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Патент USA US3055542

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Sept- 25, 1962
Filed July 6, 1953
4 Sheets-Sheet 1
Sept. 25, 1962
w. |_. MoRRlsoN
Filed July 6, 1955
4 Sheets-Sheet 2
Sept. 25, 1962
Filed July 6, 1953
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4 Sheets-Sheet 3
Sept. 25, 1962
Filed July 6, 1953
4 Sheets-Sheet 4
United States Patent Office
Patented Sept. 25, 1962
order that uniform compression may prevail. This may
be accomplished by injecting steam or moist air into the
tank'or drum. On the other hand, if the assembly can be
allowed to stand long enough with the interior of the in
Willard L. Morrison, Lake Forest, Ill., assigner, by mesne Ul sulated tank exposed to the ambient atmosphere, the lining
assignments, to Couch International Methane Limited,
will without further steps gradually resume the normal
Nassau, Bahamas, a corporation of the Bahamas
content and so the pre-loading resulting from
Filed July 6, 1953, Ser. No. 366,125
this expansion will build up gradually, but if this is done,
7 Claims. (Cl. 220-22)
time must be given to insure such pre-loading or such ex
My invention relates to improvements in tanks for stor 10 pansion before the cold liquid hydrocarbon is put into the
ing cold liquefied hydrocarbons such as methane at atmos
When balsa wood is first produced in its natural habitat,
pheric pressure and to the method of lining and insulating
it can be naturally dried to somewhere in the neighbor
such tanks. The invention has to do with the manufac
hood of twenty percent moisture. In New Orleans, for
ture of and use of an insulating container of the type dis
example, the natural humidity of the balsa wood would
closed in my co-pending application Serial No. 288,214,
be in the order of l2 percent; in Chicago, in the order of
Afiled May 16, 1952, for insulating Container and Method
8 percent. I propose that the wood will be dried down to
of Storing Cold Liquefied Volatile Hydrocarbons and the
three to live percent moisture before assembling in the
Like, now abandoned.
tank. When it is allowed to or forced to absorb moisture
Since the insulating lining for the tank or vessel for
storage of such superchilled exceedingly cold liquid hydro 20 up to eight or twelve percent, it will expand in the order of
one percent and when it is cooled by the cold liquid gas
carbons as methane and the like at temperatures in the
down to temperatures in the order of _258° F. it will
order of _258° F. is provided with an interior insulating
shrink as a result of cooling from one-half to th-ree-quar
ters percent. Thus even at minimum temperatures there
and at the same time protects the metallic supporting
jacket or drum against such heat loss as might interfere 25 will remain some pre-compressing or pre-stressing of the
with the structural strength of the metal, it is of the ut
Preferably, since balsa wood of commerce comes in
most importance that the lining be continuous, `without
fairly small sizes, I propose'to build up individual staves
leaks or voids which might permit the escape of the cold
made of a plurality of pieces of the balsa wood cemented
liquid into contact with the metal.
If the lining is made of staves of balsa wood or the like, 30 or glued together though under some circumstances, they
might be held together by compression. Each stave will
that lining must be installed in the tank or shell at ordinary
preferably be three or four inches thick and its width will
ambient Working temperatures in the order of say 70° F.
be the width of the desired body of insulation. The lining
Then when cold liquid methane is inserted in the tank, the
will thus be built up with the thermosetting glue between
staves will shrink and it would -be very dangerous and
very undesirable if such shrinkage should permit escape 35 adjacent staves so when an electrode is presented on the
inside and the wall of the tank serves as an electrode on
of the liquid through the cracks or voids left between ad
the outside, the glue layer will be perpendicular to the
jacent staves, as this would bring the liquid into contact
electrodes which is the desired arrangement.
with the steel drum enclosing the insulating staves with
The glue or cement holding the outside of each stave
damaging effect.
