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DEMOLITION, INSPECTION AND TESTS OF

DISUSED LNG TANK IN BRUNEI


LA DEMOLITION, LINSPECTION ET LES ESSAIS SUR
UN RESERVOIR DE GNL A BRUNEI
Dick Uittenbroek
Senior Tank Specialist, Research & Technical Services
Andre Blaauw
Material and Corrosion Engineer, Research & Technical Services
Shell International Oil Products B. V.
Hamdillah H. A. Wahab
Executive Director cum Plant Manager
Brunei LNG Sendirian Berhad
Hitoshi Hirose, P.E.
General Manager, Engineering Department
Shuichi Hirai
Senior Researcher, Engineering Department
Machinery & Plant Division
Toyo Kanetsu K. K.

ABSTRACT
A 20-year-old LNG storage tank at BLNG, Brunei, was successfully demolished.
Before, during and after demolition, BLNG and TKK jointly performed inspections on the
tank, and various tests were carried out on materials in order to obtain information about
the tank integrity after its operational life time.
This paper presents information on how the tank was decommissioned, inspected and
demolished, and shows inspection and test results, i.e., visual inspection including
corrosion checks, non-destructive examinations and physical and mechanical tests of
insulation materials. The paper also presents the results and assessment of general
mechanical tests and fracture toughness tests of the 9% nickel steel and welds.
The decommissioning and demolition operation demonstrated an effective procedure
for future similar operations on aboveground LNG storage tanks. The inspection and
testing further demonstrated the design and construction integrity of the LNG storage
tank, and provides confidence in the continued development of such facilities.

5.21

RESUME
Un reservoir stockage de GNL vieux de 20 ans a t dmont avec succs BLNG
(Brunei). Avant, pendant et aprs la dmolition, BLNG et TKK ont men conjointement
les inspections et differents essais ont t realiss sur les matriaux dans le but dobtenir
des informations sur lintgrit du reservoir aprs son temps dutilisation.
Cet article fournit les informations sur les moyens employs lors de la mise hors service,
de linspection et de la dmolition. Il prsente ensuite, les rsultats des inspections et des
essais incluant les essais de corrosion, les essais non-destructifs et les essais mecaniques
sur les matriaux disolation puis les rsultats et valuations des essais mcaniques
gnraux et des essais de rsistance de l'acier a 9% de nickel et des soudures.
Les oprations de mis hors service et de dmontage ont prouv lfficacit de la procdure
mise en uvre pour des interventions semblables sur des rservoirs hors-sol.
Les inspections et essais ont en outre dmontr lintegrit de ltude et de la construction
du rservoir et donnent toute confiance dans le dveloppement futur de telles installations.

5.22

DEMOLITION, INSPECTION AND TESTS OF


DISUSED LNG TANK IN BRUNEI
1.

INTRODUCTION

In 1972 three 65,000m3 LNG Storage Tanks were designed and constructed by Toyo
Kanetsu K.K. (TKK) for Brunei LNG Sendirian Berhad (BLNG). The basic design
requirements were specified by Shell International Petroleum Maartschappij BV [now
called Shell International Oil Products BV (SIOP)] as advisor of BLNG.
The tanks, which are of the single containment type with double steel walls, were
designed and constructed according to the requirements of API Standard 620 Appendix Q
and have been successfully operated for 20 years. During that time they have handled
some 5 million tons of LNG per year, all of which has been shipped to Japan.
During discussions on plant lifetime extension of the BLNG plant, the suitability of the
LNG storage facilities for an additional long term service period was questioned. As a
result a joint BLNG-SIPM safety study was carried out. The following subjects were
incorporated: tankfarm layout, single containment tank concept, piping manifolds next to
the tanks and structural details of the tanks.
Based on the results of the study, BLNG decided in 1990 to upgrade their LNG
storage facilities to ensure a reliable future supply of LNG. Accordingly a contract was
awarded for the design and construction of two new 65,000 m3 storage tanks and
associated facilities. The new tanks were of the full containment type with pre-stressed
concrete outer tanks in accordance with the requirements of API 620 Appendix Q, and
EEMUA Publication 147. These new tanks also meet the essential requirements of BS
7777 and have formed the basis for similar tanks built elsewhere. As leader of the
consortium, TKK was responsible for the mechanical, electrical and instrumentation
works, forming a partnership with a civil contractor and a local company. The Project was
split into two phases; firstly the construction of the two new tanks including associated
facilities, and secondly demolishing one existing tank and mothballing two existing tanks.
BLNG and TKK took this opportunity to jointly inspect the inner 9% nickel steel tank,
the outer carbon steel tank, the insulation materials, and to research the durability of the
materials exposed to cryogenic, ambient or intermediate temperatures. This paper
introduces the results of the inspection and tests and presents an assessment of the
integrity of the tank.
Inspection and Tests Performed:
1) Visual inspection of outer tank steel including roof, shell and floor plates, anchor
bolts, piping, nozzles, steel structures and accessories.
2) Visual inspection of suspended ceiling deck including deck plates and hangers.
3) Visual inspection and non-destructive examinations of inner tank steel including
shell and floor plates, shell stiffeners and attachments.

5.23

4) Thermal conductivity check, density check, sieve analysis and organic analysis of
expanded loose perlite insulation material.
5) Thermal conductivity check of fiberglass blanket insulation material.
6) Visual inspection and compressive strength test of perlite concrete block and
foamglass insulation materials.
7) Chemical analysis of 9% nickel steel and welds.
8) Mechanical tests of 9% nickel steel and welds including tension tests and Charpy
impact tests.
9) Brittle fracture (crack initiation and arresting) resistance tests of 9% nickel steel
and weld metal including CTOD tests, Wells notched welded wide plate tests,
NRL drop weight tests and Duplex ESSO tests.

2.
2.1

DEMOLITION
Decommissioning

The two new tanks went into service mid October 1993. The tank to be demolished T4103 was taken out of service 2 December 1993.
The decommissioning work started with pumping-out the liquid. This was done with
both the loading and circulation pump to a very low level (0.02m) due to the availability of
bottom outlets. Around 13 m3 liquid was left and was evaporated using hot gas.

5.24

This was routed to the tank via a bottom outlet. A warming-up rate of 13oC per day
could be obtained and on 17 December 1993 the average tank temperature reached
-20oC. The tank was further warmed-up with hot nitrogen gas until the average tank
temperature reached +15oC.
During the whole heating-up period the bottom heaters were fully energized. The
maximum temperature difference between adjacent inner tank temperature sensors was
kept within 30oC.
Purging the tank with nitrogen followed warm-up and was achieved in two steps.
First, nitrogen was introduced into the bottom of the inner tank and was allowed to escape
to atmosphere at the top. In the second step, the annular space and tank dome space were
purged with nitrogen at the same time, again with the gases being released to atmosphere.
Before cutting the inner tank bottom, water was pumped into the annular space up to
the inner tank bottom level. Holes were drilled into the inner tank bottom so that
hydrocarbon(s) could escape.
On 19 January 1994 (49 days after the tank was taken out of service) the tank was
declared hydrocarbon(s) free (oxygen content exceeding 20%, and hydrocarbon(s)
content less than 1%).
2.2

Perlite Removal

The 4 outer tank 24 shell manways were opened to allow perlite to freely flow out
from the annular space. During this initial stage, the tank was kept under a light nitrogen
overpressure. Later, during the removal of perlite by mechanical means, air ventilation was
used. Water spray systems were installed to suppress the perlite dust. At a later stage, to
accelerate the perlite removal, several additional holes were cold cut in the outer tank
shell.
Perlite removal from the annular space was completed 15 February 1994. During the
whole periods gas tests were performed to ensure safe operation.
After removing the perlite from the annular space the suspended deck was inspected.
No hydrocarbon(s) was detected in the polythene bags containing perlite. A hole was
made in the roof plates and the perlite bags were handled manually, and dropped through
to the inner tank floor. The work was completed 19 March 1994.
2.3

