Tank Inspection

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Surface Sound
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Surface Sound

Infrared Thermography

TCR Arabia in KSA undertakes a thermographic survey of installed thermal insulation on pipework and equipment when in service. The purpose of the inspection/survey is to verify by the measurement of surface temperature that the insulation materials have been applied in a thermally efficient manner, and that the insulation materials are conforming within the ambient conditions, operating conditions and the insulation specifications. Work is undertaken in adherence to the codes specified in BS 5422, the use of thermal insulating materials and in BS 5970, thermal insulation of pipework and equipment (in the temperature range minus 100°C to plus 870°C).


TCR uses thermography tests to find temperature anomalies present in the equipment during their operation. This is based on remote viewing and is a non-contact method of testing. As a recent addition to the NDE,  helicopters may be used for testing in large regions. Any hot object that emits heat radiation is captured with an infrared sensor, which picks up the radiation to form the image of the hot body. The hot and cold regions on the surface can be analyzed for the healthy condition of the object. Thermography is useful in applications such as deposits or blockages in pipelines carrying hot or cold fluids, refractory or insulation deterioration in furnaces, boilers, heaters, converters etc. It is also utilized with Electric sub-stations for control panels, transformers, switchgear etc. for overloading, loose or damaged contacts, Overheated bearings in rotary equipment, e.g. motors, generators, turbines, etc.


The survey is carried out using fully portable infrared thermal imaging equipment with both “live” and “freeze-frame” recording facilities. All thermography equipment used is from Flir instruments utilizing their latest FUSION functionality which allows for easier identification and interpretation of infrared images. This advanced technology enhances the value of an infrared image by allowing the technician to overlay it directly over the corresponding visible image. The functionality combines the benefits of both the infrared image ad visual picture at the push of a button. The thermography camera of TCR Arabia does this in real-time and the overlay function can be easily adjusted to suit any application such as electrical surveys, building diagnostics, and mechanical inspections.


Inspection Procedure

The assigned technician from TCR Arabia to conduct the survey is fully trained in the operation of the thermal imaging equipment/recording equipment and shall be fully conversant with insulation systems and basic heat transfer physics. The technician will be trained in the analysis of results, identification of anomalies and shall prepare a factual report of findings together with recommendations. The level of the survey conducted and extent of reporting shall be dependent on the client's requirements, objectives, etc. which can be determined prior to the survey commencing.



Prior to the site survey, the client shall supply details of areas to be surveyed. Information wherever possible shall include as a minimum:-

a) Line numbers/schedule

b) Equipment numbers/schedule

c) Operating temperatures

d) Applied insulation specifications


Where the survey requirement is only for the location of insulation faults or insulation breakdowns (hot or cold spots as applicable) information required need only be area involved and a general indication of operating temperatures. During survey preparations, TCR Arabia will liaison with the Client site engineer and suitable arrangements and dates for the site survey shall be made.


Documentation and Reporting of Test Results

TCR Arabia's expert inspectors and technicians provide on completion of the site survey, documents all the findings and recordings into the final report. Where applicable images are recorded during the survey, enhanced and printed in the report. The video recording made during the survey forms part of the report. All findings are summarized and the report recommends actions that need to be taken.


Helium Leak Testing

The Helium Leak Testing unit at TCR Arabia utilizes a proven mechanical vacuum pump technology designed specifically for heavy usage under harsh industrial environments. The helium stability of the rotary vane pump guarantees excellent stability of the helium signal.

TCR Arabia's services include vacuum leak testing for any type of vacuum vessel as well as system and pressure probe testing for systems that normally operate at or above ambient pressure. Virtually any system that has a requirement for leak tightness or that is suspected of causing a problem due to leakage can be tested by one of these methods of helium leak testing with a high degree of reliability.

The low rotational speed of the M.D.P. (Molecular Drag Pump) at 27,000 RPM keeps this unit completely insulated against accidental air inrushes. Further, it allows the leak detector to be moved while in operation. The high compression ratio of the M.D.P. facilitates the gross leak test at a high pressure (7.5 Torr / 10mbar) which speeds up the leak test process of outgassing parts. The internal layout of the unit allows easy access to all the components. 