This shrinkage may be compensated for if the staves 40 against the tank wall can not be heated dielectrically so
after assembly is complete, this glue can be heated by a
>forming the insulating lining in the drum are precom
torch or other means heating the outside ofthe tank. The
pressed. Under these circumstances when they shrink
metal wall being a good heat conductor, this will result in
under the cold of the liquid methane, they will not sep
causing the thermosetting glue on the outside to set and
When the staves of a wooden barrel are assembled, it is 45 harden to hold the lining in the tank.
The ñoor of the tank will be built up just as are the
easy enough to press them by exerting a tension on the
staves and this floor will be laid dimensionally at least
-barrel hoops but when the staves must be assembled in a
somewhat roughly, so long as at least the lower part of
container or tank, many feet in `diameter and of the great
each board comes out generally to the Wall of the tank.
strength needed to support the load of many tons of the
50 After the floor is laid, the ends or sides, as the case may
liquid, this method cannot be used.
be, of the staves or boards making up the floor will be
I propose therefore first to assemble the tank or drum,
accurately sanded or cut »at an angle of approximately
riveting or Welding the steel together in the usual way.
45° so `as to provide around the outer periphery of the
The staves forming the lining will be then assembled in
structure a channel of uniform width and uniform dimen
side the drum. The staves, however, will be dried to a
,moisture content far below the moisture content they 55 sion. The staves will be pre-sanded or pre-cut to ap
proximately the same angle but in View of possible Varia
would have when exposed to the atmosphere and this will
tions in stave dimensions or tank dimensions or both, the
shrink them substantially. The mating surfaces of the
lower ends of the staves will be sanded in place. This
staves will be coated with a suitable adhesive and assem
can be done by using the accurately sanded 45° angle
bled to line the tank top, bottom and sides. The atmos
phere in the tank will be maintained at a sufficiently low 60 floor surface as a template, the sanding belt being sup
ported by the ñoor surface with the sand side contacting
moisture content during the assembly so that the staves,
until assembly is completed, will remain in the dry, shrunk
the roughly finished end ‘of each stave. The stave will
then be seated usually without any glue between the
condition. As assembly continues the adhesive will be
dielectrically heated to cement the staves together and
stave and the ñoor so that there will be a communication
cement the outer layer of staves into and against the steel ' ‘of the pores of the wood in the floor with those in the
tank wall, though under some circumstances, it will be suf
iicient to allow the expansion of the staves resulting from
A somewhat similar method will be applied with re
moisture increase to exert a sufficient holding pressure
spect to the upper ends of the staves. They will be sanded
upon the tank.
with reasonable accuracy and then~ the roof or ceiling
After the lining has been installed, it is desirable in 70 boards will be installed and sanded to conform to the
view of the necessity for uniform conditions to positively
upper ends of the staves. Again if glue is not used, there
and rapidly increase the moisture content of the staves in ‘Y will be a free communication of the pores.
lining which protects the liquid against excessive heat flow
This pore alignment situation prevails with respect to
the build up of each stave.
lit snugly and accurately into the tank they are cut
Each stave will include a
away at their outermost corners as indicated at 9 so that
plurality of pieces shorter than the length of the stave
they will not have sharp terminal edges which might inter
«fere with proper assembly in the tank because of slight
irregularities in the joining of the vertical and horizontal
and narrower than the total width of the stave.
mating ends of pieces built in the stave may be pressed
together without glue, the stave elements being held to
gether by the glue between their sides so that the possible
ñow of gas along the pores will not be interfered with.
If desired, however, all these surfaces may be glued in
which case, gas movement along the pores from one piece
tank walls.
The tank which is much larger in diameter than in
height will in many instances be 50 feet or more in di
ameter and since it is intended to contain very large
quantities of liqueiied hydrocarbon such as methane and
to another will, of course, be prevented.
the like for navigation both on inland and ocean water
ways it is important to prevent or limit surging of the
cally in the accompanying drawings wherein:
liquid contents of the tank which might, if not controlled,
FIGURE l is a horizontal section through a vessel and
build up dangerous impact pressures. Moreover, it is
tank embodying my invention.
