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SULFURIC ACID TANK INSPECTION

By Jeff Kitchen
Tank Engineering And Management Consultants, Inc.

Introduction
Jeff W. Kitchen „ Vice President of TEAM Consultants „ NACE Certified Corrosion Technologist „ API API-653 C Certified tifi d Tank T k Inspector I t „ API API-570 Certified Piping Inspector
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Tank Engineering And Management Consultants, Inc.

Introduction
TEAM Consultants is currently under the same ownership p as PennPenn-Pro Engineering. g g „ TEAM has been in business since 1983 „ Originally founded by James E E. Pandolph Pandolph, , P.E..
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Tank Engineering And Management Consultants, Inc.

. i „ Anytime you store liquids in a metal container i you have h the h ingredients i di for f corrosion. „ Tank Engineering And Management Consultants.Corrosion in Sulfuric Acid Tanks Corrosion = The deterioration of a substance or it’s properties because of a reaction i with i h it’s i environment. Inc.

Inc. reacts with iron in the shell to form a ferrous sulfate product and hydrogen according g to the reaction: „ Fe (iron) + H2SO4 (sulfuric acid) -> FeSO4 (ferrous sulfate) + H2 (hydrogen) „ Tank Engineering And Management Consultants.Corrosion in Sulfuric Acid Tanks Sulfuric acid ( H2SO4 ). . . in carbon steel tanks.

. fil the h steel l is i subject bj to accelerated and localized corrosion corrosion.Corrosion in Sulfuric Acid Tanks The FeSO4 forms a protective layer between the acid and tank wet surfaces surfaces. high hi h temperature. . dil i the diluting h acid id with i h additional ddi i l water. „ Tank Engineering And Management Consultants. . Inc. or agitation agitation. liquid turbulence. . „ Without Wi h protective i film. „ Many conditions deteriorate this protective film – such as flow.

Tank Engineering And Management Consultants. . Inc.„ Corrosion metal loss in acid storage g tanks.

. Code . vented. However Appendix F allows small However.5 psig psig. internal pressures up to 2.Applies to design pressures less than 15 psig psig. Tank Engineering And Management Consultants. ‹ Equal or more than 15 psig containers use ASME Section VIII – Pressure Vessel Code. . . Inc.Tanks are usually vented.Tank Construction Standards „ Vertical Tanks ‹ API 650 . ‹ API 620 .

p y. „ A sizable corrosion allowance is typically yp y added for sulfuric acid service.75 . The specific gravity of 93 93% % and 98 98% % sulfuric acids are 1. oils.0.8354 and 1.Tank Construction Standards API 650 was as developed de eloped for oil storage (specific gravity <1. . Inc. service.8437 respectively.0. „ Tank Engineering And Management Consultants. typically 0.95) 95). Sulfuric acid is about double respectively the weight of the lighter oils.

. Tank Engineering And Management Consultants.0 or less less. acid.Tank Construction Standards „ Horizontal Hori ontal Tanks ‹ Section VIII of ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code ‹ UL UL-142 is NOT suitable for sulfuric acid. Inc. It only applies to non non-corrosive materials with a specific gravity of 1. .

Repair. Repair Alteration.Tank Inspection Standards „ Vertical Tanks ‹ API Standard 653 (Tank Inspection. Alteration and Reconstruction) ‹ Covers carbon and low alloy steel tanks built to API Standard 650 and its predecessor 12 12C C Tank Engineering And Management Consultants. . Inc.

etc etc. heads thick plates. .Tank Inspection Standards „ Horizontal Hori ontal Tanks ‹ API Standard 510 (Pressure Vessel Inspection Code) ‹ Intended for pressure vessels. support saddles. Tank Engineering And Management Consultants. . but has the best criteria for formed heads. Inc.

Tank Inspection Methods „ Ultrasonic Thickness Measurements Meas rements (UTM’s) ‹ Pay careful attention to location and direction of testing. ‹ Take more UTM’s around typical high product level AND sludge line near tank bottom. bottom Tank Engineering And Management Consultants. Inc. .

