Avoiding Hazards of Cryogenic Spills
The movement to produce, liquefy, store and transfer natural gas at sea brings to the forefront a new concern in the risk assessment stages of any floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project: how to protect the vessel and support structures from the catastrophic effects of a cryogenic LNG spill on a steel substrate.
In a matter of seconds, a cryogenic spill could lead to cold-induced brittle fracture from thermal shock, as the metal goes from ambient temperatures to -260 F (-162 C). Spilled LNG will also vaporize and present a potential explosion and fire hazard.
International standards for achieving cryogenic spill protection do not currently exist. But through extensive testing advanced by Sherwin-Williams, it is proven that FIRETEX M89/02 syntactic epoxy insulant, in conjunction with the passive fire protection offered by the FIRETEX epoxy intumescent, offers an effective solution to the cryogenic spill hazard, with or without a subsequent hydrocarbon fire.
Conducted for the South Hook LNG terminal, Europe’s largest regasification facility, no breakdown of coating was seen in a large scale test wherein a 1 m long steel piece was subjected first to cryogenic and then rapid rise fire exposure.