Tank Demolition

2.3.1 Demolition Procedure. Demolition of the tank started only after removal of all
perlite.
The inner tank was opened by cold cutting a 4m x 4m hole in both the outer and inner
tanks. Gas freeing the areas where possible hydrocarbon gases are trapped underneath the
inner tank floor is considered one of the most critical activities for subsequent hot work
operations. To achieve this, water was filled in the annular space to the level of the inner

5.25

tank floor thereby pushing trapped hydrocarbon gases out through drilled holes in the tank
floor.
Openings, which were provided with access ramps, enabled the entry of a crane and
other demolition equipment at a later time.
After packing the floor of the inner tank with sand, the suspended ceiling deck and
roof were cut away and allowed to fall to the inner tank floor. During this period, all
openings to the inner tank were closed to prevent inadvertent entry of personnel.
The outer and inner tank shells were then cut away ring by ring, with one ring of the
outer tank being removed for approximately half of the circumference before starting on
the corresponding inner tank ring. This was inspected until all shell courses had been
removed.
The inner tank floor plate were cut and removed to expose the insulation which was
then removed by mechanical shovels. Finally the outer tank floor plates were cut and
removed. The concrete foundations were broken up and the site was levelled and graded.

3.

INSPECTION AND TEST RESULTS

3.1

Visual Inspection
As a result of the visual inspection the following observation were made:

Outer tank: the general condition of the shell and roof plates was found to be
mainly in good condition. Although the tank shell plates were stained in many areas,
no breakdown of the paint system was detected during inspection. Some corrosion
was detected on the roof plates in the areas where the fire deluge system stands had
been located;

holding down bolts: heavy corrosion took place on the holding down bolts of the
steel outer tank. Maximum loss of diameter thickness was 14.8mm of the original
32.5mm bolt diameter.

all roof nozzle flange joints were in badly corroded condition;

remaining: the electrical and instrumentation supports were heavily corroded as well
as the fire deluge system spray nozzles;

suspended deck: visual inspection was carried out on deck hangers, deck plates,
deck stiffeners and some welds. No indications were detected that required further
investigation;

inner tank: the inner tank bottom was found to be clean with only a small loose
rust/scale type deposit around the annular plates. The usual highs and lows of plates
due to welding deformation was evident and were uniform across the complete
floor surface. Visual inspection was carried out on all bottom welds. No
abnormalities were detected;

- outer tank bottom: after demolition of the outer tank bottom, corrosion was
detected at the underside edge of the annular plate (pitting up 3.0 mm, nominal
5.26

plate thickness 9.0mm) and on the underside of the product drain trays (pitting up
to 4.0mm, nominal plate thickness 9.00mm).
Also the heating conduits, located in a sand layer under the outer tank bottom were
heavily corroded. Some were in poor condition.
3.2

Non-destructive Inspection
The following non-destructive testing was carried out on the inner tank:

Around 10% of the bottom welds and 100% of the circumferential weld to the inner
tank annular bottom plate were inspected with dye penetrant. The welds were first
cleaned with power buffing to a bright weld finish. No indications of defects were
detected that required further investigation.

Dye penetrant inspection was also carried out on the inner tank shell welds. A
minimum of 10m of weld per course was inspected, with both sides being inspected.
In general, welds were in good condition. Some very small surface indications were
detected but none that required further investigation.

Two butts and a minimum of 10m of fillet weld per the inner tank shell stiffener
(total 10 stiffeners) were inspected by dye penetrant. Three crack-like indications
were detected in the fillet welds.

Radiography was carried out on a total of 34 vertical welds of the inner tank shell
plate. No abnormal indications or other areas of interest were noted.

