Coral Carbonic: Calculating Arctic Temperature Challenges

This 79.4m x 13.75m vessel was the first in the world designed solely for carrying liquid carbon dioxide, a chemical waste product which can be reused for making soft drinks and fire extinguishers.

The Coral Carbonic houses a 38-metre long horizontal cylindrical tank with a diameter of 6.4 metres, which rests on one fixed and one gliding support, allowing the tank to expand and shrink. It is used to cool liquid carbon dioxide to a temperature of around -40°C. As the ship has an Ice Class denomination, its commissioners feared the ship’s welding joints might eventually tear under arctic conditions.

Koole Engineering was asked to calculate what temperatures the ship and its tank could safely endure. Using the FEM method and benefiting from the ship’s symmetry, Koole Engineering was able to deduce how temperature changes affect the tank’s shape, and its supporting beams.
As the ship classification society did not have regulations for heat conduction coefficients, Koole Engineering engaged in thorough research and discussions to determine air and water temperature margins. The calculations predicted that even in the most extreme conditions, the tank’s expansion rates would stay within the established margins.

The ship was approved and launched in 1999.