It is difficult to inspect a tank floor when tank is in service. The conventional inspection of a tank floor after it is opened and cleaned is time-consuming and is a high cost. So the in-service inspection of above-ground storage tank floors with Acoustic Emission (AE) technique is accepted by petrochemical industry more and more. Until now more than 70 tanks have been inspected with AE technology in PetroChina Pipeline Company. In this paper our method is introduced and the influencing factors for AE testing are discussed. The reliability of AE testing is mainly concerned by comparing the results of AE testing with the one of conventional nondestructive testing (NDT). The study concluded that the AE inspection is a useful and economic tool for prioritizing the tank maintenance.

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