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Box-shaped Pressure Vessel for LNG Developed by KAIST Research Team
Earlier today, Korean researchers successfully showcased the installation and operation of a box-shaped, high-pressure tank for the storage of liquefied natural gas in Pohang, Republic of Korea. The development was the first of its kind in the world. Pressure vessels have many applications and are widely used within the petrochemical, energy, and other industrial sectors where the transport and storage of many types of pressurized gases and fluids are essential. Pressure vessels must be designed, manufactured, installed, and operated strictly in accordance with the appropriate codes and standards since they can, in cases of leak or rupture, pose considerable health and safety hazards. Pressure vessels are normally designed in the form of a cylindrical or spherical tank. These shapes are, in principle, highly efficient in withstanding internal pressure, but rather inefficient in terms of space utilization. The tanks fit very poorly within a typically prismatic-shaped room. They cannot be packed closely together, so they do not efficiently utilize the overall space. Moreover, cylindrical or spherical tanks are not easily scalable to very large sizes because the wall thickness of the tank must increase proportionally to its overall radius. Therefore, a large pressure vessel unavoidably will have very thick walls, which are difficult and expensive to manufacture, requiring a great amount of thick-walled steel to be rolled, forged, and welded together. KAIST researchers, sponsored by POSCO, a multinational steel-making company based in Pohang, Republic of Korea, have taken a turnabout approach to construct a pressure vessel that is neither cylindrical nor spherical. Professors Pål G. Bergan and Daejun Chang and of Ocean Systems Engineering at KAIST developed a box-type, large size pressure vessel for the storage and transportation of liquids such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), compressed natural gas (CNG), or liquefied natural gas (LNG). The box-shaped pressure vessel has an internal, load-carrying lattice-type structure. The lattice pattern is modular in all three spatial directions, thereby effectively anchoring and balancing pressure forces on the external walls of the vessel. The modular lattice can easily be adapted to prescribed pressure levels as the overall volumetric dimensions are directly linked to the number of repetitive modules. A giant prismatic pressure vessel with a size of 20,000 m3 and a design pressure of 10 atmospheres (10 barg) can be built simply by scaling up a smaller size pressure vessel. It is interesting to note that the thickness of steel walls remains unchanged and that the weight of steel per unit storage volume goes down as the vessel size increases. Professor Chang explained the benefit of a prismatic or box-shaped pressure vessel.“If we use cylindrical pressure vessels to supply LNG fuel for a large container ship, for example, many fuel tanks will be needed. Those tanks will take up large and valuable space onboard because the cylinders have to be lined up. In our case, however, much less space is needed. The operation of a ship becomes simpler with one fuel tank rather than with many. Furthermore, our box-type pressure vessel can be designed with dimensions that precisely fit a ship. For a container ship, there may be room for a substantially higher number of containers to be loaded than when using cylindrical vessels. In a case study on a 13,000 TEU container ship, the value of the increased transport capacity tuned out USD 8.4 million for one year of operation for one ship.”The manufacturing cost of a pressure vessel has been reduced as well. Several types of special steel for cryogenic (low temperature) applications have been investigated in design and analysis studies, and this includes a new type of high-manganese steel that is being developed by POSCO. Regardless of materials, in any instance of large pressure vessels, the new lattice tank technology can offer significant savings of combined capital and operational costs. Professor Bergan was also upbeat regarding the impact of the KAIST technology innovation. “Our box-type pressure vessel represents ground-breaking research. This innovative technology will dramatically change the rules of the game for industry concerning production, transportation, and storage of fluids under high pressure and at low temperatures.”The showcased prismatic pressure vessel was a scale-down model with a volume size of 80 m3 and design pressure of 10 atmospheres. The vessel complies with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC), the international standard for the appropriateness of design, fabrication, and inspection of boilers and pressure vessels. It passed the 15 pressure testing in January 2014 and received an accreditation from the ASME BPVC (ASME U2 Stamp). KAIST’s prismatic pressure vessel will be presented and displayed at Gastech 2014, the largest global conference and exhibition in the natural gas, LNG, and hydrocarbons industry. This event will take place on March 24-27 at KINTEX in Ilsan, Republic of Korea. Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woJwc5zisxk&list=TLGOLcI7L6_YYTn0lImPqNyeppQWRXqUt5Picture 1: The prototype of a prismatic pressure vesselPicture 2: A lattice pattern that is lined inside a prismatic pressure tankPicture 3: Above is a container ship having a box-shaped pressure vessel as a fuel tank, and below are traditional cylindrical fuel tanks.
