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Efficiency, savings and cleanliness: this is why the best tanks have cylindrical shape
Prismatic, oval, rectangular with rounded corners – on the international market there are fuel tanks of quite different shapes. But cylindrical tanks are the most common and this is no coincidence: they ensure, in fact, the best performance in terms of efficiency, costs and cleanliness. Let's see why, giving an answer to a question that may seem obvious, but is not. We will also find out how the principles applied to fuel tanks apply to all containers that contain liquids and more. This applies to plastic bottles, just to give an example, and to gas cylinders too.
The main reason that pushes manufacturers to make cylindrical tanks is of a purely technical nature. Without going into too much detail, in fact, it is sufficient to underline how in a cylinder the weight distribution and the relative pressure act in the same way on all the walls. This does not happen in a prismatic tank, where walls experience greater pressure in the center, flexing, while the welded corners result to be more rigid. For this reason, a square tank would require greater reinforcements and thicknesses to obtain the same robustness, with an increase in costs both in terms of construction equipment and of production costs.
Speaking of costs. To create a cylindrical tank, it is sufficient to take a sheet metal, make it pass through the calendering process and then make a single welding. This allows the tank body to be obtained in a short time, making it almost ready for installation of the pumping unit. Different story for a prismatic tank: it would be necessary to weld it in numerous points to fix all the walls and reinforcements, with a certainly higher economic and labour commitment, not to mention the handling that would be required to bend the sheet metal.
If, on the other hand, we think about tank transportation, a cylindrical shape allows the liquid contained to be distributed and to move uniformly inside the tank, instead of concentrating in some specific points. For this reason, special breakwaters are usually installed inside the tank, which also contribute to facilitating the stability of the means of transport. Finally, and last but not least, a cylindrical tank is generally cleaner and healthier than a prismal tank: the uniformity of the cylinder, as we said before, prevents sedimentation of dirt, water or algae in hard-to-reach places such as corners or "blind" areas.
Some perfect examples of the efficiency guaranteed by cylindrical tanks are Emiliana Serbatoi products, which are of course compliant with regulations: the dispenser-distributor tanks with 110% capacity containment basin "Tank Fuel" line meet the needs related to the storage of diesel fuel, while the “Traspo” range of mobile tanks represents one of the main solutions for those who need to transport fuel.
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