15 important to support the roof of the tank mechanically
FIGURE 2 is a vertical section on an enlarged scale
because the tank is intended to contain vaporized liquids
along the line 2_2 of FIGURE l.
at substantially atmospheric pressure. The means for
FIGURE 3 is a section on an enlarged scale along the
providing this support and preventing excessive agitation
line 3_3 of FIGURE l.
of the fluid will now be described.
1@ is a cylindrical column or standpipe located at the
FIGURE 4 is a side elevation of one of the assembled 20
staves or planks used to form the tank lining.
center of the tank. The floor lining 8 carries a pedestal
11 into which the standpipe 10 may ñt so as to center
FIGURE 5 is a section on an enlarged scale along the
line 5-5 of FIGURE 4.
the lower end of the standpipe in the tank. The upper
end of the standpipe carries angle struts 12 which engage
FIGURE 6 is a section on an enlarged scale along the
25 and support the ceiling lining 8 and the standpipe carries
line 6-6 of FIGURE 2.
at its upper end and slightly larger in diameter than the
FIGURE 7 is a section along the line 7-7 of FIG
standpipe, a collar 13. The roof beams terminate short
URE 6.
of the collar 13.
Like parts are indicated by like characters in all the
My invention is illustrated more or less diagrammati
Extending vertically between the lining 8 of the roof
1 indicates the hull of a vessel or barge adapted to con 30 and ceiling are vertical posts or studs 14 and supporting
walls 15 arranged throughout the tank so as to divide
tain one or more tanks. 2 is a tank mounted in the hull.
it up into a plurality of chambers. Manholes 16 in the
The ldetails of the support of the tank in the barge form
column and 17 in the walls 15 permit access to the cham
no part of the present invention and are not illustrated
bers in the tank. There are apertures as indicated for
except for the studs 3 which indicate the fact that the
35 example at 18, 19 and the like, through or around the
tank is built into the barge in fixed position therein.
partitioned walls so that as liquid is fed to or withdrawn
The tank is cylindrical, about a vertical axis and in
from the tank the level in each chamber remains con
cludes metal cylindrical side wall 4, bottom wall 5 and top
stant, there being no hydrostatic head applied to the walls
wall 6 which latter may well form part of the deck of the
15, the walls being present merely to prevent excessive
barge. The tank is lined top, bottom and sides by a
plurality of -assembled balsa wood staves or beams as 40 lateral liquid movement.
Since these tanks are designed for the storage and trans
illustrated in specific detail in FIGURES 4 and 5. Each
portation of liquid hydrocarbons such as methane which
beam or stave is made up of a plurality of short balsa or
boil at atmospheric pressure at temperatures in the order
similar wood pieces cemented together in overlapping
of -258° F. the insulating walls while exceedingly im
relationship so as to form a one piece stave extending
from top to bottom of the tank in which case it is 45 portant will never be adequate to completely prevent
entrance of heat to the liquid mass, so there will also be
tapered as indicated in FIGURE 5, the inner width of the
stave being narrower than the outer width and being
formed along radial lines to conform to the circular con
tour of the tank, or for top or bottom of the tanks
formed in the shape of a beam, parallel sided.
some measure of evaporation. The evaporated gas must
be permitted to escape from the tank in order that the
pressure in the tank may remain at all times substantially
The mat 50 at atmospheric.
ing ends of beams and staves are cut on a diagonal as
indicated in FIGURE 3.
There will also be some measure of
penetration of the liquid through the interior sheathing
into the balsa insulating lining. How far that penetra
tion may extend is of small moment so long as the cold
As noted in detail in FIGURE 6 these staves are ar
liquid itself is not allowed to contact the steel walls
ranged side by side to form a continuous barrel like
vertical insulating lining, and on their opposed faces are 55 of the tank and bring them down to the excessively low
temperatures of the liquid which might have deleterious
grooved as at 7, the mating grooves `forming channels
effect on the tank and barge.
