ONGUARD Approved by ICC-ES to Guarantee Code Compliance

ONGUARD promises unparalleled earthquake risk protection for the aboveground storage tank industry. We maintain the industry’s trust through the accreditation and testing of our anchors to ensure they meet the rigorous performance and quality standards our customers demand. 

OG PRO MkIII anchors were evaluated by ICC-ES for International Building Code compliance, and the ductile elements regularly undergo materials tensile testing to verify high precision design performance.

ICC-ES Accreditation

ICC Evaluation Service, LLC (ICC-ES), a subsidiary of the International Code Council, conducted an Evaluation Report on the OG PRO MkIII Anchor Series (ESR-4564) in 2021. This type of report verifies that “new and innovative building products comply with code requirements”.

This Evaluation Report proves that ONGUARD anchors function exactly as intended under cyclic loading.

The OG PRO MkIII anchors were reported to be in compliance with the 2018 and 2015 International Building Codes (IBCs) and the 2020 City of Los Angeles Building Code (LABC) by the International Code Council Evaluation Services (ICC-ES). 

Our anchors are manufactured under an approved Quality Control Program with inspections performed by ICC-ES on a regular basis. 

Lab Tensile Testing

ONGUARD uses a capacity design approach for OG PRO anchors, allowing the yielding of a ductile pin. Since this element is intentionally the weakest point of the anchor, it is critical that its real ultimate strength is known to create the most efficient design possible and protect the integrity of the rest of the system.

ONGUARD anchor pins are tensile tested in an internationally accredited laboratory in accordance with ASTM A370. This tensile testing allows the ultimate strength of OG PRO MkIV anchors to be tuned to a precision of one tenth of a kiloNewton (0.002 kipf). 

This level of precision gives the ONGUARD system an advantage in being able to minimize the strength requirements of all elements of the system while maintaining all code and safety requirements.

Figure 1: Onguard MKIII anchor mounted in cyclic test rig prior to testing

A range of anchor sizes were tested under quasi-static cyclic loading, verifying their performance in tension and compression. Prototype testing was completed in accordance with FEMA 461 (2007) using a displacement-controlled loading protocol. 

Figure 2: Load displacement response of one of the tested Onguard OG PRO MKIII anchors

Figure 3: FEMA 461 loading protocol used to test the Onguard OG PRO MKIII anchor

In Conclusion

ONGUARD’s system testing ensures our designs are held to international standards of compliance and provide unparalleled levels of efficiency, performance, reliability, and quality.

Contact ONGUARD today for more information.




The ONGUARD seismic system has withstood the ultimate test – a very strong, extremely complex earthquake that had absolutely devastating effects.

Cue the suspenseful soundtrack… Let’s take a trip to where it happened and see how this powerful earthquake impacted the area, and learn how ONGUARD’s tanks performed.

The Greatest Test of Our Tank Protection

Welcome to the Marlborough region of New Zealand. 

Marlborough is most famous for its dry climate and Sauvignon Blanc wine, described as “the best in the world” by internationally acclaimed wine critics [1]. It is by far New Zealand’s largest wine region and accounts for 80% of the country’s production [2].

Marlborough is located in the northeast of New Zealand’s South Island.

The Clients

Several Marlborough wineries had already decided to invest in cutting-edge seismic technology by mid-2016, choosing ONGUARD to protect their wine tanks.

ONGUARD deployed its energy-dissipating seismic system on over 300 tanks at those wineries, protecting around 15 million gallons of wine.

The Earthquake

The Magnitude 7.8 Kaikōura Earthquake struck New Zealand’s South Island on November 14, 2016 at 12.02am local time [3], causing two minutes of violent shaking [4].

It was described as “the most complex earthquake ever studied” by the BBC [5]; ruptures occurred on multiple faults, and more than 10,000 landslides were triggered [3].

The Impact

According to [6] NZ$1.8 billion of property insurance claims were received. That’s approximately US$1.3 billion.

The Kaikōura Earthquake Recovery Programme’s site described how train tracks twisted, and roads cracked open wide enough to swallow a bus. Over 100 structures and 20 tunnels were damaged, and roads and railways were clogged with over 35 million cubic feet (one million cubic meters) of rock and other fallen debris [7].

Will Lomax, ONGUARD’s President and CEO, had seen his own office destroyed by an earlier New Zealand earthquake.

The Results

300+ ONGUARD-protected tanks, holding 15 million gallons of wine, survived two minutes of violent shaking with zero damage and, crucially, not a drop of ONGUARD-protected wine was lost.

