Someone asked me the other day about the ISO Tank Containers periodic, maintenance/check, inspection operations that must be carried out on ISO Tank containers, every 2 and 1/2 year.
Answer courtesy of ITCO.
For portable tanks meeting the definition of “container” in the CSC, a prototype representing each design shall be subjected to an impact test. The prototype portable tank shall be shown to be capable of absorbing the forces resulting from an impact not less than 4 times (4 g) the MPGM of the fully filled portable tank at a duration typical of the mechanical shocks experienced in rail transport. The following is a listing of standards describing methods acceptable for performing the impact test:
Association of American Railroads,
Manual of Standards and Recommended Practices,
Specifications for Acceptability of Tank Containers (AAR.600), 1992
National Standard of Canada,
CAN/CGSB-43.147-2002, “Construction, Modification, Qualification, Maintenance, and Selection and Use of Means of Containment for the Handling, Offering for Transport or Transporting of Dangerous Goods by Rail”, March 2002,
published by the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB).
Deutsche Bahn AG
DB Systemtechnik, Minden
Verifikation und Versuche, TZF 96.2
Portable tanks, longitudinal impact test
Soci�t� nationale des chemins de fer fran�ais
Tank containers, longitudinal external stresses and dynamic impact tests
Spoornet, South Africa
Engineering Development Centre (EDC)
Testing of ISO Tank Containers
The shell and items of equipment of each portable tank shall be inspected and tested before being put into service for the first time (initial inspection and test) and thereafter at not more than five-year intervals (5-year periodic inspection and test) with an intermediate periodic inspection and test (2.5-year periodic inspection and test) midway between the 5-year periodic inspections and tests. The 2.5-year periodic inspection and test may be performed within 3 months of the specified date.
An exceptional inspection and test shall be performed regardless of the date of the last periodic inspection and test when necessary according to 188.8.131.52.7.
The initial inspection and test of a portable tank shall include a check of the design characteristics, an internal and external examination of the portable tank and its fittings with due regard to the substances to be transported, and a pressure test.
Before the portable tank is placed into service, a leakproofness test and a test of the satisfactory operation of all service equipment shall also be performed. When the shell and its fittings have been pressure-tested separately, they shall be subjected together after assembly to a leakproofness test.
The 5-year periodic inspection and test shall include an internal and external examination and, as a general rule, a hydraulic pressure test. For tanks only used for the transport of solid substances other than toxic or corrosive substances, which do not liquefy during transport, the hydraulic pressure test may be replaced by a suitable pressure test at 1.5 times MAWP, subject to competent authority approval. Sheathing, thermal insulation and the like shall be removed only to the extent required for reliable appraisal of the condition of the portable tank. When the shell and equipment have been pressure-tested separately, they shall be subjected together after assembly to a leakproofness test.
The heating system shall be subject to inspection and tests including pressure tests on heating coils or ducts during the 5-year periodic inspection.
The intermediate 2.5-year periodic inspection and test shall at least include an internal and external examination of the portable tank and its fittings with due regard to the substances intended to be transported, a leakproofness test and a test of the satisfactory operation of all service equipment. Sheathing, thermal insulation and the like shall be removed only to the extent required for reliable appraisal of the condition of the portable tank. For portable tanks dedicated to the transport of a single substance, the 2.5-year internal examination may be waived or substituted by other test methods or inspection procedures specified by the competent authority or its authorized body.
A portable tank may not be filled and offered for transport after the date of expiry of the last 5-year or 2.5-year periodic inspection and test as required by 184.108.40.206.2.
However, a portable tank filled prior to the date of expiry of the last periodic inspection and test may be transported for a period not to exceed three months beyond the date of expiry of the last periodic test or inspection. In addition, a portable tank may be transported after the date of expiry of the last periodic test and inspection:
after emptying but before cleaning, for purposes of performing the next required test or inspection prior to refilling; and
unless otherwise approved by the competent authority, for a period not to exceed
six months beyond the date of expiry of the last periodic test or inspection, in order to allow the return of dangerous goods for proper disposal or recycling. Reference to this exemption shall be mentioned in the transport document.