US 3819079 A
A portable tank and tank shell are provided and includes a plurality of curved upright panels arranged in end-to-end relation to form a generally circular enclosure. The ends of the panels are releasably connected together by inserting an interlocking member into engagement with parts on the ends of the panels. The panels have an inturned flange near or at their lower edge which is adapted to set on a surface on which the tank is to be erected. This flange serves to hold the configuration of the panels in a rigid curve and the weight of the liquid in the tank acts downwardly on the flange to help hold the panels in place and to generally strengthen the structure. Also, the flange at one end of a panel overlaps the flange on an adjacent panel to facilitate making the connection between the panels. The tank shell thus provided can be lined with a plastic flexible sheet liner. Preferably one end of each panel is provided with a lip which overlies the joint between the panels to maintain the liner out of contact with the joint.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 11 1 Levens 1 PORTABLE TANK AND SHELL  Inventor: Freer T. Levens, 2011 Winfield Rd,
Midland, Tex. 79701 22 Filed: Aug. 2, 1972 211 Appl. No.: 277,302
 US. Cl. 220/5 A, 4/172. 19, 220/1 B, 220/4 F  Int. Cl E04h 3/18, B65d 7/02  Field of Search 220/] B, 63 R, 63 A, 5 A, 220/5 R, 80, 85 S, 4 T, 7; 4/172, 172.19
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,839,762 6/1958 Nomura 220/5 A 2,861,277 11/1958 Hermann 220/5 A 2,919,045 12/1959 Waugh et a1. 220/4 F 3,648,303 3/1972 Stewart et a1 4/l72.l9 3,736,599 6/1973 Kessler et a1. 4/l72.l9
Primary Examiner-William 1. Price Assistant Examiner.l0seph Moy Attorney, Agent, or FirmW. F. Hyer; Marvin B. Eickenroht m1 3,819,079 1 1 June 25, 1974 [5 7 '1 ABSTRACT A portable tank and tank shell are provided and includes a plurality of curved upright panels arranged in end-to-end relation to form a generally circular enclosure. The ends of the panels are releasably connected together by inserting an interlocking member into engagement with parts on the ends of the panels. The panels have an intumed flange near or at their lower edge which is adapted to set on a surface on which the tank is to be erected. This flange serves to hold the configuration of the panels in a rigid curve and the weight of the liquid in the tank acts downwardly on the flange to help hold the panels in place and to generally strengthen the structure. Also, the flange at one end of a panel overlaps the flange on an adjacent panel to facilitate making the connection between the panels. The tank shell thus provided can be lined with a plastic flexible sheet liner. Preferably one end of each panel is provided with a lip which overlies the joint between the panels to maintain the liner out of contact with the joint.
5 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTEB JUHZ S I974 SHEET 2 BF 2 1 PORTABLE TANK AND SHELL This invention relates to a modular portable tank shell and tank which can be quickly and easily erected and dismantled. In one of its aspects, it relates to such a tank which is especially adapted to contain corrosive liquids, such as salt water brine.
The temporary storage of salt water brine has been a substantial problem to the oil industry. In some areas,
especially in West Texas, the salt water brine is used as the major component of the drilling fluid. The brine is extremely corrosive to ordinary steel tanks and it must be carefully controlled to prevent it from escaping and damaging vegetation and fresh water sources. Drilling contractors have employed two primary ways of coping with this problem. One way has been to use bulldozers to dig an open pit which is then lined with a plastic sheet to prevent seepage of the salt brine into the soil. The other way has been to use plastic coated bolted steel tanks. When the drilling rig is moved from one location to a new location, it is necessary to either dig and line a new pit or to move the plastic coated tanks. In many cases, the tanks mustbe dismantled, trucked to the new location and re-erected. Thus, both systems are expensive to use and the life of the bolted steel tanks is dependent upon the integrity of the plastic coating and, at best, is far from satisfactory.
It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a modular portable tank shell andtank which can be easily and quickly dismantled, moved to a new location and re-erected using a minimum of labor and site preparation.
Another object is to provide such a shell or tank which can be erected or dismantled by unskilled labor in a minimum of time and without having to take any special precautions to maintain the integrity of a plastic coating is necessary when moving plastic coated steel bolted tanks.
Other objects advantages and features of the invention will be apparent to one skilled in the art upon consideration of the specification, the claims and the drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a preferred embodiment of the tank of this invention;
FIG. 2'is an exploded view of adjacent ends of two panels which form part of the tank shell;
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the shell taken at the joint between two adjacent panels; and
FIGS. 4 and 5 are views taken on the lines 4-4 and 55 of FIG. 1, respectively.
