Atmospheric Tank Failures: Mechanisms and an Unexpected Case Study
- Type: Conference Presentation
- Conference Type:
AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
- Presentation Date:
April 13, 2016
- Skill Level:
In fact there are a number of mechanisms that can lead to the catastrophic failure of a low pressure tank that have nothing to do with combustion or vacuum. Under certain circumstances, even a tank equipped with an atmospheric vent and containing nothing other than salt water can explode, with disastrous impacts.
This paper reviews the mechanisms for catastrophic failure of low pressure tanks, both implosion and explosion, and serves as a reminder of what to look for during a hazard review. It also includes a recent case study of an atmospheric caustic tank explosion that resulted from a previously unreported mechanism involving neither combustion nor vacuum.