Matrix Applied Technologies Heavy Duty Internal Floating Roof (IFR) Advantages

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Here are some of the many design advantages Matrix Applied Technology Heavy Duty IFR’s offer:

  • 1000 lb/ft² Load capability: API 650 Appendix H requires that IFRs be capable of withstanding a concentrated load of 500lb/ft². Tests conducted in our factory show that the Matrix Technologies Heavy Duty IFR can withstand 1000lb/ft². With the exception of the marked sheeting, all components of the test rig were returned to stock undamaged.
  • Heavier construction than most other types: The Matrix Technologies Heavy Duty Aluminium Internal Floating Roof (IFR) has an integral main structure or frame to which the sheeting and pontoons are added. Conventional lightweight IFRs designs, by contrast, have pontoons and sheeting as an integral part of the structure. With lightweight IFRs designs, if sheeting or pontoons are to be replaced, it is a difficult operation. In some IFR designs, as soon as the sheeting is removed, the remaining structure is not easily serviceable.
  • Legs not connected to the pontoons: The Matrix Technologies Heavy Duty IFR has a proper frame, with regularly spaced crossbeams, legs are connected to the frame and not to the pontoons. This eliminates the likelihood of pontoon end cracking. Pontoon end cracking is a common phenomenon with conventional design IFRs due to in-tank turbulence.
  • Easy Assembly: All peripheral main beams are angle-cut at the end to exactly conform to the rim inside radius. All main beam and crossbeam connection holes within the IFR are pre-punched for easy assembly. Shoe sealmounting holes on the rim are pre-drilled to exactly pre-determine seal shoe spacing and overlap. This makes shoe seal installation extremely fast. Main beam-to-rim connections are made so that the top of the main beam is flush with the top of the rim. This allows proper sheet clamping right to the rim. Most lightweight IFR designs run the main beams under the rim flange and then bolt to the rim. This does not allow proper sheet clamping at the rim.
  •  Extruded Rim: The Matrix Technologies heavy duty rim is better able to resist deformation caused by wave action in the tank. Wave action frequently occurs due to turbulence caused by pumping, use of mixers and gas slugs. These events, particularly gas slugs have been known to cause serious damage to lightweight sheet metal IFR rims. Having an extruded rim allows easy fitment of a shoe seal without rim reinforcement.
  • Anti-static/earth connection: Pumping of bi-polar solvents in particular, can generate significant static electricity. This must be dissipated to ground. The usual way this is done is by hanging one or more cables from the tank fixed roof and connect these to the IFR. The problem with this idea is that when an IFR floats to High Level, the static cable snakes all over the IFR surface. The danger is that this cable may snag on something. It has been known that this cable has gone down into the rim space and either got caught on a landing leg or a seal shoe with destructive result when the IFR was lowered. To overcome this problem, the Matrix Technologies IFR uses a static coil. This coils around the anti-rotation cable and maintains the static wire in a fixed location eliminating any snagging problem.
  • Sheeting fastened from the top: Some IFR designs use a through bolt & nut to clamp the sheeting. This requires a person on the top of the IFR as well as somebody underneath to install one bolt. The bolthole provides a potential vapour leak path. The Matrix Technologies IFR uses special screws at 200mm (7-7/8”) pitch. These screw into the main I-beam from the top. A one-man operation & no leak path. Other IFR manufacturers have sheet-clamping fasteners at spaces of up to 400mm (16”). This means that the sheeting is not clamped well and deck seam loss can result. The excellent sheet clamping achieved by Matrix Technologies is due to good beam section modulus and 200mm sheeting screw pitch so that deck seal loss is close to zero. Vacuum box tests with soapy solution carried out on the Matrix Technologies IFR deck seams in the USA showed zero loss over a 1m (3ft) test section.
  • Deck Sheeting: API 650 Appendix H used to specify a minimum deck sheeting thickness of 0.46mm (0.018”). This was recently increased to a minimum of 0.51mm (0.020”). Experience shows that this is still too thin. Sheeting can corrode over the years depending on ambient air moisture levels. Frequently we have found that damage to thin sheeting has occurred when workmen have been working on the IFRMatrix Technologies uses 0.6mm (0.024”) sheet as standard, with other thicknesses available on application. We believe that 0.6mm sheet offers a reasonable compromise between cost, weight & strength.
  • Stainless steel fasteners: The Matrix Technologies Heavy Duty IFR uses only stainless steel fasteners. Many IFR manufacturers use electro-plated steel fasteners. These corrode beneath the IFR and are impossible to remove later. It is a particular problem with those designs that use a through-bolt to clamp the sheeting. These fasteners with the corroded exposed thread under the IFR are impossible to remove.


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