Modern Welding in Owensboro, Ky. was awarded the 2021 STI/SPFA Shop Fabricated Atmospheric Storage Tank of the Year for the Rectangular Fuel Storage Tank project.

We had an opportunity to speak about the project further with John Loucks, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Modern Welding in Owensboro, Ky.:

YouTube video

The rectangular fuel storage tank was a group effort companywide, within corporate, our plant here in Owensboro, Ky., and there were some others involved in Ohio. It was a unique project because this was a special tank that was developed, technically speaking, for testing with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

They had a containment space for backup power generation for their cryogenic department in the hospital. The fuel tanks needed to be replaced, and the size of the containment area required some tanks that were exceeding the height limitation per UL 142. Internally, we had to go through some calculations, get with Underwriters Laboratories, and go through the performance testing of what we needed to build in order to test the tank greater than 103 inches tall.

What we ended up coming up with was a 12-foot tall, rectangular double wall carbon steel tank, produced with 0.25 inch wall thicknesses for both the primary and secondary tank. We had the fittings appropriately placed for filling the tank with water for the hydrostatic test. We went through load testing and all the test criteria under the performance section of UL 142.

We did the tank test back in February of 2021 and everything went very smooth. We ended up getting the primary and secondary tanks, both up to 25 PSI. The tank itself went round on us, or always wanted to go round from the beginning, just even at the slightest bit of pressure. But at the end, at 25 PSI, it was a rectangular tank that certainly wanted to continue its development into a round sphere until failure, in which a weld seam on the sidewall had ruptured on the secondary.

We had monitored the tank throughout the entire test process. The test itself lasted nearly all day. It was an eight-to-nine-hour process. UL ended up giving us the thumbs up and the approval for this 12-foot-tall test tank.

We then took it a step further and based on the calculations and the test data from that tank, we were able to increase the height to 14 feet.

It was a great achievement for the engineering team and sales team, and most importantly, to help the Children’s Cancer Hospital of Philadelphia.

The tanks have been produced. They were built at Plant Number One locally in Owensboro, Ky., transported to Philadelphia, and installed at the Children’s Cancer Hospital.

It was a great project to work on. We were very thankful to have the opportunity to not only go through the test process, it was certainly educational for our engineering and technical team here at corporate office and at the plant itself, and it spoke for the quality of the welders here at our shop and the attention to detail that they have for not only, of course, the welders themselves, but the quality team there internally at the plant. It was a great experience for everyone involved.

We had a live web feed and everyone certainly enjoyed watching that team try to go round and watch it even when it got the failure, it was quite exciting.

The tanks themselves are in a containment area. There are several of them that have been produced, and it’s for backup power generation for the cryogenic department. Without it, there are certain there are certain specialized laboratories there within the hospital that require the cryogenic laboratory to keep the facility up and running.

We were happy to be involved with this project. We’re thankful for everyone who worked with us on this project, not only from UL, internally, the customer side, the contractor side, but also STI/SPFA support from Joe Mentzer and Steve Pollock. They were very influential and helped us beyond measure in making this happen, from working with UL and helping us out on the calculation side, paperwork side, and assisting not only in the test process but the production and the installation in working with the customer. So thank you to Joe and to Steve. You two are awesome.

We’re thankful to the entire STI/SPFA team for their support, and everyone who voted for us for the Shop-Fabricated Atmospheric Storage Tank Product of the Year.

Post Category

  • News Article


  • Shop Fabricated Tanks

Published Date

December 7, 2022


Katie Bruce

Malta Dynamics