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Abeco Tanks (Pty) Ltd

Tank Foundations & Tank Supports

Tank Foundations & Tank Supports

Tank Foundations:

The design and construction of tank supports and foundations is critical and should only be undertaken and supervised by competent professionals. Full information on the soil conditions essential.

Warning: Certain soils for example clay cannot support any significant load and foundations commonly used and described below are suitable.

Ground Level Tanks:

In pressed steel tanks with internal bracing the side wall pressure applied by the water is converted to downward forces in tank side walls. Maximum loads which can be considerable occur around the perimeter of the tank.

Ground level tanks are commonly supported on reinforced concrete dwarf walls fitted with steel capping strips. The purpose of the capping strip is to spread the load over the full width of the support wall and to improve a level platform on which to erect the tank. For practical reasons concrete cannot be cast with sufficient accuracy of level. The capping strips should be grouted in place before installation of the tank starts. Recommended tolerance on level is +-2 mm. Care should be taken to ensure that foundations walls are parallel and square to each other. Foundation walls must protrude beyond the edge of the tank by a recommended distance of 150 mm. The tapered top section of wall assists in providing access for tools to fasten the tank panel flange bolts.
Brick wall supports on concrete foundations can be used. Purchasers must ensure that bricks used have sufficient strength to withstand the loads imposed. Brick walls are not recommended for tanks exceeding 2.44m depth. In sloping or rocky situations where earthwork costs are significant steel beams mounted on concrete bases are often an economically viable alternative.

Elevated Tanks:

Elevated tanks are commonly founded on concrete bases with stub columns cast into excavations which are back filled after construction. The determining loads in elevated tank foundation design are dependant on the height of the tower. The determining load for low level tanks is the down thrust and thus foundation size is governed by the soil bearing pressure. The determining load for high level tanks will be the up lift and thus the anchor effect of foundation and back fill mass will determine foundation size. Maximum up lift occurs when the tank is empty. Abeco supplies full foundation load information for each elevated tank purchased to its design.

Load Terminology:

Dead load – the load created by the mass of the steel tower and empty tank
Live load – the load created by the mass off the water stored.
Wind load – the vertical loads (uplift & down thrust) created by the over tuning effect of wind pressure on the tank and support tower.
Surge load – the vertical loads similar to wind load created by surging as the tower sways under wind load.

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