Traditionally-designed anchoring systems failed at alarming rates, spilling wine onto cellar floors. Tanks collapsed, catwalks fell down, and production was brought to an abrupt halt that lasted months. The scene was apocalyptic.

Thankfully, the event occurred during the night and nobody was injured. The story may have been different if the earthquake had struck during business hours.

Damage inflicted on wine tanks and traditional tank anchorage systems when the M7.8 2016 Kaikōura Earthquake hit Marlborough, New Zealand.


‘Tank graveyards’ became a common sight throughout Marlborough after the M7.8 2016 Kaikōura Earthquake hit.


The numerous modes of tank failure witnessed provided the perfect learning ground for earthquake engineers.


Many tanks simply collapsed.


Only good fortune – the earthquake struck in the middle of the night – prevented injuries, or worse, to people.


Once the dust had settled, the scale of the clean-up task became obvious.


Supporting stands simply folded in on themselves.


The inherent flaws with traditional tank anchors were exposed on a massive scale, even though in many cases these were well-designed and complied with the design codes.

The Validation

ONGUARD passed the test with flying colors; no ONGUARD-protected liquid storage tanks suffered any damaged whatsoever, and there was no loss of product.

ONGUARD’s seismic systems performed exactly as intended, safeguarding the future of those businesses that chose to invest.

Earthquakes are inevitable. If you’re a tank owner looking for some peace of mind, CONTACT ONGUARD TODAY

The scene at a winery with ONGUARD-protected tanks, only hours after the M7.8 2016 Kaikōura Earthquake struck. Our engineers inspected every ONGUARD-protected tank in the region and found zero damage to tanks, concrete and connected services, and no loss of product.


Despite the magnitude of the event – accelerations of up to 160% of design levels – the resilient sacrificial fuses within the Onguard anchors did their job exactly as intended.


[1] “The Globe in a Glass”. The Economist. 16 Dec 1999. Updated 16 Aug 2006.

[2] “Annual Report 2021”. New Zealand Winegrowers.

[3] “M 7.8 Kaikōura Mon, Nov 14 2016”. United States Geological Survey

[4]  “Watching the M7.8 Kaikoura quake dominos fall in real time”. GeoNet. 23 November 2016.

[5]  Amos, Jonathan. “Kaikoura: ‘Most complex quake ever studied'”. BBC. 23 March 2017

[6]  Winter, Chloe. “Insurance claims total $1.84 billion for Kaikoura earthquake”. 21 June 2017

[7] “Kaikōura Earthquake Recovery Programme, New Zealand”. Aurecon.



Will Lomax watched as thousands of gallons of hard-earned, world-acclaimed Sauvignon Blanc disappeared down the drain. He was standing alongside a winery owner and they could do nothing to make it stop.

The two men had just realized the effects of the 2013 Magnitude 6.6 Marlborough earthquakes, and it was devastating.

In wineries throughout the region, wine tank walls cracked and buckled, and their stands folded. Stainless steel crumpled and valuable wine sprayed from tanks, leaking ankle-deep onto the ground.

Pinot Noir spilling out of a wine tank damaged by the 2013 Marlborough earthquake



Will worked with winery owners to assess the damage to their wineries. While delivering news on expensive repairs, he couldn’t hide from the pain and frustration he saw.

Will Lomax, Founder and CEO of ONGUARD.

Losses from the catastrophe were not just the immediate loss of wine. Without fully-functional tanks, wineries lost their means of production. Many lost their market share as retailers and distributors moved quickly to replace lost suppliers.

It was obvious to him that the failure of traditional tank anchoring systems demanded a better engineering response.

Engineers rethink traditional seismic tank anchoring systems


Will responded to the tragedy by founding Team ONGUARD that year. Together they designed an innovative, multiple award-winning seismic anchoring system capable of withstanding an entire earthquake and its aftershocks.

ONGUARD designed a new seismic tank anchoring system, including the OG PRO anchor hardware series.

ONGUARD systems were soon installed throughout New Zealand, and they successfully protected 15 million gallons of wine in over 300 wine tanks, with a 100% success rate, when the 2016 Magnitude 7.8 Kaikōura earthquake struck three years later.

ONGUARD-protected tanks are specifically designed to withstand an earthquake

Today ONGUARD is firmly rooted in both New Zealand and the West Coast of the USA, In addition, it is expanding its reach to Texas, Chile, Italy, and other global locations.

ONGUARD doesn’t stop at wine tanks; ONGUARD’s patented energy-dissipating systems are capable of protecting all kinds of liquid storage tanks. Food and beverage tanks, oil and gas tanks, and dairy tanks are just a few on the list now sporting ONGUARD anchors.

Meet our team and find out why we keep growing.