Protection of LNG Tanks using Cryogenic Concrete

How to make future energy supply systems such as LNG tanks more efficient and resilient against natural and man-made hazards?

The aim of the present study was to characterize the behavior of concrete at cryogenic temperatures in order to develop a material for the design and construction of cryogenic tanks for the storage of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) and other type of liquified gases. The interest in this work comes from the rising requirements in transportation and storage of LNG as a fossil fuel, caused by the need of promoting clean energy sources and boosted by the energetic crisis appeared as a consequence of the last conflicts arised in Europe.

3D CT scan from a Cryogenic Concrete specimen.
Voids analysis result.
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The safety requirements for transport and storage of LNG as a fossil fuel have increased.

A complex experimental campaign has been carried out in the frame of a collaborative work between UPM (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid) and Fraunhofer EMI. In a first step, we focused on the characterization of two concrete materials - a standard concrete for reference and a cryogenic composition. These materials were tested at a temperature range from room temperature down to -50°C analyzing the influence of the water content and loading rate under compression and tension. Even though room-temperature results showed the expected trend for both concretes, the cryogenic tests offered some interesting and remarkable results that need to be validated further within the continuation of the collaboration.