Special Skills And Machines Prepare Aluminum Shell Plates For Spherical-Type LNG Tanks
The construction of the spherical, aluminum, LNG tanks for ships built to the Moss Rosenberg Verft A.S. design require skillful forming, machining and welding of the shell plates. For Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., of Japan, this skill is being furnished by Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Sales and its subcontractor, Phoenix Steel Company.
Kawasaki is building a number of 128,600- cubic-meter LNG carriers to the Moss Rosenberg design.
Kawasaki ordered the aluminum plates from Kaiser. Kaiser, in turn, contracted with Phoenix to form, cut and bevel for welding the tank segments—the original order covered 1,350 segments, sufficient for 10 tanks.
Phoenix is not involved with supplying the equatorial rings for the 121-foot-diameter spheres. Kaiser supplies Phoenix with plates 40-feet long and varying in thickness from 1 1/2 inches to 3 inches.
Phoenix forms the plates with a 3,000-ton press within a 1/4-inch tolerance—curvature is in both directions. After forming, a numerically controlled plasma cutting machine, built by CRO Engineering Co., Inc., of Milwaukee, Wis., cuts to size and scribes the plates (scribe marks are for welding and assembly locations).
The plate edges are then double beveled and chamfered by two milling machines, designed and manufactured by Master Machine Tools, Inc., of Hutchinson, Kan. These machines do the complete operation in one pass.
Phoenix Steel Company is turning out 135 segments per month — enough to build one tank.
The formed, cut, and machined plates are then shipped through Philadelphia to Japan for assembly by Kawasaki Heavy Industries at its Harima facility.
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