ABFAD Ltd Hydrochloric Acid Project 2014

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Abfad recently completed a world first installation using their FUELVAC® double skin system to line a two million litre capacity tank for the storage of hydrochloric acid at a major chemical storage facility in the North East of England.

Because of the highly caustic and corrosive nature of the Hydrochloric acid, Abfad’s client wanted to ensure that the storage of their product and the tank maintenance solution were durable, reliable and effectively monitored 24/7 throughout the whole tank, which measured 13 metres high and 14.8 metres in diameter.

The Process

Because of the Tank’s size the internal work area was split into six separate zones to enable immediate location of vacuum pressure loss in the event of a tank breach, which was a key part feature of the project. An engineering review was completed detailing the separate zones and overlapping detail of the double skin liner which ensured an interstitial space existed throughout the complete tank surface in accordance with European Standard BS EN13160-7.

After setting up on site Internal scaffolding was erected with six lifts in preparation for the grit blasting to the underside of the tank lid and wall sections. The grit blasting revealed underlying corrosion pittings which were repaired using epoxy engineering compounds prior to first protective coat being applied.

The first protective coat was applied using specialist plural component heated spray equipment to ensure that the resin was applied at 1000 microns nominal thickness for full encapsulation of the tank steel plates.

The FUELVAC® system provides two levels of protection in the tank; the first directly to blasted steel surfaces and the second on to the completed double skin lining materials, ensuring that even if there was were an internal breach in the double skin layer, the tank steel would still be protected against the corrosive tank contents.

This unique coating ensures an uninterrupted seal on all surface areas including pipe penetration points into the tank.

Once this initial skin had been applied and pin hole testing and commissioning was completed Abfad began the double-skin lining material installation process, paying particular attention to the split-monitored zones within the tank.

Abfad’s FUELVAC® has been designed to follow all contours continuously throughout the tank to give one seamless interstitial space which can then be vacuum-pressure leak-detection monitored.

The installation process was successfully and efficiently completed by their fully -trained specialist teams who have vast worldwide industry experience in working in this type of safety-critical environment.

Once the double skin lining materials had been installed and, commissioned, the final protective coats were sprayed on to complete the installation.

Utilising the Class-one vacuum pressure leak detection equipment means that future downtime for internal weld seam floor and wall inspections is minimised, as the tank lining vacuum is digitally monitored for any vacuum loss fluctuations 24/7. The six vacuum Instruments were connected to the Client’s on site control system to alarm if any monitored zone failed due to an external or internal breach of the double skin liner.The system consisted of 6 vacuum instrument gauges fitted and configured to monitor the four quarter wall zones plus the two zones on the floor area, so that any loss of vacuum could be quickly and easily identified, and remediation action taken.

Other software package options are available to have the monitoring system accessed remotely from any location worldwide if required.

Creating a vacuum between the double layers in the tank means that should there be any breach to the double skin liner, internally or externally, the system is triggered by the vacuum pressure loss, instantly alerting the operator well before the possibility of any external pollution.

Once the FUELVAC® system was installed the client was provided with a comprehensive installation Completion Pack outlining in detail all of the relevant operating and health and safety information, including Abfads’ warranty which provided their client with even greater peace of mind.



FUELVAC® double skin liner is probably the fastest installed system on the market. Together with its 24/7 vacuum-monitoring system it is undoubtedly one of the most effective and complete solutions to Storage tank maintenance and refurbishment that can operate in even the harshest chemical environments.

Abfad’s expertise has been called on by many major oil, gas and chemical retailers, they have a proven track record in the industry installing Fuelvac double skin liners since 2006, with the system being continuously improved year on year to ensure client’s assets are fully protected. Whatever your tank maintenance and monitoring requirements, you can be sure Abfad’s FUELVAC® system offers the ideal solution.

The FUELVAC® patented system, is the definitive and lasting solution to Storage Tank Maintenance and Refurbishment’.

View the FUELVAC® HCL Case Study


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