Asset integrity firm collaborates on hazardous substance storage solutions study

Monday, 29 November, 2021 | Supplied by: University of South Australia

A research project that is investigating how to improve the inspection of metallic oil and chemical tanks using mixed reality technology has been awarded funding of $480,234 in the latest round of Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project funding. The project will run over three years and see researchers from the University of South Australia, led by Dr Gun Lee from UniSA’s Australian Research Centre for Interactive and Virtual Environments, collaborate extensively with industry and community stakeholders. With the funding, Dr Lee’s team will partner with asset integrity firm NDE Solutions to develop more efficient methods for monitoring the safety of storage for hazardous substances. Dr Lee noted that metallic pressure vessels, tanks and piping can contain some of the most dangerous chemicals, which erode the internal structure of the storage asset over time.

“Currently, NDE Solutions uses remote-controlled robots to scan the internal structure of metallic assets, and this data is then analysed and plotted onto 3D models exhibiting tank and vessel integrity,” Dr Lee said. The project will develop technology to give local tank inspectors and remote engineers the ability to remotely collaborate through seeing virtual scans overlaid onto physical assets as robots inspect them.

Kamal Singh, Director of NDE Solutions, said there is a strong push in the resources sector to move as many personnel as possible from the field into safer, city-based working environments. Singh added that providing engineers with the ability to remotely assess the integrity of their assets will assist this transition.

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