Storing large quantities of things is no easy task, especially when storing something that is explosive, hazardous and toxic. Luckily, that’s what storage tank inspection are for. However, these storage tanks need to be inspected frequently and cared for to ensure they function and do their job properly.
WHAT IS A STORAGE TANK?
Many companies use storage tanks for holding large quantities of resources and goods. Usually, they use them for holding organic, non-organic liquids and vapors which cannot be put in the open air. Companies use storage for:
- Power and energy
- Graphic and paper
- Food and beverage
Specific types of tanks are:
- External floating roof tanks
- Fixed roof tanks
- Internal floating roof tanks
- Horizontal tanks
- Variable vapour space tanks
- LNG (liquified natural gas tanks)
- Low-pressure tanks
- Medium pressure tanks
- High-pressure tanks
Two common and broad types of storage tanks
There are many different kinds of storage tanks. Each tank has specific and unique build characteristics, necessary tank inspection requirements, and intended uses. Storage tanks can be divided into two main groups based on their specifics and various factors. These two divisions are location and atmospheric-based.
- Location-based: depending on which place a storage tank is being stored, it can be either stored underground or above the ground. The key difference between these two is security and accessibility. Above-ground storage tanks are insecure but easier to inspect and access. Meanwhile, underground tank inspection is not only difficult and problematic, but they are harder to access as well.
- Atmospheric-based: depending on their build and design, tanks can be pressurised or atmospheric. The difference is how much pressure they can hold, which then determines what sources they can contain. These tanks are typically used for containing oils like crude, furnace, heavy, gasoline, water, Naptha and other certain gases.
Why does a tank inspection matter?
A tank leak can cause several serious issues. It may lead to costly repairs, workplace injuries and severe environmental contamination. Regular and frequent tank inspections are essential to address and identify major catastrophic tank issues. Spotting a tank leakage is not an easy task. Hazardous and toxic material could leak into the surrounding groundwater for years before someone could even address the problem.
What does a tank inspection entail?
- Shell inspection
- Roof inspection – including seals and dome
- Tank floor
- Liner and coating
- Evaluation of settlement
- Strapping and calibration
- Nozzle inspection
Three types of storage tank inspections
Addressing storage tank issues in time requires a lot of effort. Three types of tank inspection should be considered are:
Risk-based Inspection: also known as a risk and reliability assessment. It prioritises examining pressure vessels, pipes and other high-risk parts of the storage tank system. The whole process starts by assessing the history of failures and defects of your storage tanks.
Time-based inspection: TBI is the industry legal and standard requirement for most companies using storage tanks all around the world. With TBI, Oil Tank Cleaning specialists try to find the right interval for inspecting the facility. Just as with RBI, one needs to consider many aspects to find the correct solution. The detailed inspection includes exposure to chemicals and elements, susceptibility to corrosion, risk of harmful vibration and the likelihood of accumulation of dirt and dust.
- Non–destructive testing: Oil Tank Cleaning Specialists inspect the tank instantly without disassembling its contents and draining them. It offers many benefits like improving your quality and reliability and accident prevention. NDT relies on various high-tech techniques, which include phased array flaw detection and ultrasonic thickness testing.
What causes tank leaks, and how to prevent them?
- There are several things that can impact the integrity of your tank. According to USA’s Environment Protection Agency, corrosion is the most common cause of tank failures and leaks. It happens over time, and it’s dangerous for older tanks especially. It can take several years to cause ultimate damage, but it can also take months, depending on the tank’s condition.
- There are three effective steps to prevent major damage from happening.
- First, get your storage tanks from renowned and reputable sources which construct and assemble these tanks according to the compulsory and required legal requirements.
- Second, create a tank inspection and testing plan
- And finally, carry our regular maintenances services and analyze potential hazards as soon as you spot them