One of our customers is looking to inspect a tank online; However the tank has an internal rubber lining. What is the best technique kindly advise.
Hi, Please mention the service of the tank & what is the inspection requirements (shell?? Annular plate or Bottom??). Robotic Tank inspection technique is popular and has been in use for the last decade. API 653 recommends to inspect the tank bottoms every 10 years (or more in case if the tank is having leak prevention or other safeguards). For some reasons the tanks that are directly connected to the process are unable to taken out of service. In such cases, if the purpose of inspection is to find corrosion rate of the tank and to check the current integrity condition of the tank floor, API 653 mentioned the use of Robotic tank inspection as an alternate to out-of service inspection. So Robotic Tank inspection is basically an API 653 compliant in-service inspection for checking the bottom condition. However not all tanks (IFR tanks are bit difficult to perform) and services (class I fluids below 100F flash point) are suitable for Robotic Inspection. A feasibility study has to be carried out by analyzing drawings, MSDS of the product and other available information prior to using Robotics. Rubber lined tanks can be done with Robotics as it uses immersion type probes. Again the feasibility depends on many factors type of rubber, bonding condition, service of tank. Hope that helps. Please feel free to revert for further information..
Robotics is a good way to analyze the condition of a tank bottom. If you are considering using robotics then you should be aware that you are placing potentially a source of oxygen and an ignition source into the tank. If the tank contains fuels or flammable materials then this can be a problem if the equipment is not designed to be placed in flammable environments. There are a lot of robotic products on the market that expose electrical connectors to the fuel and do not eliminate oxygen from the internal spaces of the equipment. In addition the materials chosen for construction of the robotic equipment often expose steel or nickle of various types to the fuel. This is a sparking hazard. If you are seriously considering using robotics then make sure you research the service provider and make them prove they have designed their equipment to prevent bringing ignition sources and oxygen into a flammable environment. This proof takes the form of a certification by a third party standards company such as UL or Intertek.
For more information about why certifications are important: