Understanding API Tank Inspection Standards: Key Requirements and Best Practices

API tank inspection standards play a crucial role in ensuring the safety, integrity, and compliance of storage tanks in various industries. These standards, set forth by the American Petroleum Institute (API), provide guidelines for inspecting, maintaining, and assessing aboveground storage tanks. Understanding the key requirements and best practices related to API tank inspection is essential for facility owners and operators to ensure the longevity and reliability of their tank systems.

This blog post will delve into the important aspects of API tank inspection standards and shed light on the best practices to follow.


The Importance of API Tank Inspection Standards:

API tank inspection standards are designed to protect public safety, prevent environmental contamination, and ensure the structural integrity of storage tanks. By adhering to these standards, facility owners and operators can identify and address potential issues early on, minimizing the risk of catastrophic failures, leaks, or spills. Compliance with API tank inspection standards also helps businesses maintain regulatory compliance, avoid penalties, and preserve their reputation.


 Key Requirements of API Tank Inspection Standards

API tank inspection standards, such as API 653 and API 650, outline specific requirements for tank inspection and maintenance. Here are some key aspects covered by these standards:

Regular Inspections: API standards emphasize the importance of conducting regular inspections to assess the condition of storage tanks. These inspections involve visual examinations, non-destructive testing (NDT), and evaluation of corrosion and structural integrity.

Inspection Frequencies: API standards provide guidelines on the frequency of inspections based on the tank’s service life, tank construction, operating conditions, and previous inspection results. This ensures that tanks are thoroughly examined at appropriate intervals.

Tank Integrity Assessments: API 653 tank inspection standards require tank owners to conduct integrity assessments, including evaluating the tank’s foundation, welding, seals, coatings, and internal components. These assessments help identify any potential risks or vulnerabilities.

 Documentation and Record-Keeping: API tank inspection standards stress the importance of maintaining comprehensive documentation and records of inspections, repairs, and maintenance activities. Accurate records provide a historical overview of tank conditions, aid in tracking maintenance activities, and demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements.


Best Practices for API Tank Inspections

Following best practices is crucial to maximize the effectiveness of API tank inspections. Here are some recommended practices to consider:

 Engage Qualified Inspectors: Ensure that inspections are performed by qualified and experienced professionals who are knowledgeable about API standards and industry best practices. Qualified inspectors possess the necessary expertise to identify potential issues and recommend appropriate corrective actions.

Utilize Advanced Inspection Techniques: Supplement visual inspections with advanced inspection techniques such as ultrasonic testing, magnetic particle testing, radiography, or laser scanning. These techniques provide accurate and detailed data on tank conditions, allowing for a more comprehensive assessment.

Implement Risk-Based Inspection Strategies: Adopt a risk-based approach to prioritize inspections and allocate resources effectively. By evaluating factors such as tank age, history, product stored, and environmental conditions, you can identify high-risk tanks that require more frequent or intensive inspections.

Plan for Repairs and Maintenance: Develop a proactive …

Tank Inspection Standards and Codes Established for Shop-built Storage Tanks

Storage tanks are the backbone of many industries. Storage tanks offer a safe and reliable option for easy storage and transfer of bulk liquids or gases. Since storage tanks are used for keeping all sorts of things ranging from gases to hazardous materials, the design and construction of storage tanks are stringently regulated. There are several industry standards and codes that regulate how tanks are built and fabricated. Besides this, API tank inspection companies are significantly crucial in ensuring the tanks are in workable condition and pose no explosion or spill threats. Industry leaders develop tank inspection and manufacturing codes and regulations. The codes cover different aspects of tank designing and fabrication, including welding, the thickness of plates, and the design foundation.


Tank manufacturing companies are tasked with designing and fabricating functional and aesthetically appealing tanks and built according to codes and regulations.

Adhering to industry codes allows tank manufacturers to build tanks that are in accordance with federal and state regulations and safeguard the environment.

In this blog, we have discussed some essential codes and standards for shop-built tanks.


API 650 Standard

The American Petroleum Institute has developed API standards and regulations for tank fabricators and manufacturers. API 650 overlooks the construction of welded tanks intended for oils storage. Various aspects of tank fabrication are covered under the API 650 standard, like welding, design, tank assessment, tank installation, and fabrication.

Usually, API 650 tanks are atmospheric tanks. However, API 650 tanks can have internal pressure that should not go over the weight of the covering plates. API 650 tanks are used to store gasoline, gases, chemicals, crude oil, water, etc. The code also requires that the tanks are regularly assessed by professional API 653 tank inspection services providers.


AWWA D100 Standard

AWWA D100 standards govern the manufacturing of welded storage tanks made of steel. These tanks are manufactured for storing water. Different aspects of tank design and fabrication are regulated through the AWWA D100 code. For instance, tank materials, quality assurance, tank foundation, and accessibility of hardware are regulated through this standard.


There are a few variations to the AWWA standard used for different types of water storage tanks.


The AWWA D102 standard is applicable on those steel water tanks that require coating. The AWWA D652 standard is for the disinfection of storage tanks. The water tanks are disinfected soon after being delivered to the facility and installed for usage.


 UL 142 Certification

Atmospheric tanks constructed to store combustible fluids and flammable liquids are required to pass the UL 142 certification. UL 142 code is one amongst the NFPA 30 Flammable and Combustible Liquids Codes. Besides this, the Steel Tank Institute or STI has created the F921 certification for oil and gas storage tanks.


