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Corrosion of Underground Storage Tanks and Piping Systems

Published: 19880801 by Corrosion Service Company Ltd.
Author(s): Robert Gummow

It has been estimated that 5 to 10% of the approximately 200,000 petroleum product storage tank systems in Canada are leaking and about 40 to 50% of these are a result of corrosion perforations in the tankage.* External corrosion is responsible for about 85% of the observed corrosion failures, whereas internal corrosion and mechanical or metallurgical defects make up the balance. ** Corrosion is also instrumental in piping failures although joint leaks at screw couplings account for many of the piping leaks.

The primary cause of leaking steel storage facilities is corrosion and the continued acceptability of steel in the face of increased environmental protection regulations hinges on our ability to both understand the corrosion mechanisms and to apply conventional corrosion control techniques to both new and existing facilities.

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