Aluminum dome roofs are a unique roof style and have a variety of benefits for aboveground storage tank applications. What are these space-age-looking structures, and why are they used for tanks? To answer those questions (and a few more) here’s our guide to aluminum dome roofs for storage tanks.

What Are Aluminum Dome Roofs?

Aluminum dome roofs, also known as aluminum geodesic dome roofs or ADRs, are lightweight, curved roofs that are composed of numerous panels connected along geodesic lines. A geodesic line is the shortest line between two points on a curved surface. Geodesic structures use geodesic lines to create curved, domed structures from small, geometric panels that are connected along those geodesic lines. 

How Are Aluminum Dome Roofs Installed?

Geodesic aluminum dome roofs can be installed in a few different ways, depending on the needs of the application. These roofs can be installed inside the tank, starting on the tank floor. This is done by constructing the dome inside of the tank and is most often seen in use cases where space external to the tank is limited.

For other applications with more space, ADRs may be prefabricated and lowered over existing storage tanks. Some of these will be like other tank roof styles, where the roof sits atop the tank walls and is secured to the tank. Other instances will involve an ADR that is significantly larger than the tank it covers, and it will be secured to the ground, covering the entirety of the tank.

Aluminum dome roofs can be attached by two primary methods: batten or lapped. 

  • The batten method involves using batten bars to clamp the raw edges of the roof into place. These bars are sealed (often with silicone strips), which prevents slipping or disengagement. 
  • Lapped roofs are similar to traditional asphalt shingle roofs seen in residential construction; the aluminum panels of the roof are overlapped downward and fastened with screws. This method requires no caulk or sealants but is still effective at keeping out the elements.

What Applications Use Aluminum Dome Roofs?

In the industrial sector, storage tank ADRs are commonly used for containing potable water, fuel, wastewater, or sludge, and are used in the municipal and civil, oil and gas, and manufacturing sectors.

What Are the Benefits of Aluminum Dome Roofs?

Aluminum dome roofs have a bevy of benefits for use with aboveground storage tanks, due to their unique design properties and the performance characteristics of the aluminum and aluminum alloys of which they’re comprised. These storage tank roofs are:

  • Lightweight
  • Strong because, unlike other roof designs, geodesic domes increase in strength proportionally to their size
  • Prefabricated
  • Low maintenance
  • Easily installed via crane, reducing construction time and cost

Additionally, aluminum dome roofs: 

  • Deflect and resist strong winds and hurricanes
  • Shed rain and snow, preventing pooling and cave-ins that can occur with flat roof designs
  • Reduce leakage of gas and other chemical compounds by reducing emissions by 80%–90% 
  • Resist rust and corrosion
  • Resist fire

Contact PALA — Leader in Aboveground Storage Tank Fabrication & Repair

If you’re interested in how geodesic aluminum dome roofs could work for your storage tank application, you’ve come to the right place. PALA Interstate is your turnkey source for all things aboveground storage tanks, from fabrication and installation to inspection and maintenance. Get in touch to start the conversation about your ADR and storage tank needs today.