The tank shell is comprised of a plurality of panels which are curved so that when in erected position, they form a generally circular enclosure. The panels are imperforate in the sense that their inner surfaces provide a continuous backup for a flexible plastic liner described below. The panels are made of a plastic material, such as conventional fiber glass reinforced plastic, which in itself is resistant to attach by brine or salt water. The number of panels can vary. Preferably they should be as long as possible to reduce their number consistent with not being too heavy for manual handling or so long as to present problems in transporting them on a flat bed truck or the like.
Means are provided for releasably engaging adjacent ends of the panels and as shown in the drawings, these include tubular portions 11 and 12 relatively vertically spaced so that they can intermesh as indicated in FIG.
1. When so intermeshed, an interlocking member, here shown as a bar or rod 13, can be passed down through the tubular portions to form the connection between the panels.
Each panel is provided with an inturned flange 14 fixedly and rigidly connected near or adjacent to their lower edges so as to set upon the surface on which the tank is erected. The flanges are constructed so that an end portion 14a on one panel overlies or overlaps an end portion 14b on an adjacent panel. The flanges preferably also have a reinforcing ridge 14c extending along their innermost edge. With this construction, it can be seen that the flanges hold the panels in a rigid curved configuration. This assures that the tank, when erected, will have a circular configuration with resultant relatively uniform distribution of hoop stresses around the tank. Also, when the tank shell is dismantled, the panels can be stacked in nested relation one on the other on a trailer, lashed down and transported without causing excessive flexure and even permanent deformation and cracking of the lowermost panels by the weight of the uppermost panels resting thereon. Moreover, the weight of the liquid in the tank acts downwardly on the flanges to more securely hold the panels in place.
The overlapping of the ends of the flanges facilitates erection of the shell. Thus the panel with overlapping portion 14a can be slid endwise into position with all or a portion of its weight at the end to be joined resting on flange portion 14b. This permits the panel to be tapped or nudged into exact alignment with the other panel without a worker having to support its weight during alignment and further facilitates installation of the rod 13 after the ends have been aligned in that the ends will not accidentally move out of alignment while the rod is being slid into place.
As indicated in FIGS. 2 and 3, each of the panels have a lip 15 at one end extending to overlie the joint between the ends of the panels on the interior thereof. Hence when the sheet of plastic liner is installed, the lip will maintain the liner out of contact with the joint and provide a smoother backup for the sheet than would the hinge itself. Also, the lip protects the liner from possible vandalism such as by someone pushing a knife through the hinged joint in an effort to cut the liner.
As indicated, after the shell is erected, a unitary sheet 16 of a plastic liner is installed in such a way that liquid in the tank can cause the liner to conform with the interior of the shell and the surface on which the tank is sitting without excessively stressing the liner. The upper edge of the liner can be folded over the upper edge of the shell and held in place by any suitable means such as a wire 17.
Prior to installing the plastic sheet, it is preferable to install a ground pad 18 which extends across the entire interior of the enclosure and overlies the flanges on the panels. This pad can be strips of tar paper or the like and serves to protect the liner from sharp stones, sticks or the like which were not removed during site preparation. Therefore the only site preparation that is usually involved is removing major vegetation and raking to remove large rocks, stones and branches.
From the foregoing description of one embodiment of this invention by way of example, it will be seen that this invention is one well adapted to attain all of the ends and objects hereinabove set forth, together with other advantages which are obvious and which are inherent to the apparatus.
The invention having been described, what is claimed l. A modular portable tank shell adapted to be lined with a plastic sheet comprising: a plurality of upright curved generally imperforate panels arranged in endto-end relation to form a generally circular enclosure,
a plurality of interlocking members, said panels each the ends of the panels on the interior of the panels so that when a plastic sheet liner is installed in the shell, the liner will be maintained out of contact with said joint.
2. The shell of claim 1 wherein said interlocking members are bars and said panel portions are tubular to receive one of said bars therein to form a hinge joint between the panels.
3. The shell of claim 1 in combination with a flexible plastic liner installed in said shell.
4. The shell of claim 3 wherein a flexible ground pad underlies the plastic liner on the interior of the enclosure and extends to overlie the flanges on said panels.
5. The shell of claim 1 wherein the flanges on said panels have a reinforcing ridge adjacent the innermost edge thereof.