3.3

Insulation Materials

The following insulation materials were inspected:


3.3.1 Perlite Powder. Perlite samples were taken from the annular space at three
different height locations. The samples were tested and showed the following properties:
Table 3.1 Thermal Conductivity of Perlite Powder
Sample Location

Test Temperature oC

Top
Middle
Bottom

-1.7
-1.4
-1.0

Thermal Conductivity
W/mK
0.0400
0.0399
0.0388

3.3.2 Fibreglass. All fibreglass blankets were inspected and appeared to be in good
condition. In all areas where blankets had to be removed, the fixing/holding pins were all
still firmly attached to the shell plate.
3.3.3 Foamglass. An area of approximately 6m x 6m was cut in the inner tank floor
and the steel plates removed before tank demolition commenced.
Inspection showed that none of the upper layer auto-claved concrete blocks were
damaged or broken. A very high percentage of the foamglass blocks located under the
5.27

auto-clave blocks were broken in vertical plane. The average block was broken in three to
five pieces. However, despite being broken, there was very little evidence of crumbling or
breakdown of the blocks. Five Samples of foamglass blocks (200mm x 200mm x 120mm)
have been tested. The results are summarised below.
Table 3.2 Compressive Strength of Foamglass Blocks
Foamglass HLB 135
Specification
Tested

Lot Average
0.93 MPa
1.21 MPa

Individual
0.64 MPa
0.99MPa

3.3.4 Perlite Concrete. The perlite concrete blocks were visually inspected. No
abnormalities were detected. At two locations 3 core samples (diam. 145mm) were drilled.
The compressive strength of the samples were determined. The test results were shown in
Table 3.3
Table 3.3 Compressive Strength of Perlite Concrete Blocks
Perlite Concrete
Blocks

Individual (N/mm2)

Tested (Cylinder
Sample)

1.72

1.82

1.80

1.52

2.04

1.44

Cube Strength
(Coverted)

1.80

1.90

1.85

1.55

2.1

1.5

Specified: 1.2 0.2 N/mm2

4.

TESTS OF 9% NICKEL INNER TANK STEEL AND WELDS

4.1

General

In order to obtain the information on the tank integrity after an operating life of 20
years. mechanical properties of the base metal and welds sampled from the 1st (Bottom)
and 14th (Top) inner tank shell courses were investigated by performing the tests
summarised in Table 4.1.
The test programme for the material was selected to address the following areas of
interest:
1) The basic chemical and mechanical properties.
2) Fracture toughness tests were performed to assess anti-crack initiation, and crack
arrestability characteristics considering that the material had been manufactured for
20 years ago.

5.28

Table 4.1 Summary of Test Item


Fundamental test
Chemical analysis
Macro & Micro
structure
Tensile test
Charpy impact test
Chemical analysis
Macro & Micro
structure
Tensile test
Charpy impact test

Base plate

Welded joint

Fracture toughness test


CTOD test
Duplex ESSO test
NRL drop weight test

CTOD test
NRL drop weight test
Wells notched and welded wide
plate test

This paper focuses mainly on the notch toughness and the fracture toughness for base
metals and welds.
4.2

Basic Test Results

4.2.1 Chemical Compositions of Base Metal. Chemical analyses for the base metal
were carried out on representative samples taken from the 1st and 14th shell courses and
annular bottom plate.
Table 4.2 shows the results on each base metal. These results of the base metal
conform to the requirements of ASTM A553 Type I
Table 4.2 Chemical Composition
Sampling Part

Shell Plate
1st Course
Shell Plate
14th Course
Annular Plate

Plate
Thickness C
Si
(mm)
19
0.09 0.29

Mn

Cu

Ni

Cr

Mo

Nb

T-AI

0.6

0.003 0.002 0.03

9.17

0.12

0.02 0.004 0.001 0.043

0.06 0.29

0.6

0.002 0.002 0.03

9.35

0.05

0.01 0.003

0.046

0.08 0.25

0.56 0.002 0.003 0.02

9.15

0.06

0.01 0.002

0.042

4.2.2 Tensile Properties. Tensile tests on the base metal were carried out using one
of two types of specimens: a full thickness specimen in accordance with JIS Z 2201 No.5,
and a 6mm diameter specimen in accordance with JIS Z 3111 No. A2. The full thickness
used for testing the 14th shell course, was taken from the mid-thickness of the plate,
whilst the 6mm diameter specimen was taken from the plane 6mm below the surface of the
1st courses shell plate. Each tensile test was performed in both the L-T and T-L
directions. The 6mm diameter specimens were tested at both room temperature and at 196oC whereas the full thickness specimen was tested at room temperature only.
All of the results on 0.2% proof stress, tensile strength and elongation at room
temperature satisfied the requirements of ASTM A553 Type I. The tensile properties at 196C as to be slightly lower in elongation and reduction of area than at room temperature,
in spite of increasing of strength due to changing test temperature from room temperature
5.29

to -196C. Tensile test for the welds of vertical joints of c and 14th shell courses were also
carried out in accordance with API 620 Appendix Q. The results of the welded joint and
all-weld-metal at room temperature were well over the requirements of API 620 Appendix
Q at the construction time specified a minimum tensile strength of 95,000psi (655MPa)
and a minimum yield strength of 52,500psi (362MPa). Moreover, the tensile properties at
-196C were also very good as to show a good ductility and higher strength than room
temperature.
4.2.3 Charpy Impact Properties. Charpy impact test for the base metal of the 1st
shell course were conducted on total 18 plates also for the welds of 1st shell course and
both the base metal and welds of the 14th shell course and annular plate, the tests were
conducted on the representative plates of the lowest value in Charpy absorbed energy of
the mill test reports at the construction time. The test specimens of base metal were taken
from the both L-T and T-L directions. The central axis of the specimen of 19mm in
thickness were in the plane of 5.5mm under the surface, and 8 or 9mm in the midthickness. The test was carried out at -164C and -196C.
(a) Base metal of 1st shell course
20
18
16

F
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y
N

14
12
10

L: N =54
MIN =115
MAX =210
AV. =169.4
STD =20.8
C: N =54
MIN =80
MAX =152
AV. =120.2
STD =21.3

Test temperature: -196C

13
11
10
8

5
4

4
2

14

3
2

0
70- 80- 90- 100- 110- 120- 130- 140- 150- 160- 170- 180- 190- 20080 90 100 110 120 130 140 150 160 170 180 190 200 210

Charpy absorbed energy ( J )


Fig. 1 Histgram of Charpy absorbed energy on the 1st shell course.
Fig. 4.1 Histogram
of Charpy absorbed energy on the 1st shell course

The test results at -196C are shown in the histogram of Figure 4.1. All plates conform
to the requirement of Type V material, improved 9% Ni steel in BS7777 Part 2 as well as
API 620 Appendix Q. Besides, this histogram shows remarkable tendency that the absorbed
energy of the 9% Ni steel plates about 20 years ago were effected by the final rolling
direction. In short, the plates have large anisotropy between L and C direction. In
scattering, T-L direction at -164C was the smallest, L-T at -164C, T-L at -196C, L-T at 196C were following, respectively. And there was no brittle part in the fractured surfaces of
5.210

all tests at -164C, but a little percentage of brittle fracture appears in almost test results at 196C.
(b) Base metal of the 14th shell course and annular
These results showed basically same tendency in absorbed energy value and brittle
fracture rate between each test temperature as 1st shell course.
(c) Welds
Charpy impact tests were carried out on welds of 1st and 14th shell courses,
machining the notch at weld metal, fusion line( FL: 50%weld metal + 50% heat affected
zone ), FL+1 mm, FL+3mm. These test results conformed to the requirement of API 620
Appendix Q. Moreover, welded metal also conformed to the requirements of BS7777.
Figure 4.2 shows the relation between the absorbed energy and notch location for 1st shell
course. It is observed that the lowest value is weld metal, the second is fusion line and as
the location is further from the fusion line, the value become higher. This tendency is
normally observed in the general welds of 9% Ni steel.

4.3

Fracture Toughness Test Results

4.3.1 CTOD Tests. CTOD tests were carried out in accordance with BS5762-1979
on the base metals and welds selected from the 1st and 14th shell courses. The test
direction of the base metal was both L-T and T-L but the welds were L-T only. Three
tests were conducted for each test condition at -164C and -196C. The base metal and
welds of 1st shell course showed good properties no less than 0.26mm at -164C. The
properties at -196C showed minimum CTOD value of 0.05mm and appeared some pop-in
at FL+1mm and 3mm.

5.211

Fig. 4.3 CTOD test results of 19mm thickness welded joint.

