US 3712500 A
A flexible liner for cylindrical, liquid natural gas tanks is shown. The liner includes a curved juncture member for joining the bottom and side plates of a conventional liner. The juncture member has an elongated, radial corrugation projecting inwardly which has a plurality of transverse corrugations in it. The juncture member absorbs multidirectional stresses due to thermal expansions and contractions and varying static pressures in the tank.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
nited States Patent 1191 Marchaj I LINER FOR CRYOGENIC CONTAINER  Inventor: Tadeusz Josef Marchaj, New York,
 'Assignee: The Preload Engineering Company, Garden City, NY.
 Filed: Aug. 6, 1971 [211 Appl. No. 169,779
52 us. 01. .;.-.....220/ 9 LG, 220/10. 511 1111. c1. ..B65d 25/18 58 Field of Search ..220/9 LG,-l0; 114/74 A  v References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,085,708 4/1963 Dosker ..220 9 L0 3,150,795 9/1964 Schlumberger 3,215,301 11/1965 Armstrong 3,570,700 Yama'moto et 1 1 Jan. 23, 1973 11/197] Yamamoto ..220/l0 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 932,581 7/1963 Great Britain ..220/9 LG Primary Examiner-Joseph R. Leclair Assistant ExaminerJames R. Garrett Attorney-Curtis, Morris & Safford  ABSTRACT A flexible liner for cylindrical, liquid natural gas tanks is shown. The liner includes a curved juncture member for joining the bottom and side plates of a conventional liner. The juncture member has an elongated, radial corrugation projecting inwardly which has a plurality of transverse corrugations in it. The juncture member absorbs rhultidirectional stresses due to thermal expansions and contractions and varying static pressures in the tank.
9 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJAx 23 I973 SHEET 1 [IF 3 TOI A TTORNE Y5 PATENTEU m 23 1973 SHEET 2 BF 3 INVENTOR. TADEUSZ JOSEF MARCHAJ A TTURNE Y5 PATENTEDJAN 23 m3 SHEET 3 UP 3 INI'ENTOR.
72106052 JOSEF MARCl/AJ 54a mxw A TTORNEYS' LINER FOR CR YOGENIC CONTAINER This invention relates to cryogenic containers for storage of natural gas and like gases which are stored as liquids under atmospheric pressure and at extremely low temperature. More specifically, this invention relates to an improved inner liner for cylindrically shaped cryogenic storage vessels for liquid natural gas.
In recent years, a number of large tanks have been constructed for storing liquefied natural gas. The contents of these tanks are typically maintained under atmospheric pressure and at temperatures as low as -260F. A number of unique design problems have been encountered, among them that of providing a structure which can withstand the stresses due to thermal expansion and contraction and the varying static pressure developed by the tank inventory.
Typically, the cryogenic containers are cylindrical and are comprised of a sealed outer vessel which is designed to accommodate, by itself, the stresses developed during the cooldown, filling and operation of the vessel. A heat insulating material is positioned on the inside surfaces of the outer vessel in sufficient thickness to substantially reduce the heat input to the interior of the container. Located inwardly of the insu-' lating layer is a flexible, thin-walled metal liner which isadapted to expand and contract during heatup or cooldown of the tank and during filling and emptying of it. The flexible liner is not load bearing; rather it flexes in response to temperature changes within the container and transmits static pressures to the insulating layer and thus to the outer vessel.
A number of ingenious designs have beep developed for inner liners. They have been formed from sheet metal having corrugations which take up the expansion 1 and contraction due to temperature changes and variations in static pressure, thereby, reducing extraordinary hoop stresses which otherwise would be developed. Since the metal liners act only as sealing membranes, protecting the insulating layer from the contents of the cryogenic container, and have no structural significance other than to transmit stresses to the insulating layer and ultimately to the structurally significant outer walls, they must be sufficiently flexible to expand under the influence of the static force of the liquid contents of the vessel, to contract at the low temperatures encountered during cooldown of the vessel and to expand when the interior of the vessel is brought to ambient conditions. It will be appreciated that it is necessary to use thicker, and therefore more expensive and less flexible liners, where the stresses encountered are potentially great enough to cause failure of the inner liner.
