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Donal works on research and development projects focused on improving quality and safety of offshore chemical tanks

Cryogenics Facts

Cryogenics Facts

To kick off the first in our “let’s talk about” series we are taking a look at cryogenics. Here at Suretank we specialise in the design and manufacture of cryogenic tanks for the safe storage and transportation of cryogenic liquids for the offshore market worldwide.

Let's start with a few basic facts...


  1. Cryogenic liquids are usually in gaseous form at normal temperatures.  
  2. They are cooled to liquid temperature for storage and transport.
  3. It is more efficient to transport the product as a liquid, as it is more compact (e.g. Nitrogen liquid is 696 times more compact that in its gaseous state)
  4. Cryogenic liquids have boiling points below -150 degrees Celsius
  5. Cryogenic liquids are normally used at atmospheric pressure so they are constantly boiling during use.
  6. Suretank build 10ft, 13ft and 20ft offshore and onshore cryogenic tanks
  7. Cryogenic tanks typically must withstand much greater pressures than normal offshore tanks
  8. Cryogenic tanks must be able to withstand rapid changes and extreme differences in temperature whilst keeping the contents at a stable temperature
  9. Cryogenic liquids become gases at various temperatures but generally all will be gases at usual ambient temperatures
  10. Cryogenic tanks are built to strict quality assurance standards, with specific tests at critical hold points in the manufacturing process
  11. Nitrogen is used for a number of applications in the offshore environment
    1. To eliminate downhole fires on drilling sites
    2. To maintain reservoir pressure
    3. Purging to clear lines and vessels
  12. Cryogenic liquids and their cold vapours and gases can produce effects on the skin similar to a thermal burn. Prolonged exposure of the skin or contact with cold surfaces can result in frostbite
  13. A Cryogenic tank holding time is a measure of how long it takes for the pressure to rise to the pressure relief valve setting. The pressure rises due to heat in-leak and a longer hold time means a superior tank
  14. A longer hold time means that the cryogenic liquid stays in the tank for longer, which means less product is lost
  15. Suretank cryogenic tanks have much longer hold times than many other similar designs (e.g. 10' ISO 6 Barg; 25 days minimum)
  16. Suretank offer bespoke design solutions tailored for particular customer requirements.
  17. Cryogenic tanks from Suretank offer complete flexibility for pressures (e.g. 3 Bar to 24 Bar), cargo (LIN, LAR, LNG), valve types and location, and weight rating (increased Max Gross Weight or Optimised Tare Reduction).
  18. Suretank have used complex Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to complete the loading calculations on all designs. The designs have a proven track record in the field.
  19. Suretank have supplied Cryogenic tanks to all major well service companies.
  20. The superior performance (hold-time) of Suretank's cryogenic tanks is regularly acknowledged.
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