SIMON STORAGEAbfad limited have developed and patented a double skin tank lining system, called Fuelvac, this can be applied in both above and below ground storage tanks. The Fuelvac system not only protects the tank from internal corrosion, as steelwork is coated and therefore cannot physically corrode, but also allows for 24/7 vacuum pressure leak detection monitoring.

With environmental pollution laws and the protection of valuable assets a major concern, Abfad’s Fuelvac double skin lining system takes all these things into consideration. If an internal breach does occur in a Fuelvac protected tank then the client is immediately alerted and can plan inspection knowing that the stored product is fully contained and safe. In most instances an internal breach of the double skin liner can be fully repaired and operational again in minimal downtime. This results in no environmental clean-up costs and no expensive tank repair or replacement. Because the tank is monitored 100% of the time this reduces the need for inspections and Non Destructive Testing, enabling operations to be better managed and run efficiently and effectively. Abfad also use solvent free coatings with the Fuelvac system, which they apply with specialist equipment. These offer greater long term protection and are better for the environment, personnel and the public.

Abfad have recently applied the Fuelvac double skin system for terminal operator Simon Storage on a 14.8 metre diameter by 13 metre high tank used to store hydrochloric acid at its site in Seal Sands, Teesside.

The planning process begin in 2011 when Abfad was first approached by Simon Storage, who needed a lining system for storing hydrochloric acid. Abfad discussed two potential coatings that would offer suitable protection and samples were made and immersed in the acid to test the resistance. These tests were carried out over a two year period, after which time all parties agreed that the chosen coating was successfully resistant to the acid.

Abfad reviewed and formulated all project and engineering aspects to be able to double skin the tank floor areas and importantly up to the top of the wall sections. The weight of the double skin materials needed to be considered and a method was developed to ensure that the 13 metre high wall sections would be fully secure during installation as well as after the system was fully installed.

Once all planning and research was completed, installation began, with the tank being emptied, cleaned, de-gassed and the structural integrity of the tank was established through Non Destructive Testing. Scaffolding was erected in the tank in order to gain access to blast the underside of the tank lid. Abfad then blasted clean all areas of the tank and applied an initial single skin coating, once this was signed off, application of the double skin materials could begin.

To allow for more precise monitoring, the tank was sectioned off into six separate double skinned zones, each with its own vacuum monitoring instrument gauge. To enable each zone to act as a separate entity, Abfad overlapped there double skin system, this meant each zone could be independently monitored. The floor section was split into two zones and the wall sectioned off into four, all overlapping onto the previous zones double skin.

Due to the highly corrosive nature of the hydrochloric acid all pipe connections to the tank were protected and the tank hatch was internally coated to ensure there was no area of the tank that could potentially be a leak path due to any corrosion of the steel.

Abfad believe that this is the first tank which stores hydrochloric acid in the UK, if not the World, to be double skin lined.

The tank came into use and began storing product in August 2014. With no problems reported and all zones monitored within specifications the project was a complete success, with both Abfad and Simon Storage delighted with the outcome. This has enabled hydrochloric acid to be stored safely in the North East for the first time.

For more information visit call 0191 543 7166 or email