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Custom made composite supports for LNG cargo systems

: Ehrich, Kai

Bannasch, H.-G.; Zimmermann, B. ; Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnik und Automatisierung -IPA-, Anwendungszentrum Großstrukturen in der Produktionstechnik, Rostock:
Conference on Production, Operation and Living in Arctic Regions 2013 : 20.03.-21.03 2013, Rostock
Stuttgart: Fraunhofer Verlag, 2013
ISBN: 978-3-8396-0527-1
Conference on Production, Operation and Living in Arctic Regions (POLAR) <2013, Rostock>
Fraunhofer IPA ()
AGP; tank; Flüssigerdgas; liquefied natural gas (LNG); Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Moulding (VARTM); Logistik; Güterverkehr; Fertigung

The use of compressed wood for the purpose of supporting independent LNG tank systems (type A,B,C) is chosen since the first LNG carrier, the Methane Pioneer, was brought into service in 1959. Compressed wood as support material has proven itself with a few exceptions. So there are disadvantages caused by environmental influences at the bottom of LNG tank systems by freezing over and swelling up of the compressed wood supports. To avoid these problems and to create an alternative for a support material, next to the compressed wood, an innovative material was designed and qualified for the use as support material for LNG tanks. The chosen alternative material for tank supports is, by the use of fillers, reinforced epoxy resin. Directed filling material is acting as reinforcement to increase the compressive strength and undirected fillers acting to reduce the thermal conductivity. It could be shown that compressive strengths up to 140 MPa and thermal conductivities of 0,21 W/m*K can be reached, by testing small examples of the alternative material. So the material is eminently suitable for the use as an alternative support material by reaching the main requirements. In first laboratory tests it could be shown that the production of scaled mock-ups composed of epoxy resin with fillers was successful. Next to the high compressive strength and the low thermal conductivity the epoxy resin modified with fillers shows many more advantages. The greatest advantage of the production of supports out of epoxy resin is the omission of a post-processing, which leads to a reduction of the manufacturing process costs. In fact the epoxy resin support can be used straight after the de-molding process. In regards to the material, more advantages can be shown by using epoxy resin. In laboratory tests the good behavior at cryogenic temperatures and the resistance against environmental influences like water absorption could be proved. In summary it can be said that the use of epoxy resins with directed and non directed fillers constitutes an eminently suitable alternative for the use as support material for independent LNG tank systems next to compressed wood.