or passages extending throughout the body of the insulat
ing lining. As illustrated especially in FIGURE 3 the
Provided the thickness of the insulating lining is suf
licient it will also occur that as the liquid migrates out
channels or conduits in beams and staves intersect so that
there is a possibility of free gas or liquid movement along 60 wardly in capillary filaments through the insulating wood
these channels' or ducts throughout the entire body of the
it will be met by heat entering the tank from the outside
which heat will vaporize the ends of the capillary fila
'Ihe beams and staves are as above noted of balsa wood,
ments so that gas will be formed in and to some extent
circulate through the body of the insulating lining. Such
a wood which, while exceedingly light and furnishing
excellent insulation, is rather easily mutilated. There 65 gas will lind its way into ducts 20, 21 formed by the
grooves 7. These ducts are arranged in two series of
fore in order to protect the lining, it is shielded by a rel
connected passages, 20 adjacent the inside of the lining,
atively thin sheet of, for example, Sitka spruce as indi
21 adjacent the wall of the tank. The series of ducts 20
cated at 8, the spruce boards being lapped or butted to~
discharge inwardly through the ceiling lining past ball
gether. Sitka spruce is strong enough to support the im
pact of any solid material that may enter the tank and to 70 check valve 22 so that gas evolved in the inner portion
of the insulating lining may freely reach the top of the
permit workmen to walk around on it without danger of
tank above the liquid level. The purpose of the check
damage and it is, of course, porous so that gases and
valve 22 is to prevent swashing of liquid into the duct
liquid may pass through it and enter the balsa wood
series 20 while permitting free escape of gas therefrom.
The outer series of ducts 21 discharge inwardly radially
In order that the iloor and roof beams and staves may 75
walls, a metal standpipe within the tank supporting the top
wall and insulated by the lining from contact with the
metal tank walls.
3. A storage tank for liquefied cold hydrocarbons and
into the channel 23 between the collar 13 and the roof
beams and thence discharge through a port 24 into the
standpipe 10. Ports 25 adjacent the upper end of the
standpipe 10 permit gas from the upper portion of the
tank also to enter the standpipe. The means for handling
the like comprising metal, generally horizontal, top and
and controll-ing the gas after it reaches the standpipe
form no partof the present invention and are therefore
bottom and vertical cylindrical walls, an insulating lining
of relatively soft porous self-supporting material covering
the metal walls, an inner protective layer of harder, more
not illustrated.
The use and operation of my invention are as follows:
resistant porous insulating material such as Sitka spruce
The steel portion of the tank and the barge will be 10 carried by and masking the softer lining, a metal standpipe
within the tank supported at its lower end on the protec
assembled and erected in the usual manner for steel
tive layer extending upwardly to project above the metal
structures. The insulating lining will be formed of built
top wall insulated therefrom by the lining and providing
up beams and staves. The reason for this is that balsa
means in contact with the lining for the support of the top
wood, the preferred Wood, is found in commerce in small
pieces and while it might be possible to build up the lin» 15 Wall.
4. In combination a metal tank, an insulating lining
ing in small pieces as brick paving is laid, this would
therefor of relatively soft, porous wood such as balsa cov
result in inaccuracies and Weaknesses which might be ex
ering the metal surface and continuous to protect the metal
ceedingly undesirable. Therefore the beams are assem
from contact with the liquid contents of the tank, there be
bled outside the tank, cut to desired length and laid to
form a lloor, the floor being preferably cemented to the 20 ing a plurality of connected channels within the insulating
lining open adjacent the top of the tank, means associated
wall of the tank and the adjacent beam or ñoor members
with the open end of the channel system to permit move
being glued together at their opposed faces to produce a
ment of fluid from the channel directly to the tank and
self-sustaining structure. The ends of the «beams around
adapted to prevent entrance of liquid from the tank into
the periphery of the tank are chamfered as are indicated
in FIGURE 3 and preferably after they are assembled 25 the channel.
