Calibration of tanks and containers

Tanks are often used as measuring equipment for trade in, for example, petroleum products. However, reliance on the nominal volume of a tank (e.g. as derived from a drawing) can result in an error of one percent or even more. An error of one percent in Sweden’s annual import of petroleum products is equivalent to 300 000 m3. In order to reduce this error, we need to know the effective area of tanks more accurately.

Calibrating tanks is a good start.  Although this is most critical for large tanks (the largest that we have calibrated has a volume of 150 000 m3) that are used for what is known as ‘custody transfer’, we also calibrate very small tanks or vessels, right down to pipette volumes. 
The commonest shape of a tank used for measurement purposes is that of a vertical cylinder, but we often calibrate considerably more complex shapes. 

Most of our tank calibration work is performed in Sweden.  However, we also make measurements at short notice throughout Europe, and have on a number of occasions been involved in projects in other parts of the world, such as the Middle East or Asia.

Deciding on the required accuracy level

Calibrations can be performed with various specified accuracy levels, as most appropriate to the particular requirements. 


The volumes of most tanks are determined geometrically when they are empty.  Smaller tanks can be calibrated volumetrically, by filling the tank with liquid via a calibrated meter. 
Not just calibration
These calibrations provide a large quantity of geometrical information that can be useful for other purposes, such as site or general arrangement drawings, deformation or settlement measurements.  
RISE is also involved in international standardisation work. 

Geometrical and dimensional metrology

We perform shop-floor geometrical and dimensional assurance, as well as LSM (Large-Scale Metrology).Read more...

Fixtures and assembly jigs

A common application is on-site inspection/calibration of for example machining- or welding fixtures.Read more...

Machines and automation equipment

Our services to the manufacturing industries include inspection of machine tools, presses and industrial robots, whether as stand-alone units or as parts of production processes.Read more...

Inspection of large parts

We help to assure the accuracy of larger products. Read more...

Documentation – Temporary installations or permanent plants

In many cases, our measurements provide data that can be used directly as input for other purposes or applications. The results can then be used, if necessary, to create 3D models or in other visualisation processes. Read more...

Measuring instruments and references

We calibrate measuring instruments in our laboratories, as well as at site.Read more...

Related Information

Contact Persons

Jörgen Spetz

Phone: +46 10 516 53 78

Magnus Herbertsson

Phone: +46 10 516 54 96

Claes-Göran Svantesson

Phone: +46 10 516 54 89

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Phone 010-516 50 00, E-mail

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