.Example: Tank Engineering And Management Consultants. Inc.

and directly on piping and flanges. ‹ It is important to combine visual inspection with UTM locations. Tank Engineering And Management Consultants.Tank Inspection Methods „ Ultrasonic Thickness Measurements Meas rements (UTM’s) ‹ Pay careful attention around nozzles and vents. . Inc.

.Example: Tank Engineering And Management Consultants. Inc.

Inc.Example: Tank Engineering And Management Consultants. .

thickness ‹ SLOFEC (Super Low Frequency Eddy Current) will work on thicker materials materials. .Tank Inspection Methods „ Floor Scanning in Vertical Tanks ‹ Magnetic Flux Leakage (MFL) only works up to ½” plate thickness. ‹ Spot UTM’s may be a suitable and cheaper alternative alternative. Inc. Tank Engineering And Management Consultants.

. Inc. seams ‹ Typically use Magnetic Particle (MT) or Dye Penetrant (PT) for finding cracks.Tank Inspection Methods „ Location of Cracks In and Near Welds ‹ Sulfuric Acid will tend to attack the heat affected zone (HAZ) on weld seams. cracks Tank Engineering And Management Consultants.

. Inc.Indirect Causes of Corrosion and Failure External and Piping Corrosion Tank Engineering And Management Consultants.

‹ Sulfuric acid drips and leaks can also get trapped t apped betwee between insulation su at o a and d ta tank shell s e causing dilution of the acid and accelerated corrosion. condensation etc.Indirect Causes of Corrosion „ Corrosion behind exterior insulation ‹ Insulation material will “wick” rainwater. Tank Engineering And Management Consultants. eventually leading to coating failure and corrosion. Inc. condensation.. etc and hold it near the tank shell. .

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Inc. .Tank Engineering And Management Consultants.

Inc. . tank ‹ In the following example. a check valve in the vent system corroded shut. Tank Engineering And Management Consultants. ope at o . shut leading to over pressuring the tank during a fill operation.Indirect Causes of Failure „ Corroded Vent Pipes and Valves ‹ Vent piping will corrode. which could plug the vent and over pressure the tank.

Inc.Tank Engineering And Management Consultants. .

Tank Engineering And Management Consultants. Inc. .

Inc.Tank Engineering And Management Consultants. .

Interior Coating Inspection Importance of Inspection Before Before. . During and after Coatings Application Tank Engineering And Management Consultants. During. Inc.

Inc.Interior Coating Inspection „ Inspection Before and During Coating ‹ All sharp edges must be ground smooth. . t Tank Engineering And Management Consultants. ‹ Proper P surface f preparation ti is i mandatory. d t ‹ For heat cured coatings. proper t temperature t gradients di t must t be b adhered dh d to.

Inc.„ Coating g failure due to improper p p application. pp Tank Engineering And Management Consultants. .

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. standards ‹ Proper and thorough holiday test is critical. Tank Engineering And Management Consultants. critical ‹ A holiday test is generally not effective on a coating that has already been in service.Interior Coating Inspection „ Holiday Testing Inspection ‹ Use NACE RP0188 for procedures and standards. Inc.

„ Tank Engineering And Management Consultants. . Inc. but schedules next inspection at HALF remaining life. Corrosion rate is established by previous inspection data. „ For severe localized corrosion applications. I prefer using the APIAPI-570 method. „ API API-570 (Pipe) uses same formula.Inspection Interval Calculations API-653 uses (T act – T min ) / Corr Rate to APIdetermine next inspection date.

. Inc.SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION Tank Engineering And Management Consultants.

Inc. „ Visual inspection of both sides is extremely helpful. „ Don’t wait for a leak to start inspection! „ Tank Engineering And Management Consultants. „ Use visual to guide UTM locations locations.Summary Thorough and proper inspection is critical. .

. Inc.CONCLUSION Tanks for listening! Tank Engineering And Management Consultants.