Title:
ANTI-POLLUTION BALLAST CONTAINER
United States Patent 3707937


Abstract:
An anti-pollution ballast container to be installed in an oil tanker as a receptacle for clean ballast water, to be located in a compartment of the tanker which is adapted to be filled with oil. The container is formed of elastic material such as rubber and is constructed for collapsing within the compartment as the latter is filled with oil, with support rings between the folds of the compartment wall slidable within the compartment as the container expands or contracts. The container is adapted to be filled with clean ballast which may be taken from the sea and pumped into the container for ballast when the compartment is empty of oil. A similar container may be provided in several or all of the compartments of the tanker.



Inventors:
LILES H
Application Number:
05/136916
Publication Date:
01/02/1973
Filing Date:
04/23/1971
Assignee:
LILES H,US
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
92/42, 222/214
International Classes:
B63B25/12; (IPC1-7): B63B25/08
Field of Search:
114/73,74R,74A,74T,75,78,68,69,121,125 150
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3170598Bar dispenser1965-02-23McPherson
3005317Combination dry or liquid cargo vessel and process1961-10-24Bunn
2798639Container1957-07-09Urban
2623565Tank1952-12-30Unthank
2492058Fountain pen1949-12-20O'Connor
2490513Corrugated tube1949-12-06Dreyer
2432025Collapsible gasoline tank1947-12-02Lorenz



Foreign References:
FR1079634A1954-12-01
FR1427449A
GB809695A1959-03-04
AU234347A
Primary Examiner:
Blix, Trygve M.
Assistant Examiner:
Kazenske E. R.
Claims:
I claim

1. A tanker comprising a hull having a compartment adapted to receive cargo for transportation, a container within the compartment having a surrounding wall including a plurality of fold sections collapsible upon each other and relatively expandible upon filling of the container, means within the container and connected along the inner edges of the fold sections for causing collapsing of the container in folds upon removal of the filling, and a plurality of rings mounted in the container at the surrounding wall in positions to aid in the folding of the sections upon collapsing of the container.

2. A tanker according to claim 1, wherein the container has the surrounding wall of elastic material.

3. A tanker according to claim 2, wherein the plurality of sections are formed as pleats in the elastic wall.

4. A tanker according to claim 3 wherein the collapsing means includes resilient rings extending along the inner edges of the pleats and connected therewith for causing folding of the pleats during collapsing of the container.

5. A tanker according to claim 1 wherein the rings are flat plates on opposite sides of the fold sections for causing collapsing thereof upon contracting of the container.

6. A tanker according to claim 1, including a cylinder surrounding the container within the compartment for guiding the expansion and contraction of the container, and the rings between the sections are slidable axially of the cylinder.

7. A tanker comprising a hull having a compartment adapted to receive fluid cargo for transportation, a container within the compartment for holding fluid ballast, said container including a surrounding wall of flexible material for collapsing in pleats upon discharge of the fluid ballast therefrom, and yieldable contraction rings extending around the inner circumference of the container along the inner edges of the pleats and connected therewith for contracting the pleats upon collapsing of the container.

8. A tanker according to claim 7, including guide rings between the pleats for aiding in the folding thereof, said rings being in slidable relation axially of the container.

9. A tanker according to claim 7, including an upright cylinder in the compartment surrounding the container and having means of communication from the interior of the cylinder into the compartment.

10. A tanker according to claim 7, including means for directing a ballast fluid to the interior of the container out of contact with the cargo in the compartment.

Description:
SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

This invention relates to improvements in Anti-Pollution Ballast Containers for tankers such as transport crude oil or other material.

The tanker is provided with compartments which are adapted for receiving crude oil or other fluids for transportation. When the tanker not loaded with oil, it is necessary to carry a suitable ballast in the compartments for proper weighting of the tanker for transportation when empty of oil. It is has been customary heretofore to pump sea water into the same compartments as a ballast for the tanker and to discharge it when the tanker is to be loaded at the refinery or other loading area.

The sea water normally is discharged into the sea or river immediately preceding the loading of the tanker with its cargo of crude oil or other products. The sea water pumped into an oil compartment will collect oil entrapped therein sufficiently so as to contaminate the sea or river at the point of discharge when the sea water is pumped out of the tank or compartment into that sea or river. This has caused pollution problems that are seriously objectionable.

Attempts have been proposed heretofore to provide displaceable containers within underwater vessels, but these have not been suitable for the compartments of oil tankers. They have failed to provide containers of sufficient capacity within the respective compartments to accommodate the desired quantity of ballast fluid and which containers were of sturdy construction, securely mounted within the compartments and adapted for filling and emptying when needed.

One object of the invention is to improve the construction of containers for fluid ballast in a tanker to provide for the introduction and discharge of ballast fluids such as sea water without contamination or pollution of the area adjacent the point of discharge.

Another object of the invention is to improve the construction and mounting of a container for ballast fluid within a compartment of a tanker to enable the same to be filled with ballast fluid such as sea water or emptied thereof and which will collapse for substantially full capacity of the compartment.

Still another object of the invention is to so construct a container for anti-pollution ballast fluids which, when emptied, will collapse by folding of the side wall thereof and which is guided in the folding action to insure proper collapse in a minimum of space within the compartment.

These objects may be accomplished, according to one embodiment of the invention, by providing a container located within a compartment of a tanker, such as an oil tanker. The container is constructed with a surrounding wall having contraction rings secured at intervals therearound so as to cause collapsing of the container in folds that are guided by rings secured to the wall of the container intermediate the folds. This allows the container to expand when ballast fluid is pumped into the container to provide the appropriate quantity of ballast weight within the compartment and yet to be discharged from the tanker without the ballast fluid being contaminated with the oil or causing pollution at the point of discharge. The container is collapsed to a compact relation so as to allow filling of the compartment with oil or other cargo.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

This embodiment of the invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a vertical section through a tanker compartment, showing the container in place therein;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation of a conventional tanker having multiple compartments for cargo fluid;

FIG. 3 is a horizontal section through the compartment shown in FIG. 1 on the line 3--3 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a detail section through a portion of the container in partly collapsed relation; and

FIG. 5 is an enlarged detail section of one of the contracting rings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF DISCLOSURE

Referring to FIG. 2, I have shown merely as an example an oil tanker which is designated generally by the numeral 1 and is constructed in the usual manner, with a series of compartments illustrated at 2, spaced throughout the major portion of the hull of the tanker. One side wall of the hull is shown generally at 3 in FIG. 1 as enclosing one of the compartments 2, which compartment extends from the deck 4 to the bottom 5 of the compartment 2 and which is spaced above the ship bottom plate 6, being separated therefrom by bottom beams 7 in the hull. The tanker is provided with the usual means for pumping oil or other fluid cargo into the respective compartments in the hull, which means, being well known, is not illustrated in detail.

Mounted within each of the compartments 2 is an upstanding cylinder, indicated at 8, which preferably extends from the deck 4 to the bottom 5 of the compartment and is secured thereto. The cylinder 8 is provided with perforations 9 in the wall thereof substantially throughout its height so as to allow freedom of open communication through the wall of this cylinder between the interior and exterior thereof. Thus, the cylinder will be filled with oil or other cargo fluid when the compartment is filled and likewise will be emptied when the oil is pumped out of the compartment.

Mounted within the cylinder 8 is a container 10. This container 10 has the body thereof constructed of elastic material substantially throughout the height of the container, although it has a bottom metal plate 11 secured to the bottom 5 over the main bottom ship beams 7.

The container bottom 11 is sealed to the edge of the wide wall of the container 10 throughout the circumference thereof. A container top plate 12, also of metal, covers the area within the perforated cylinder 8 over the upper end of the container 10. The top plate 12 of the container can be sealed either by extending the elastic material throughout the area of the top plate 12 or by sealing the edges of the surrounding elastic wall to the edges of the plate 12.

The surrounding wall of the container 10 is constructed with contracting rings 13 secured to the elastic wall and spaced therealong axially so as to contract the wall as accordian folds or sections which are indicated at 14. The contracting rings 13 may be in the form of heavy rubber bands extending around the inner circumference of the accordian folds or section 14 and which are employed to pull the inner folds of the container inwardly when the container is collapsed. These rings can be reinforced, if desired, with steel springs therein which are indicated at 15 in FIG. 5.

Metal guide rings, shown at 16, are interposed between the folds 14 and are secured at the peripheries of these guide rings to the inner surface of the elastic container 10. The guide rings 16 are fastened in the container at the indicated points in any suitable manner to maintain the folds in contact with the perforated cylinder 8 at their peripheries. Moreover, they help to fold the container down to a collapsed condition, with their peripheries slidable axially of the cylinder 8 into a minimum space at the bottom of the compartment. The inner edges of the guide rings or plates 16 are disposed so that the contraction rings 13 will pass over these inner edges and bear directly one upon another when the container is collapsed.

Any suitable means may be provided for filling the container. I have illustrated a pipe 17 extending into the bottom 11 of the container from a main supply pipe 18 having suitable pumping means, illustrated generally at 19 (FIG. 3). A control valve is shown at 20 which may be opened and closed by a reach rod 21 extending to a suitable point above the top deck 4, as shown in FIG. 1.

The container 10 will be completely collapsed in the bottom of the cylinder 8 in the compartment 2 when the compartment is filled with oil or other fluid cargo for transportation. When so collapsed, all of the folds 14 will lie flat upon each other and upon the rings 16 that are interposed therebetween in the bottom of the cylinder 8. The contraction rings also will lie directly one upon another over the inner edges of the guide rings 16.

When the tanker has its cargo removed, it is desirable to fill each of the containers 10 with a suitable ballast fluid. Sea water is often used for this purpose and may be pumped directly through the pipes 17 and 18 into the container 10 after removal of the cargo fluid from the compartment 2. The sea water will cause the elastic container 10 to expand as the clean ballast water is pumped into the container, flattening the elastic wall against the inner face of the perforated cylinder 8, as illustrated in the lower portion of FIG. 1. This will continue until the desired quantity of clean ballast water is provided in the compartment 2 or until all of the folds have thus been expanded in the perforated cylinder. The clean ballast water is thus confined in an elastic container out of communication with the oil space in the compartment 2 so as not to be contaminated with the oil.

After completion of the journey and it is then desired to take on a load of cargo, the clean ballast water from within the container 10 can be pumped out directly into the sea or river adjacent the point of loading without polluting the area at the loading point. As the clean ballast water is thus pumped out of the container, the latter will collapse in the bottom of the perforated cylinder 8 in the manner described above.

This will provide an effective container for holding clean ballast water within the compartment and will be maintained effectively out of communication with the oil space so as to prevent contamination of the clean ballast water and avoid pollution where the ballast water is discharged into the water adjacent the point of filling. The construction is simple and inexpensive for an effective and secure container which will maintain the separation of the oil and clean ballast water.

While the invention has been illustrated and described in one embodiment, it is recognized that variations and changes may be made therein without departing from the invention set forth in the claims.