Huge new pressure vessel passes tests

Lincoln Composites' tanks, 12m long and 1m in diameter, will be grouped in sets of four and used to transport compressed natural gas.

Lincoln Composites Inc. (Lincoln, Neb.), a subsidiary of Hexagon Composites ASA (Ålesund, Norway), announced on Nov. 24, 2009, that it has completed required testing on its massive composite TITAN tank and ISO frame transport system for natural gas transport (see photo) and has obtained final approval from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) for the tank.

Based on Lincoln’s existing TUFFSHELL technology, the 12m long by 1m diameter (39.4 ft by 3.3 ft) TITAN tanks are manufactured with a low permeation, corrosion-resistant high-density polyethylene (HDPE) liner overwrapped with a filament wound carbon/epoxy composite shell that acts as the primary structural member of the container. Each is equipped with a carbon steel plumbing interface, and a polyurethane outer coating protects against abrasion and acts as a moisture protection layer. TITAN tanks weigh 60 percent less than comparable metal tanks. Tests indicate an average hydrostatic burst pressure of 717 bar/10,400 psi, and test articles have successfully completed 45,000 pressure cycles from 20 bar to 375 bar (290 psi to 5,439 psi). In addition to the completion of the tank testing protocol, a 40-ft/12.2m ISO modular storage system for transporting four TITAN tanks has completed the necessary testing to be certified to ISO 1496-3.

The TITAN tank is designed to operate at 250 bar/3,626 psi and will store more than 1,840 kg/4,056 lb of compressed natural gas (CNG). A standard 12.1m/40-ft TITAN module, which includes four TITAN tanks, will contain more than 7,380 kg/16,270 lb of CNG at service pressure.