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6 Reasons Why You Need NDT Fuel Tank Testing

Non-destructive fuel tank testing

You may or may not have heard the term non-destructive (NDT) fuel tank testing before. But what you should know is that it’s completely invaluable in protecting your storage tanks, pipework, vessels and other safety-critical components.

What is NDT and why is it needed?

An increase in Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (FAME) in fuels has led to accelerated tank and pipework corrosion. This coupled with bad weather and poor operating conditions can cause leaks or tank failure that will damage not just your pocket but the environment too.

This highlights the importance of regular interior inspections to test for signs of cracks, defects flaws and corrosion which can compromise its integrity.

While regular external testing is beneficial, it can only detect whether there’s a current leak, which is often too late to rectify.

Ensure compliance with no disruption

Non-destructive testing (NDT) is a term widely used to describe a range of techniques used to inspect, test and evaluate critical safety components to identify a breach in integrity.

NDT fuel tank testing is the only method that can see the exact ‘health’ of a fuel tank and associated pipework, whilst causing no disruption or damage whatsoever.

Using measurement techniques, NDT can identify emerging corrosion issues before a leak actually occurs, to prevent significant environmental and costly problems.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommends that NDT should be conducted every 12-18 months. Failure to protect your fuel tank and its pipework could also jeopardise insurance policies, making regular testing a long-term investment rather than a short-term expenditure.

The benefits of NDT

  • Finds areas of degradation before failure to enable longer lifespan
  • Keeps downtime to a minimum to ensure maximum productivity
  • Doesn’t require any deconstruction of or damage to your tank
  • Offers trend information on deterioration to enable life cycle and repair predictions
  • Provides peace of mind that your fuel and tank are in good condition
  • Proves operational standards and compliance, such as API 653 and EEMUA

Many businesses have implemented regular NDT testing and fuel tank inspection programmes to ensure the life expectancy of their fuel storage facilities.

Why choose Crown Oil Environmental for non-destructive testing (NDT)?

  • We’re ISO 9001 approved with over 75 years’ experience in the field
  • All tests are carried by EEMUA 159 qualified technicians, offering full inspection services, reporting, remaining life calculations and recommendations as per the EEMUA 159 standard
  • We have an onsite laboratory with expert staff and cutting-edge equipment to identify issues
  • We can organise testing and issue resolutions to suit your busy schedule
  • We’re fully trained and accredited in confined spaces and working at heights
  • Fully comprehensive yet easy-to-use report

Call our expert team today on 0330 123 1444 to find out more about NDT.

Non-destructive fuel tank testing methods

NDT uses measurement techniques to identify any damage and anomalies in fuel stored in above ground and de-gassed tanks, including:

  • Ultrasonic testing (ultrasonic NDT or UT) – used to characterise the thickness through high-frequency sound waves which are outside the range of human hearing
  • Magnetic-flux leakage (MFL) – a magnet, or series of magnets are used to identify corrosion and pitting in steel storage tanks and pipework through a magnet
  • UAV inspection – using a drone to conduct quality non-destructive testing and analysis

Our engineers use an ultrasound probe to take multiple readings to gain an understanding of the thickness of the skin of the tank. This will show where the skin has thinned from corrosion and pinpoint where a leak is likely to occur.

Following testing, you will receive a detailed report which will satisfy asset management procedures, insurance and compliance inspection by regulatory authorities. It will of course, inform you of any next steps needed to be taken to protect your operations.

To find out more about our non-destructive fuel tank testing services, get in touch with our expert team by calling us on 0330 123 1444 today.

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