Field Inspection of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Storage Tanks Using Infrared Thermography and Ultrasonic Methods

Abstract

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is widely used for above-ground storage tanks (ASTs). However, there are currently no guidelines for the non-destructive testing (NDT) and evaluation (NDE) of HDPE ASTs. Moreover, the feasibility, limitations, and challenges of using NDT techniques for the field inspection of HDPE ASTs have not been well established. This study used both infrared thermography (IRT) and ultrasonic testing (UT) for the field inspection of HDPE ASTs. Highlighting the implementation challenges in the field, this study determined that: (1) ambient environmental parameters can affect IRT accuracy; (2) there is an ideal time during the day to perform IRT; (3) the heating source and infrared camera orientation can affect IRT accuracy; and (4) with proper measures taken, IRT is a promising method for flaw detection in HDPE ASTs. Additionally, UT can be used following IRT for detailed investigation to quantify the size and depth of defects. The manuscript concludes with a discussion of the limitations and best practices for the implementing of IRT and UT for HDPE AST inspections in the field.

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Citation
Behravan, A.; Tran, T.Q.; Li, Y.; Davis, M.; Shaikh, M.S.; DeJong, M.M.; Hernandez, A.; Brand, A.S. Field Inspection of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Storage Tanks Using Infrared Thermography and Ultrasonic Methods. Appl. Sci. 2023, 13, 1396.