R100

R100

G.L .500mm
Gauge length for elongation

63
Test weld

Thermo couple
position( every 63mm)

63

Notch

800

2
10

10

1000

38

63
7
0.1R

Clip gauge position

Notch configuration

63
G.L .500mm
Gauge length for elongation

600
1000

Fig. 4.4 Specimen geometry and location of measurement.

5.212

Table 4.3
Specimen

Configuration ( mm )
Thickness Width
Notch

WPA- 1

Result s of Wells notched and welded wide plate test.

Angular

length

distortion

2W

2a

w/ 1000

19.8

800

38.0

13.7

Test
Fracture Fracture stress
temperature
load
( MPa )
0

( C)
- 163

(kN)
12082

Gross

Net

762.8

800.8

Notch opening ( mm )
CG disp.
Vg
Ave.
Upper
Lower

WPA- 2

19.9

800

38.0

13.4

- 163

12160

763.8

801.9

Upper
Lower

WPB- 1

8.3

800

38.0

8.2

- 163

4943

744.4

781.6

Upper
Lower

WPB- 2

8.6

800

38.0

8.2

- 163

5315

772.5

811.1

Upper
Lower

(Remarks)

2.75
1.12
2.68
1.00
3.13
1.04
2.61
0.92
2.16
1.76
2.16
1.72
2.16
1.48
1.96
1.40

1)

2)
Kc

CTOD (M pa m
c

1.94

1.60

1.84

1.84

2.09

1.73

1.77

1.46

1.94

1.55

1.96

1.57

1.82

1.53

1.68

1.41

Crack
pass
1/ 2

187

HAZ to
Weld Metal

187

HAZ to
Weld Metal

184

HAZ to
Weld Metal

189

HAZ to
Weld Metal

1) From BSC model


2) Kc = g x (a) x [sec(a/2W)]

These pop-ins were judged as significant ones in accordance with BS7448. Besides,
the base metals and welds of the 14th shell course showed also good properties and the
minimum CTOD value was 0.145mm at -164C. But the minimum CTOD value at -196C
was 0.05mm and two significant pop-ins were observed at FL+1mm and 3mm. Figure 4.3
shows the relation between the critical CTOD value and the notch location in the results of
1st shell course.
This indicates a tendency that the lower the critical CTOD appears as the notch
location is closer to the base metal. It is remarkable in the results at -196C. And this
tendency was also same in the results of 14th shell course. It is concluded that the
materials including the welds fabricated 20 years ago have enough properties against the
brittle fracture initiation at LNG temperature of -164C.
4.3.2 NRL Drop Weight Tests. NRL drop weight tests were performed on the base
metal and the heat affected zone of welded joint of 1st shell course. The tests were
conducted at -196C using P-3 type specimen in accordance with ASTM E206-91 and
repeated by three specimens on each conditions. All tests showed no-break performance
and ensured that Nil Ductility Transition ( NDT) temperature were below -196C.
4.3.3 Wells notched and wide plate test. The main object of this test is to evaluate
not only the characteristics on brittle fracture initiation of welded joints but also the
propagation phenomena of them, such as the crack path, pop-in size, its direction, reinitiation toughness etc. In other words, the object is to evaluate the overall performance
of weldments against brittle fracture.
The test specimens were prepared from the selected vertical joints of the 1st and 14th
shell courses. These specimens had a centered though thickness notch along to welded
joint as shown in Figure 4, and the notch was machined at the heat affected zone. The test
were carried out using a 2,000 ton horizontal tensile test rig and a automatic temperature
control system keeping the temperature at -163C with spraying liquefied nitrogen gas.
Notch opening displacements, overall elongation and test temperature were measured at
5.213

