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ITS on Riveted tank - welds

By: ITS [1678] 3 Stars
Date: Friday, November 17, 2017
Time: 10:40:24 AM

I just wanted to add that riveted aboveground storage tanks are getting harder to find, but many still have useful life left in them. Over the decades, I cannot think of one riveted tank that leaked.

As you know, these riveted tanks are sized about what we consider a process or production sized tank so they may have a questionable past service life, so their past service life seems important to me because if the content is corrosive and or the tank had experienced a hydrostatic bump and or a foundation or something else then quality assurance activities like exploratory UT straight beam would be informative and perhaps some shear wave UT to get under something.

The important thing I try to remember is that the 2 shell plates need to be tightly together, and also the rivet bearing surface and shell rivet hole needs to be tight too and without voids. If voids are found between the shells plates then there was a past leak that may have corroded the near by rivets. Not good! So, it is important that the rivet bearing surfaces be clean without voids, which prevents movement between the 2 plates being held together. I know you will not forget that corner joint rivets at the bottom shell and tank floor.

Tanks that were seal welded on the rivet heads as well as the shell seams should show no leaks either. Also, keep in mind the welds are not for strength but for leak prevention.

We tend to stay away for riveted tanks, but riveted tanks are repairable, but finding some to repair them is nearly impossible today.

So, I would start to find out the history of the tank and look previous evidence of leaks. Do some NDE at a level of effort that is acceptable to you and your client. Of course make sure you follow the code because there is a lot of experience in the code. Good luck.

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