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Acoustic Emission Inspection and Engineering Assessment of Fitness-for-Continued Service of Cryogenic Storage Tanks

Maintainning above ground cryogenic Ammonia tanks fit for continued service for many years involve careful process controls and performing due diligence in evaluating their mechanical integrity. In addition to the well known Ammonia Stress Corrosion Cracking (NH3SCC) damage mechanism, these tanks can be affected by cyclic loading and thermal cycles as well. Removing a tank for internal inspection may take between 3 to 6 months to complete, and still allowing oxygen inside the tank may adversely affect its performance, if not well managed. Acoustic emission inspection (AET) of these tanks, coupled with advanced non-destuctive testing (ANDE) and evaluating the resulting indications with established engineering assessment methodologies such as API 579 is recognized as the most effective approach both from a cost, as well from a technical point of view.

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