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Contenu archivé le 2024-06-16

Condition monitoring of large oil and chemical storage tanks using ultrasonic guided wave tomography without the need to empty and clean the tanks (TANK-INSPECT)


Large above ground storage tanks filled with hazardous liquids such as oil, oil derived products, chemicals and food processing liquids are in widespread use in Europe and indeed throughout the World. Leakage from corroded storage tanks, especially their floors, is a major environmental, economic and safety hazard. External inspection of these storage tanks is inadequate because current methods can only inspect up to 1m into the tank. Thus the current inspection methods for the inspection of these tanks have the following major limitations: (1) Require the tank to be emptied and cleaned before internal inspection can take place. A process, which takes up to 80% of the costs of the inspection itself. (2) The hazardous liquids have to be transported and stored in alternative tanks. This takes up expensive additional storage facilities so causing weeks of lost production. (3) Exposure of workers to chemicals and dangerous fumes during inspection and cleaning tasks. Also the process of emptying and cleaning releases large volumes of dangerous vapour into the surrounding atmosphere. (4) The huge expense involved in tank inspection and the older age of the storage tanks in Eastern Europe countries is causing huge leakages into the environment. To overcome the above drawbacks of the current inspection practices, the consortium proposes to develop new and novel ultrasonic guided wave (UGW) techniques, sensors and systems for finding defects and corrosion in internal tank floor plates, without the need to empty and clean the storage tank. By placing the UGW sensors outside the tank; the proposed method will be able to detect corrosion and other defects on tank floors without the need to empty and clean the tank and without the need for operator entry inside the tank. By developing this technology; the consortium SMEs will access the 800 million Euro per annum, above ground oil storage tank inspection budget of World Oil & gas, chemical and electricity plant operator compa

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