Among the solutions suggested in the prior art are those in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,570,700; 3,570,701; 3,570,702 and 3,576,270. The liner structures disclosed in each of these patents have disadvantages, particularly at thejunctures of the walls in different planes. The stresses developed in the corners of the liners tend to be substantially greater than in the sides. Thus, the configurations shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,570,701 and 3,570,702 are particularly disadvantageous because there are unknown and potentially dangerous stresses which may develop in the corners of the vessels. In U.S. Pat. No. 3,576,270, these disadvantages are somewhat mitigated, however, the tank construction shown is expensive to implement. Thestructure in U.S. Pat. No. 3,570,700 obviates some of the disadvantages, however, the stresses developed in the curved liner portions connecting the vertical sides with the horizontal floor can be substantial and in this respect there is room for further improvement.
it is thus the primary object of this invention to provide an inner liner for cryogenic containers, which is flexible and liquid tight and which can absorb multidirectional expansion and contraction under varying service conditions.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a unique construction for a juncture member for connecting the side and bottom plates of an inner liner.
It is still a further object of this invention to provide an inexpensive liner and particularly a juncture member which is easily fabricated and readily assembled in the field.
It is still afurther object of this'invention to provide a modular element from which a liner or a juncture member can be field assembled.
These and other objects of this invention are achieved in cryogenic containers such as those described above by a flexible juncture member for connecting liner plates in intersecting planes, having the following configuration. The juncture member comprises a curved plate, attached at each end thereof to the liner plates, having'an elongated corrugation which extends inwardly, i.e. toward the inner part of the cryogenic container, the corrugation itself having a plurality of transverse corrugations the axes of which are essentially perpendicular to the inner surface of the curved plate. Thus, a curved juncture member, describing a right angle, is connected to the bottom and side liner plates of a cylindrical cryogenic container. The elongated corrugation extends radially of the container and projects perpendicularly to the concave inner surface of the curved plate and that corrugation itself has a series of transverse corrugations in it.
The juncture member of this invention may be formed from a continuous, curved plate in which a'plurality of elongated corrugations are provided, or the juncture member may be comprised of a plurality of curved panels attached at their sides to one another and attached at their ends to the plates being connected. Each of the panels may have one or more elongated corrugations, or, alternatively, each of the curved panels may have side flanges extending inwardly from the concave surface thereof, the flanges being welded at their edges'to the edges of the flanges of adjacent panels, to form the said elongated corrugation. In this fashion each panel forms part of two elongated corrugations. In each of the embodiments there are transverse corrugations in the elongated corrugation to provide it with the requisite, multidirectional flexibility.
In another embodiment of this invention, the cylin drical side plate is also provided with a plurality of vertical, elongated, inwardly projecting corrugations. The side plate may be formed from a continuous sheet having the described corrugations, or it too may be formed from a plurality of panels havingcorrugations therein 7 or side flanges which are welded to adjacent side flanges to form the corrugation.
The invention is further described with reference to the drawings.
In the drawings:
FIGS. 1A and 1B are plan views of a cryogenic container with the top removed, showing the flexible inner liner in an expanded and in a contracted state respectively;
FIGS. 2A and 2B are elevation view taken along lines 2A 2A and 2B 28 respectively of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3A is a detailed elevation view of the juncture member of this invention in a contracted state;
FIG. 3B is a plan view of the juncture member of FIG. 3A taken along lines 38 3B of FIG. 3A;
FIG. 4A is an elevation view of thejuncture member of this invention in an expanded state;
FIG. 4B is a plan view of the juncture member of FIG. 4A taken along lines 48 4B of FIG. 4A;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view ofa portion ofajuncture member; and
FIG. 6 is a side view of a cryogenic container showing a support system for the cylindrical liner.
In the drawing, reference numeral 12 refers to the outer wall ofa cylindrical cryogenic container. Located inwardly of wall 12 is a layer of heat-insulating material 14. Numeral l6 refers to the bottom of the container. Located inwardly of heat-insulating layer 14 is a flexible liner 18 which includes a cylindrical side plate 20 and a flat bottom plate 22 of thin sheet metal. Cylindrical side plate 20 and flat bottom plate 22 are connected by means of ajuncture member 36 described in further detail below in connection with FIGS. 3, 4 and 5. Side plate 20 is supported along its upper periphery 28 by means of support guys 30. Guys 30 pass through guides 32 and over pulleys 34. A counterweight 36 balances the weight of the cylindrical side plate. As shown in FIG. 6, guys 30 are led through a plurality of fixed pulleys 38 each supported in the top structure 40 of the cryogenic container and thereafter through a series of vertically movable pulleys 42. Movable pulleys 42 are, in turn, connected by means of a guy 44 to connectors 46 affixed to the top edge of cylindrical side plate 48.
In FIGS. 1A and 2A, the flexible metal liner 18 is shown in service, i.e. with an inventory of liquefied, natural gas 24 in the cryogenic container. The side plate 20 and the juncture member 26 are under static pressure acting radially outward and they are forced into contact with heat insulating material 14. In FIGS. 18 and 2B, the flexible inner liner 18 is shown contracted, i.e. when the tank is cooled down but before the liquid is introduced. In this service, there is a gap 21 between the flexible liner and the insulating material. Thus, in order to function properly, it is necessary for the inner liner to expand outwardly into contact with the insulating material 14 as the liquid natural gas is introduced to the container.
With particular reference now to FIGS. 3A, 38, 4A, 4B, and 5, numeral 50 refers to a curved plate which connects flat bottom plate 22 with cylindrical side plate 20. Juncture member 50 includes an elongated, inwardly projecting corrugation 52 extending radially with respect to the cylindrical container and projecting inwardly from the concave surface of the curved plate. Corrugation 52 has a plurality of corrugations 54 whose axes are essentially perpendicular to the concave surface of the curved plate. Several of these axes are designated in FIG. 5 by reference numerals 56, 58 and 60.
FIGS. 3A and 3B showjuncture member 50in a contracted state whereas FIGS. 4A and 4B show juncture member 50 in an expanded state under the static pressure of the liquid natural gas in the container. It will be appreciated by referring closely to FIGS. 3A and 4A, that during the process of filling, the juncture member expands both outwardly and downwardly. Thus point 61 on FIG. 3A moves along the direction of arrow 63 to point 65.
Vertical movement is taken up by the counterweighted support system shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B and in FIG. 6. .Iuncture member 50 expands to a flatter configuration under the static load, as shown in FIG. 4A, by the flattening out of corrugations 54 in elongated corrugation 52. As best seen in FIGS. 38 and 4B, the outward radial movement of juncture member 50 under the static load causes the sides of elongated corrugation 52 to move apart as shown by comparison of the gap designated by reference numeral 77 in FIG. 38 with the gap designated by reference numeral 79 in FIG. 4B. Thus, the juncture member absorbs radial expansion of liner 18 in elongated corrugation 52 and flattening expansion in corrugations 54.
The metal liner can adjust to the degree of cooldown and to the amount of static pressure and thus is adaptable to any conditions developed within the container. For example, bottom plate 22 expands and contracts when heated or cooled thereby radially displacing the lower end ofjuncture member 50.
The juncture member of this invention may be formed from a continuous length of curved sheet, by incorporating a plurality of elongated corrugations therein and then transversely corrugating the elongated corrugations. In another embodiment it is fabricated from a plurality of curved panels, each of which has an elongated corrugation having the transverse corrugations shown. These panels are welded to one another at their side edges, and the ends of each panel are welded to the bottom and side plates of the liner.
In the preferred embodiment shown the juncture member is formed from a plurality of curved panels having a channel-like configuration, two side flanges extending inwardly from the concave surface of the curved panels. As shown in FIG. 5, the side flanges on adjacent panels are designated by reference numerals and 71, the concave surface by reference numeral 72. Flanges 70 and 71 are welded to one another at weld 74 along their upper edges to form the elongated corrugation. Each panel has a second flange (not shown) which is, in turn, welded to a flange adjacent to it. The flanges on the panels can be transversely corrugated and then mated and welded, or they can be first welded and then transversely corrugated. The juncture member may be formed from a series of channel-like panels, the flanges of the channels forming the sides of the elongated corrugation and the edges of the panels being welded to the bottom and the side members as is shown, for example, in FIG. 18 by reference numerals 83 and 85.
The cylindrical side plate 20, as shown' in the drawings, includes an inwardly projecting corrugation 35 which extends vertically in the side plate. In a preferred embodiment of this invention, the improved liner comprises an integral cylindrical side plate and curved juncture member, both of which are provided with inwardly projecting elongated corrugations, the juncture member only having the transverse corrugapanels, each of which has the elongated corrugations therein or, alternatively, the cylindrical side wall may be formed from a plurality of channel-like panels, the edges of the flangemembers on each channel being welded to the edges of adjacent flanges to form-th elongated corrugations.
What is claimed is;
1. In a cryogenic container, including a sealed outer vessel, an insulating layer on the inside surface of said vessel and an inner liner located inwardly of said insulating layer consisting of at least two plates positioned in angularly intersecting surfaces, a juncture member for connecting said, liner plates and absorbing multidirectional relative expansions thereof comprising: an inwardly concave curved plate attached at the opposed edges thereof having least curvature to said liner plates, said curved plate having an elongated corrugation extending inwardly from the concave surface thereof in the plane of greatest curvature, said corrugation itself having multiple corrugations therein the principal axes of which are essentially perpendicular to the concave surface of said curved plate.
2. The juncture member recited in claim I wherein said curved plate has substantially 90 of curvature between its edges of least curvature and connects the bottom and side liner plates of a cylindrical cryogenic container.
3. The juncture member recited in claim 1 formed from two curved plates positioned adjacent to one another, each plate having a side extending inwardly from the concave surface thereof, the edges of said sides being welded to one another to form the said elongated corrugation.
4. In a cryogenic container, including a vertically extending cylindrical, sealed, outer vessel, having a side, a bottom and a top, an insulating layer on the inside surfaces of said side and bottom and a flexible, thinwalled, metal liner located inwardly of said insulating layer consisting of a flat bottom plate and a cylindrical side plate, said cylindrical side plate being supported from above by vertically movable means affixed to its upper edge, a juncture member for connecting said bottom plate to said side plate comprising: a plurality of inwardly concave curved panels attached at their adjacent sides to one another'and attached to said bottom plate and said cylindrical side plate at the inner edge and the upper edge thereof respectively, thereby forming a continuous liquid tight bottom corner of said liner, each of said panels describing a curve between said edges and having an elongated corrugation extending radially of said container and projecting gated corru ation.
6. A unc ure member as recited in claim 4 wherein each panel is welded to the two panels adjacent to it along the side edges thereof.
7. in a cryogenic container including a vertically extending cylindrical, sealed, outer vessel, having a side, 'a bottom and a top, an insulating layer on the inside surfaces of said side and bottom and a flexible, thinwalled, metal liner located inwardly of said insulating layer consisting of a flat bottom plate, an inwardly concave cylindrical side plate and a curved juncture member connecting said side and bottom plates, the improved liner wherein said cylindrical side plate and said curved juncture member are provided with a plurality of elongated inwardly projecting corrugations, extending vertically in said side plate and essentially radially of said cylindrical container in said juncture member, the corrugations in said juncture member each having multiple corrugations therein, the principal axes of which are essentially perpendicular to the surface of saidjuncture member.
8. The improved liner of claim 7 wherein said side plate and juncture member are formed from a plurality of panels, each having a said corrugation therein, said panels being joined to one another at their side edges.
9. The improved liner of claim 7 wherein said side Patent No. 7 3,712,500 Dated January 23, 1973 Inv entor(s) Tadeusz Josef Marchaj It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected; as shown below:
Col. 6, lines [25 and 26 (Claim 7) change .an
inwardly concave cylindrical side plate and a curved juncture. to a cylindrical side plate and an inwardly concave curved juncture Signed and sealed this 27thday of November 1973.
E DvM- BT H RJ RENBD-HTBGTMBYBRW M Attestifi'g Officer Acting Commiaeioher cf Patent