AWWA D100 and API 650 codes are applicable on field-erected and shop-fabricated storage tanks. However, the UL 142 code is only for shop-built tanks. Storage tanks that are UL 142 certified carry a permanent UL Listing …

What are some widely used Methods of Non-destructive Tank Inspection?

Storage tanks and containers are widely used across various industries. Since storage tanks play a crucial role in keeping the stored product away from contamination, one must ensure the tanks are functioning optimally. There are different tank testing methods used by professionals from API inspection companies.
Non-destructive testing or NDT is a commonly used technique to inspect the tanks’ structural condition and detect any signs of contamination. In the NDT method, the tank and its components are inspected without causing damage to the tank. One can use the NDT method to look for structural damage, corrosion, leakage, blockage, or contamination.

In this blog, we will look into some commonly used.
1. Acoustic Emission Testing (AE)
Acoustic Emission, or AE, is a type of passive non-destruction testing method used to look for defects in a tank. The tank inspectors from API inspection services companies look for signs of short ultrasound bursts that are caused due to cracks in the tank. The sensors are placed on the surface of the tanks. Inspectors can detect areas with high-stress points through plasticization.
2. Electromagnetic Testing (ET)
In electromagnetic tank testing, an electric current is passed through conductors. Eddy current testing, remote field testing, and alternating current field measurements are common types of electromagnetic testing.
3. Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)
Ground-penetrating radar or GPR is a type of geophysical testing method. Radar pulses are sent across the surface of the tank to detect any damage or defects. In case of any abnormalities in the tank or its content, the radar waves refract or reflect. This allows one to identify where the leakage or contamination is present.
4. Laser Testing Methods (LM)
There are three types of laser testing. They are laser shearography, laser profilometry, and holographic testing.
Laser Shearography Testing: In this particular type of laser testing, laser light is used to create the stressed surface images. One can capture the before and after pictures of the tank surface and use them to study the tank’s condition. Any defect or deviation in the tank surface can be easily identified through shearography.
Laser Profilometry Testing: In this test, a rapidly rotating laser light source and small optics are used to look for corrosion, cracks, or leakage. The 3D image produced via the apparatus allows one to identify changes in the tank surface.
Holographic Testing: Holographic testing is done on the stressed tank surface. The test allows one to detect any changes resulting from pressure, vibration, or heat.
5. Leak Testing (LT)
Pressure change testing, bubble leak testing, mass spectrometer testing, and halogen diode testing are some commonly used leak testing methods.
In the Pressure Change Testing method, closed tank systems are inspected to detect any possible leakage or faults. Pressure or vacuum are used to test the tanks. In case of any leakage present in the tank, the loss of pressure will indicate it.
Bubble leak testing is conducted with the help of a soap solution. The bubble leakage testing method is used to detect …

What does the Process of Piping Fabrication Entail?

Many enterprises use process piping: industrial, civic, petrochemical, paper, garments, pharmacological, etc. These industrial pipe systems may be unseen regularly, yet they are essential for transporting water, solvents, and so much more. Pipelines play a significant role in keeping our economy afloat. Pipe networks primarily that distribute potable water help keep the city running. Thus, regular upkeep and maintenance of pipelines are necessary. Pipe inspection is not like any other inspection service; only certified water tank inspection services professionals should undertake the task.

Process pipe manufacturing is the technique of cutting, rolling, and welding steel plates into the proper form and length for use in a pipe network.

Fabrication of Different Types of Piping

Penstock, casings, and piling are the three fundamental pipe manufacturing methods Even though they are all pipes, they serve entirely distinct purposes. Water is transported via penstock, which is generally precinct. Vertical and lateral shafts are referred to as casings. Though casings could use them for various functions, the vertical casing is usually filled with concrete to provide support, while the lateral casing covers underground utility wires. Piling is a technique for improving the foundation integrity of a building.

There are various tools and equipment used to fabricate the pipes. Some devices like pipe end finishers, rotators, beveling equipment, and welding equipment are highly specialized.

The plasma screen allows for plate precision and uniformity. This allows for repeatability, essential in pipe manufacturing because numerous identical pieces are required to finish a single project.

The plasma board is a CNC program that includes a big chopping table, a torch, a sizer, and an oxy-fuel slicing blade. Although prior equipment was likewise mechanized, it could not chamfer and had three axes.

Regarding merging beveling with the preceding step, a plasma table improves tank inspection services providers’ productivity and production capabilities. Because it impacts the soldering, beveling is a crucial phase. After extra slag is eliminated from the ionization table, the sheet can roll from the plasma table to the next stage.

Steps involved in preparation for pipe fabrication

Almost all of the mill’s inbound material will be suitable for pipe construction. Some groundwork may be required before commencing the manufacturing process, according to the customer’s specifications and the metal composition. It is, however, typically safe to proceed.

Piping Fabrication Process

The pipe fabrication procedure begins as soon as the steel sheets come from the factory. Logging starts at the early part of the operation and extends through each phase.

Marking: In compliance with code regulations, all-metal pipe components are identified to be tracked. Even after the final assembly, the heat figures noted at the start may be utilized to determine the composition of each piece.

Cutting:  Each steel sheet must be trimmed with square edges and comply with engineering drawings.

Beveling: Beveling is the process of sharpening the edges of metal parts for welding, allowing for a full joint piercing weld.

Rolling: Our plate rolls are used to form the metal plates after they have been beveled.