January 23, 2008
  • Press Contact:
    Alan Anderson
  • Tanknology Inc.
    11000 N. MoPac Expy
    Suite 500
    Austin, TX 78759
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Tanknology Introduces Enhanced
Tank Deflection and Deformation
Testing System

A popular and cost-effective solution for the testing of older fiberglass USTs

Austin, TX – Underground Storage Tank operators who were early adopters of fiberglass tanks when they were introduced to the petroleum market in the 1970s were attracted to them particularly because they wouldn’t corrode, causing potentially catastrophic fuel leaks. What they didn’t realize, however, was that certain early production fiberglass tanks that remained in operation for more than 30 years could present potential risks of their own down the road. What some are now finding is that changes to site conditions over the years and the introduction of new chemical additives that unexpectedly weakened the tank’s fibers, are sometimes causing structural deformation or deflection of the tanks, which is leaving the operators victim to the very leaks they were trying to avoid.

In response to this phenomenon and a need for operators to verify the structural integrity of older fiberglass tanks, Tanknology Inc., of Austin, TX, is introducing the next generation of its proprietary Tank Deflection and Deformation Testing System, which is specifically designed for the unique challenges posed by older fiberglass USTs.

There are multiple causes for tank deflection and deformation. Among them:

  • Poor installation practices: Poor compaction of the soil surrounding the tank at the time installation, the use of substandard backfill or the migration of backfill often causes voids, or air pockets in the ground surrounding the tanks, which eliminates support in critical areas of the tank.
  • Softening of fiberglass resin: Many of the relatively new fuel additives, such as alcohol, ethanol and methanol blends were not contemplated when the older fiberglass tanks were designed and manufactured. In some cases, these additives are proving to soften the fiberglass resins, creating instability, and ultimately, cracks in the tanks.
  • General site conditions and wear-and-tear: Other site conditions have also been expected of causing fiberglass tank degradation, such as the weight from excessive traffic loads, damaged tank pads, a high water table, and nearby construction activity that alters the soil compaction around the tank.

Tanknology’s unique and specially-designed Fiberglass Tank Deflection and Deformation Testing System is the most accurate and cost-effective method for verifying that the fiberglass tanks at a site have not become deformed. The technology system employs a proprietary bottom flatness measurement device that verifies whether the roundness of the tank is within the specified tolerance of the tank manufacturer. The Tanknology system does not require removal of the fuel from the tank and, more importantly, expensive and risky manned entry into the tank is not necessary. The upgraded generation of the system provides for faster testing, without compromising accuracy, allowing Tanknology technicians to perform the tests with minimal disruption to a site.

“Many of the problems that we are now seeing with older fiberglass USTs simply weren’t contemplated when these tanks went into the ground,” according to Allen Porter, President and CEO of Tanknology. “These are not isolated problems; we’re seeing them all over the country. Many of our customers who operate these older tanks are utilizing our Tank Deflection and Deformation Testing System in order to verify the structural integrity of their tanks and buy a little more time before having to replace them. It’s a very economical approach to a potentially catastrophic problem.”

Based in Austin, Texas, Tanknology operates across America and around the world, providing UST environmental compliance testing and related services at more than 37,000 sites per year, for more than 3,000 customers. Internationally, Tanknology licensees span more than 20 countries, providing services to the largest petroleum retailers in the world.

For more information about Tanknology’s Tank Deflection and Deformation Testing services, call us at 1 (800) 964-1250, ext. 228 or visit us online at www.tanknology.com.

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