TCR Arabia’s Helium Leak Testing instrument has a roughing capacity of 10 m³/h (7 CFM) with usable helium sensitivity in the 10-11 range. The unit has a dedicated sniffing unit, based on a well-proven leak-testing concept and is available for outboard leak testing applications as well.

Additionally, the unit offers evolved features to assist the operator with daily test operation:

TCR Arabia has performed several leak tests on-site for industries that include nuclear carriers, polymer plants, oil refineries, gas and steam turbine power plants in Kuwait, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and India. TCR's technicians are highly mobile and perform helium leak testing on heat exchangers, steam turbines and condensers, distillation towers, buried pipelines and many other systems and components.

  • Auto-calibration, with built-in temperature compensated calibrated leak (dedicated to the sniffing mode) 

  • Automatic signal correction 

  • Vocal synthesizer

  • Helium background suppression with "floating" zero to keep the signal from going negative and to increase sensitivity

  • Audio alarm with variable pitch (up to 90 dBA) 

Robotic Inspection Of Tanks

The total cost of conventional inspections far greater than the expense of cleaning and MFE inspection. The cost of material transfer, product downgrades and tank downtime can be enormous. The hidden cost of premature repair scan is high. When the tank is empty, in a conventional norm, it impacts the operations. As a result, the inspections needs to be done rapidly thus adding a premium for service – and completing repairs that aren’t necessary for another five to ten years. With TCR Arabia's In-Tank Robotic Inspection service,  you can reduce costs by completing an API 653 inspection of your ASTs (Above-Ground Storage Tanks) without taking them down for manual cleaning and inspection. In Service Robotic TCR Arabia offers high-density Ultrasonic Thickness (UT) scanning of storage tank floor while the tank is full and in service. 

This technique uses an automatic robotic crawler to enter into the tank for collecting data such as thickness, ultrasonic soundness etc. The process allows visual inspection by a video camera while the tank is in service. The TCR Arabia's In-Tank Robotic Inspection service systematically scans the tank bottom (floor of a full tank) with an array of eight ultrasonic transducers and relays high-volume UT data for analysis. Highly precise and reliable scans provide data with quantitative assessment of tank floor integrity. Incoming data streams pinpoint areas of corrosion and quantify the remaining plate thickness. Verification Studies prove that this is the API 653 inspection you can rely on. The in-tank service follows a digital inspection grid and collects more than 200,000 UT scans (based on the average scan pattern in a 100 ft. dia. Tank) for computer analysis.

Key Benefits:

  • Eliminate the high cost of taking down your tanks

  • Complete an API 653 inspection in days instead of weeks or months

  • Avoid disruptions in normal service and keep revenue consistent

  • Perform repairs only on need basis

  • Minimize impact on costs and operations

  • Reduce environmental and safety risks without opening the tank or due to manned entry

  • Cleaning and waste disposal is not required in many cases as the robot pushed sludge aside as it travels

One of the salient features of this technique is the elimination of the high cost of taking down your tanks. The testing can be completed as per API 653 inspection in a few days as opposed to weeks or months.  It reduces environmental hazards and is a safe process due to minimum contact with the tank. 


Tank Inspection Report

The tank inspection report provides a complete, 10-year API 653 report on the condition of your tank with a recommended timetable for future repairs. The report includes:

  • Top-side and bottom-side corrosion locations

  • The floor-plate thickness and pitting

  • Videotape of roof underside and vapor space structures

  • Fiberglass coating measurement

This report enables you to manage costs and cash flow by scheduling out-of-service cleaning and repairs efficiently. High-density UT scanning reveals more about the true condition of your tank. 


Acoustic Emission Testing (AET) of Tanks

Acoustic Emission Testing (AET) is a Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) method that is used by TCR Arabia to analyze emitted sound waves caused by defects or discontinuities. Because of the versatility of AET, it has many industrial applications (e.g. assessing structural integrity, detecting flaws, testing for leaks, corrosion, monitoring weld quality, etc.). Over the years, TCR has gained extensive experience in inspecting Above Ground Storage Tanks (AST) for leaks, corrosion and inspecting storage spheres for structural integrity using Acoustic Emission Testing.