Observation of a water strider led to a new method of measuring properties of Nano films
Even the mechanical properties of Nano films of a few nanometers thick can be measured Posted online Nature Communications on the 3rd of October The joint research team of KAIST’s Department of Mechanical Engineering’s Professor Taek-Soo Kim and Doctor Seung-Min Hyun of the Nano mechanics laboratory of Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials has developed a new method to evaluate mechanical properties of Nano films using the characteristics of water surfaces. The research findings have been posted on the online edition of Nature Communications on the 3rd of October. The technology can obtain accurate results by directly measuring the mechanical properties such as the strength and elasticity of Nano films. Academia and the industry expect the simplicity of the technology to present a new paradigm in the evaluation of mechanical properties of Nano films. Evaluation of the mechanical properties of Nano films is essential not only in predicting the reliability of semiconductors and displays, but also in finding new phenomena in the Nano world. However, mechanical strength was difficult to test since the test demands the falling of objects to the ground to measure their strength, and nano films can easily break in the process. The research team observed insects such as water striders freely floating on the surface of the water. The team used the properties of water, large surface tension and low viscosity, to float a 55 nanometers (nm) gold Nano film to successfully measure its mechanical properties without damaging it. The technology could be used to measure the mechanical properties of not only various types of Nano films but also films only a few nm thick. Professor Taek-Soo Kim said, “We effectively performed an evaluation of the mechanical characteristics of Nano films, which was difficult in the past, by developing a new strength test using the properties of water.” He continued to say, “The team plans to discover the mechanical properties of 2D Nano films such as graphene that could not have been measured with the existing strength test methods.” The research by KAIST’s Department of Mechanical Engineering’s graduate student Jae-Han Kim (lead author) under the supervision of Professor Taek-Soo Kim and Doctor Seung-Min Hyun of Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials was sponsored by the National Research Foundation of Korea. Evaluation process of mechanical properties of Nano films by using the characteristics of water surfaces Dr Seung-Min Hyun, Jae-Han Kim, and Professor Taek-Soo Kim from left to right
Ultra High Speed Nanomaterial Synthesis Process Developed Using Laser
Dr. Jun-Yeop, Yeo and the research team led by Professor Seung-Hwan, Ko (both of the Department of Mechanical Engineering) successfully developed a process enabling the location-determinable, ultra high speed synthesis of nanomaterials using concentrated laser beams. The result of the research effort was published as the frontispiece in the July 9th issue of Advanced Functional Materials, a world renowned material science and engineering academic journal. Application of the technology reduced the time needed to process nanomaterial synthesis from a few hours to a mere five minutes. In addition, unlike conventional nanomaterial synthesis processes, it is simple enough to enable mass production and commercialization. Conventional processes require the high temperatures of 900~1,000 °C and the use of toxic or explosive vapors. Complex processes such as separation after synthesis and patterning are needed for application in electronic devices. The multi-step, expensive, environmentally unfriendly characteristics of nanomaterial synthesis served as road blocks to its mass production and commercialization. Exposing the precursor to concentrated continuous laser beam (green wavelength) resulted in the synthesis of nanowires in the desired location; the first instance in the world to accomplish this feat. The technology, according to the research team, makes possible the production, integration and patterning of nanomaterials using a single process. Applicable to various surfaces and substrates, nanowires have been successfully synthesized on flexible plastic substrates and controlled patterning on the surface of 3-dimensional structures. Dr. Yeo commented that the research effort has “yielded the creation of a nanomaterial synthesis process capable of synthesis, integration, pattern, and material production using light energy” and has “reduced the synthesis process time of nanomaterial to one tenths of the conventional process.” Dr. Yeo continues to devise steps to commercialize the new multifunctional electronic material and methods for mass production. The research effort, led by Dr. Yeo and Professor Ko, received contribution from Professor Hyung-Jin Sung (KAIST Department of Mechanical Engineering), Seok-Joon Hong, a Ph.D. candidate, Hyun-Wook Kang, also a Ph.D. candidate, Professor Costas Grigoropoulos of UC Berkeley, and Dr. Dae Ho Lee. In addition, the team received support from the National Research Foundation, Ministry of Knowledge Economy, Global Frontier Program, and KAIST EEWS. Picture I: Synthesized nanomaterials produced at a desirable location by laser beams Picture 2: Synthesized nanomaterials built on the 3D structure by using the developed technology Picture 3: Functional electric circuit made with synthesized nanomaterials Picture 4: Cover page of July 9th issue of Advanced Functional Materials
High Speed Nanomanufacturing Process Developed using Laser
