Tank bottom metal plates may be the source of incommensurate inspections and maintenance efforts compared to their initial cost. This reveals how difficult it is to detect corrosion in tank floors, especially on their underside, and the fact that perforated floors can, in turn, give rise to an insidious product leakage and damage to the environment, with the inevitable loss of profits.

While it is unusual for a failed floor to directly lead to the catastrophic failure of a storage tank, it is still possible. A more common failure mechanism is leakage through the floor, which damages the tank’s foundations and may lead to instability that could result in catastrophic failure. Preserving the integrity of a tank’s floor is the prime means of preventing product loss and associated damage to the environment, therefore it needs to be addressed.

Developments in the available methods to inspect tank floors make remaining life predictions easier. Floormap3DiM-R is the most advanced magnetic-flux leakage (MFL) floor scanner on the market. The Silverwing line also includes a complimentary inspection tool, Handscan, ideal for storage tanks 10 m (33 ft) in diameter or less, petal floor plates, and in-situ heating coils.

Floormap vastly reduced the time it takes to inspect tank floors while producing detailed and accurate reports, which enable engineers to determine optimum maintenance strategies.

The level of inspection and repair economically sensible before the entire floor is replaced is influenced by many factors. They include the costs of material and contracting, but major factors are the time and cost of cleaning the tank and preparing it for work. The latter varies greatly depending on whether the tank is holding clean, light product or it is handling crude oil, heavy oil, or dirty liquid.