5. In combination a metal tank, an insulating lining
Will be cut or linished to true conical contour. Thereafter
lining therefor of relatively soft, porous wood such as balsa
the Sitka wood floor will be laid upon the balsa floor
covering the metal surface and continuous to protect the
beams so that men may walk on and work in the tank
metal from liquid contents of the tank, there being two
without danger of damaging the insulation. The vertical
staves shaped to conform to the tank and to the floor 30 parallel systems of channels within the lining, one system
adjacent the inner surface of the lining, the other system
beams will be assembled to line the cylindrical tank wall.
adjacent the outer surface of the lining, each system being
Since the ends of the beams will have been previously cut
open adjacent the top of the tank for discharge of fluid
or shaped to a true cone, each stave can well lit in place,
the ends of the staves being easily shaped to a cone
6. In a metal tank, a relatively thick, pre-compressed
before assembly. The staves will be cemented to the Wall 35
layer of soft, porous material pervious to liquefied hydro
of the tank and to one another to complete the cylindrical
carbon and gas, held under pressure in the tank to define
portion of the lining.
a continuous uninterrupted insulating lining completely
The next step is to finish the upper ends of the staves
masking the metal Walls thereof, a relatively thin uncom
forming the cylindrical lining to a true cone which corn
pensates for any slight irregularities that may have re 40 pressed layer of harder, tougher, porous and pervious ma
terial carried by and masking the pre-compressed insulat
sulted in shaping and assembling the staves. The Sitka
ing lining, a plurality of Walls contained between the top
spruce lining will also be applied and then the ceiling
and bottom of the tank supported by the uncompressed
layer of harder material, dividing the tank up into a plu
beams, each one cut on the outside to a cone to ñt the up
per conical boundaries of the staves, will be applied and
any inaccuracies can be taken care of on the outer bound
tank and the ceiling lining being supported by temporary
structure until the vertical supporting beams and partition
Walls are inserted between the ñoor and ceiling.
rality of relatively small irregular communicating charn
aries of the channel 23 about the standipe. Then the
spruce lining for the ceiling is placed on the roof of the
‘7. A tank for storage of cold liquid hydrocarbons and
the like comprising metallic vertical and horizontal Walls
joined to define a closed metallic tank structure, a porous
50 lining for the tank of relatively soft wood and the like
By this arrangement the entire ñoor, roof and side walls
of the steel tank will be completely masked from contact
with the cold liquid contained in the tank. The only place
completely masking the entire top, bottom and side areas
of the metallic tank wall, a relatively thin wear resistant
porous inner wood lining supported by the insulating lin
ing, a plurality of vertical partition walls in contact with
standpipe and the standpipe is insulated from the metal 55 the inner lining dividing the interior of the tank into an
irregular series of chambers, the walls -being apertured to
wall of the tank by the insulating collar 26. The stand
permit automatic equalization of the liquid in the cham
pipe itself must be of metal because of mechanical reasons
bers but adapted to prevent excessive splashing movement
for handling and treatment of the liquid and vaporized gas.
of the liquid.
I claim:
1. In combination a metal tank, an insulating lining 60
References Cited in the file of this patent
therefor of relatively soft porous wood covering the metal
surface and continuous to protect the metal from contact
with the liquid contents of the tank, an inner protective
Manning ____________ __ Jan. 28, 1873
layer of harder, more Wear resistant porous wood carried
Gillette _____________ _... Mar. 30, 1886
by and masking the soft wood liner, a plurality of ver 65
Hermann _____________ __ Apr. 5, 1892
where metal cornes in contact with the liquid is at the
tically disposed apertured partitions dividing the tank into
a plurality of irregularly shaped connected chambers, said
partitions being supported by the inner protective layer.
2. A storage tank for liquefied cold hydrocarbons and
the like comprising metal, generally horizontal, top and 70
bottom and vertical cylindrical Walls, an insulating lining
of self-supporting porous material covering the metal
Loughin et al _________ __ Dec. 2l,
Remington __________ _- Apr. 28,
Lewis ______________ ___ Sept. 25,
White ____________ __,” June 21,
I ackson ______________ __ May 2A,
Sanz et al. ..-...._-,__„.,..._,_ Apr. 27, 19,54
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