"Air Tank Failure"

Question:

"Is there any way to determine the extent of corrosion on the inside of an older home use air compressor tank. I've read recently of an explosion which resulted in fatalities.

Any tips or suggestions on what to look for or age considerations would be appreciated."

Answer:

I know of two possible methods. One is low tech; however, it should provide qualitative results, and second uses NDE. The low tech method would be to use a hammer while the tank is depressurized and simply hammer test it to locate thin areas. Straight beam ultrasonics (UT) may be able to quantitatively measure the tank thickness provided that the tank is sufficiently thick to obtain accurate measurements. UT measurements are difficult on very thin wall items. You might also consider conducting a hydrotest of the tank to its maximum working pressure. If it survives the test with water, it should hold up at equivalent air pressures.

 

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