API and AST What You Should Know

Repair tanks damaged by tornados

We may not always appreciate them but the fact is above ground storage tanks (AST) provide the backbone of many American industries. That is, they provide the storage needed by a variety of industries and businesses. From oil and industrial chemicals to water and liquid fertilizer, AST units store the materials the United States (indeed, the world) relies on. Without them, industry would have few effective (and safe) methods of storing these materials, which in turn would spell disaster for their businesses.

Because these tanks are so important, they are closely regulated by both the government and industry organizations. The American Petroleum Institute (API), for example, has a series of codes and regulations AST unit owners must adhere to. Steel storage tanks such as these must be built and maintained according to API standards. Their codes, referred to as “API” codes, lay the groundwork for proper maintenance and instruction. As you could imagine, these codes are meticulous and strictly enforced. Liquid fertilizer tanks and those like them, for example, must follow API 650. API 650 stipulates that construction of these tanks must be done in a way as to guarantee their integrity during an earthquake. In addition, AST units must be welded according to the rules set out by the Weld Procedure Specifications (WPS) and Procedure Qualifications Record (PQR), industry guides. Moreover, these tanks must feature a secondary containment area surrounding the main tank capable of holding all of its contents in case of spills, leaks, or other contamination. This secondary containment area also needs to be able to hold 10% of its contents in areas exposed to participation. All of these guidelines are there to ensure the safety and effectiveness of AST units.

For more information about liquid fertilizer tanks and other AST units, feel free to leave a comment or question at the bottom.

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