How to Choose the Right Tank for Your Application Part 1: Space & Shape

Photo courtesy of Feldmeier

Photo courtesy of Feldmeier

One of the most common questions we get at Zwirner Equipment is “which tank do I need?”

To help answer this question for our customers, we decided to start a 3-part blog series where we will break down the different questions that need answered to determine which tank is the right tank for your application. We will touch on the space and shape of a tank, the heating and cooling aspects, and your agitation needs.

In this blog post, we will discuss how to determine the right stainless steel tank for your application based on space and shape requirements.

Are You Processing or Storing Your Product?

The first step to choosing the right tank is determining what you plan on using it for. Processing is done in smaller batches and storing is done in larger batches. This aspect will determine whether you need a processing tank or a storage tank.

Processing tanks are most commonly used for…wait for it…processing! They are the best option for processing purposes because of their bottom shape. They come with either a cone, dish, reverse dish or slope bottom. Vertical and horizontal stainless steel tanks can be used for processing but we highly recommend using a processing tank if you are processing a heavy product.

Vertical and horizontal tanks have a sloped bottom of approximately ¾ of an inch per foot. However, this slope limits you to lower viscosity products only. Therefore, if you have a thicker product, you will need a cone or dish bottom processing tank. Vertical and horizontal tanks are most commonly used for storage.

Vertical tanks are difficult to find with vertical agitation. Most often they have horizontal mechanical agitators due to cost. However, they are the most common orientation used. We often find that customers avoid horizontal tanks due to space limitations. Vertical silos require much less space than a horizontal tank. If you are limited on space, a vertical silo is your best choice.

Horizontal tanks are most cost effective and work best if you need to heat or cool your product efficiently. Horizontal tanks have more surface area coverage, which means they can move product more easily because of its orientation. They are much more cost effective because it is a lot easier add vertical agitation and less expensive to transport. If you are looking for a stainless steel tank that is cost effective and highly efficient, a horizontal tank is your best choice.

What’s Next?

Space and shape are big factors in selecting the right tank for your application. In order to choose the right tank, you first must decide if you plan to use it for processing or storage. Once that has been determined, you then must evaluate the space you have to house this tank.

While reading about vertical and horizontal storage tanks, you may have asked yourself if it is important to efficiently heat or cool your product. Well if so, stay tuned in for Part 2 of our series where we will discuss how to choose the right stainless steel tank for your application based on heating and cooling requirements.