New Project Oil Storage Tanks added pictures November 16, 2017

I am constructing two oil storage tanks for a customer located in New Zeland. The drawings he sent me are metric, so the first thing I had to do is convert them to 1/4 scale. One tank will be 12-3/4 inches in diameter by 14-3/4 inches high. in 1/4 scale that is 51 feet in diameter by 59 feet high. The other tank is 18 inches in diameter by 18 inches high coming out to 72 feet in diameter by 72 feet high. These will be the larges tanks I have ever constructed. I will use .0.20" thick styrene for the shells bottoms and roofs. I am just starting and you can see the two roofs and bottoms in the pictures. The models will go in a display case. The real tanks were constructed under the supervision of the customer at a Shell Oil facility. These tanks are very tall for petroleum storage. In the US, most large petroleum storage tanks are 40 to 56 feet high.

Alan Graziano

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Myles,

I have some additional progress pictures I will post now. I build the large ones just like smaller ones that I have constructed. You will see in this case I had to join four sheets of styrene for this tank. The maximum sheet size I can buy is 12 inches by 36 inches. This tank works out to 18 inches high by 40-1/16 inches in circumference. The two vertical seams will be hidden by vertical fire-foam piping. The horizontal seam will be visible. I sanded it some but I am sure it will be more visible than the scribed plate seams on the tank. The pictures show the four pieces glued together. I had to take the drawing that was in degrees and convert the nozzle and manway locations to inches of circumference. In addition, I had to convert millimeters to inches because the drawings are metric. You can see how I layed the stairway out in the flat. I marked it with a template I made and glued all the stair treads on.

 

Alan GrazianoP1020790P1020791P1020792P1020793P1020794P1020795

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It's brilliant to glue the stairs onto the walls in the flat. I wonder if this makes it a very delicate operation to form the cylinder without knocking off the steps in the process? The alternative, of course, is equally daunting since getting those steps attached and properly oriented is not easy. How many internal formers are you going to use to maintain structural integrity?

How are you reinforcing the seams? I'm finding that just butting the sheets together without any backing isn't very secure, but the backing makes having smooth curves more difficult.

Myles,

There is a backing strip about 1/8 inches wide at the four sheet joints. There will be no internal bracing on this tank. The next tank I am building is 18 inches across. I will have bracing on the roof of that tank to prevent the cone from inverting during shipping. The shell does not require bracing because it is round. If I glued braces on you would see distortions in the styrene at the glue joints.

 

Alan Graziano

Al, when I mentioned additional supports I was referring to additional round formers to provide intermediate support to the shape. I can imagine how cumbersome it is to roll all that styrene around two large circles and holding it all steady enough to get solvent cement in place. Ugh!

Myles,

As you can see in the pictures, I rolled and glued the seam without any horizontal stiffeners. The only horizontal members I use are at the top of the tank in order to provide an area to glue the roof to. On a real tank the top angle is typically a 3" x 3" x 3/8" steel angle rolled to the tank radius. I added a four piece roof support n this tank to prevent the roof from imploding during shipping.

Thank you Joe.

 

Alan GrazianoP1020796P1020797P1020798P1020799P1020800P1020801

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Cool... And it's still available.

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 4.49.23 PM

I'm not sure I have enough use for a $50.00 drawing tool, but it's good to know it's there AND it's made in the USA.

I often do layouts on Illustrator and print them out and temporarily stick them to the work piece that needs to be cut. But for large radius circles, this tool could be helpful.

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Joe

i cut the arc with the accu-arc. I use a box cutter to follow along the edge. You just can press too hard with the cutter or you will push on the accuracy and distort the radius. If you plan to do a larger radius than 6 inches, this tool is a must.

i still put actual radius marks from a centerpoint to assure I have the exact radius that I want.

alan graziano

Alan:

Thanks - I keep learning stuff from you.
I built a circle cutting jig for my band saw which will do the cutting but this tool will come in handy to draw the outside arc so I can set up the band saw plus if I need a 'one of' I can use it to cut also. Like Myles I did a google search and found a bunch on Ebay ranging from $30 to $60.

Question - you seem to use box cutters instead of Exacto blades to cut plastic - preference or a reason?

Joe

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