Glass-Fused-to-Steel (Porcelain Enameled) Storage Tanks Have Proven Long Lifetime Value

Durable and requiring very low maintenance, porcelain enameled tanks never need recoating
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Sponsored by CST Storage
Karin Tetlow
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Tank Construction

Glass-Fused-to-Steel Technology

Porcelain enameled tanks are typically factory engineered to customer specifications. Sheet thicknesses are designed to meet the varying stress requirements from top to bottom. Since all components are manufactured in the factory they can be installed in many types of weather conditions—unlike field-welded steel or concrete tanks.

The overall construction footprint can be limited to as small as 4 feet beyond the foundation of the tank. The smaller size of the panels and the ability to transport the panels to the site and assembled on the tank without the use of cranes mean that glass coated tanks can be constructed in remote locations, on rocky knolls and in ecologically fragile areas.

Glass-fused-to-steel tanks can be erected in the most remote areas if necessary.

Photo courtesy of CST Storage

Glass-fused-to-steel tanks can be erected in the most remote areas if necessary.

Tanks are assembled form the top down with a jacking system that progressively elevates the structure without the need of cranes and extensive scaffolding. Crews can stay safely on the ground.

Concrete tanks involve long construction periods, need considerable room to build and are not always “maintenance free.” Design specifications allow for a small level of leaking and some cracking is expected.

Welded tanks can have long lead and construction times. They are limited by external environmental factors when being erected and field-coated. They also need to be painted multiple times over their life cycle.

Tank Floors

Floors can be glass-fused-to-steel over a flat steel floor or reinforced concrete that is embedded in the foundation.


Sidewall erection is completed using a series of specially designed motorized jacks. Each glass-fused-to-steel panel is bolted and sealed into place to form a ring. The motorized jacks raise the sidewall ring so subsequent rings can be added. This installation process allows for construction in remote regions as well as metropolitan areas.

Glass-fused-to-steel tank being constructed in the field.

Photo courtesy of Statewide Aquastore

Glass-fused-to-steel tank being constructed in the field.

Roofs or Domes

All geodesic roofs or domes are free span and are installed on the tanks in the initial phase of construction. Glass-fused-to-steel knuckle roofs with a high slope serve as an economical roof for small diameter tanks (up to 31 ft). Glass-fused-to-steel aluminum domes are suitable for all sized tanks and be designed according to wind, snow loading, seismic and design codes.


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