PolyTank project tackles tank weld safety

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PolyTank to develop a new approach for testing welding joints in thermoplastic storage tanks.

TWI's PolyTank project is combining the expertise of eight European project partners to develop a new approach for testing welded joints in thermoplastic storage tanks.

The inspection technique will involve ultrasonic examination of the full weld volume, from the outside surfaces of the tank. This means it will not be necessary to open up a tank to prepare the inside for examination.

The project team proposes that as well as ensuring the safety of thermoplastic tanks in specific or corrosive environments, the development of a volumetric NDT and inspection technique will result in new confidence for their use in demanding applications across many industries, as well as extending operating life, and allowing cheaper installation and maintenance.

The PolyTank project will develop acceptance criteria for different types of flaws in welded joints based on both short-term and long-term testing. NDE and mechanical test data will be brought together in a database to highlight critical defect sizes that cause a reduction in the long-term integrity in different types of welds. The data will be put forward to CEN as the basis for producing a European Standard.

The PolyTank project team comprises: Chem Resist Group Ltd, UK; TWI UK; Technology Assistance BCNA 2010 SL, Spain; Hessel Ingenieurtechnik GmbH, Germany; Acutech Ltd, Greece; InnoTecUK, UK; HSE, UK; Univar Ltd, UK.

The PolyTank research project receives funding from the EU.

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