Bakken Shale is On the Rebound

oil gauging tapes

For the past few years, the massive shale deposit known as the Bakken Formation has taken North Dakota’s economy on something of a roller coaster ride.

As suppliers of plumb bobs and oil gauging tapes, this is something that caught our attention. There was a time when the Bakken shale was a key part of the American shale oil craze.

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5 Things You Should Know About Using Oil Gauging Tape Measures

how to use oil gauging tape

Oil gauging tape measures are an invaluable tool for anyone who needs to measure the depth of oil in storage tanks and other containers.

In this blog post, we’ll explain how to use oil gauging tapes, and answer some other common questions about this product.

How to use oil gauging tape – innage tape

There are two techniques for manually measuring liquid levels in a tank: outage and innage.

Innage is the more common method and involves simply lowering the tape into a tank until the tip of the plumb bob reaches the bottom. When you reel in the tape, simply read the depth of the liquid in the tank by seeing where the tape is wet, similar to using a dip stick in a car.


How to use oil gauging tape – outage tape

Innage & Outage Diagram how to use oil gauging tape

An outage tape measures the distance from the surface of a liquid in a tank to the top of the tank. In other words, the part of the tank without liquid.

It’s difficult to determine where the top of the liquid actually begins, so the graduated plumb bob is slowly lowered from the reference point just until it reaches the liquid.

The graduations on the bob begin where the bob is attached to the tape and get higher. The reading on the bob – as shown by the liquid – is added to the reading on the tape to determine the total empty portion of the tank.

When you know the depth of the tank, you can subtract the space that isn’t filled from the total depth to figure out the depth of the liquid. You can conclude the volume of the tank by multiplying depth times surface area.

This type of oil gauging tape is good for thick or caustic materials because the tape doesn’t go into the liquid.

How accurate are these tapes?

All of our oil gauging tapes meet both Mil Spec. # A-A-52216 and American Petroleum Institute Standard 2545. Both of these standards deal with the method for determining the accuracy of a tank gauging tape and the acceptable deviation.

Using double duty tape

Double duty oil gauge tapes allow you to get measurements when working with both light and dark liquids. The tape has a black line along one edge allowing you to see light-colored fluids.

What kinds of liquids can be gauged?

Oil gauging tapes are plated with chrome nickel and are also double coated with two different lacquers. Using these tapes with gasoline, fuel oil, crude oil and other petroleum products should not remove the tape’s protective coating.

However, more exotic chemicals, acids, bases or a mix of chemicals can affect the outer lacquer. Abrasive materials such as sand can also shorten the life of the coating. Storing the tape blade in wet environments or neglecting to clean substances from the blade can also cause damage.

Using etched stainless-steel blades can help you avoid abrasive damage. These tape blades have no coating, with numbers and grad lines etched directly into the metal, making them less likely to be worn away by abrasives.

Although not as strong as a carbon-plated blade, a stainless-steel tape will hold up better in a caustic or wet environment.

If you have additional questions about oil gauging tapes, U.S. Tape would be happy to answer them. Contact us today to learn more and visit our products page to find the right tape for your job.

Accurately Reading a Tape Measure

A tool is only as good as the person using it.

That’s an old saying, but a true one, and something that applies to tape measures as well. They’re only effective if the person using them knows how to get an accurate reading.

In this blog post, we’re going to look at how to accurately read a tape measure.

Essential features

inch designationsLet’s begin by reviewing the essential parts of an “Imperial” or “English” tape measure:

1. Inch designations

On a tape measure that uses imperial units – as opposed to the metric system – the most prominent markings are typically the inch marks, designated by long, thin lines and larger numbers. You will see a foot designation marked every 12 inches (sometimes in a box as in the picture, or sometimes the number will be shown in red).

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Hidden Features of Measuring Tape

Fractional Read Tape Measure

Are you getting the most out of your tape measure?

That might seem like a silly question. After all, a measuring tape is a simple device with a simple – although important – purpose: to measure things.

But there’s more to this tool than meets the eye. Here are a few hidden features you will find within in your tape measure.

1. The curve

Have you ever wondered why the blade on a tape measure is curved? The concave design helps keep the blade rigid when extended. This curve allows the blade to “stand out” while measuring, helping you read the measurement.

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Oil Gauge Tape Measure Blade Styles

US Tape: Oil Gauging Tape…a little knowledge can go a long way in helping your customers choose the right one.

In our on-going informational series on gauging tapes, we previously discussed the difference between Innage and Outage tapes and how they are used. Another FAQ we have gotten is “What are the different blade styles available, and what are they used for?”

We have 4 different styles of gauging tape blades: Plated, Double Duty, Black Etched, and Etched Stainless Steel. They each have unique properties that make them better suited to use for measuring particular oils, gas, and other liquids.

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How to Properly Use a Dead Blow Hammer

4 lb. Dead Blow HammerA dead blow hammer is a mallet-like tool used to absorb tremors that occur when the hammer strikes.

It’s a useful tool in that it prevents damage to soft surfaces, while reducing the amount of rebound and improving the striking force of the hammer. They’re great tools for tapping joints together, or knocking them apart.

The head of these hammers is typically hollow and partially filled with steel shot, lead shot or sand to distribute the energy of the strike over a longer stretch of time.

And while these may not be precision tools, there is a precise way to use a dead blow hammer. Here are a few tips to make sure you’re wielding this tool safely and wisely.

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How to Use the CenterPoint Tape Measure

CenterPoint Center-finding tape measureIn honor of National Tape Measure Day on July 14, 2017, we’d like to shine the spotlight on one of our favorites – the CenterPoint tape. Let me tell you a bit about:

How the patented CenterPoint Center-finding scale works

Being in the business for a while (a bit over 140 years…) we do get asked questions about how to use our measuring tools. Today I’ll take a shot at explaining the CenterPoint center finding scale, and how to use it when working with our CenterPoint tape measures, bench tape, or rulers.

Actually, this will be pretty simple. It is very easy to use!!!

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Properly Maintaining Your Tape Measure

US Tape measures

“Take care of your [fill in the blank], and it will take care of you.”

We’ve seen that sentiment applied to everything from cars to employees to the human body.

Today we’re going to – pardon the pun – extend that idea to tape measures. When you treat it with the proper care, it will provide you with accurate, reliable measurements. Here are a few steps for properly maintaining your tape measure.

1. Control the blade

It is never a smart idea to let the tape measure blade whip back into the case. This can cause damage to the inner workings, the end hook and the blade markings. It’s also dangerous: you can injure your fingers, eyes and the people around you.

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What’s the Difference Between Innage and Outage Oil Gauging Tapes?

Oil Gauging Tape Measurements

We’ll be presenting a series of posts exploring answers to some of our most frequently asked questions (FAQs). Some will be useful to our distributors in determining what products to order for specific applications, or to educate their customers. Some will speak to the professional user who needs information on key features and benefits, or best practices in the use of a tool. Some will help our end-users to get the most out of the tool they just purchased. Some answers will simply be ‘fun facts to know and tell’ about measuring products.

This post will deal with a FAQ from our Oilfield sector regarding oil gauging tape.

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