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Storage Tank Implosion

Updated: Feb 10

Tank implosion due to Steam Cleaning

Vacuum inside tanks are caused by water vapour. Vapor cools, it condenses into liquid water. Now you have a little bit of liquid in the tank instead of a large amount of water vapor. This lowers the internal pressure enough to cause a catastrophic collapse.

Most of these collapses happen when we use steam to clean the tank and closes all of its possible openings.

Tank implosion due to closed Vent Pipe

A storage tank was going to be painted and therefore painting preparation included a scaffolding elevation as well as a protection with plastic covers of some parts of the tank, including the vent valve. Suppose the painters forgot to remove the plastic bag on the vent valve after painting. After removing the liquid the plastic got stuck inside the tank and created vacuum inside the tank. The tank then collapses.

It may seem unethical to believe that plastic stuck in the vent under vacuum leads to implosion of tank, but its true.Remember to remove the plastic from the vent after painting. This trivial mistake can be eliminated by clear adherence to warnings.


The content of this article is taken from web open source. The blogs are intended only to give technical knowledge to young engineers. Any engineering calculators, technical equations and write ups are only for reference and educational purpose.

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