The Sugar Engineers

Vertical storage Tanks

Rapid Design


Sugar factories usually have a number of large diameter tanks, for example

These tanks are usually designed to a design code such as

Tank Specification

A tank consists of four major components

  1. Foundation
  2. Base plate
  3. Shell
  4. Roof


The foundation can be simply a raised platform of compacted earth topped with asphalt, or it may be concrete raft supported either on the underlying soil or on piles, and finally it may be a reinforced concrete ring beam, the inside of the ring beam filled with compacted earth that may be stabilised with cement and topped with a 3cm to 5cm layer of asphalt.

Tank Foundation
Compacted earth foundation
Tank Foundation
Reinforced concrete ring beam

Base plate

The base plate is usually of 6mm plates and the plates may be joined by lap joints or butt joints (with backing strip). The base plate may also have annular or sketch plates


The shell is made of a number of rectangular plates that may be rolled to the correct curvature and then welding using butt joints. The butt joints V-groove or square groove welded, depending on plate thickness and welding process.


On most sugar mill tanks a self supporting membrane roof is adequate, however on larger tanks the roof may be supported on girders and maybe even columns. The roof angle is normally 15°


The following appurtanances are required for each tank

Materials of Construction

The tanks are usually of mild steel although stainless steel and 3CR12 are also used sometimes.