the points shown in Figure 4.4. The notch opening displacements were measured on both
surfaces using clip gauges. And the charts of load to clip gauge displacement and load to
elongation were recorded by X-Y plotter. These test results are shown in Table 4.3. The
gross fracture stresses for WPA-1,WPA-2, WPB-1 and WPB-2 are so high as to show
762.8, 763.8, 744.4 and 775.5MPa respectively. Furthermore, their notch opening
displacements are 1.56, 1.60, 1.56 and 1.47mm in average value. And no pop-in appeared
in all test specimens. The crack initiated at the notch deviated into the weld metal and
showed a very ductile fracture. This demonstrated that the welds had excellent fracture
toughness properties to withstand fracture initiation.
4.3.4 Duplex ESSO test. The object of this test is to evaluate the crack arrestability
of the materials against a running brittle crack after it ran at most 300mm in length under
the conditions similar to actual storage tanks. The shape of the test specimen is shown in
Figure 4.5. The test specimen consists of two parts. The one part of 150mm in length for
crack starter and crack propagation, and the other part of 350mm in length for the test.
The former is made of embrittled 9% Ni steel that is treated by annealing after heated to
800C for an hour to initiate and propagate easily a brittle crack.
Both parts are welded with 3.5% Ni type welding materials. At the top of the
embrittled plate, a notch of 29mm in length is machined where a wedge is driven by high
pressure nitrogen gas to initiate a brittle crack in the test plate. While applying of the
specified load to the test plate at the temperature, the notch is struck by the wedge. Test
results are judged as No-Go(Arrest) or Go(Propagate) depending on whether the
crack is arrested in the test plate just after it hits or not.
The tests were conducted on the selected base metal of 1st and 14th shell courses. A
test specimen was installed into 2,000tonf horizontal tensile test rig and cooled down to 164C by controlling to use liquefied nitrogen gas. The test temperature at 6 points as
shown in Figure 4.6 was measured by C-C thermocouples. Furthermore, as for the test
plate of 19mm in thickness( 1st shell course ), the crack propagation speeds of 6 parts
were measured as shown in Figure 4.6. Two test specimens were tested for each base
plates. The base metals showed excellent crack arrestability to indicate No-Go with
small penetration under the applied stress 323 or 361N/mm2 for two specimens of 19mm
in thickness and one under the applied stress of 323N/mm2 for 8mm in thickness. As for
another test specimen of 8mm in thickness, the results was considered to be No- Test,
because the crack initiated in the embrittled plate before attaining to the specified load.
Figure 4.7 shows the one sample of the fracture appearance for the specimen of 19mm in
thickness. Besides, crack propagation speeds were measured successfully. It showed a
trend that the propagation speed attain the maximum speed at the parts of #5-6 to be 932
and 777m/sec before penetrating to the test plate, and they reduced at the parts of #6-7 to
be 595 and 442m/sec at just penetrating to the test plate. It was proven that actual base
plates had excellent crack arrestability.

5.214

30

60

60

60

10
30

Embrittled
plate

25
Weld

25
20

Test plate

60

20

60

# 1
# 2 plate
# 3
# 4
# 5
# 6

Weld

35

# 7

Position of thermocouples
Position of crack speed detector guage
Fig. 4.6 Position of thermocouple and crack speed detector gauge

Plate thickness

19mm

Location of test

Base metal

Mark

EAB-1

Test temperature

-164 C

Stress

361 N/mm2

Test result

No Go

Fig. 4.7 Fracture appearance of duplex ESSO test specimen.

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5.

CONCLUSION

BLNG had been operating the three LNG storage tanks for 20 years. Only normal
external inspection and maintenance was carried out. No internal inspection we required.
The tanks had been designed and constructed in accordance with the conventional design
code (API620 Appendix Q) and construction practice applicable in those days. The 9%
nickel steel and its welds used had been qualified only by charpy impact testing at
Cryogenic temperature of -196oC in terms of brittle fracture toughness. They were
actually qualified for the requirements of the BS7777, Part 2, issued in 1994. The
inspection and test results showed that the steel inner and outer tanks, inlcuding insulation
materials, are in good condition although corroded details need improvements. BLNG is
actually planning to reuse one of the mothballed tanks with modifications.
This series of works for decommissioning, demolition, inspection and tests contributed
to LNG storage industry bringing knowledge of design and material technology of tanks
used for 20 years, demonstrating of fitness of the above main components of above
ground LNG storage tanks as per either the old of current design code, etc.

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