Conventional testing involves spherical storage vessels being subjected to a water pressure test. Besides the stress load, this means a considerable weight load on the bearings and foundations to an extent that they never occur in operation with gaseous filling. If during the test a structural damage occurs, it may not be detected and may cause issues as soon as the plant is fully operational again.
Alternatively, during the integrity testing spherical tanks can be inspected only from inside (unless the external insulation is removed) by setting up scaffolding to carry out thickness test, visual inspection and any other inspection in smaller sized areas. This means the whole surface of the sphere cannot be inspected, it involves long down-times, disposal of water after remediation and the presence of technicians inside the tanks.
The pressure test using Acoustic Emission measurement is the only safe alternative.
Thanks to the fact that Acoustic Emission can detect and locate propagations in subcritical conditions, the pressurization test can be carried out using latest technology equipment.
Customer benefits: more safety, lower testing costs and the vessel is not unavailable for a long period of time as a result.
TÜV AUSTRIA has tested Europe’s largest spherical gas storage vessel in Berlin and approximately 100 spheres of great capacity at international level.