Quality control is a crucial aspect of all manufacturing processes. That's why Member fabricators of the Steel Tank Institute's licensed tank technologies are subject to periodic, unannounced inspections by a team of STI-SPFA Quality Control Inspectors. These inspectors conduct a rigorous investigation of the manufacturing function at tank fabricator facilities, to ensure that companies are complying with the standards and specifications for manufacture of each licensed technology.
During the inspection, inspectors also verify that tank construction meets applicable Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and UL Canada (ULC) standards, incluidng UL 58, UL 1746, UL 142, UL 80, UL 2085, and equivalent ULC and international standards. For tanks listed under Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) standards, inspectors provide separate reports to SwRI.
In addition, each member fabricator making STI tanks is required to send at least one representative to our biennial Quality Control Meeting. The gathering is held at various locations, to include a tour of a willing member's facility. This allows member personnel to learn from one another. Also on the QC Meeting agenda are updates to standards and specifications and presentations by industry experts.
Today, over 100 STI shop-fabricated tank shops are inspected, with an average of five STI technologies licensed per shop. More than 450,000 tanks have been built to STI specifications. Because of the STI-SPFA Quality Control Program, our Members' customers are assured of the highest quality in manufacture of these Steel Tank Institute licensed tank technologies.
Each year, Quality Award Recipients are chosen based on complete compliance ratings for our random QC inspections. A banner is presented to recipient companies who have achieved three years or more with no quality inspection non-compliance points, to remind employees of their high skill level and encourage continued excellence.
Implementation Time Frames for 2015 Underground Storage Tank Requirements
A Brief Guide to the 2015 Federal UST Regulation for Owners and Operators of USTs Located on Tribal Lands
Steel and alternative fuels compatibility studies
By learning about the misfortunes of others, it is STI's hope to educate the public by creating a greater awareness of the hazards with storage and use of petroleum and chemicals.
The Steel Tank Institute/Steel Plate Fabricators Association presents awards each year to commend outstanding records in quality of product, safety achievements at member facilities, and outstanding projects completed by members.
View the winners of the Shop Fabricated Tanks Section.
According to the US EPA and an EPA meno regarding use of alternative secondary containment measures, a double-wall tank will provide secondary containment when certain equipment is installed.
For a good comparison of these tanks, please read “SwRI Tests UL142 Double Wall AST,” published in Tank Talk in May 1999. Further, an explanation about Flameshield as it relates to various editions of the Model Fire Codes can be found here.
The Fireguard insulation was tested per ASTM C201 and the resulting K (thermal conductivity) in BTU-in/hr-ft2-oF. The value of K varies by temperature. A chart of the values of K for various temperatures is available.
STI/SPFA licensed Fireguard® Tank passed the Standing Loss Control portion of the new CARB EVR (enhanced vapor recovery) certification requirement on October 3, 2008. The CARB issued an Executive Order for new installations and an Executive Order for existing installations.
CARB provided an advisory with an explanation of the EVR requirements.
Each local jurisdiction has its own fire code requirements. However, most jurisdictions reference one of the Model Fire Codes. Charts showing the set-back requirements for aboveground tanks used for motor vehicle dispensing per the most recent fire codes revision cycle are available.
A UL Certificate of Compliance was issued in 1998 and a UL Certificate of Compliance was issued in 2007. The 1998 Certificate refers to the current fire codes at that time and the 2007 certificate references the updated fire codes. In addition, STI/SPFA has provided an explanation of the performance tests required by UL 2085.
There are only a handful of Nationally Recognized Test Laboratories here in the US, with both UL and SwRI being among them. They are the only two test labs that both test and List storage tanks - UL and SwRI. As for the test standards, all three (SwRI 97-04, UL 2080 and UL 2085) have the exact same requirements for the fire test itself. The test is a 2000 degree furnace test for two hours (along with other aspects of the test spelled out in detail). What varies is the pass/fail criteria for each of these tests.
When NFPA first developed a definition for a fire resistant tank, they believed that at the end of the test, the tank simply needed to serve its basic function. They felt it was critical that the tank continued holding its product, that the supports continued to support the tank and that the emergency vent continued to operate. To meet this criterion it was not necessary for the interior of the tank to remain below a specified temperature. UFC took a much different approach which is what the Fireguard tank is based on. UL 2080 was developed by UL alone based on their own criteria.
Tank venting is a complex subject that relies on the expertise of tank and vent manufacturers, testing laboratories, mechanical engineers who may be charged with designing vent piping extensions, product specialists who must be familiar with the properties of stored liquids, and the local authority having jurisdiction who is charged with interpretation and enforcement of code requirements. Accordingly, the answers offered in “Fire Code Requirements for Venting of Flammable and Combustible Liquid Storage Tanks: Common Questions and Answers” written by Jeff Shapiro, PE and FSFPE of International Code Consultants answer some of these questions. The answers are general in nature and should not be used in the absence of qualified experts responsible for overseeing the design and installation of tank vents.
During the furnace test performed by UL at their facility for the Performance Testing required by UL 2085 for Protected Tanks, the test duration was extended from 2 hours to 4 hours. UL provided a letter regarding this testing See this letter from UL regarding this testing. Please note this data refers to tanks with 6 inches of insulation (rather than 3 inches).
All storage tank systems, both underground and aboveground, constructed of any material, and storing nearly any product—gasoline, diesel, residential and commercial heating oils, aviation jet fuel, and others—are susceptible to damage if water is allowed to accumulate. The potential for damage applies not only to the tank, but also to the entire storage system.
Today’s fuels are more susceptible to moisture separation and accumulation. Also, removing lead from gasoline and sulfur from diesel has had the side effect of allowing microbial growth to occur more readily, since lead and sulfur inhibit microbial activity.
Ethanol and biodiesel are important in today’s fueling network. But allowing water to remain in these storage systems can cause fuel separation, fuel degradation, and non-metallic equipment compatibility concerns.
For all these reasons, it’s more important than ever to conduct regular inspection and maintenance of your entire UST or AST fuel storage system.
Download STI/SPFA’s tank maintenance brochures. Set the paper size to 8.5" x 14" (legal size). Uncheck "Fit to Page" and select "Print Two-sided" and fold the printed brochure in half twice (four panels).
Learn everything you need to know for optimum tank maintenance.
Find more resources in the STI/SPFA Store.
Receive updates from the STI/SPFA on important industry issues for fabricators of storage tanks, pressure vessels, water pipe, and special products, including safety information, regulatory issues, education opportunities, and more.
Fabricated Steel Products |
Find a Member |
Publications/Store | About |
Steel Tank Institute/Steel Plate Fabricators Association (STI/SPFA)
944 Donata Court
Lake Zurich, IL 60047
Phone: 847-438-8265 | Fax: 847-438-8766