Leak Prevention of Above-ground Storage Tanks by means of Acoustic Emission Testing


3rd International Conference on NDT, 15-17 October 2003, Chania – Crete, Greece

Anastassopoulos, A., A., Kouroussis, D., A.


Tank floors are the most vulnerable parts of atmospheric storage tanks. Predictive maintenance requires corrosion assessment at regular intervals, so that repairs can take place, in order to prevent leaks resulting in severe implications to the environment and lost product. Periodic tank floor inspections, which require emptying of the tank regardless of its condition, lead to significant losses of time because of the opening and emptying of tanks in good condition. The Acoustic Emission (AE) NDT technique offers solutions to the aforementioned problems. With the use of AE, the tank floor condition can be assessed without the need to empty the tank. The tank is monitored for 1-3 hours by an array of AE sensors placed on the outside part of the tank wall which detect signals arising from corrosion and/or leak. The results of this monitoring provide a recommendation as for the period of tank’s safe operation until re-test.