 31. If the manways are not provided or are
inadequate, the roof is unsatisfactory.
34. Verify that each pontoon compartment has vents that protect against internal or external
pressure. The vents must be at a level that prevents liquid entry into the compartment
under the conditions specified in Step 31. If the vents are not provided or are
inadequate, the roof is unsatisfactory.
35. Verify that a ladder has been provided that automatically adjusts to any roof position. If
the ladder is a rolling ladder, verify that it has full-length handrails on both sides and has
been designed for a 454 kg (1 000 lb.) mid-point load with the ladder in any operating
position. If a ladder is not provided or is inadequate, the roof is unsatisfactory.
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36. Verify that roof drains are adequate to prevent backflow of stored liquid in case of drain
pipe leakage, and to prevent the roof from accumulating a water level greater than
design at the maximum rainfall rate when the roof is floating at the minimum operating
level. Verify that a check valve is installed in the drain line at the roof sump to prevent
backflow. The drain size must be at least 76.2 mm
(3 in.) for roofs that are no larger than 36.6 m (120 ft.) in diameter, and at least 101.6
mm (4 in.) for roofs that are larger than 36.6 m (120 ft.) in diameter. If the drains are
not provided or are undersized, the roof is unsatisfactory.
37. Verify that adequate automatic bleeder vents and rim vents are provided to prevent
overstressing of the roof deck or seal membrane. Vents that are capable of evacuating
air and gases from underneath the roof during initial filling must be provided. If the
vents are not provided or are inadequate, the roof is unsatisfactory.
38. Verify that roof support legs are provided. The support legs must be capable of
supporting the roof and a uniform live load of 122 kg/m
2
(25 lb./ft.
2
). The length of the
legs must be adjustable from the top of the roof. The low-leg position must provide at
least 2 m (6.5 ft.) clearance between the lowest portion of the roof and the tank bottom.
All tank appurtenances must be cleared by the roof in its lowest position. If the support
legs are not provided or are inadequate, the roof is unsatisfactory.
39. Verify that at least two roof manholes with a minimum inside diameter of at least 610
mm (24 in.) have been provided. Verify that all roof manholes that were specified in the
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purchase specification are provided. If the manholes are not provided or are inadequate,
the roof is unsatisfactory.
40. Verify that an adequate sealing device is provided between the periphery of the roof and
the tank shell. If the device is not provided or is inadequate, the roof is unsatisfactory.
41. Verify that all bulkheads and rims inside the pontoon or double deck roofs are
continuously welded along their upper edges to the top deck plates.
42. Verify that inlet pipes have been equipped with diffusers, if specified in the purchase
specification.
43. Verify that roof centering and anti-rotation devices have been provided.
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44. Verify that the additional requirements that are contained in Appendix C of
32-SAMSS-005 are satisfied.
45. If an external floating roof has been satisfactory in all steps to this point, the roof is
satisfactory for the purposes of this Work Aid.
Internal Floating Roof
46. Verify that the design complies with API-650, Appendix H.
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Work Aid 5: PROCEDURE FOR determining whether contractor-specified
Design details for Tank Bottoms are acceptable
This Work Aid is to be used with the copies of SAES-D-100 and 32-SAMSS-005 in Course Handout 2, and
with the copy of API-650 in Course Handout 1. All needed tank design information should be obtained from
the Contractor Design Package.
1. Verify that the tank bottom has a minimum nominal thickness of 6.35 mm (1/4 in.) plus
any specified corrosion allowance. In general, any specified tank corrosion allowance
must be specifically stated as also applying to the bottom to be considered. A tank
bottom corrosion allowance is normally not used.
2. Verify that the tank bottom plates will project at least 25 mm (1 in.) beyond the outside
edge of the weld that attaches the bottom to the shell.
3. If the bottom shell course of the tank is designed based on the allowable stress for
materials in Group IV, IVA, V, or VI, proceed with Step 4. If the bottom shell course of
the tank is designed using other materials, proceed with Step 11.
4. Verify that butt-welded annular rings are used based on the criteria that follows:
• Butt-welded annular rings must be used if the material allowable stress governs the bottom
shell course thickness. However, the use of butt-welded annular bottom plates are always
acceptable.
• Lap-welded annular bottom plates (i.e., sketch plates) are acceptable if the product stress for
the first shell course does not exceed 160 MPa (23 200 psi) and the maximum hydrostatic test
stress for the first shell course does not exceed 172 MPa (24 900 psi).
