The First Word in Protective & Marine Coatings

A Product of Technology Publishing / PaintSquare
JPCL | PaintSquare News | Durability + Design | Paint BidTracker

Download our FREE eBook on New Technology Coatings for Corrosion Control

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

Remote Tank Corrosion Imaging Unit Wins Patent

Monday, November 1, 2010

Comment | More

A newly patented video camera-and-software system allows remote, safe inspection and analysis of corrosion in tank liners and other caustic environments, the inventors say.

U.S. Patent 7822273, approved Oct. 26 after a 3 ½-year review, covers both the method and apparatus for automatic corrosion detection via video capture. The goal, inventors say, is to increase safety of tank and other inspections by minimizing direct human involvement.

“Corrosion needs to be detected as early as possible and should be corrected in a timely fashion,” the inventors note in records filed with the U.S. Patent Office. “This is particularly true with any caustic material, which produces corrosion but is also harmful to humans.

“Containers and other vessels carrying caustic materials are often transported by truck or train. Some of these materials are extremely caustic to humans and can even prove to be deadly. Caustic material, in addition to potentially being harmful to humans, produces corrosion on tanks, particularly metal tanks.”

Four-Part System

The system consists of:

• A portal-mounted camera that captures images of a tank surface as it passes through the  portal, then displays the images at a remote facility;

• Software with a list of preset corrosion characteristics that analyzes the camera images of surface characteristics of the tank and produces a detection result;

• A histogram that is compiled from the analysis performed by the video image and software and viewed by an operator at a remote facility; and

• A grid overlay superimposed on the tank surface that is also viewed at a remote facility.

Colorful Surface Profiles

In the system, the camera captures a color image of the tank surface and compiles a histogram of the surface orientation. Several surface characteristics or parameters of the tank surface are measured; these, indicating the presence of corrosion, are put into a histogram. The histogram provides a format by which the area of the tank's surface can be analyzed in a readable form.

For instance, the inventors say, “an area of corrosion will typically have a different surface color. The software will discriminate between the different surface colors of the tank and will differentiate between healthy color and healthy lining surfaces and areas of corrosion. The information about the discoloration of the tank surface is incorporated into the histogram.”

Jagged edges, slightly irregular shapes or other characteristics of erosion are also measured and incorporated into the histogram. The software can analyze the general surface contour of the tank lining and determine whether the area is corrosion or simply surface irregularities of the vessel.

Once the information is compiled, it can be transmitted and viewed by the human operator in a readable format in a remote facility.

The inventors are four Jacksonville, FL, men. No company name was listed on the patent documents.

Other devices have used electrodes, ultrasonic waves, refracted light or other technology to detect corrosion, but this is the first to use camera imaging, the inventors say.


Tagged categories: Coating inspection; Corrosion; Site/field testing; Software; Tank interiors

Comment from Craig Smith, (11/2/2010, 7:19 AM)

I am assuming that this is for thin walled transportation tanks; not for ASTs with 1 1/4" thick shells?

Comment from Mary Chollet, (11/2/2010, 7:57 AM)

Good question. You may be right, but the patent information is unfortunately a little ambiguous. It says: "This is a method and apparatus for detection of corrosion in linings of tanks, particularly tanks, which carry caustic materials. The specific method and apparatus can be used on a variety of different tanks." You can find the document at

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Termarust Technologies
Termarust (HR CSA) Chemically Stops
Active Corrosion

Arch truss treated with Termarust's (HR CSA) in 2003. This steel arch bridge is rust free on all surfaces including the crevice corroded joints and connections.

Heat-FLex® Hi-Temp 1200

Improved Corrosion
Enhanced Durability
Faster Shop Throughput

U.S. Zinc

With multiple locations, ample capacity and a proven safety record, U.S. Zinc offers supply security to customers around the globe. Helping the world work™

Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America
Performance Amine 1,3-BAC

A highly reactive cycloaliphatic diamine offering superior performance. Reasonable cost and curing efficacy makes it suitable for all types of epoxy resin applications.

Denso North America Inc.
Denso Tank Base
Protection System

An easily applied prevention system, utilizing Denso tapes and coatings around the tank base, that helps prevent corrosion from external elements.
Call 1-281-821-3355 or Visit


Jet Edge water blast cabinet 1995 Model 36-100, excellent condition
Sponge Jet 240L feed unit with a recycler unit
Hotsy Trailblazer
Schmidt pot, 6 ton with 4 outlets, TVII valves, 12V line with controls, Halo safety loading feature, 4 factory welded post for jumbo sack rack
Contact us: 888-772-3726

Elcometer, Inc.
Durability & Design meet
Performance & Reliability

Elcometer 319 Dewpoint Meter
View the technical data on the Elcometer Dewpoint meter.

Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker JPCL Europe

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us

© Copyright 2000-2014, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail