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Патент USA US3050961

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Aug. 28, 1962
3,050,951
W. J. GEBIEN
SHIPPING CONTAINER AND METHOD FOR TRANSPORTING
LIQUEEIED GASES AND THE LIKE
Filed April 30, 1959
2 Sheets-Sheet 1
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Aug» 28, 1952
w._J. GEBIEN
»
3,050,951
SHIPPING CONTAINER AND METHOD Fo R TRANSPORTING
'
LIQUEFIED GASES AND THE LIKE
.
Filed April 30, 1959
2 Sheets-Sheet 2
..
l..
..
United States Patent Otlice
1
3,050,951
Patented Aug. 28, 1962
2
is susceptible of construction independent from its trans
3,05%,951
TRANSFGRTEÑG UQUEFIED GASES AND
SHIPPENG CGNTAEI‘JER AND METHOD FOR
THE UKE
Wiiiard E. Gebien, 929 N. it’lfiiwaukee, Libertyville, Ill.
Filed Apr. 3i), i955”, Ser. No. 809,974
1t? Claims. (Cl. 62-45)
This invention relates generally to containers for cold
fluids and especially to a container for transporting lique~
fied natural gas at substantially atmospheric pressure.V
The considerable distances that separate sources of
natural gas and consuming markets have led to extensive
waste of that material.
For example, well over one tril
porting means and which is readily inserted in and re
moved from various transporting means.
'
A still further object of the invention is to provide a
container -for transporting liquefied gases which does not
require construction to close dimensional tolerances.
A yet further object of the invention is to provide a
novel method of containing liquefied gases for transporta
tion at substantially atmospheric pressure.
Additional objects and features of the invention per
tain to the particular structure and arrangements whereby
the above objects are` attained.
The structure in accordance with the invention includes
a rigid, closured, thermally insulating receptacle buoyantly
lion cubic feet of the natural gas from oil well operations
supported in a mobile, sealant fluid, there being means
in Venezuela and the Middle East are presently being
restraining the receptacle against the buoyancy.
flared each year, an amount approximately equal to the
The invention, both to its structure and mode of op
entire European production for the same period,
eration, `will be better understood by reference to the
The »fact that liquefied natural gas possesses only M500
following disclosure and drawings forming a part thereof,
of the volume that is displayed by the material in its 20 wherein:
customary state has spurred interest in means for trans
FIG. l is a fragmentary perspective view of the con
porting natural gas as a liquid, particularly at very low
tainer of the invention, showing the container being
temperatures and substantially atmospheric pressure. To
lowered into place in a supporting structure;
this end, ocean-going vessels have been specially fitted to
FIG. 2 is an elevational view in section showing the
carry cargos of liquefied natural gas.
container of the invention in its empty condition;
The prior art schemes, however, offer a number of
FIG. 3 is an elevational view in section showing the
important drawbacks. The tanks used in the specially
container of the invention iilled with liqueñed gas;
ñtted ships consist of an outer steel shell which is
cured about la balsa wood insulating hner. An
welded aluminum inner shell is then fastened inside
balsa wall insulation. These tanks are supported
se~
FIG. 4 is a top plan View in section showing «an em
all
bodiment of the invention which incorporates cribbing;
the 30
FIG. 5 is »a detailed view in section illustrating the
on
manner in which the thermally insulating receptacle is
foundation beams which must be carefully designed and
automatically sealed in case a discontinuity develops;
properly placed in order to provide uniform support for
FIG. 6 is a schematic side elevational view of a cargo
the tanks and in order to protect the transporting vessel
ship, partially broken away to reveal details in accord
ance vwith the invention;
FIG. 7 is a view through the section 7--~7 of FIG. 6;
las well as the tanks from load concentration stresses.
An important object of the present invention is, there
fore, to provide a container for cold ñuids which is
FIG. S is ‘a schematic side elevational view of a cargo
buoyantly supported and which therefore obviates exces
ship, partially broken away to reveal details of another
sive load concentrations in the transporting vehicle and 40 embodiment of the invention;
in the container.
FIG. 9 is a View through the section 9~-9 of FIG.
The inner tank employed in the prior art schemes has
8;
proved to be the focus of a number of impor-tant prob
FIG. 10 is a schematic side elevational view in partial
lems. This inner tank must be constructed of «a material
section showing the container of the invention embodied
which is capable of withstanding the extremely low tem 45 for transportation in a railroad car;
perature of the liquefied natural gas. Expensively con
FIG. 11 is a view through the section 11-11 of
FIG. 10; and
structed inner tanks of aluminum or nickel alloy steel
have proved to be the only satisfactory arrangement
FIG. 12 is an end `elevational view in section showing
heretofore; `and even these special inner tanks are sus
a variation in the means of mounting the container of
ceptible .t0 failure upon the repeated thermal stressing 50 the invention in a railroad car.
encountered during loading and unloading of the natural
Referring now in detail to the drawings, specifically
gas cargo. Any discontinuities which might develop in
to FiG. l, there will be seen a supporting structure 20
the inner tank from thermal fatigue stress or from the
which includes a number of apertures 22. Each aper
ture 22 is adapted to receive a container unit 24 which
failure of a weldment obviously can lead to loss of the
cargo or the incurrence of a substantial safety hazard.
55 may be filled with some liquefied gas, such as liqueiied
natural gas. Accordingly, the liquefied gas may be trans
Accordingly, another important objec-t of the present
ported by transporting the structure 20.
invention is to provide a container for transporting lique
Turning now to FIGS. 2 and 3 for a more detailed
iied gases which incorp-orates self-sealing receptacle for
description of the container unit 24, a generalized em
the liquefied gas.
Yet, another object of the invention is to provide a 60 bodiment of the container is shown to include a liquid
tight tank 26 which may be fabricated from steel or
container for transporting liquefied gases which incor
other suitable material and which may be comprised of
porates a non-metallic receptacle which is not deleteriously
a body portion 28 suitably complemented by a cover
atfeoted by the thermal expansion and contraction in
portion Sti, the former having a sealant lluid drain valve
curred in loading and unloading of the natural gas cargo.
The tanks lof the prior art have also presented a sub 65 32 and the latter having a closure assembly 34 and a
sealant fluid reservoir and standpipe unit 3‘6. A thermal
stantial disadvantage in that the tanks must necessarily
ly insulating receptacle 3S is provided within the tank
be constructed in the shipyard as an integral part of the
26, being spaced apart therefrom by the intervening
transporting vessel. Such construction has proved to
chamber 4t) and being restrained against upward move
be expensive, ineflicient and wasteful of valuable ship
ment by the cover portion 30.
70
yard space and time.
Having the tank 26 and the receptacle 38 thus ar
Therefore, a further object of the invention is to pro
ranged permits the introduction of a quantity of a sealant
vide a container for transporting liquefied gases which
iiuid 42 through a ñlling valve 44 into the reservoiJ-
acampar
unit 36 and from thence into the
cording to an important feature of
sealant fiuid buoyantly supports the
stantially surrounding the receptacle
56, entering a fissure -or discontinuity 70 which extends
through the liner 52 and the outer shell 54, encounters
chamber 40. Ac
the invention, this
receptacle 38, sub
38 even to the ex
sealant fluid 42 before it can escape from the fissure 78.
Appropriately, sealant fiuid 42 is maintained at a pres
tent of separating receptacle 38 from the cover portion
30 by a thin film 46. In order to provide proper buoyant
forces, fluid 42 is selected to possess a specific gravity
higher than the specific gravity of the liquefied gas which
sure higher than that exhibited by the liquefied gas 56
for this purpose, as by the employ of reservoir and stand
pipe unit 36, and is further selected to display a higher
density and a higher viscosity than the liquefied gas.
is to be contained in the receptacle 38. In one »specific
embodiment, reclaimed crankcase oil has proved suitable
Because of the very cold nature of the liquefied gas
56, Contact between the liquefied gas 516 which is tending
for use as the sealant fluid.
to escape and the sealant fiuid 42 causes the latter to con
Appropriately, closure assembly 34 and receptacle 38
geal quickly forming a solid plug in and thereby auto
matically closing off the fissure 70‘. Thus is the receptacle
38 made self-sealing.
possess «a common filling orifice 48 through which the
liquefied gas may be introduced into the yreceptacle 38.
It has proved advantageous to incorporate a relief valve
While the invention has thus far been described with a
reference to a generalized embodiment, a more thorough
unit 50, whereby vapors rising through the cold lique
fied gas may be vented to the atmosphere.
The receptacle 38 is preferably constructed of a rigid
insulating material; and in one specific -embodiment it
has proved advantageous to construct »receptacle 38 from 20
a redwood liner 52 cross-laminated to a balsa wood out
understanding of the invention may be obtained from the
following descriptions given with particular reference to
two embodiments of the invention particularly adapted
to ocean-going cargo vessels and one with reference to a
This construction
railroad freight car. Turning now to FIGS. 6 and 7,
there will be seen a cargo vessel shown generally at 88,
makes use of a more durable interior for protecting the
including the vessel structure 82 and bulkheads 84. The
er shell 54, using suitable adhesive.
insulation against the damaging effects of the liquefied
gas contents, particularly against the effects of rapid
bulkheads 84 define within the structure 82 a number of
chambers 86 into each of which a liquefied gas receptacle
88 may be inserted. The receptacle 88 may be constructed
gas expansion in a part of the insulation which is sud
denly relieved of contact with the liquefied contents.
from a redwood liner 96 and a balsa wood outer shell 92
When receptacle 33 is properly supported in the tank
as previously described with reference to receptacle. 38.
26 by the fluid 42, container unit 24 may be charged
Chamber 86 is appropriately ñlled with a sealant iiuid
with its cargo. Accordingly, a quantity of liquefied gas 30 94 from a reservoir and standpipe unit 96 in order to
56 may be introduced into the receptacle 38 through the
provide buoyant support for the receptacle 88. Fluid 94
filling orifice 48. Charging of the liquefied gas may be
also provides viscous damping of the receptacle 88 against
-advantageously Aaccompanied by `charging of the sealant
the shock or twisting of the container due to movements
fluid, the levels of the two Ibeing raised correspondingly
of the vessel 80, particularly movements associated with
to avoid undue stressing of the receptacle.
pitch and roll.
Since it is intended to transport the liquefied gas 56
at substantially atmospheric pressure, it will be recog
nized that the liquefied gas 56 must necessarily be intro
duced at extremely low temperature. For example,
liquefied natural gas is ordinarily transported at a tem
.receptacle 88 against the buoyant support of the fiuid 94.
perature of approximately _260° F.
ners.
A number of hatches 98 are constructed from girders,
or other similar elements, and are adapted to restrain the
The hatches 98 may be secured tothe structure 82 and the
bulkheads 84 in any one of a number of suitable man
This extremely
low temperature causes contraction and shrink-age of the
receptacle 38 upon its being filled with the liquefied gas.
Manifestly, quantities of liquefied gas 180 may be fiiled
into the receptacles 88 through filling valve units 102.
Under such circumstances, chamber 40 becomes en~
larged; and quantities of the sealant fluid 42 are with
drawn from the reservoir -unit 36 accommodating this
enlargement so as to eliminate voids adjacent the Walls
of receptacle 38. Elimination of these voids insures` uni
The cargo vessel 80 need not necessarily be outfitted as
described with reference to FIGS. 6 and 7. For example,
a ship 86a may be adapted to employ its hull 104 as the
liquid-tight tank for enclosing the sealant fluid 94, as
shown in FIGS. 8 and 9. Although buoyant support of
the liquefied gas receptacle is a preferred arrangement, a
form support of and prevents stresses from building up
in the receptacle 38.
Container 24 in its filled condition is illustrated in
FIG. 3.
After the receptacle 38 has been properly yfilled with
the liquefied gas 56, a plug 58 may kbe inserted into the
filling orifice 48 to engage ya sealing gasket 60. Subse
tageous to fabricate positioners 1i@ yand 112 from some
suitable, resilient material, such as neoprene rubber. Fur
thermore, static pressure may be maintained in the ñuid
94 by means of a standpipe arrangement 96a, which is
quently, a cap 62 may be app-lied to the closure assem
formed integrally with the hull 184.
receptacle 88a may be rigidly supported, as by positioners
106, 108, 110, and 112. In such situations, it is advan
bly 34 ito seal the plug 58 against the gasket 60, as by
drawing the cap 62 down against cover portion 30, using
In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, the re
ceptacle 88a may be positioned by means of restraining
a number of bolts 64.
In particularly large installations involving atank 26a
of considerable size, as is shown in FIG. 4, it has proved
advantageous to provide cribbing within a receptacle
38a. Thus, vertical longitudinal bracing 66 and vertical
lateral bracing 68 may be employed in order to support
the walls of receptacle 38a against the pressure of fiuid
roof member 114. lt is recognized, however, that a sys
60 tem of cables, not shown, may be equally as well em
42a and in order to eliminate splash and swash within
the receptacle. Bracin‘g 66 and bracing 68 may -be fash
ioned from some suitable material, such as hardwood.
It is recognized that under abnormal conditions dis
continuities or cracks can develop in the walls -of recep 70
tacle 38 during filling of the liquefied gas cargo, during
emptying of the same, or during transportation. Accord
ing to the present invention, such minor failures in the
walls of receptacle 38 are not permissive of leakage of
ployed to restrain the receptacle 88a.
From the fore-going descriptions ygiven with reference
to FIGS. 6-9, it will become apparent that the receptacles
88 or the receptacles 88a may be easily removed for in
spection or replacement or for purposes of converting the
vessel 80 or the vessel 80a from a’ liquefied gas tanker
to an oil tanker or to a cargo ship and vice versa. Mani
festly, removal or insertion of the receptacles 88» or the
receptacles 88a may be easily accomplished upon re
moval of the hatches 98 or the roof member 114 re
spectively.
It should be pointed out that provision of the sealant
fluid in the manner hereinabove described permits con
struction of the receptacles to rather liberal tolerances.'
the liquefied gas 56. As shown in FIG. 5, liquefied gas 75 Accordingly, in the absence of the necessity of close
3,050,951
5
6
fitting assemblies, removal or insertion of the receptacles
is greatly facilitated.
It should also be pointed out that the sealant fiuid 94
between the receptacle and «the tank and enveloping said
receptacle in contact with the insulating material of said
receptacle, the entire inner receptacle being formed of
a non-metallic material of high insulating properties to
preclude temperature conduction between said inner recep
tacle and said sealant fluid in order to continuously main
tain the entire body of lsaid sealant fluid in a fluid state
The container of the invention may also be adapted
when said inner receptacle contains cold fluid.
for transport by railroad. Accordingly, there will be seen,
3. Means for transporting cold fluids comprising an
in FIGS. lO-l2, a liquid-tight tank 12d suitably supported
on a car bed 122, truck assemblies 124 being appropri 10 outer tank formed of impermeable temperature-conduct
ing material, an inner receptacle formed entirely of non
ately fastened beneath the bed 122. ln compliance with
metallic insulating material, the coeñicient of expansion`
the invention, a cylindrical, liquefied gas receptacle 126
of said inner receptacle being generally uniform through
is provided inside the tank 120 so as to be surrounded and
out, the receptacle and the tank being free to contract,
buoyantly supported by sealant fluid 128. Appropriately,
a sealant fluid reservoir and standpipe unit 13d commu 15 expand yand change shape independently of one another
under the influence of thermoc‘hanges, said outer tank
nicates with the chamber 132 which is defined between
spacedly surrounding said inner receptacle, sealant fluid
the tank 120 and the receptacle 126.
substantially filling the space between the receptacle and
As indicated previously, the liquefied gas receptacle,
the tank and enveloping said receptacle in Lcontact With
receptacle 126 of the present embodiment, may be con
structed of a redwood inner liner 134 and a balsa Wood 20 the outer surface »of the insulating material of said recep
tacle and in contact With the inner surface of said outer
outer shell 136. For purposes of railroad transportation,
may conveniently take the form of a compatible cargo
such as crude petroleum, palm oil, coconut oil and the
like.
i-t has proved desirable to position the receptacle 126 by
tank, said insulating material being of suíiicient thick
ness to `continuously maintain the entire body of said
sealant fiuid in fluid condition' when said receptacle con
be ported for snubbing action and an axial load resisting
member 140. A load resisting member 14d may advan 25 tains cold iiuids land means for maintaining said sealant
fluid at a pressure higher than that exhibited by the cold
tageouslybe provided at each end of the tank 12d. It is
means of a number of resilient supports 13d which may
recognized that, under certain circumstances, the sup
ports 138 -may be dispensed with, allowing the receptacle
126 to be freely supported by the fluid 128, as is shown
in FIG. l2.
_
tiuids within `said receptacle.
4. A method of containing liquefied gases for trans
portation :at substantially atmospheric pressure oharac
terized by the steps of surrounding a quantity of said
liquefied gases With a receptacle formed entirely of non
nietallic insulating material, surrounding said receptacle
troduced into the receptacle 126 by some convenient
with a sealant fluid, surrounding said sealant fluid With
means, as by filling orifice 144. Orifice 144 may be
a Wall formed `of impermeable, temperature-conducting
closured by means of a plug 146.
The container of the invention may additionally'be 35 material, continuously maintaining said liquefied gases in
intimate con-tact with the inner surface of said receptacle
adapted for transport by trailer truck or by aircraft. _
Manifestly, a quantity of liquefied gas 142 may be' in
Although the foregoing descriptions have been given
of insulating material, continuously maintaining »the entire
with particular respect to liquefied natural gas, it should
be recognized that the invention may be used equally
body of said sealant fluid in fluid condition, continuously
erally uniform throughout, ythe receptacle and the tank
55 the buoyant force of said sealant fluid, maintaining said
maintaining said sealant fluid in intimate contact with the
well with any cold fiuid or any other liquefied gases which 40 outer surface of said receptacle of insulating material and
maintaining said sealant fluid under pressure whereby said
it is desired to transport at very low temperatures and
sealant fluid is caused to enter discontinuities in said
under substantially atmospheric pressure.
_
receptacle to solidify therein and to seal said receptacle
While particular embodiments of the invention have
against
leakage.
been shown, it will be understood, of course, that the in
5.
A
method of transporting liquefied gases at sub
vention is not to be limited thereto since many modifi 45
stantially atmospheric pressure characterized by the steps
cations may be made. It is, therefore, contemplated to
of surrounding a quantity of said liquefied gases with a
cover by the appended claims, any such modifications as
receptacle
formed of insulating material, submerging sub
fall Within the true spirit and scope of the invention.
stantially =the entirety of said receptacle in a buoyantly
The invention is claimed as follows:
l. A container for ltransporting cold fluids comprising 50 supporting, mobile, sealant fluid, continuously maintain
ing the entire body of said sealant fluid in ñuid condition,
an inner »receptacle having all of its walls formed entirely
continuously maintaining said sealant fluid in intimate
of non-metallic insulating material, an outer tank formed
contact with the outer surface of said insulating material,
of impermeable, temperature-conducting material, the c0
maintaining said liquefied gas within said receptacle below
efiicient of expansion of the inner receptacle being gen
being free to contract, expand and change shape -in
dependently of one another under the influence of thermo
changes, said outer tank spacedly surrounding said inner
receptacle, sealant fluid filling the space between the
its critical temperature, restraining said receptacle against
sealant fluid at a pressure higher than that exhibited by
said gas whereby said sealant tiuid is urged into discon
tinuities in said insulating material to congeal therewithin
and to seal said discontinuities against leakage there
receptacle and the tank and enveloping said receptacle in 60 through.
contact therewith, each wall of said receptacle being of
6. Means for transporting cold iiuids comprising an
sufficient thickness to continuously maintain the entire
outer tank formed of impermeable temperature-conduct
body of said sealant fiuid in a fluid condition when said
ing material, an inner receptacle formed solely of non
-inner receptacle contains cold fluids, and means for main
metallic insulating material, the coefficient of expansion
taining said sealant fluid at :a pressure higher than that 65 of said inner receptacle being generally uniform through
exhibited by the cold fluids within the receptacle.
out, the receptacle and the tank being free to contract,
2. Means for transporting cold iiuids comprising an
expand and change shape independently of one another
outer tank formed `of impermeable heat-‘conducting mate
under the influence of thermochanges, said outer tank
rial, an inner receptacle formed «solely of insulating mate
spacedly surrounding said inner receptacle, sealant fluid
rial, the coefficient of expansion of said inner receptacle 70 substantially filling the space between the receptacle and
being generally uniform throughout, Ithe receptacle and
the tank and enveloping said receptacle in contact with
the tank being free to contract, expand and change shape
the insulating material of said receptacle, said insulating
independently of one another under the influence of
material being of sufficient thickness to continuously
thermochanges, said outer .tank spacedly surrounding said
maintain the entire body of said sealant fluid in a fluid
inner receptacle, sealant fluid substantially filling the space 75 condition when said inner receptacle contains cold fiuid.
aosassi
7. The method of transporting cold fluids which com~
prises the steps of vclosing a -body of cold liuid within a
receptacle »formed solely of non-metallic insulating mate
rial, surrounding‘said insulating material with a body of
sealant fluid, continuously maintaining said cold iluid in
continuous Contact with the inner surface of said insulat
ing material, continuously maintaining said sealant liuid in
continuous Contact with the outer surface of said insulating
material, surrounding said sealant fluid with temperature
9. Means for transporting cold fluids comprising a con
tainer formed of ‘heat-conducting, liquid impervious mate
rial, a receptacle formed of insulating material positioned
Within said container and having its outer surface spaced
at all points from the inner surface of said container, and
a supply of sealant fluid filling the space between said con
tainer and receptacle and in contact with the inner surface
of said container and with the outer surface of said recep
tacle, and means for automatically replenishing the supply
conducting material, continuously maintaining the entire 10 of said sealant iluid.
10. The structure of claim 8 wherein means are pro
vided for maintaining said sealant fluid under pressure
maintaining a pressure differential between said sealant
greater than the pressure Within said receptacle.
ñuid and said cold Huid whereby said sealant fluid is caused
to enter discontinuities occurring in said insulating mate
References Cited in the file of this patent
rial to seal said discontinuities within said insulating mate 15
rial.
'
UNITED STATES PATENTS
8. Means for transporting cold fluids comprising a con
1,927,521
Lancaster ____________ __ Sept. 19, 1933
body of sealant iiuid in a iiuid condition and continuously
tainer formed of temperature~conducting, liquid imper-'
2,650,478
vious material, a receptacle formed entirely of non~metal~
2,798,364
lic insulating material positioned within said container 20 2,817,218
and having its outer surface spaced at all points from the
2,859,895
inner surface of said container, and a supply of sealant
2,863,297
fluid ñlling the space between said container and recepta
2,911,125
cle and in Contact with the inner surface of said container
2,933,902
and with the outer surface of said receptacle, said insulat 25 2,952,987
ing material being of suñicient thickness to continuously
2,963,873
maintain the entire supply of said sealant iluid in a fluid
condition when said receptacle contains cold fluids.
Brown ______________ __ Sept. 1,
Morrison _____________ __ July 9,
Beckwith _____________ -_ Dec. 24,
Beckwith _____________ „_ Nov. 11,
Johnson _____________ __ Dec. 9,
Dosker _____________ __ Nov. 3,
Howard _____________ __ Apr. 26,
Clauson ____________ __ Sept. 20,
Stowers _____________ „_ Dec.> 13,
1953
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