Acoustic Emission Testing (AET) refers to the generation of transient elastic waves produced by a sudden redistribution of stress in a material. When a structure is subjected to an external stimulus (change in pressure, load, or temperature), localized sources trigger the release of energy, in the form of stress waves, which propagate to the surface and are recorded by sensors. Highly sensitive Acoustic Sensors are attached to the tank wall and the tank monitored, following a period of conditioning during which walls are closed and heaters/agitators turned off. The fracture of corrosion products is detected together with the leaks that are active during the actual monitoring period. The location of this data is located by triangulation but the most important information from a maintenance management point of view is the overall condition of the tank floor which is given a grading on an “A” to “E”.


Applications of Acoustic Emission testing (AET)

Acoustic Emission testing (AET) is applied to inspect and monitor pipelines, pressure vessels, storage tanks, bridges, aircraft, and bucket trucks, and a variety of composite and ceramic components.

  • To monitor the minor cracks caused by the temperature-induced stress between the weld and the base metal caused during the welding process.

  • Acoustic emission testing on pressurized jumbo tube trailers. A multichannel acoustic system is used to detection and mapped source locations.

  • Welds, joints and connections, and a combination of load and environmental factors heavily influence damage mechanisms such as fatigue cracking and metal thinning due to corrosion.

  • AET is used as a technique for inspection here. AET has found applications in monitoring the health of aerospace structures because sensors can be attached in easily accessed areas that are remotely located from damage prone sites.

  • Real-time leakage test and location within various components (small valves, steam lines, tank bottoms).


Magnetic Flux Leakage Testing (MFL) for Tank Inspection

Magnetic flux leakage (MFL) is a magnetic method of non-destructive testing that is used by TCR Arabia to detect discontinuities such as corrosion, erosion, pitting and circumferential cracks in finned ferromagnetic and Carbon steel heat exchanger tubes/air cooler.

The magnetic flux leakage (MFL) approach is extensively used for the non-destructive testing (NDT) of large steel structures such as above ground storage tank (ASTs). MFL testing is well suited to the inspection AST floors due to its ability to cover vast areas quickly. These areas can be hundreds of square meter requiring the MFL tool to find and ideally determine the size of any material loss with diameters in the region of mm’s. This means that MFL equipment must be able to provide mm positional accuracy and report the severity of material loss for defects. However, it is the accuracy, repeatability and reliability of MFL signals for defect sizing that appears to be a common concern of the MFL community.

MFL 1.png


The basic principle of inspecting a ferrous specimen with MFL is to suitably saturate the local area of interest with a magnetic field. In the vicinity of a defect or flaw, the reluctance to the induced magnetic field increases and if high enough, the magnetic field will diverge around the absence of material. This field can circumvent the defect within the surrounding material and also ‘leak’ outside its confines. The amount of leaking magnetic field can be measured by suitably placed magnetic sensors which are normally located near the surface. To perform a rapid inspection of an AST floor, a scanner with an array of sensors is normally used and arranged in a linear manner that is perpendicular to the direction of travel so that an area can be covered with one sweep, mapping the material loss.

The magnetic circuit is generated with the yoke arrangement shown in Figure 1. And comprises two magnets, a bridge, and two pole pieces. The magnetic yoke is situated in close proximity to the inspection surface at a height of approximately 4 mm. Traditionally, the lateral position of the magnetic sensors to capture theMFLis situated at an equidistant position between the two poles. The height of the MFL sensors from the surface of the specimen can be used to amplify the MFL signal when in closer proximity to the surface.


Short Range Ultrasonic Testing (SRUT)

At TCR Arabia, Advanced NDT Solution experts provide Short Range Ultrasonic Testing (SRUT) which can be used for tank floor inspection vessel inspection for detection of corrosion CUI detection for piping or corrosion on under pipe support.

Short Range Ultrasonic Testing (SRUT) is a technique which uses low-frequency sound waves to flood thin wall material and then reflect back at interfaces such as cracking or corrosion/pitting. SRUT technique is to be used as a screening tool only as remaining wall thickness measurements cannot be achieved. However, reflection distance can be measured with precise accuracy.



  • Limited access – insulated line with minimal insulation removal, corrosion under supports without need for lifting, inspection at elevated locations with minimal need for scaffolding, and inspection of road crossings and buried pipes

  • Data is fully recorded

  • Fully automated data collection protocols