Dr. Yeo Jun Yeop from KAIST’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, in a joint research project with Prof. Seung Hwan Ko, has developed a technology that speeds up the nanomanufacturing process by using lasers. Their research is published in the frontispiece of Advanced Functional Materials (July 9th issue). Fig. The frontispiece of Advanced Functional Materials(July 9th issue) The research group put a nanomaterial precursor on the board, illuminated it with a continuous-wave laser in the green wavelength range, and succeeded in synthesizing a nanowire at the point they wanted for the first time in the world. Currently nanomaterials are difficult to mass produce and commercialize due to their complex and costly manufacturing processes which also use toxic gases. However, their new technology simplified the process and so reduced the manufacturing time from some hours to five minutes (1/10th times reduced). Furthermore, this technology will apply regardless of the type of the board. Such nanometerials can be synthesized at any point on a flexible plastic board or even in three dimensional structures by illuminating them with a simple laser. Academics and industries expect mass production and commercialization of nanomaterials in near future. Dr. Yeo said he intends to research further to promote early commercialization of multifunctional electronic devices by combining various nanomaterials This research is sponsored by the National Research Foundation of Korea, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and KAIST EEWS Fig. A nanomaterial synthesized after illuminated by lasers Fig. A nanomaterial synthesized on a three dimensional structure using the developed technology Fig. Functional electron device manufactured by using the synthesized nanomaterials
The control of light at the nano-level
Professor Min Bumki Professor Min Bumki’s research team from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at KAIST have successfully gained control of the transmittance of light in optical devices using graphene* and artificial 2-dimensional metamaterials**. * Graphene : a thin membrane composed of pure carbon, with atoms arranged in a regular hexagonal pattern ** Metamaterials : artificial materials engineered to have properties that may not be found in nature The research results were published in the recent online edition (September 30th) of Nature Materials, a sister journal of the world renowned Nature journal, under the title ‘Terahertz waves with gate-controlled active graphene metamaterials’ Since the discovery of graphene in 2004 by Professors Novoselov and Geim from the University of Manchester (2010 Nobel Prize winners in Physics), it has been dubbed “the dream material” because of its outstanding physical properties. Graphene has been especially praised for its ability to absorb approximately 2.3% of near infrared and visible rays due to its characteristic electron structure. This property allows graphene to be used as a transparent electrode, which is a vital electrical component used in touch screens and solar batteries. However, graphene’s optical transmittance was largely ignored by researchers due to its limited control using electrical methods and its small optical modulation in data transfer. Professor Min’s team combined 0.34 nanometer-thick graphene with metamaterials to allow a more effective control of light transmittance and greater optical modulation. This graphene metamaterial can be integrated in to a thin and flexible macromolecule substrate which allows the control of transmittance using electric signals. This research experimentally showed that graphene metamaterials can not only effective control optical transmittance, but can also be used in graphene optical memory devices using electrical hysteresis. Professor Min said that “this research allows the effective control of light at the nanometer level” and that “this research will help in the development of microscopic optical modulators or memory disks”. figure 1. The working drawing of graphene metamaterials figure 2. Conceptual diagram (Left) and microscopic photo (right) of graphene metamaterials
Commercialization of Carbon Capture and Storage Technology Speeds up
KAIST research team successfully developed the ideal method for carbon dioxide transportation, which is crucial in the capturing and underground storage of carbon dioxide technology. Professor Jang Dae Joon of the department of Ocean Systems Engineering developed a carbon dioxide transportation that minimizes evaporative gases. The new technology is the final piece of the three part carbon capture storage which involves capture, transportation, and storage of carbon dioxide. The completion of the three part technology will allow for commercialization in the near future. Carbon Capture and Storage technology is regarded as the technology that will reduce carbon dioxide levels. It captures the carbon dioxide emitted from power plants and factories and storing them permanently in empty oil fields underground. If the post Kyoto Protocol was to be implemented from 2013, Korea will not be able to shirk from the need to reduce carbon emissions. Therefore the Korean government set out to reduce 32 million tons of carbon dioxide (10% of predicted carbon reduction) until 2030. In response to the government’s efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, Korean research teams like KAIST have responded. Professor Jang’s team succeeded in developing the core technology for underground storage in the 2009 ‘Carbon dioxide Transport and Injection Terminal Project’. And as the final piece of the puzzle the team developed an optimization solution that addressed the evaporating gases emitted from carbon dioxide during transportation. Professor Jang’s team focused on the required low temperature and high pressure conditions in liquid carbon dioxide transport. The problem lies in the temperature gradient which can cause the transport canister to explode. The solution developed by the team is to evaporate carbon dioxide in a pressurized contained which is then re-liquidated. External variables like price of oil, carbon taxation, etc. have been considered and the process was optimized accordingly. The result of Professor Jang’s team’s solution to Carbon Capture and Storage was stored in the online edition of International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control.
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