Thermal Stratification in Closed Cryogenic Containers

  • S. C. Fan
  • J. C. Chu
  • L. E. Scott
Part of the Advances in Cryogenic Engineering book series (ACRE, volume 14)


In the absence of agitation [1] or any effective means [2] to provide heat paths vertically, thermal stratification is a rather common occurrence in cryogens stored in cryogenic containers. Stratification results because the warmer layer has the lower density, and the fluid itself is a poor heat conductor. As a result of stratification, the system pressure will become higher than that corresponding to the average liquid temperature. Stratification shortens the storing period between successive ventings, or a stronger wall vessel has to be used. In the case of liquid nitrogen in equilibrium with its vapor, a rise of 1°R represents a pressure increase of 4 to 10 psi. Since a difference of 15° to 40°R can be developed, this may lead to a design pressure increase up to 400 psi. However thermal stratification can be advantageous to the transfer of liquefied gases from storage, to permit the delivery of subcooled liquid or to attain the net positive suction head required for pumping.


Thermal Stratification Bulk Liquid Liquid Level Vent Valve Schlieren Photograph 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. C. Fan
    • 1
  • J. C. Chu
    • 1
  • L. E. Scott
    • 2
  1. 1.Polytechnic Institute of BrooklynBrooklynUSA
  2. 2.Air Reduction CompanyMurray HillUSA

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