5. Use the following formula to calculate the hydrostatic test stress in the first shell course:
SI Units English Units
S
h
·
4.9D H− 0.3 ( )
t
S
h
·
2.6D H−1 ( )
t
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Where: S
h
= Hydrostatic test stress in the first shell course, MPa (psi)
D = Nominal diameter of the tank, m (ft.)
H = Design liquid height, m (ft.)
t = Nominal thickness of the bottom shell course as constructed, mm (in.)
6. Verify that butt-welded annular rings have at least the thickness that is specified in
Figure 51.
S
h
, psi
t, in. Š27 000 Š 30 000 Š 33 000 Š 36 000
t Š 0.75
0.75 < t Š 1.00
1.00 < t Š 1.25
1.25 < t Š 1.50
1.50 < t Š 1.75
1/4
1/4
1/4
5/16
11/32
1/4
9/32
11/32
7/16
1/2
9/32
3/8
15/32
9/16
5/8
11/32
7/16
9/16
11/16
Figure 51. Minimum Permissible Annular Ring Thickness
7. Verify that the butt-welded ring has a radial width that provides at least 600 mm (24 in.)
between the inside of the shell and any lap-welded joint in the remainder of the bottom
and at least a 50 mm (2 in.) projection outside the shell.
8. Verify that the butt-welded annular ring has a radial width that is at least that required by
the following formula:
SI Units English Units
r ·
215 t
b
HG
r ·
390 t
b
HG
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Where: r = Radial width of the annular bottom plate, mm (in.)
t
b
= Thickness of the annular bottom plate, mm (in.)
H = Maximum design liquid level, m (ft.)
G = Design specific gravity of the liquid to be stored
If this formula results in a radial width that is less than the requirement of Step 7, Step 7
governs the radial width.
9. Verify that the ring of annular bottom plates has a circular outside circumference, and
either a circular or regular polygonal shape with the number of sides equal to the number
of annular plates inside the tank.
10. Verify that the bottom of the tank is a cone up (unless the Tank Data Sheet specifies a
cone down, in which case it must be a cone down) with a slope of at least 1:120.
11. Verify that the bottom-to-shell junction conforms to Para. 3.1.5.7 of API-650 (reference
Figure 52).
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Figure 52. Bottom-to-Shell Junction Details
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12. If water drawoff is specified, verify that the draw-off sump and outlet pipe comply with
the requirements of Figures 53 through 55 (taken from Saudi Aramco Drawing AD-
36500) and the dimensional requirements that are contained in Table 3-18 of API-650.
TANK DIAMETER WATER DRAW-OFF PIPE SIZE
m ft. mm in.
3 to 6 10 to 20 50 2
6 to 27 20 to 90 100 4
27 to 48 90 to 160 150 6
Figure 53. Required Water Draw-Off Pipe Size
13. Verify that the top of the foundation ring under the annular plate is provided with a 13
mm (1/2 in.) thick asphalt-impregnated board.
14. Verify that a foundation drip plate has been provided in accordance with Saudi Aramco
Standard Drawing AB-036050.
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Figure 54. Water Draw-off for Tanks Over 6 m (20 ft.)
Diameter
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Figure 55. Water Draw-off for Tanks 3 m (10 ft.) to 6 m (20
ft.) Diameter
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glossary
annular r ing A butt welded outer ring of bottom shell plates on which the tank shell rests.
cone r oof A fixed roof formed approximately to the surface of a right cone.
dome r oof A fixed roof formed approximately to a spherical surface.
fr angible r oof A fixed roof designed such that the roof-to-shell junction will fail due to
high internal pressure prior to failure of any other shell or bottom seam.
NPS Nominal pipe size in inches.
obr ound A shape formed by two parallel sides with semicircular ends.
PWHT Postweld heat treatment is bringing the temperature of a metal object up to a
high enough level for a prolonged duration of time to remove stress that is
caused during the fabrication process.
self-suppor ting r oof A fixed roof designed to be supported only at its periphery at the tank shell.
sketch plates A lap-welded outer ring of bottom plates on which the tank shell rests.
suppor ted r oof A roof that has its principal support provided by rafters that are mounted on
girders and columns, or by rafters on trusses with or without columns.